Cult Product Review: MUN No. 1 Aknari Brightening Youth Serum

Well hello there! Here we are on a sunny Wednesday evening in Minnesota. Summer thrills abound. Amongst the fireflies and sweaty pits, a celebration of birth. Yes, yours truly has a summer birthday, and guess what I asked for!! Just guess!!

Right, so I asked and received. From the lovely Integrity Botanicals (and mostly my lovely mother), I got MUN No. 1 Aknari Brightening Youth Serum and several delicious makeup samples. The MUN serum is a total indulgence, so it was a perfect birthday gift. I’d read so much about it from the blogs, and everyone reports at least good results, if not fantasmagorical. Isn’t that a word? Go away, red squaggle. That’s a word too.

IMG_2038   IMG_2042


As far as the MUN, though, the word is underwhelmed. I love the idea of it. I love the simple ingredient list, the clean packaging, the idea of having one do-it-all product that’ll replace at least 3 other products in my morning and evening routines. Here are the claims:

  • Instills radiance
  • Nourishes, softens, and smoothes
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines
  • Prevents premature wrinkle formation
  • Brightens dark circles and evens out skin tone
  • Protects the skin from free radicals

I mostly wanted this because of the radiance/brightening claims. I’m always looking for that extra little something, you know, to transform my skin into that of Alicia Vikander and Keira Knightley’s love child. Is that too much to ask?


I don’t know about the fine lines claims, because I don’t have too many fine lines (yet!) (sunscreen, keep me!). However, my main gripe with the MUN serum was that it caused some congestion in my skin. Not really acne, but bumps- small bumps, some red. This is when I was using the serum morning and night for several days, or even just evening several days in a row. It was the most brutal heat of summer at the time, so I think it may have just been too much for my skin. I also noticed it wouldn’t absorb very well, though I have quite dry skin.

Since then, I’ve taken a new approach and have been enjoying my MUN a lot more. I have noticed some brightening and lightening of my skin, much appreciated. I no longer try to use it daily. I only use it two or three nights a week, and I help it absorb by mixing it with some aloe vera gel and a drop of squalane oil. These two are key, and also the answers to life, I’m pretty sure.

I love, love, loooove the scent- just rose. But true, sweet rose, not perfumey in the least. Oh back to the ingredients: the three are prickly pear seed oil, argan oil, and rose oil.


Apparently, the founder is very picky about her sourcing, which I really appreciate. Oil is not just oil, and quality can make a difference. (I have sensitive skin, and in comparing evanhealy, for example, with most other essential oil-containing serums, I can tell you there truly is a difference.) Not to mention that an ethically sourced product supporting indigenous populations rather than, I dunno, destroying rain forests, is just, you know, more appealing. To put it lightly.

So there you have it! Maybe this was a bit wishy washy of a review, but I really wasn’t wowed by this product. At least it isn’t making me break out anymore. I’m also very excited to keep using it into the winter, when it’ll probably be much better suited to my skin.


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