Antipodes Manuka Honey Brightening Eye Cream

Antipodes Manuka Honey Brightening Eye Cream

It’s been a while since I’ve written a proper science-filled product review so I couldn’t wait to write up my review of Antipodes Manuka Honey Skin-brightening Eye Cream *, claiming to be ‘scientifically shown to brighten skin’. I’ve been trialing the product on myself for the past few weeks and overall it’s a nice product to use; it’s light and keeps the eye area moisturised due to its whole host of natural oils and triglycerides, perfect. But at an eye-watering £36.00 for 30 mL, is it really worth the money?


Manuka honey is probably the big draw for most people in this product who have no doubt heard rumours of its amazing properties. Historically Manuka honey was used as a binder of wounds as it has antimicrobial and antifingal properties. It has also been used in ancient DIY beauty products to moisturise skin and hair due to its humectant properties, i.e. it can draw in water and help moisturise your skin. So far so good for an eye cream. In terms of more exciting properties I found some reporting of depigmentation and keratolytic properties which therefore lead to it being labelled as ‘causing radiance‘; However this effect is perhaps associated with the alpha hydroxy acids it is thought to contain which remove the top layer of dull, old cells. Now I LOVE me an AHA (check out my latest post on my favourite glycolic acid) but products containing AHAs often state to be avoided in the delicate eye area which is already lacking in the sun protection department. As no SPF rating is given with this product and it doesn’t contain any of the usual UV protecting ingredients (they’re probably not ‘natural’) I’d make sure I protect the eye area with a good sunscreen after use.

It seems from the available research that the mechanism of action of the constituents of honey is largely unknown. I did find one study however which as an almost-Dr in cell matrix biology (2 more months! :D) caught my particular attention. A study has shown that manuka honey can activate inflammatory mediators in the body and skin, molecules which cause inflammation. Some of these molecules break down collagen, the large structures in the skin known to keep skin looking ‘plump’. It is because of this collagen-breaking activity that Manuka honey is thought to be useful in wound repair, as it it can break down the broken bits of collagen in the wound so that the body can repair the inflamed area. Not particularly promising from an anti-aging point of view, where slowing down collagen breakdown is usually the main aim.


So what about these Vinanza grape and kiwi extracts which supposedly give the brightening properties to the product? I couldn’t find any research or information on the properties of kiwi extract. The grape seed oil has a couple of interesting properties. Again it has antifungal and antimicrobial properties and is also thought to contain another AHA malic acid which could indeed brighten skin. It is also listed as having UV protecting properties which may well cancel out the danger of UV exposure from using AHAs but as there is no SPF rating on the bottle I would still always use sunscreen.

There was something else about these extracts though which I think is worth mentioning as it comes up a lot in cosmetic advertising and what companies are allowed to claim about the product. The Antipodes Manuka Honey Eye cream claims to have been ‘scientifically shown to brighten skin’. The box tells us that this ‘independent study’ was done by a company called New Zealand Extracts. ‘Who are they?’ I hear you ask… Good question! New Zealand Extracts MAKE and SELL 100% natural health supplements and cosmetics ingredients INCLUDING none other than our Vinanza Grape and Kiwi extracts! Hmmmmm, funny that. Of course manufacturers are going to claim their products work! I could find no links to any actual studies on their website or otherwise, just a company branded, science-free PDF for prospective customers. Antipodes themselves have done no studies on their own products and are stating this study by their supplier as their main selling point. And we’re just expected to trust this blindly. Makes you think doesn’t it…



Overall the Antipodes Manuka Honey Eye cream did a great job in keeping my eye area moisturised, it is after all a moisturiser, but I saw no noticeable difference in skin brightness (and trust me, 4 months into writing my PhD thesis I have some SERIOUS dark circles going on!). Personally, given the price tag, I’d save my money…

* PR gifted sample. I often get asked whether I am biased by free samples or get paid to write good reviews. I think this review shows that I want only to give the truth to you, my readers, as my word and my integrity are all that I have! I can only give you the science behind a product and my recommendation…