Oh, Honey Honey — Why The Lancôme Miel-en-Mousse Foaming Face Cleanser Is My Candy Girl
Honey is having a major moment in the beauty world, becoming buzz-y once more — an interesting development considering that its healing and therapeutic properties have been trumpeted since Egypt in the 14th century BC, when Nefertiti incorporated the amber-colored liquid into her beauty regimen, a practice Cleopatra would adopt centuries later during her reign, famously adding a few drops of the substance to her milk baths. In other words, if you’re sweet on honey as a beauty ingredient, you’re in good company.
What makes honey so great, you ask? Well, it has proven antibacterial benefits, making it a great healing potion for everything from cuts and scrapes to acne. In its natural form, honey is both low in moisture and quite acidic, with a pH that falls between 3 and 4.5, and hence bacteria cannot thrive in its presence. In addition, honey contains hydrogen peroxide, which is one of the many reasons why it’s been used in wound-healing for centuries. Antibacterial and antiseptic benefits acid, honey functions as a natural humectant, drawing moisture to skin and binding it there. And, as I’ve noted in the past, when skin is hydrated, it’s also more supple, bouncier, softer, and more radiant. Lastly, honey is rich in antioxidants that protect the skin against UV rays and free radicals, thereby keeping our complexions looking youthful for longer periods of time.
As beauty brands cater to an increasingly savvy audience, one that researches skin care ingredients and emphasizes eco-ethical practices, the world has once again developed a craving for honey. In 2017 alone, FARMACY introduced its Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask and its Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer, Le Petit Marseillais unveiled its Lavender Honey Body Wash, Kiel’s launched its Manuka honey-powered Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream, and The Body Shop rolled out an Almond Milk & Honey bath and body collection. Lancôme, too, got sticky with it, launching the Lancôme Miel-en-Mousse Foaming Cleansing Makeup Remover ($40 at Lancome-USA.com).
True to its name, the cleanser feels honey-like when dispensed onto one’s palm — liquid but dense and viscous, even a bit syrup-y. As you smooth the cleanser onto the skin, it starts to warm up a bit, yielding a subtle tingling sensation that I find quite invigorating and pleasant. The cleanser, which contains acacia honey encapsulated in water, captures makeup and dirt upon contact, as if binding it to its sticky surface. Then, once you add a hint of water, the cleanser’s texture transforms, as the sticky liquid becomes a white, frothy mousse. The emulsified cleanser further traps any pigments from makeup, so that you can rinse them away in one fell swoop. Once you’ve rinsed your face thoroughly, you’ll have a clean face that still feels refreshed — not dry or tight.
In terms of its efficacy as a makeup remover, I’ve been quite impressed with the Lancôme Miel-en-Mousse Foaming Cleansing Makeup Remover. Sure, it doesn’t always remove stubborn mascara in its entirety, but it does so as well as any other multi-purpose cleanser I’ve tried (well, other than the Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser, which somehow magically and easily takes off makeup that’s practically bulletproof and tattooed onto the skin!). Most times, I use this product and then use a targeted eye makeup remover to take off any lingering eye liner or mascara. But aside from the occasional leftover mascara, this cleanser does wonders to remove heavy makeup — as in, layer after layer after layer of makeup.
In fact, it’s become one of my go-to products when removing heavy makeup because, in addition to being efficient, it’s also gentle. Using cleansing wipes to take off layer after layer of foundation, bronzer, eye shadow, and mascara with wipes gets expensive quickly — if you’re using 3 and 4 wipes each time, you’ll go through a $6 or $7 pack of towelettes in a matter of days. Moreover, the makeup removal process becomes painful — literally — as you continue rubbing the same areas of your face with one pre-moistened towelette after the other in hopes of leaving it squeaky clean. When using a makeup removing cleanser — a quality one, at least — there’s less friction, which means an overall gentler experience.
Also, I’m a sucker for a pleasant sensory experience and this cleanser provides that via scent (it has a lovely honey vanilla aroma that’s comforting and enticing), texture (the unctuousness of the syrupy oil that later transforms into a creamy mousse), and temperature (the way it warms up when massaged onto skin). When something that can feel laborious winds up feeling like a delight, you know you’ve stumbled upon something magical, something as sweet as honey.