Just pollen' you... are you tired of honey, royal jelly, propolis product reviews yet?
There's only one more post left in this series, and I'll break up the current swarm of reviews with some other fun stuff - like maaaybe an Avecko/Dowaja haul?! - before getting the last review up over the weekend.
But today, let's focus on this beauteous thing we have before us and find out whether it's purely all about the pretty facade, or if there's any substance/merit to the stuff inside.
This is my first time using Banila Co skincare so I was an eager bee-ver to use this product.
I'd only tried Banila co's base products (their subtle, light coverage CC cream and primers are face-meltingly good IMO) and their heavy-hitter, the standout cleansing balm series, Banila Co Clean It Zero, $15.94 with free shipping @ Amazon before. My favorite one of those is Purity, $19.49 at Amazon, free shipping by the way.
Anywho, it took me SO long to form an opinion on this thing... I hope the following helps you decide whether or not you're interested in it at all.
Banila Co Miss Flower & Mr Honey Essence Oil 30 ml
So is this an essence or an oil? Which is it? I would call this primarily an essence that has a high oil content. The claims on this product are that it increases elasticity (makes your skin go ttaeng, ttaeng, as they would describe it in Korea) and provides moisture due to the yellow flower and collagen extracts present.
Ingredients: Collagen extract - 55%!, glycerin, water, methylgluceth-20, polyglycerin-3, niacinamide, ethanol, honey extract, aureobasidium pullulans ferment, theobroma cacao (cocoa) extract, royal jelly extract, propolis extract, chrysanthellum indicum extract, plukenetia volubilis seed oil, argania spinosa kernel oil, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, anthemis nobilis flower extract, oenothera biennis (evening primrose) oil, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed extract, calendula officinalis flower extract, pentylene glycol, PEG-8, butylene glycol, glyceryl polyacrylate, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, adenosine, tromethamine, caprylic/capric triglyceride, octyldodecanol, cocoglycerides, sodium starch octenyl succinate, maltodextrin, calcium pantothenate, hydrogenated lecithin, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, tocopheryl acetate, pyridoxine HCI, silica, xanthan gum, carbomer, disodium EDTA, phenoxyethanol, fragrance
Ingredients Analysis: I expected the essence to be ultra moisturizing as the base is collagen-glycerin-water. I was excited by the brightening niacinamide, the anti-inflammatory honey, royal jelly, and propolis, and the fact that there were so many skin-conditioning oils for my perpetually dry skin. My face is a virtual oil-free zone so I wanted to get this on my face asap. I was also cautiously optimistic that my skin would be able to handle the simple alcohol (ethanol) higher on the list than usual; I rarely use products with alcohol within the first half of the ingredients list. There were also a few ingredients I'd never really used before like the methyl gluceth-20, a surfactant.
Hydrating/Moisturizing ingredients: collagen extract, glycerin, methyl gluceth-20, polyglycerin-3, honey extract, royal jelly extract, plukenetia volubilis seed oil, argania spinosa kernel oil, olea europaea fruit (olive) oil, enothera biennis (evening primrose) oil, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil
Niacinamide: Vitamin B3, among the most well-studied anti-aging ingredients. Great for fighting hyperpigmentation caused by acne and the sun
Botanical extracts with anti-inflammatory, skin-conditioning, and antioxidant properties: aureobasidium pullulans ferment, theobroma cacao (cocoa) extract, chrysanthellum indicum extract, calendula officinalis flower extract
Anti-acne ingredients: Honey Extract, Propolis Extract. Read how honey and propolis fight acne here.
Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate: Another potent antioxidant, this vitamin C derivative has been studied and shown to brighten skin and lighten hyperpigmentation, fight acne, and of course, prevent skin aging through the scavenging and fighting of free radicals
Tocopheryl Acetate: Vitamin E, another potent antioxidant, can be slightly irritating or cause contact dermatitis to those with sensitive skin
Adenosine: yeast-derived anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging ingredient
There are a few mild potential acne triggers in the niacinamide, ethanol, olive oil, evening primrose oil, and butylene glycol. Those with bee allergies may need to avoid this product. Those wanting to be cognizant of potential health triggers should note the PEG-8, glyceryl polyacrylate, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, tromethamine, tocopheryl acetate, and phenoxyethanol. Those with sensitive skin should take note of the evening primrose oil, carbomer, tocopheryl acetate, ethanol, and fragrance in the product.
How to Use: You want to shake it up before each use since the oil and water layers can separate. I used this mixed into my Guerrison 9 Complex Horse Oil Cream on a nightly basis (which I finally emptied yay!!), so as the last step of my nighttime skincare routine. I would also break it out and use it on its own every once in awhile as a mid-day moisture boost.
The directions state that you can also mix this into your foundation, bb cream, or cc cream. Not gonna lie, I was tempted as I love me some "gwang", or dew, but my CC cushion is already very good at giving me a glow-y finish, and I didn't want my skin to beam like I'm a blood relative of Edward Cullen...
Packaging: The bottle is all glass and can be recycled. The top half is plated or painted? a gorgeous gold color. I had no issues with the dropper. It didn't stick, it wasn't too short, etc. etc.
Product: If you look at the bottom of the glass bottle, the product looks like it would dispense amber doesn't it? It's actually clear. The texture is pretty much what you would expect from an essence with high oil content, it's very thin with a little slip. Like the Scinic ampoule, this product gives a cooling sensation as it glides onto the skin. Likewise, it also absorbs within seconds. It has just a touch of residual stickiness that I don't mind as it makes my skin feel moisturized for longer. It's nowhere near as bad as the Shara Shara. I also like how when applied, this product makes my skin glow like a bioluminescent plankton (sorry, first thing that popped into my head). Wait, shiny. That's the word I'm looking for.
Let's talk about the scent. This thing smells so amazing that I can't call it a smell, or a scent, it's an arooooma. I have to hand it to Banila Co (and Skinfood too). When they put fragrance in a formula, they make it COUNT. It smells delicious, like honey, but a bit deeper and more fragrant - like it's been heated. Mmm.. molten honey....
Finally, the pH of the essence oil is a skin-friendly 4.
See below for 'swatches'.
Performance: Sorry about the blur in the 'before' photo, but I think you can see how I had some redness on m cheeks which dissipated after I used the Banila Co essence oil on its own...
I really enjoy this product, and I'm certainly happy that I picked it up and gave it a good ol' college try. The scent, the packaging, its ability to calm redness, and the beautiful luminous finish make this product SO fun for me, but it's not something I would consider giving a permanent place in my routine. The reason being...
It consistently only boosts the oil content of my skin by about 2% and the water content of my skin between 2-4%, which while decent, isn't what I was hoping for. It's not able to give my skin the deep hydration and the virtual vat of oils it needs on a daily basis. There were so many oils on the ingredients list that I was super hopeful it would function as beautifully as it is formed. I'm not certain, but think the alcohol may have impeded its ability to be a must-have product for my particular skin type.
It does thin out the consistency of my heavy creams for summer nicely. I may invest in another bottle next year. Until then Miss Flower. Mr. Honey. Hasta.
Rating: As someone with dry skin, I would rate this product ☿☿☿.5 of 5 possible etude-kitties. (great at controlling redness, skin glows, smells delicious, 1 mark off for low moisture despite the oils, 1/2 mark off for value)
Try It For Yourself
It's sold out on Memebox, where I purchased mine, but you can find it on...
Get It Cheap on TesterKorea - < $25.30
Get it On Amazon with free shipping - $25.99
Get it at Kosmeshop - $27.18
Get It On Sale at Yesstyle - $27.56
Get It at Koreadepart - $29.00
Get It on the official Banila Co global storefront - $33.00
Have you tried this one? Or any other essence oils?
Disclosure: Bought it, some affiliate links. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, see my disclaimer and policies.