It’s been a particularly cold January here in Ottawa, with the last two weeks at -20C, so my skin needs some TLC right now. I picked up a couple a New Zealand-made face creams to give myself a little spa day. Both Lancocrème and By Nature are owned by the same company, and use some very New Zealand export products in their cosmetics – lanolin and manuka honey.

There’s been a lot of advertising spin about manuka honey as a panacea and a cure-all, but really, it’s just honey where bees have been collecting pollen from manuka plants, which gives it an unique taste. It’s not the only honey that’s flavoured by plants’ pollen, and some can be very tasty (I particularly like buckwheat honey), but it’s all just honey in the end. That being said, honey itself is a pretty good moisturizer for skin.

By Nature Mask Duo – A wash-off mask with hyaluronic acid and a texture almost like jello, it had a nice mild floral scent. It was pretty fun but a bit messy. The manuka honey sleep mask didn’t smell of honey, but went on thick and did a really amazing job moisturizing my skin overnight. I was feeling my face all through the day and it was noticeably smoother.

Lanocrème Face Creams – These are all lanolin-based face creams – lanolin being a moisturizing byproduct of wool. These three creams each use an added ingredient – vitamin E, collagen, and more manuka honey. They’re all very thick creams, though I think the honey one is thickest, and they all have mild, floral scents. They do a great job on my winter-dry skin, but they would be too heavy and oily for me in hot weather. I’m going to try taking a pot with me to apply right before going skating on the canal, I’m hoping it’ll form a frostbite barrier!

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