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Reviewing Farmacy's Clean Bee Ultra-Gentle Facial Cleanser

Ooh, Honey-Based Cleansing from Farmacy?

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Main Image – Live That Glow

As well as being something of a cleanser collector (ahem, hoarder), I’ve also had a love for the hydrating, antibacterial benefits of honey-based skincare since discovering French pharmacy brand Nuxe and their honey-infused goodies about 15 years ago.

So I was really pleased to see other companies including Bee-Yu and Farmacy Beauty get on board the honey train, and excited to try out Farmacy’s Clean Bee Ultra-Gentle Facial Cleanser.


Farmacy Clean Bee Clean Bee Ultra-Gentle Facial Cleanser

The foaming gel alternative to the brand’s cult classic Green Clean, this cleanser contains a naturally derived surfactant (cleansing agent); sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate, which is both coconut-based and water-soluble.

It also boasts hyaluronic acid to hydrate, liquorice root to brighten, and honey; a humectant and anti-bacterial/viral/fungal.

Like the rest of US-based Farmacy’s line, this cleanser is cruelty-free and paraben, phthalate and artificial fragrance-free.


Farmacy clean bee cleanser review

Image – Farmacy


The scent

Aside from looking pretty much exactly like honey, one of the first things that struck me about this cleanser it also smells like it too.

But not just any honey…this has the slightly floral scent of the fancy kind harvested from bees that feed on wildflowers…you know the one.

For me, this has the effect of making the cleanser both relaxing to use and also reminding me of yummy breakfasts (making the urge to nibble quite strong).


On the skin

Beyond the lovely scent, the other thing that really stands out (to me anyway) is that I really only need the tiniest amount of this to get an impressive foam going.

And while I’m not usually much of a foaming cleanser user, this is definitely a gentler alternative to some other harsher gels.

Unfortunately though, I still find it slightly drying on my quite sensitive skin. And I definitely need to moisturise straight after using, putting this more in the category of cleansers-to-use-when-my-skin-is-oily (also in this category: Drunk Elephant’s Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser).


Farmacy clean bee cleanser review

Image – Farmacy


What other people have to say

The verdict is mixed on this product, with one customer on the Sephora website saying “I bought this cleanser solely because it was on sale and I needed a new one. I absolutely LOVE it.

“Not only is it a clean and safe brand for sensitive skin, but it feels SO smoothing and my face feels/looks clear and soft. It also smells sooo good but not too strong.”

However, it seems dry skin types are unanimous that this cleanser is quite drying, with one writing “I wanted to love this, but it was too drying for me. It made my forehead and cheeks peel, even with a heavier moisturizer.

“The positives are that it has a pleasant, subtle smell and cleaned my skin well. If this came in a creamier formula, I would definitely try it, especially because honey is supposed to be so good for your skin, but this formula did not work for me.”


The takeaway

While I love the concept, scent and ingredients, sadly this just isn’t a gel cleanser I can use every day on my dry-ish skin.

Instead, I save this for days when I’m a little oilier.

I also still love Fresh’s Soy Face Cleanser a non-stripping, low-foaming gel that leaves my skin cleansed and comfortable every time, whatever’s going on with it.

For another honey-based alternative, I’m also a fan of Nuxe’s Reve de Miel Face & Body Cleansing Gel.

Not only does it leave my skin really comfortable (and is ridiculously good value), but it also doubles as a really non-drying body wash so is great for throwing in gym bags or travel. Oh, and it also contains 92 per cent naturally-derived ingredients; great for natural beauty fans like me.

Great for: Oilier skin types, who will probably find this hydrating enough. Double cleansing fans might also appreciate the gentle foaming action here after an oil or balm cleanse. Dry skin types may also like this during a breakout.

Not-so-great for: Really dry skin, which may not find this hydrating enough.

Farmacy’s Clean Bee Ultra-Gentle Facial Cleanser is £27.00 for 150 ml, Cult Beauty UK and $29.00 for 5 oz/ 150 ml, Sephora US

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Sally Underwood is a journalist, *serious* beauty fan, and Editor-in-Chief of Live That Glow. Formerly Editorial Director of one of Europe's largest newspaper groups, Sally has been a beauty obsessive since her teen years spent dragging her long-suffering (but immaculately-groomed) friends around every beauty counter in London. She now leads Live That Glow's editorial operations.

Expertise: Skincare, Body care
Education: University College London

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