When I first set out to embark on my Asian Beauty journey I scoured thread upon thread in the r/AsianBeauty subreddit in order to devise the perfect routine for my skin. If something worked for my fellow Redditors then I assumed it would somehow also work for me, perhaps by act of merciful god or by the transitive property. I was fortunate that most of the products recommended on the subreddit were pretty foolproof; my skin is also surprisingly hearty, and it rarely complains when I slather it in all sorts of terrible things. However, I was still fairly oblivious about the benefits of studious, thorough research when it comes to skin care. That would come later, a truth revealed to me by nigh-obsessive trawling of various blogs (all glory to Fiddy of the Luminous Glow, goddess of wit and snail, praise be) — in the meantime, I pretty much bought whatever seemed to have the highest amount of recommendations.
Which is how I ended up with a tub of the Rosette Aqua Ceramide Gel, a perfectly serviceable moisturizer and occlusive which was totally and completely wrong for my skin. There’s nothing wrong with the product itself, it’s just basically the opposite of what I was looking for in a moisturizer. I live where it’s warm and humid and miserable, meaning my skin ranges from “light sheen/a glow if you squint” to “oil spill the likes of which would embarrass BP and Exxon, please for the love of god blot, my eyes, my eyes” or anywhere inbetween. The Rosette gel did an amazing job of locking in moisture, it just also made my face feel sticky and gross. I purchased it without even knowing what a ceramide was.
While the rest of my Reddit-derived routine seemed to work fairly well, my moisturizer step — one of the most important, in my humble opinion — was an aberration. Again, there is nothing wrong with the Rosette gel. I just personally hated it. And so began my long, arduous quest of finding a moisturizer well-suited to my skin and appropriate for Miami’s shitty weather. There would be tears. There would be anguish. There would be crushing disappointments, one after the other: this one too thick, this one too thin, this one too watery, too fragranced, too rich, too boring, too heavy, and on and on, until —
Until finally, like a proverbial Goldilocks, I found a moisturizer that was just right.
Enter the frankly magical Papa Recipe Bombee Cream, the answer to my skin’s woeful prayers and I assume actual manna from heaven itself. I picked up a 5ml decant of this sucker from Reddit on a whim and was immediately “abuzz” with excitement upon trying it. It instantly turned me into a bee-liever. All right, with the obligatory puns out of the way let’s get into the nitty gritty of the ingredients:
Water, Cyclomethicone, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Propolis Extract, Cyclopentasiloxane, Honey, Dimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Caprylate, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract, Mentha Arvensis Extract, Borago Officinalis Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Extract, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Sodium Chloride, Beta-Carotene, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Powder, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Mentha Arvensis Extract, Borago Officinalis Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Extract, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Sodium Chloride, Beta-Carotene, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Powder, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum
Lots of plant extracts but from what I can tell it’s mostly fluff. The real showstoppers here are the Propolis Extract and Honey, both of which feature deliciously high up on the ingredients list. Honey and propolis are both renowned for their antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties in skin care. They both help the skin retain moisture as well, and they’re typically quite gentle. They’re two of my absolute favorite ingredients so I’m positively chuffed to see them placed so high. However, there are a couple of things you need to be aware of before checking this product out. The Papa Recipe Bombee Cream does include silicones and fragrance extracts, so if your skin is sensitive to these ingredients and you want to try this cream then I advise you proceed with caution. Skin care is, as always, YMMV.
The cream comes packaged in a squat little plastic jar, complete with sealed interior and spatula for hygienic scooping of the product. 50ml of cream seems pretty stingy when compared to the massive vats other brands offer for roughly $10, but believe me when I say this moisturizer will absolutely last you a good while. I find I only need a pea-sized amount to smear my entire face in glorious, hydrating goodness. You may need more, you may need less. Either way my guess is you aren’t going to need a heck of a lot, so you can stretch this tiny little jar over the course of several months unless you’re layering it on with a trowel.
Twist off the lid and you’re immediately greeted by warm, fragrant notes of honey and sweet-scented florals. It’s lovely. Please resist the urge to stick your nose in the actual jar.
The cream itself is almost a hybrid of sorts, sort of like if you melded a lotion and a gel together. It’s rich but not at all thick, and it smooths along the skin beautifully. I wouldn’t say the Bombee Cream absorbs so much as it gently, and instantly, begins to melt the moment you start to spread it. The texture feels almost like you’re applying a thin, moisturizing layer of water to your face. There’s no lingering greasiness or stickiness left behind, although I do find it imparts a pleasantly silky finish to the skin.
One problem: this cream is kind of a bee-ch to find. It’s on Amazon but it isn’t available through Prime and the shipping isn’t cheap for such a small product. Another alternative is Wishtrend but shipping is expensive there as well, and you need to buy $69 worth of product to qualify for free shipping. Ugh. Buzz off. Papa Recipe, how could you bee-tray me like that? (Okay I’m done, I swear.) It may be available through sellers on eBay as well or other sites, but so far these are the two tried and true methods I’ve discovered.
I strongly encourage any of you curious about this product to pick it up and check it out. Who knows? Perhaps if enough people show interest more shops will carry it, and it’ll be easier to find! Let’s get the AB hive mind on this.
Get it? Hive mind? Did you get it?
Do it for the children, friends. Do it for me.