What is it? A face serum that brightens, adds radiance by evening out the skin tone, and minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, thus providing anti-aging benefits. The Mun No. 1 Aknari Serum comes in a small Miron glass bottle with a standard pump dispenser, and is much coveted by green beauty enthusiasts for its high quality (and super short) ingredients list.
Price: $95 for 20 ml. One of the very few companies out there that INCREASED the quantity of product provided, and yet kept the price level the same. The earlier version used to contain only 15 ml. This review is for the newer, improved formula.
Ingredients: Very short list of just three ingredients: Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Argan Oil, and Rose Essential Oil. In this new formulation, all ingredients are ECOCERT organic.
Prickly Pear Seed Oil (AKA Catcus Oil or Barbary Fig Seed Oil) is the new star in the ever growing oil market, taking over the No. 1 spot from its cousin, Argan Oil. Both oils have been used since many years in the desert country, Morocco. Prickly Pear Seed oil is supposed to be really good at brightening the skin tone, and also has loads of anti-aging benefits, helps minimize fine lines and wrinkles.
Argan Oil needs no introduction, thanks to Josie Maran, who really transformed this ingredient into a common household name. It is extremely moisturizing, and great for acne prone skin, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
I read lots of interviews by the founder (who also happens to be a famous makeup artist), Munemi Imai, that Rose Oil was chosen as the third ingredient, to lend its sophisticated fragrance to the blend, because Prickly Pear and Argan both don’t smell very pleasant on their own. Rose Oil is extremely relaxing and soothing too. I am a huge fan of roses, and love this particular strain of Bulgarian rose, because it’s gorgeous, and not your “grandma” kind of scent.
Both Argan and Rose oil have been added in very precise percentages, in order to stabilize the Prickly Pear Seed Oil, and to ensure the longevity of the oil.
My experience: I remember getting a sample of the older non-organic formula from Spirit Beauty Lounge, and not thinking much of it. It smelled good, but the small sample couldn’t convince me of its special powers. After a couple of months, I got another sample, but this time, of the newer, improved organic formula, and I fell for it hard. I was going through a bad skin period, and was dealing with some flare ups – the small sample lasted a couple of days and instantly calmed down my skin. I immediately placed an order for a full size bottle because I didn’t want to risk being without it.
Once the bottle arrived, I used it for weeks on end (both AM and PM) without a break, and loved using it every single time. After a couple of months, I did move on to other face oils that needed using up. Then, about 6 weeks ago, when I was packing my skincare items for a work related trip, I reintroduced this oil back to my daily routine, because of its portability, and having used it extensively before, I knew it wouldn’t cause any flare ups. Currently, I use the serum at least once a day, and average about 5-6 times a week.
The fragrance of the Rose Oil is heavenly and intoxicating. The texture is a little heavy, but the serum sinks in pretty quick. I use a whole pump at night time, and about 1/2 – 3/4 pump during day time. The oil instantly brightens the skin and plumps up the couple of fine lines I have around my mouth. It is very moisturizing, and causes no breakouts, even though I have combination acne prone skin.
I’ve seen lots of people use this as an eye serum only, because Prickly Pear Seed Oil is supposed to be great for dark circles. Compared to other super expensive eye serums in the market, I think this serum is a great deal if you plan on using it for your eye region only.
I’m not sure why it used to be marketed as a “Night Time” Face Serum, even though the official instructions don’t have any verbiage around restricting the use to night time only. Because the serum has been created by a makeup artist, it’s no surprise that the oil sinks in so well, and makes a lovely makeup primer. I’ve read some posts that say that Prickly Pear Seed Oil might cause sensitivities to daylight, but I can’t find any specific research that’s being done on this topic. If you have any official verbiage on this, I’d love to know! I do use a BB cream with SPF 30, and this is not a problem for me personally.
When I wrote a review on Odacité’s Papaya Geranium (Pa+G) Serum Concentrate, I was asked a couple of times both here on my blog as well on my Instagram page if the Mun Serum can be used as a substitute to deal with hyper pigmentation issues, and my answer remains the same – I think that this face serum is not a targeted treatment for acne scars, like Odacité’s is. I have used up about 3/4th of my bottle, but I am sad to say that I haven’t noticed any startling brightening effects. This face serum is a great option for those who want something simple, with ingredients that will not cause any skin sensitivities, and will play well with existing acne issues. For me, it isn’t an acne buster. It does help calm down inflammations, but it doesn’t do much for my cystic or hormonal acne.
Bottomline: Because I have a huge stash of face oils to go through, I probably will not purchase this face serum immediately. I do love it and I think it’s a great option for those with sensitive skin. If you don’t have any specific skin concerns, and need a basic face oil, definitely give this one a try.