Update: Please note the Honeybunny Propolis 40 Ampoule has been reformulated. The new formula has a sweeter scent and lighter color, and YMMV but I do not find it as effective or hydrating as the version reviewed below.
It is kind of surprising how diligently I’ve been able to stick with a multi-step skincare routine because in most aspects of my life I am lazy as shit. I literally have not prepared a single meal for myself, excepting the occasional breakfast smoothie, in months because I do not want to deal with dishes. I think this is a huge part of the appeal of Asian Beauty. If I can do a full-fledged routine every morning and night, then maybe I am a better adult than I give myself credit for.
There are times though, where I just cannot be bothered to do much more than wash my face. This happens mostly on nights where I’m overworked, over-drunked, sleep deprived, and / or have stayed out too late. It’s rare, but it’s happened a few times this summer. The last couple of times its happened, I noticed the next morning that my skin looked surprisingly good. Somehow, instead of looking tired or dull, my skin was glowing. I racked my brain for reasons as to how this might be, did some experimentation, and ultimately landed on the fact that this one, amazing product, is responsible. Ladies and gents, allow me to introduce you to Let’s Cure Honeybunny Propolis 40 Ampoule.
WHERE I BOUGHT IT
I purchased this from Memebox via Avecko. At the time, it was not available from any vendors that sell directly to US customers. As of this week, it’s available on Testerkorea, along with a lot of other products from the Let’s Cure brand, including the pH adjusting AHA/BHA toner that I reviewed here (and am also a big fan of).
Update: This ampoule is now available at The Wild Jasmine, which is a new US based store that also stocks the toner from the same brand and Evercos masks, and Memebox US. (Btw, you can get 8% cash back on all Memebox orders from topcashback.com)
This ampoule comes in a white, airless pump. The packaging is nothing special, but it’s highly practical and I actually love it! No dipping of fingers, washing of spatulas, or even unscrewing of lids required. Seriously, this is the fastest and easiest product in my arsenal to use. I am considering buying a bunch of airless pumps to decant all of my products into, except I would probably receive the containers but never get around to decanting anything, because laziness.
The ampoule is brown / amber in color. It smells faintly like cough-syrup, but the fragrance is not overpowering and does fade significantly upon application. The texture is thin and watery. It has a lot of slip, making it extremely easy to apply quickly, and adsorbs like a dream!
Ok, I started this review with spoilers so let’s backtrack a bit. I use this ampoule every day in the PM after any essences I may be using. The packaging for this product speaks to its abilities to defend skin against UV rays, so I suspect it is intended to use as an AM product. I try to keep my AM routine as uncluttered as possible, because I usually have less time in the mornings than at night, so instead use this at night.
Upon application, my skin feels immediately better. Sometimes after cleansing, my skin will feel tight and extra-dehydrated. When that is the case, this ampoule eliminates that tightness almost immediately. Also, after application, my skin feels smoother and (for lack of better word) bouncier.
Going back to the story I started in the intro, what really distinguishes this product is its self-sufficiency. To test my hypothesis that this product by itself can make my skin look great, I chose a few different nights where I ditched my usual PM routine and only double cleansed + applied this ampoule at night. The result? My skin looked great! Not only did my skin look bright and healthy, it also looked and felt adequately hydrated. So many of the products I use in my routine are designed to add hydration or maintain hydration. It was crazy that one product could do so much on its own.
That said, I have no plans to ditch my PM routine permanently. I think that this ampoule is effective enough to maintain the health and hydration of my skin for one night, maybe even two, but over time it would ultimately be no match against my skin’s chronic dryness. I also think that the summer climate has been kinder to the hydration levels of my skin. During winter months, I suspect the effects of this ampoule may be less impressive (I’ll update this when / if I test this in winter!).
Purified Water, Propolis Extract (15%), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Sodium hyaluronate, Ethanol, 1.2-Hexanediol, Centella Asiatica Extract, Green Tea Extract, Honey, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Licorice Root Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Pomegranate Extract, Ficus Carica (Fig) Fruit Extract, Codonopsis Extract, Polyquaternium-51, Sciadopitys Verticillata Root Extract, Ubiquinone, Althaea Rosea Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Allantoin, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Spices, Human Oligopeptide-1, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopherol Acetate, Adenosine, Hydrolyzed collagen
The star ingredient here is propolis. I had heard of propolis mentioned in various places in terms of skincare, but had actually incorrectly assumed it was a honey product. Turns out, propolis is actually a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive.
In skincare, propolis is used to heal wounds and possesses anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. One of the constituents of propolis is beeswax, a wax ester that can create a protective, non-allergenic layer over the skin.
COMPARISON WITH SCINIC AIO HONEY AMPOULE
In some ways, this product is similar to the Scinic AIO Honey Ampoule, so I thought it might be helpful to compare the two but also point out the differences.
Let’s start with the ingredients! The first five ingredients of AIO are Honey Extract, Glycerin, Water, Niacinamide, and Royal Jelly Extract. Compare that to the first five ingredients of Honeybunny, which are Water, Propolis, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, and Sodium Hyaluronate.
Given these ingredients, both these products seem targeted towards hydration. From my experience, I find Honeybunny to be more moisturizing. I think the reason why Honeybunny has an upper hand is because I can apply a lot more, probably twice, of it than AIO. The reason for this? AIO is sticky, which is not a problem if I use sparingly, but becomes an issue if I use too much. Honeybunny does not have issues with stickiness.
In terms of texture and fragrance, I prefer the scent of the AIO Honey Ampoule, which smells honey-like and sweet, to that of the Honeybunny ampoule, which smells vaguely like cough syrup. I also prefer the texture of the AIO over Honeybunny because it has a little more structure, which I like. That said, Honeybunny absorbs faster, even though I apply a lot more.
Overall, I prefer Let’s Cure Honeybunny Propolis 40 Ampoule over Scinic’s AIO Honey Ampoule. I find it more convenient to use and more effective for my skin’s needs. That said, both are excellent products and you really can’t go wrong with either (or both, like I am currently doing)!
I LOVE this product! It’s dispenses in a jiffy, easy to apply, quick to absorb, and impressively hydrating, even when used without other supporting products! I highly recommend this to anyone looking for extra hydration! It’s lightweight yet effective!
Pros: Quick to apply, able to both hydrate and sustain hydration.
Cons: Somewhat difficult to source. May enable more late, drunken nights that lead me to neglect my skincare routine.