Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Buzz About Manuka Doctor

When it comes to skincare, hair and make up, I'm the girl who loves to discover and experiment with the latest trends.  One such beauty trend is the inclusion of purified bee venom within skincare.  Nature's very own bee botox has been forecast as the top beauty trend of 2013 so if you're passionate about natural skincare and obsessed with products that give visible results then this is one beauty trend band wagon that you need to get on.

Manuka Doctor is the industry's leading brand of skincare featuring the wonder ingredient of bee venom.  They are pioneers in Apitherapy, the beneficial consumption and/or use of bee products, and are the only skincare range to combine the potency of Purified Bee Venom with the healing benefits that UMF 18+ Manuka Honey can bring.  Flawless Faced Millie Mackintosh is the ambassador of the Manuka Doctor brand having used the ApiClear range on her once troubled skin.

Today I'm going to share with you five of the key hero products from Manuka Doctor and show you how I use them together in my skincare routine.  I have the Foaming Cleanser and the Skin Treatment Serum from the ApiClear line, which is designed predominately for problem skin and the Age-Defying Serum, the Restoring Night Cream and the Rejuvenating Face Mask which are from the ApiNourish line, aimed at anti ageing.

When reading any skincare review, I think it is important to consider the persons skin type who is reviewing the product as all opinions are ultimately subjective.  I have combination skin.  It is predominately oily but I do have some patches of dryness and I do get the odd blemish.  I can suffer from clogged and blocked pores so when I'm looking for skincare, I always opt for something that helps problem skin.  I'm coming up to 25 and whilst my skin is still young, I am very aware of the signs of premature ageing and believe that anti ageing products are key in defying the ageing process of the skin.  This is something else that I look out for when using skincare products.  My skin is pretty resilient and generally responds very well to good quality products.

So lets take a look at the products...

Manuka Doctor ApiClear Foaming Cleanser

ApiClear Foaming Cleanser, £16.99 for 150ml
If you're looking to start your day with fresh and clean skin regardless of whether you have problem skin, then I'd really recommend trying out the ApiClear Foaming Cleanser which is a deep cleaning, anti-bacterial approach to cleansing.  When used daily, it eliminates impurities to diminish the appearance of blemishes which in turn, leaves the skin looking clearer, calmer and overall, more radiant.  It uses bee venom, Manuka Honey and Propolis to remove the dirt and impurities from the skin that are responsible for clogging pores, causing blemishes and creating problem skin.

I use the ApiClear Foaming Cleanser in two different ways but ultimately, they both start with squeezing a little product into my palms and rubbing them together with a little warm water to make a foam before massaging it onto my face and neck.  Following this, I either splash my face with warm water and then use a warm face cloth to remove the rest of the cleanser or I use my Riosonicleanse.  Both methods work particularly well on my skin, the method I use is simply determined by the level of deep cleaning that I need.  I found this cleanser to be great at removing make up and excess oil from my skin without stripping it of its natural oils.  My skin is left clean and balanced without feeling tight and squeaky.  I use this cleanser first thing on a morning to wash my face and I use it at night to remove the make up and dirt from the day.  If I have been wearing a particularly heavy cast of make up then I will use a cotton pad and eye make up remover to remove my eye make up and I will take the bulk of my face make up off using a cleansing wipe before deeply cleaning with the ApiClear Foaming Cleanser.  Ordinarily, I wouldn't recommend cleansing wipes to remove make up as I don't believe that they are an effective way of removing make up and dirt from the skin, in fact I find that they push the impurities into the pores.  With that being said, I would only recommend them to take the thick of your make up off, if you've been wearing a heavy foundation and layers of powder for example and then I would recommend using the ApiClear Foaming Cleanser to deeply and thoroughly clean the pores to remove the rest of the make up and to clean the face.

Manuka Doctor ApiClear Skin Treatment Serum

ApiClear Skin Treatment Serum, £18.99 for 30ml
The ApiClear Skin Treatment Serum is a Manuka Doctor product that has featured in my skincare routine for a couple of years now.  It was one of the first Manuka Doctor products that I had ever tried upon first discovering the bee venom beauty trend and the most effective serum I have found, to date.  It contains Purified Bee Venom which has been found to have anti-bacterial properties so whilst it is suitable for all skin types, it works particularly effectively on blemish prone, problem skin as it refines the texture of the skin, leaving it looking calm and clear.  Its oil free formula makes it a great choice for skin like mine as it doesn't add to my already oily skin and it doesn't clog my pores.  The serum is light weight and almost gel like, with a slightly more water based consistency.  It comes in a simple and easy to use pump action bottle giving great control over the amount of product that is dispensed.  This means that a little bit of this serum goes a long way, only two pumps of the product is required for my full face and down onto my neck.

Using the ApiClear Skin Treatment Serum
To use, I simply dispense a couple of pumps of the ApiClear Skin Treatment Serum into my hand and rub it between my palms before sweeping it over my face and up my neck.  It smells fresh, clean and awakening which is also aided by the cooling sensation that it gives my skin.  I use this every morning after cleansing with the ApiClear Foaming Cleanser and find that, in the short term, it provides a silky smooth surface on my skin, without leaving a greasy residue on the surface of my skin, making it a great base for make up and therefore a great choice to use in the mornings.  I don't apply a moisturiser after using the serum as I don't feel that I need to- my skin looks and feels great after using this serum alone.  Any uneven areas of my skin, dryness and blemishes feel smooth and look diminished.  I find that the serum leaves my skin feeling hydrated, healthy and full of life, thanks to the UMF 18+ Manuka Honey and Propolis that feature within its ingredients.  With regular, daily use of this serum, any spots and blemishes that I had cleared up very quickly and most importantly, stayed away, giving my skin a longer term clearer appearance.  This serum really helps to blur the appearance of fine lines and facial scarring through helping to renew and regenerate the skin cells, so it has anti ageing properties too.

Manuka Doctor ApiNourish Age-Defying Serum

ApiNourish Age-Defying Serum, £24.99 for 30ml
The ApiNourish Age-Defying Serum from Manuka Doctor takes the properties of Purified Bee Venom and combines it with UMF 18+ Manuka Honey and Royal Jelly to encourage and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin within the skin to keep it looking and feeling youthful.  An increase in the production of elastin within the skin helps it to become firmer which smooths out the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and prevents future wrinkles and skin sagging from occurring.  This serum also contains Propolis, Rosehip and Blackcurrant Oil which are full of antioxidants that help to protect the skin against the destructive effects that free radicals have on skin cells.  Prevention is better than cure and it is very difficult to fully reverse the effects of ageing once they appear on the skin.  With that in mind, I think that it is very important to start using anti ageing products from a young age in order to defy the ageing process.  Especially with the pollution in the air that our skin faces on a daily basis as well as the harsh sunlight, young skin ages quicker than ever before so, where possible, I always opt for skincare products that will help to defy the ageing process and the ApiNourish Age-Defying Serum is one such product.

Using the ApiNourish Age-Defying Serum
My evening skin ritual involves taking care of the ageing process of my skin, using nourishing products that will aid my skin to repair itself over night while I get my beauty sleep.  I first cleanse away the day using the ApiClear Foaming Cleanser before applying a few pumps of the silky smooth ApiNourish Age-Defying Serum to my face.  Like with the ApiClear Skin Treatment Serum, this product comes in an easy to use, pump action bottle.  The texture of this serum however is a little different to the one I use in the mornings.  It still has the gel like consistency that I love but it is more milky and a little thicker, making it a luxurious treat to use at bedtime.  I find this one to be a little more nourishing than the Skin Treatment Serum as it sits on the surface of the skin a little longer and it feels as though it is moisturising my skin more deeply.  It has a gorgeous slightly floral scent and is incredibly hydrating thanks to the UMF 18+ Manuka Honey and Hyaluronic Acid that it contains and it does a great job at plumping my skin to smooth out my fine lines, particularly around my eye area.  It is so important to take this serum down onto the neck to help prevent sagging as I find that the skin on the neck is such a tell tale sign of ageing.

Manuka Doctor ApiNourish Restoring Night Cream

ApiNourish Restoring Night Cream, £24.99 for 50ml
The ApiNourish Restoring Night Cream is a rich and creamy anti ageing moisturiser that is designed to re-invigorate skin that is exhausted throughout the night.  Many psychological theories of sleep indicate that the purpose of sleeping is to give us vital time to restore our body and to repair our cells for healthy living.  Using this cream at night, means that it is helping the skin to repair itself while you're sleeping.  Like the other products in the Manuka Doctor line, it contains Purified Bee Venom, UMF 18+ Manuka Honey and Royal Jelly to have a hydrating, anti ageing effect on the skin.  Like with the Age-Defying Serum, it stimulates the production of collagen and elastin within the skin to soften it, making it appear plumper and young.  It is also rich in antioxidants such as Propolis, Rosehip, Blackcurrant Oil and Vitamin E which combine to protect the skin against free radical damage, pollution and premature skin ageing.

Using the ApiNourish Restoring Night Cream
The final step in my evening skincare routine is to apply the ApiNourish Restoring Night Cream.  This is a rich, indulgent, thick night cream that needs to be massaged into the skin until fully absorbed.  I use this all over my face and neck, massaging in upwards motions to promote youthful skin by encouraging the skin not to sag.  This cream doesn't leave my skin feeling greasy at all and it doesn't clog my pores.  I can feel it on my skin after applying it and it works to deeply moisturise my skin throughout the night.  I wake up with incredibly soft skin that looks and feels healthy, plumped up, youthful and full of life.

Manuka Doctor ApiNourish Rejuvenating Face Mask

ApiNourish Rejuvenating Face Mask, £49.99 for 50ml
The ApiNourish Rejuvenating Face Mask is perhaps my favourite product to come out of the bee venom beauty trend.  It is a deeply penetrating skin renewal treatment mask and like the other two products from the ApiNourish range that I have discussed here, this mask is packed full of antioxidants combined with bee venom to provide an intensely nourishing treat for the skin whilst preventing the signs of premature skin ageing.  It is designed to stimulate the growth of collagen within the skin whilst renewing damaged skin cells and helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  In a nut shell, this is an anti ageing wonder in a pot.

Using the ApiNourish Rejuvenating Face Mask
The smooth, velvet texture of this product lends itself more to a cream than a mask.  It is a dream to apply- so soft and silky it smooths onto the skin easily and evenly without dragging the skin.  As a weekly treat, I pop on a hair band and apply a thin layer over my face and down onto my neck before leaving the mask to get to work whilst I soak in the bath.  The face mask has a tingling effect on my skin when first applied and throughout its wear, I can feel it tightening my skin.  As a creamier mask, it provides hydration and intense nourishment to the skin whilst plumping and tightening the skin to make it look younger and to reduce the signs of ageing.  After half an hour, I remove the mask by polishing it off using a warm, damp face cloth.  By using this in upward motions, it helps to gently exfoliate my skin too.  After drying my face, I can see a noticeable difference in my skin- it really looks flawless.  I first used this mask in December 2011 and have repurchased it ever since as it is the best mask of its kind.  The tightening effect is just incredible and it lasts- it literally feels like I've had bee botox!

This mask would be great for travelling long haul too.  The air conditioning on aeroplanes can really play havoc with the skin and cause it to dry out while on the flight.  I often decant a little bit of a face mask to take with me to use on the plane and a mask like this is perfect as it can be spread very thinly over the face and it doesn't have much colour to it when this is done so no one would know you had a face mask on... all the while your skin is being moisturised and hydrated!

Whilst all of these products can be used effectively alone, I do think that Manuka Doctor products in general are an aid to one another which is where the best results can be seen- flawless skin.

Manuka Doctor on WhatLauraLoves
I've been really looking forward to sharing these products with you all, as you know I'm passionate about skincare that's natural, intelligent and high performing and of course, I'm obsessed with trying the latest beauty trends.  Long standing readers of WhatLauraLoves will know that Manuka Doctor products have been loved and reviewed by me on my blog since 2011.  The act of repurchasing products and the faith to try new products from a skincare line really shows the trust that someone has in a brand.  Feel free to search for some of my other reviews by typing 'Manuka Doctor' in the search box at the top right of this page.

Where to buy
Of course I could rave about these products all day but if you really want to discover the true buzz about bee venom then you'll need to try the products for yourself.  The Manuka Doctor range of skincare products is available to buy direct from  They are also available from selected Lloyds Pharmacies, Tesco beauty concept stores, independent pharmacies and both online and in store at Holland and Barrett.

What are your favourite Manuka Doctor products?  What ones would you love to try?
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  1. Do you think that these products are any better than those which do not contain the bee venom? I mean, is there scientific proof that the bee venom would actually work when it's added in such small amounts to a cream or serum etc? Sounds lovely, but I have to say there's a slight whiff of pseudo science about it xx

    1. Hi Gail

      I definitely recognise the effectiveness of bee venom combined with the other anti oxidants and manuka honey in the products I've used, they're some of the best I've tried and some of the best on my beauty counter so I do think they're better in that they're really effective... of course thats my opinion so its subjective.

      Theres loads of research into the effects of purified bee venom on the skin. I'd recommend checking out Dr SangMi Han who is the worlds leading bee venom expert and one of the main doctors whos research influenced Manuka Doctor. I went to a Manuka Doctor event last month and it was so interesting to hear all about bee venom therapy from the doctors themselves. They gave me so much information about the science behind the products and I've been doing my own reading online and theres SO much knowledge and research out there... Ill give you a snapshot of the main points I took from the info I was given. There was loads so ive very loosely quoted it.

      So I thought I'd start with the history of research into bee venom. In a nut shell, research regarding the effects of bee stings dates back to the 1880's where the connection between bee stings and rheumatism was noted and from there it was used as relief for arthritis and rheumatic pains as it was found to be a great anti inflammatory. It was found to be great for wound healing, tendinitis and pruritus too which is unexplained itching. The benefits in terms of skincare were discovered much later. Its full of melittin which is what gives it the anti inflammatory and anti bacterial effects. Dr Han specifically has researched purified bee venom for over 10 years in terms of the effect on MRSA, nasal inflammation, liver disease management and so on and the research has been published worldwide, the journals would be worth checking out.

    2. Current research... Bee Venom and Skincare
      Dr Hans research is currently focusing specifically on the effects of the venom on the skin and has recently submitted a paper on excessive itching of the skin. The research to date has uncovered the benefits that bee venom has on treating acne and its anti ageing properties, hence the inspiration for the manuka doctor products that I have reviewed above.

      Bee venom and the treatment of acne...
      With regards to the treatment of acne, Dr Han has been researching it for the last four years and her most recent study confirmed bee venom as an effective alternative treatment for antibiotic therapy against p.Acnes bacteria. A previous study shows that bee venom has antibacterial action against S.Aureus which is another bacteria that plays a role in the inflammation and redness of acne lesions. This research was reinforced with an independent study of 30 patients with acne who used the ApiClear Skin Treatment Serum formulation and the study found that the acne lesions were significantly reduced.

      Bee venom in anti ageing products...
      With regards to anti ageing, Dr Hans current work is focused on this area and how the combination of purified bee venom, minerals, peptides and amino acids works throughout all levels of the skin to encourage the regeneration of cells, the formation of collagen and to combat the effects of sun damage. The current research seeks to understand how this is achieved at molecular level, improving collagen and elastin fibres, the building blocks of the skin which is abundant in youthful skin.

      Purified bee venom has been shown to increase collagen production (through epidermal keratinocyte proliferation and by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines. It works on both dermal and epidermal levels to reduce fine lines and wrinkles through accelerated cell regeneration and an increase in epidermal growth factor production with supports elastin, responsible for firmness of the skin. MMPs which are caused by sun exposure, stress, poor diet and smoking are produced in the body and are responsible for the degradation of collagen and elastin fibres, they are a major contributor to ageing and leave the skin lacking in elasticity and cause wrinkles over time. Purified bee venom has been shown in trials to inhibits MMPs and therefore reverse the signs of ageing by allowing the recovery of collagen and elastin.

      Now my fingers are sore.... hope those notes from the wealth of information I got from Manuka Doctor help to answer your question! Ultimately, the test of skincare is to try it out for yourself and to see if it works on your own skin.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Laura xxx

  2. I've saw other reviews of this product but now as in-depth as yours! Really you should be a spokes person for their line.

    1. Wow what great feedback. Thanks so much for your comment. I'm a huge advocate of the brand so really wanted to share my experiences of their products with my readers.

      Thanks for reading!

      Laura xxx

  3. Oh I have definite premature ageing! Want to try the serum now.


    1. Go for it Laura, its great!

      Laura xxx

  4. Fantastic reviews! I've heard of the products, but I agree with Lily reviews are as in-depth as yours.

    1. That's lovely to hear Rose, thank you :) I'm pleased you enjoy my reviews.

      Thanks for reading.

      Laura xxx

  5. I have cystic acne and can definitely vouch for the effectiveness of the foaming cleanser and skin treatment serum. My acne is very deep routed but these products are (over time) definitely clearing and improving the condition of my skin


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