Skin & Tonics : Skincare Guides & Product Reviews

Skincare guides & product reviews for hydration lovers & the moisture barrier obsessed

Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel Review


(06/23/2015): The natural preservative system used for this product is not stable in extreme temperatures. I highly recommend against ordering and having this product shipped overseas in extreme temperatures, particularly during summer months. There have been consumer reports of spoilage of other products in this line due to the sole reliance on the natural preservatives used.  

You would think that the Snail Bee High Content Essence would have been the product that pushed me into trying the Benton line, given that it’s such an interesting product! While it’s true that I had my eye on the Snail Bee for months, the product that led me to purchase the Benton lineup was actually the Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel ($17). As mentioned in my review earlier this week for the Benton Toner, my working theory (and it really is just a theory at this point) is that the fatty alcohols found in most moisturizers were actually slowing the healing process of my acne rash – and possibly even making it worse. I wanted to find a moisturizing product I could add to my face oil that didn’t contain any Cetereayl Alcohol or Cetyl Alcohol. When I saw the ingredient list for the Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel, I knew this was exactly what I’d been looking for.

Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel

Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel, in case you’re just now joining the Benton party I’ve been having all week, is just one of three Benton products that I am crediting with clearing up a nasty breakout I’ve been struggling with for months. The other two products are the Aloe BHA Skin Toner and the Snail Bee High Content Essence. Below is a photo breakdown of my acne healing process during my Benton product usage.

Day 1

Day 1

Day 3

Day 3 – My skin was a little dry that morning because I’d forgotten to put on my oil the night before.

Day 9

Day 9

Day 14

Day 14

What is it?

Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel is a gel moisturizer that is gentle and suitable for all skin types. In a standard Asian skincare routine, Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel acts as the emulsion/lotion step. It promises to moisturize, sooth skin, and prevent skin damage caused by external irritants.

Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel

Benton product order for a standard Asian routine. (photo from

Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel

Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (80%), Propolis Extract (10%), Glycerin, Arginine, Allantoin, Betaine, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Cross Polymer, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract

Just like its siblings in the rest of the Benton line, this ingredient list is on point with lots of actives and no fillers. Here are some of the highlights:

Aloe Barbadensis – Aloe is a classic skincare ingredient for very good reason. It contains antioxidant properties with Vitamins A, C, and E, fatty acids, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, as well as naturally occurring salicylic acid. It’s fantastic at treating acne, redness, and dryness, among other things. If you’d like to learn more about this wonderplant, check out this summary from the Indian Journal of Dermatology.

Propolis – Propolis is a resinous substance that originally comes from conifers, but it usually collected from bees, who use it to construct their hives. It possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and has been shown to promote wound healing.

Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract – More commonly known as Chamomile, this ingredient possesses some amazing anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Chamomile’s anti-inflammatory superpowers come from flavonoids, which stop the release of histamines – a chemical produced by our bodies that causes swelling, itching, and redness. Chamomile also contains an alcohol called Alpha-Bisabolol, which helps accelerate the healing process of wounds, including acne.

Betaine – Humectant and anti-irritant. In fact, some studies have shown it to be less irritating than pure water! Betaine protects against cellular dehydration that can sometimes occur when cells absorb substances though osmosis.

According the feedback from COSDNA, there are no potential acne triggers or irritants in this formula. In fact, much like the Aloe BHA Skin Toner, everything in the ingredient list scored a 0 out of 5 in terms of risk, which is highly uncommon!


I like to mix 2-4 pumps of the Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel with a couple of drops of either Passionfruit Oil, Baobob Oil or Argan Oil, and apply it as my moisturizing step after the Snail Bee Essence. My skin type is dry, which is why I like to mix it with an oil. Those with oily skin could probably use this as a standalone moisturizer, though a few drops of quality face oil really works nicely with this product – I highly recommend it!

This gel comes packaged in a plastic pump bottle, very similar to the Snail Bee High Content Essence bottle. The pump is very efficient and does a great job allowing control over how much product is being dispensed. It’s not the most glamorously packaged skincare product, but I rather like the serious, refined look of the labeling.

Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel


Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel

There is no scent added to this product, which is great news for those who are sensitive to fragrance! If you put your face in the product and try really hard, you can sort of smell something ambiguously plant like.

Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel is a wonderful moisturizing product that sooths and helps with inflammation, including acne inflammation. It’s extremely light and absorbs very quickly. Any residual stickiness disappears quickly, leaving me with soothed, moisturized skin.

Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel is not quite moisturizing enough to work as a standalone moisturizer for my dry skin, but when combined with a face oil, it provides exactly the amount of moisture I need to last all day or all night. Additionally, I find that this gel actually speeds up the absorption of my face oils. This is especially helpful in the morning, because it cuts down the waiting time between applying my Passionfruit Oil and my makeup down by 20 minutes!

Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel has been a face-saver. It has helped immensely with redness and inflammation. Using it in conjunction with the Benton AHA Skin Toner and the Snail Bee High Content Essence has been the key to clearing up my recent acne issues, and I am so glad I tried it!

+ Moisturizing
+ Light, easily absorbed
+ Extremely soothing, reduces facial redness
+ Non-irritating
+ Plays well with other skincare actives
+ No irritants or acne triggres
+ Very high quality ingredients list – no fillers
+ Suitable for sensitive skin, dry skin, oily skin
+ Improves absorption of face oils such as Passionfruit, Argan, and Baobob oils.
+ Easy to dispense

+ Not quite moisturizing enough to use as a standalone moisturizer for dry skin types

Skin & Tonics Rating:
Performance: 4/5 – This product is soothing, reduces acne inflammation, moisturizing, and works well with all skin types. It may not be moisturizing enough for dryer skin types, but mixes nicely with face oils.

Quality: 5/5 – – High-quality ingredients, no fillers, easy-to-use packaging

Value: 5/5 – $17 for a whopping 100 mL of high-quality product

Overall : 4/7/5

Where to Buy

This product is not sold in the US, so you’ll have to order it from South Korea. I purchased mine for $17 with free shipping at I Am Love Shop on eBay and was very happy with my experience. My order arrived at my door in North Carolina in about 10 days.

Benton Aloe BHA Toner is also available from the following Skin & Tonics approved sellers:

W2Beauty ($17 + free shipping, get a $5 voucher by entering my sponsor code at sign-up: 025605)
(eBay seller, $17 + free shipping)
Tester Korea ($13 + $7 shipping)
BringBringShop (eBay seller, $17 + free shipping)

This post contains affiliate links. Shopping these links help support this site! Full disclosure


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18 comments onBenton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel Review

  1. This sound awesome. I also have dry skin so I was worry that this might not be moisturizing enough. Are you aware that they have a new cream out now? Supposed its steam cream with snail extract and niacinamide. Two powerful acne fighting and skin brightening stuff. I’m thinking of ordering the sample to try. This brand is so new but their ingredient sound good and they are affordable. I hope they always stay this way.

    • Kerry

      Hey Annie! I agree 100% – I hope they stay this way as well!

      I recently purchased a jar of the new cream, but I haven’t opened it yet. I want to wait for my face to heal a little more completely before I start anything new. I’m really looking forward to trying it. When you get your sample I would love to know what you think of it!

  2. These Benton reviews are great – every product seems to be better and better!

    • Kerry

      I’m glad you’re into them – they’re pretty awesome! I’m so happy I tried them. Sadly, this is the last Benton review in the series for right now, but I do still have a couple more exciting Benton related surprises in the works! Hint: One of those surprises rhymes with “schmivaway.”

  3. It would never have occurred to me to use the propolis gel with an oil! good idea!
    I was going to review the Benton line, but I think from now on I will just link to your articles 🙂

    • Kerry

      Thank you Marie, but you should definitely still review it! I bet a lot of people (myself included!) will be interested to know if the products worked differently for other people, especially those with different skin types. I think the internet would be missing out if you didn’t review them! 🙂

  4. definitely will be ordering this some time soon, thank you for the great review~ hopefully this will be light enough not to break me out !

  5. Hiiii! I’ve been using the toner, essence and gel for about 3 weeks now. I really like the toner and essence. However, after my first week of using the aloe gel, I couldn’t stand the oilness on my face. It was like the gel wasn’t absorbing and left a sticky film on my face. (I have oily skin) So right now, I’m just using the toner and essence, which has improved my acne. 🙂

    • Kerry

      Hey Lily! Thank you for coming back and updating me! 🙂

      That’s a bummer about the aloe gel. 🙁 The stickiness is due to the fact that aloe is a humectant, which means it pulls water into the upper layers of the skin. It doesn’t have any emollient or occlusive properties on its own to help “seal it in.” Glycerin and hyaluronic acid are also humectants, for reference. Have you ever done a sheet mask and then not applied anything afterward? The glycerin in sheet masks have that same sticky sensation. If you happen to feel like giving the aloe gel another try (not that you have to!), but without the stickiness, try adding a light layer of your favorite cream over it! When you apply a cream after the aloe gel, it will get rid of the sticky feeling. It might sound like a weird thing to do for oily skin, but moisturizing creams – even most of the lighter ones – have occlusive ingredients in them to help seal in moisture, increase absorption, and counteract stickiness.

      Really, though, as much as I love the aloe gel myself, I think the toner and the essence are the true workhorses of the Benton line! I’m glad your acne has improved!

  6. OMG i love your blog *.* thank you for this useful review *.* would you like to follow each other *.* let me know <3

  7. I just got my aloe propolis gel in the mail and i thought the ingredient list looked longer…sure enough mine has cucumber extract, lemon fruit extract, and camelia sinesis extract added in there. Do you know why they changed the formula?

  8. Have you guys tried the Nature Republic aloe gel? Do you think it would be a cheaper alternative to this?

  9. Hi! Thanks for ur review! I was wondering if it is suitable for me to use it. I am 16 and have oily combination skin. I heard snail products are usually not for teenagers but for people a bit older than that. So can I use the soothing gel and the snail products? Please suggest me something, I’d love to try these out! Thanks! 🙂

  10. Hi! My samples of this gel have just arrived and I’m already amazed. 🙂 I cleansed my face and the rubbing and the warm water made my rosacea flare up. Both my cheeks were flaming red. Now it usually takes hours for my skin to calm down. This evening, I applied the gel to my flaming skin, and lo and behold: five minutes later my cheeks are their usual pale and glowy selves. Love this stuff!

    Oh, and it totally smells like propolis. (I’ve smelled that stuff before, the pure, concentrated version, and the gel totally smells like it too.)

    • Kerry

      That’s great news, Izar! I love the Benton Aloe line. I’ve heard they’ll be adding new products to the aloe lineup soon, and I’m really looking forward to it!

  11. Aleyna

    Hi Kelly! I just wanted to ask, is it okay to use this product alone as a moisturizer without the other two? I’m thinking of changing my mousturizer to this. Oh and also, does essence makes our skin breakout easily? I’m currently using sk2 pitera essence, at first it works really well, but after 3 months of using this, alot of small pimples comes out.

  12. k. has this product (and a LOT of other skincare/makeup items); it ships from the US (California I think), and they offer free shipping for orders over $30.