Ingredients: Aqua (water), leptospermum scoparium mel (manuka honey), persea gratissima (avocado) oil, glycerin, cetearyl alcohol, stearic acid, glycerol stearate, gluconolactone, sodium benzoate, calcium gluconate, vitis vinifera (Vinanza Grape grapeseed) extract, daucus carota sativa (carrot) oil, metrosideros excelsa (pohutukawa) flower extract, tocopherol (Vitamin E), essential oil fragrances of vanilla & mandarin: coumarin*, d-limonene*, linalool*.
*Component of essential oil
Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask
Antipodes suggest smoothing a thick layer of the mask over the face and neck twice a week, leaving it on for 15 minutes and washing it off with warm water. Like all masks I use, I never bother with the neck. I've also left it on for much longer than the recommended time (until almost all the product had absorbed into my skin), and I don't think it makes any real difference to how well it works.
The Aura Manuka Honey Mask is an off-white cream colour with a similar texture to a moderately thick moisturiser. It's easy to spread and feels instantly soothing and hydrating once applied. It has a noticeable cooling, minty sensation that feels gently refreshing and calming for about 10-15 minutes but subsequently subsides. The smell reminds me a bit of raw cake batter but a bit more medicinal, not as sugary. Despite its name, I don't detect much of a honey scent at all. It's certainly not sickly sweet. There's a vague sense of vanilla coming through, but nothing distinct. Overall the fragrance is subdued and generally pleasant.
Is this the "ultimate solution for spots and blemishes" as Antipodes claims? Nope. Not even close. I've used it a few times and I don't feel it significantly contributes to blemishes diminishing in appearance or disappearing faster. I much prefer my Sukin Purifying Facial Masque for that purpose, where I can see my skin afterwards appearing brighter, clearer, more balanced and less inflamed if I'm suffering from a reaction or break out. What the Antipodes does excel at is hydration. When this is washed off, my skin is left feeling soft, nicely cleansed and nourished, like a layer of moisture has already been locked in before I need to slap on any other products. There's no dryness or irritation that come with other masks, notably the REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask, where my skin is craving moisturiser once it's washed off. Overall, while the Aura Manuka Honey Mask is hardly groundbreaking or super effective at combating spots, it's a refined, high quality mask that's gentle and comfortable on the skin, and a pleasure to use.