Dry and sensitive, acne prone – primarily hormonal; eczema prone.
Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel by Benton, hydrating gel, £17.58/100ml.
IN A NUTSHELL
Spoiler alert: I love and cherish this product like it’s my firstborn that brought eternal honour to the family (think Mulan).
At the beginning of the year 2018 I made some significant changes in my skincare routine. Up until then I was unhappy with the condition of my skin as I was continuously battling persistent acne and dryness with the occasional flare-up of eczema – but when it came it didn’t come to play, let me tell you that – since the age of 15. It’s been down to a mixture of reasons: hormonal imbalance (I have PCOS), stress, side effects from long term medication (steroids) and uneducated product misuse; these are just some of the reasons.During Christmas before that I had done some reading and binge watching on YouTube, I gathered as much information as I could and I came up with a new routine for my skin.
The aim of my new routine was to be absolutely minimal, very gentle, focus on hydration and protection, and most importantly not to overwhelm my skin. Prior to that I didn’t use that many products at a time, but I didn’t know a lot about what they were doing and I think I may have done some damage to myself because of that.
Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel is truly one of a kind, and a little unusual. It is without a doubt a gel, but less watery and more viscous in texture than you’d expect, so it’s almost reminiscent of a lotion. Upon application it glides smoothly and absorbs beautifully to make the skin feel instantly hydrated, but it also leaves a feeling of ever so gentle protection. I’ve been using it as my hydrating step after cleansing and toning, and before serums (if I’m using any) and moisturising. After about a week of use I started seeing a difference in my skin as it was clearly becoming more balanced from the ample hydration I was throwing at it. My complexion became slightly clearer and more glowing, my pores decreased in size ever so slightly and my skin was looking more plump with each day. After months of use my skin became unrecognisable with virtually no blemishes – something that I hadn’t experienced in at least 5 years – no dry patches and an overall fresh glow.
Let’s talk about the ingredients, because they are absolutely fantastic. It contains a host of incredibly soothing, nourishing and hydrating ingredients, 11/16 of which are botanical extracts. As could be expected from Korean skincare, some of these ingredients I had never heard of before, and the others had me enthusiastically nodding along with excitement.
Of the non-botanical ingredients we have glycerin and betaine – excellent humectants that draw moisture into the skin – and arginine, which has powerful healing properties and some anti ageing benefits. On the botanical side, the extracts from lichen and propolis have strong antibacterial and antifungal properties, making the gel effective at treating acne, while extracts from portulaca, szechuan pepper and green tea serve as antioxidants. To sum it up, the contents of this gel do a bit of everything.
The packaging is very simple and fuss free with no bells and whistles. It’s a very ordinary plastic squeezy tube with minimalistic design that looks elegant on a curated skincare shelf. Benton clearly put substance above style and for that they get serious brownie points from me. The tube allows superb control of the amount of product dispensed. The plastic is completely opaque meaning it protects the gel inside from turning in reaction to sunlight. But the thing I appreciate the most is that once you get low on the product you can cut the tube open and scoop out the gel stuck to the sides, thus getting 100% of your money’s worth.
I simply adore Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel; the apple of my eye. Seven months ago my blemished, red, patchy skin was bringing me to tears and was seriously bringing down my confidence and today I can honestly say that I love my skin and am very happy in it. For the first time in years I leave the house makeup free and I feel absolutely no shame about it. I firmly believe that Soothing Gel is one of the main reasons for the improvement in my skin. Of course it would be plainly foolish to claim that it is solely responsible for my current clear complexion – my new routine consisted of 4-5 other products that were new to me, and as time went on and my skin was getting stronger and healthier I started incorporating more and more products. They all worked together to help me achieve my goal.
I recommend this product for all skin types. It will quench thirsty skin while on the oilier type it will nourish without overwhelming. This is especially fantastic for those who are looking to rehydrate and repair their skin that might be suffering from damage to their skin barrier caused by neglect and dehydration. And on more balanced skin this is a perfect all-in-one product to give your skin the daily hydration it needs and deserves. You basically can’t go wrong with it and it holds a very special place in my heart.