Review: Skinfood Honey Black Tea Cleansing Cream

Nobody’s perfect; nobody can pick a winner every time. And when outside factors like boredom or general GrassIsGreener Disease creep into the mix, the chance of picking a not-winner increases significantly. But enough about the questionable romantic decisions of my long-gone twenties. We’re here to talk about the Skinfood Honey Black Tea Cleansing Cream!

Review of Skinfood Honey Black Tea Cleansing Cream
Apparently I didn’t try very hard with the color correction. Sorry. Not really. You’ll see why.

A while back, I was going through some pretty severe first cleanser ennui. I had run out of my beloved Botanic Farm Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbet and then run out of the only thing I liked almost as much, the Nooni Snowflake Cleanser. I didn’t want to commit myself to something I’d already used just yet, not with a whole world of unreviewed cleansing products out there, so I picked up a jar of Skinfood Honey Black Tea Cleansing Cream on Amazon’s Korean Beauty section. I really love Skinfood’s wash-off masks. The Black Sugar Strawberry scrub and Rice Mask Wash-Off are my go-to physical exfoliators. A cleansing cream isn’t that different from a wash-off scrub (except it doesn’t scrub), I figured, and I liked the last cleansing cream I tried, so I figured this would be an easy winner.

Purpose: Skinfood Honey Black Tea Cleansing Cream is a cold cream-type cleanser that claims to remove makeup and moisturize skin.

Best suited for: People who don’t like to part with their makeup at the end of the day.

Do not use if: You are sensitive to fatty alcohols, honey and other bee products, or anything else in the ingredients list, or if you like to make sure you’ve actually removed all your makeup when you take it off at the end of the day.

Skinfood Honey Black Tea Cleansing Cream review
The lid is nice looking and there isn’t too much Comic Sans on the label, so that’s good, right?

When and how to use: As the first stage of your evening cleansing routine, scoop a generous amount of product out of the jar and apply to a dry face. Massage and massage and massage some more. Tissue off or massage again with damp hands and rinse. Follow with a water-soluble second cleanser.

Skinfood Honey Black Tea Cleansing Cream ingredients: Water, mineral oil, propylene glycol, cetyl ethylhexanoate, cyclopentasiloxane, isononyl isononanoate, ceresin, C14-22 alcohols, polysorbate 80, cetearyl alcohol, hexylene glycol, PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, honey extract, camellia sinensis leaf extract, dimethicone, C12-20 alkyl glucoside, triethanolamine, carbomer, sodium cetyl sulfate, sodium acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyltaurate copolymer, PEG-20 glyceryl isostearate, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, PEG-5 glyceryl isostearate, PEG-8 glyceryl isostearate, isohexadecane, royal jelly extract, tocopheryl acetate, xanthan gum, disodium EDTA, imidazolidinyl urea, methylparaben, butylparaben, CI 19140, parfum

CosDNA analysis

Notable ingredients: If you’ve read any of my cleanser reviews before, then you know the drill. Wash-off product, it’s not meant to stay on the skin, so I’m not going to spend much time talking about ingredients that you’re just going to be washing off anyway. Instead I’m going to talk about how my weakness for certain ingredients overrode my common sense here. I know that a cleanser is just going to wash off and therefore any “special” or “nourishing” ingredients in it really don’t matter, but apart from my mild case of brand loyalty to Skinfood, my extreme love of all things honey played a big part in my choice to get this product. It has honey and royal jelly extracts in it. I thought that would be great. How could I go wrong?



Skinfood Honey Black Tea Cleansing Cream is a very soft, siliconey-smooth pale yellow cream with a pretty, powdery-sweet fragrance that is about 60% less overpowering than most Skinfood products’ fragrances are.

Texture of Skinfood Honey Black Tea Cleansing Cream
The lighter-than-expected fragrance is a good thing, by the way, just to make that clear that there are good things about this product.

And it is by far the weakest “makeup-removing” cleanser I’ve ever had the misfortune to use.

Here, I don’t even feel like using words much anymore to talk about this. I’ll show you my receipts.

Memebox eyeshadow stick swatches
These lovely, pigmented swatches are Memebox I’m Meme I’m Stick Shadow eye crayons, which I got today in a surprise KIB package. These I like, at least so far. Anyway, they’re easy to swatch.
Removing makeup with Skinfood Honey Black Tea Cleansing Cream
As you can see, I used quite a generous dollop. This is because my previous experience with the product taught me that I’d need it.
Makeup removal with Skinfood Honey Black Tea Cleansing Cream
I massaged for about a minute and a half, really getting into every swatch.
Results of makeup removal with Skinfood Honey Black Tea Cleansing Cream
There’s a lot of swatch left. There are actually traces of every swatch left on my hand; the lighter colors just don’t show up as much with my crap photography.

I used this product on my face for a solid two weeks, and I never grew to like it. Its terrible makeup removing capabilities weren’t quite as much of an issue as they might have been if I’d relied on this as my sole cleanser–I do always follow up my first cleanse with a shower and a second cleanser–but even so, I expect any cleanser I use to actually make my face feel clean. The Skinfood Honey Black Tea Cleansing Cream consistently left an oily-feeling film on my face. It didn’t matter if I tissued it off, wiped it off with a Muji cotton pad (I love Muji cotton pads), or emulsified it with water and rinsed it off as usual–always the gross-feeling film. Unlike the Primera cleansing cream, I cannot imagine just wiping this product off and letting any residue serve as my moisturizer. It doesn’t even feel moisturizing. Just greasy. Suffocating. Unpleasant.

It does smell nice, though.

Conclusion: For me, Skinfood Honey Black Tea Cleansing Cream is a lesson in not letting brand loyalty or ingredient obsession get the better of me. I want to love just about everything I try, and I especially want to love rich and moisturizing products that contain honey and royal jelly, but in this case, I just couldn’t find anything substantive to love (or even to like) about it. The best I can say about it is that it didn’t do anything actively bad to my skin while I used it. I’m finishing the jar off by using it to remove sunscreen on my neck and chest only, where I don’t wear makeup, and I’m not buying another jar.

Rating: 1.2/5

1 – This should be taken off the market, or this failed at its one primary job.
2 – Caused me some problems or doesn’t work very well; would not buy again.
3 – Meh. Neither great nor bad.
4 – Pretty good. Would buy again unless I find something better.
5 – I’ll never be in the market for a replacement unless this one is discontinued.

This post contains an affiliate link, but not to any specific product, just to Amazon. Full disclosures can be found here.

© 2015 unless otherwise noted (copyright and sharing policy)


23 thoughts on “Review: Skinfood Honey Black Tea Cleansing Cream

  1. I am actually really happy this sucks…I am going to Korea this winter to visit some of my close friends and I had this on my list, until I had to shorten it because otherwise it would be like 2 pages long 😂 so no loss.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Okay, well I’m reviewing it for real in a couple of days (after I review another cleansing oil I didn’t love), but uhhhhhh illi Total Won’t Care Cleansing Oil is by far the best cleansing oil I’ve ever tried, and it smells amazing and makes me feel like a beautiful lady whenever I use it. And illi is owned by Amore Pacific, so you should have no problem finding it in Korea 👿

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yayy, I never really have issue because I just wear bb cream and sunscreen so I usually don’t need heavy duty…but I am probably getting some makeup from Korea so I was freaking out about how imma get it all off 💃🏻

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I used it for about a month and gave up on it since i thought it was so dull and under achieving. Of course I dont remove makeup with it ( i dont wear any) so it didnt bother me but yeah its been sitting practically full since the jar is so big in my room not being used or reviewed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Too bad you didn’t like this one! I have the Green Tea cleansing cream from Skinfood and absolutely love it! It does actually remove make up, AND it’s super moisturizing on my dehydrated skin.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for this honest review. I love negative reviews. Glad to know to steer clear of this product! I’m actually one of the few people who’s not that crazy about Skin Food (the physical exfoliators are too hard for my skin, so there’s really not anything from that brand that calls out to me).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for another great review 😀

    I purchased some items per your other reviews. I was wondering if you could help me with my skincare routine. Does this look good for a nighttime routine? For the daytime, I was thinking just a foaming cleanser and a ph-adjusting toner to save time. Would that make sense?

    How do you know when to use face masks and other products I am not sure if you are familiar with Lush’s Coalface but it’s a bar of soap for removing blackheads, and I wasn’t sure if that was an exfoliators or how often to use it. Also, is BHA like AHA where you have to add it in slowly?


    spot makeup remover
    oil cleanser: DHC Deep Oil Cleansing Oil wait 15 min
    foaming cleanser: Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
    exfoliator: Skinfood Black Sugar Perfect Scrub Foam or Lush Coalface 3x/wk
    OST Pure Vitamin C21.5 Advanced Serum wait 20 min
    COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid 3x/wk wait wait 30 min
    COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid 3x/wk wait 30 min <-need SPF, every 3rd day first
    ph-adjusting toner: CORX Natural BHA Skin Reforming A-Sol
    toner: Skinfood Black Sugar Perfect First Serum
    hydrators: Goodal Waterest Lasting Water Oil
    sunscreen: Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++

    Thank you in advance!! I appreciate any help :).


  6. I have the sudden urge to go wash my hands after looking at your pictures + reading your descriptions of residual oiliness. Sucks this didn’t work out. Black tea + honey seems like a lovely concept. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel like this post is a summary of my general feelings about Skinfood haha. Sure, they have some great products. Most things I buy from them are impulse or boredom, then I am usually disappointed by the ingredient list and overall effect >.<


  8. I’ve been using it for months and really like it – but the only other cold cream cleansers I’ve used are Western heavy, nasty ones. The difference might be that I don’t really wear makeup.

    I’m not wild about their honey serum though. It doesn’t do any harm, but it doesn’t do anything amazing either. The bottle is awfully pretty though.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If only the lab guys put as much effort is as the design team! I just made a big, snaily CosRx order with a side of rice and honey masks. They seem to have it the right way round.

        Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.