Brand Overview: IKOVE

http://www.ikove.ca

A while back I was given some samples from a brand I had never heard of before, IKOVE. They are an all-natural Canadian-based company focused on using organic and fair-trade ingredients from the Amazon rainforest. All their products are certified by ECOCERT, IBD/IFOAM, and USDA Organic, and are made in Brazil. Many, if not all, the products are vegan. Currently they sell only to Canada and the US, and in health food stores. If you are in the Houston area, Central Market carries them. If they do not sell in a brick-and-mortar establishment near you, you can also purchase their products through their online store. I would also like to say the sample sizes were very very generous, which I greatly enjoyed.

I was given three products to try: Acai and Chocolate Shampoo, Copaiba Bath and Shower Gel, and Acai and Chocolate Radiance Moisturizing Cream

Acai and Chocolate Shampoo

250 mL/8.45 fl oz

$19.95

http://www.ikove.ca/index.cfm?DSP=ProductDetail&ProductID=6452&SubCatID=0&CategoryID=1345&pagepath=Shop_online/Hair_Care&id=42451

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Decyl Glucoside, Acerola Fruit Extract, Mate Leaf Extract, AçaiFruit Extract, cocoa Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Lavender extract, Viola Odorata Extract, Orange Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Xanthan Gum, manderin oil.

This shampoo claims to “nourish, protect, and hydrate your hair” and “help reverse damage to color treated or sun damaged hair, without stripping hair nutrients”.

I was a little bit split in my opinion on this shampoo. On the one hand, I loved the effect. This is probably one of the most effective sulfate-free shampoos that I have ever used, and that tops my beloved Body Shop Rainforest Balance Shampoo (review here) and my Acure Clarifying Shampoo (review here). But while this was the case, it was so difficult to work with- it didn’t lather at all. This is even less than my Body Shop one. Ultimately this means more product being used, which considering the price point I’m not keen on. Once you get into the habit of using it is somewhat doable. On the bright side you get really strong hands and arms! It is a bit of a trade-off, really. If you are accustomed to working with sulfate-free shampoos and don’t mind the extra work, this shampoo leaves your hair so so clean. If not, I would go with something like the Body Shop one or the Acure one.

 

Copaiba Bath and Shower Gel

250 mL/8.45 fl oz

$19.95

http://www.ikove.ca/index.cfm?DSP=ProductDetail&ProductID=6434&SubCatID=0&CategoryID=1344&pagepath=Shop_online/Body_Clean&id=42450

Ingredients: cocoamidopropyl betaina, Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice, Decyl Glucoside, Aqua (Water), Copaifera Officinalis (Copaiba) extract, Symphytum Officinale (comfrey) Leaf Extract, Casearia Sylvestris (Guacadonga) Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, xantham gum, Cupressus Sempervirens Oil, Cymbopogon Martini (Palmarosa) Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Potassium Sorbate

This product is described as a gel that you can use in the shower or pour a bit under your tap for a bath. It is created for blemished, sensitive, or irritated skin, or for after sport for a “deep calming and relaxing effect”.

I loved this product so so much. The smell was so interesting and refreshing, it’s really hard to describe; the only thing I can think of is that it smells a bit like Rivella (a Swiss soda)- kinda herby. It’s really really beautiful. It is also really really relaxing. I can’t say much on the other skin care claims, because I don’t actually have any of those problems. According to Wikipedia though, Copaiba is a stimulant (which I think causes the muscle relaxing properties), and has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties (which definitely should help with blemishes. Wikipedia also says it is “anti-tumor” too so hey, I guess that’s always a plus…

I only ever tried this in the shower because I never read the site until after I finished my sample, but I can imagine this being really really great in the bath. It is rather expensive, so if I was to buy it I would probably use it for baths if I needed some stress relief. Although, I guess Molton Brown body washes are more expensive, and might not have the same skincare benefits. I would probably be interested in purchasing it!

 

Chocolate Radiance Moisturizing Cream

50 mL/1.7 fl oz

$49.95

http://www.ikove.ca/index.cfm?DSP=ProductDetail&CategoryID=1346&SubCatID=0&ProductID=6463&pagepath=Shop_online/Facial_Care&id=42452

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Aloe Vera Juice, Babaçu oil, brazil nut oil, lavender tintucture, chamomilla recutita tintcture, horsetail tintucture, açai tintucture, calendula tintucture ,cacao liquor extract, carnauba wax, rice extract, vegetable glycerin, Candeiaalfa-bisobolol, Xanthan gum, cocoa butter, manderin essential oil, sweet orange oil, Lavender essential oil, Murumuru kernel oil, cupuaçu butter

This product claims to “restore the skin’s natural radiance and balance, leaving the face soft and protected all day long”. The acai and chocolate also provide some pretty serious antioxidant powers. It is supposed to be used daily.

So this is the kind of product that I can imagine working really really well for some people. I would say this would be best for those with fairly dry skin. It is a rather thick cream, and pretty seriously moisturizing. While I was using it, I had some dry patches near my mouth and cheeks, and a sort of oily forehead. This cream did a really good job on the dry patches, but it was a bit heavy for my forehead and the skin there tended to get a bit shiny. To be fair though, for a cream that moisturizing, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I would have expected. On the parts of my face that weren’t greasy already though, the cream sat really nicely and made a smooth barrier on top of the skin. I think this would be really good under makeup. I don’t think I would be purchasing this; it’s not completely suitable for my skintone, and also I am pretty young so investing in more expensive face creams isn’t really practical. However, if you do have dry, dull skin and are willing to make the investment I think this is a really great product.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Review: The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector

100mL/ 3.3 fl. oz.

The Body Shop USA- $12

The Body Shop UK- ₤5

The Body SHop EU- €6

This hand cream is supposed to “soften and protect” very dry hands that uses Community Trade hemp seed oil and Community Trade organic beeswax to replenish the skin’s moisture barrier and seal said moisture in. It is a very rich, slightly greenish colored cream.

 

Ingredients

Water (Solvent/Diluent), Glycerin (Humectant), Cetearyl Alcohol (Emulsifier), Myristyl Myristate (Emollient), Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil (Emollient), Dimethicone (Skin Conditioning Agent), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (Emulsifier), Glyceryl Stearate (Emulsifier), PEG-100 Stearate (Surfactant), Beeswax (Emulsifier/Emollient), Panthenol (Skin/Hair Conditioning Agent), Methyl Soyate (Skin Conditioning Agent – Emollient), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Fragrance (Fragrance), Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Allantoin (Skin Soothing Agent), Citric Acid (pH Adjuster), Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Xanthan Gum (Viscosity Modifier), Hydrogenated Castor Oil (Emollient), Retinyl Palmitate (Skin Conditioning Agent), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax (Stabiliser/Viscosity Modifier), Disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Tocopherol (Antioxidant), Talc (Absorbent/Bulking Agent), Chromium Oxide Greens (Colour), Iron Oxides (Colour).

 

So my love affair with the Body Shop continues. This cream does everything is says it will. It is so rich and nourishing, no matter how dry my hands are this cream makes them feel soft and supple. Now that the fall and winter are coming up, if you live somewhere that does get cold, I would highly, highly recommend this. It is (so far, anyway) the best hand cream that I have ever tried and believe me, I have tried a lot! Now that I have relocated to Houston where it does not get cold, ever, I will not be needing this as much, but when I lived in northern Germany, during the winter this is what kept my hands from dying. And believe me when I say the job was not easy.

In terms of scent, it’s not the most delicious in the world. Honestly, it kinda smells vaguely of a plant. However, it is not a particularly strong smell, it goes away quickly, and you get used to it so it’s not a big deal.

This cream soaks in pretty quickly, considering how rich it is. It leaves an odd residue on the skin- not oily at all, you won’t leave massive oil splotches on things you touch like other creams- but it feels like there’s a protective layer on the skin which I assume comes from the beeswax. For me it’s not a problem at all, but I would recommend trying it out in the store if you have the chance.

Price-wise, I think it is pretty decent! In Europe and Britain more so, but the American price isn’t too tragic. I would say it’s pretty midrange- it’s a little more expensive than something like Nivea, but then again it works far better. Also compared to some of the more luxury hand creams it’s a steal, and may very well  work just as well or better. Considering the benefits, it is a sum I am happy to spend.

 

Bottom line, this is a fabulous hand cream and your hands will love you. If you can stand the smell, get it.

Rating: A+

Review: Lavera Basis 2-in-1 Cleaning Milk

4.1 oz/120 ml

lavera.com: $13.75

dm: ca. 7 euro

Found on lavera.com

This cleanser is described as a very “gentle”, “kind to skin” product that will cleanse the skin and remove makeup in one application. It is formulated especially for sensitive skin, and is therefore apparently ideal for the sensitive area around the eyes. It is formulated with organic jojoba and shea oils. This product is vegan.

It is a thick white cream which melts a bit into the skin when worked in with water. It is lightly scented.

Ingredients:

Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil*, Alcohol*,Caprylic\/Capric Triglyceride,Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Myristyl AlcoholSimmondsia Chinensis(Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Sodium Coco Sulfate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Xanthan Gum, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil*, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Rosa Damascena Flower Water*, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract*, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water*, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Lysolecithin, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Beta-Carotene, Lecithin, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Fragrance (Parfum)**, Limonene**, Linalool**, Geraniol**, Citral**, Citronellol**, Benzyl Benzoate**
* indicates Certified Organic Ingredients
** for natural essential oils

This cleanser has three main claims: to be very gentle (suitable for sensitive skin), to cleanse the skin, and remove makeup. Of these claims, it nails two but misses one.

I do not have sensitive skin myself, but I’m pretty sure this would be a great formula for those of us that do. It is only lightly performed, so there shouldn’t be much irritation from that. If you get it in your eyes it doesn’t really sting, but it does feel a bit weird and your vision will be blurry for a couple of seconds afterwards. In addition, the jojoba and shea oils in it nourish the skin and provide some moisturization. This is more geared towards people with dry skin, I’m not sure if this would be too much for people with oily skin. This would be especially perfect for the wintertime, if your face gets a bit more dry and chapped. Sometimes when your face gets dry and you wash it with a normal cleanser your face can feel a bit dry and tight, this eliminates this completely.

As for the cleansing, Lavera’s really done well in this product. My test for cleansers come from the next stage- toner. I know pretty well how much dirt comes off my face when I tone without having used a cleanser beforehand, and so I just compare how much dirt comes off my face when I tone after using a cleanser to see how effective it was. This cleanser performed very well, the amount of dirt on the cotton pad after toning was significantly less than normal.

Unfortunately, makeup removal was where this product fell a bit short. It did not remove the majority of my makeup, and I had to use a separate makeup remover afterwards. However, it did loosen the makeup up so it was much easier to remove.

Overall, I think I would recommend this product for cleansing the face if you have sensitive and/or dry skin. It will cleanse your skin well and help your makeup come off easier, just don’t expect it to get it all off.

Rating: B+

Review: Hildegard Braukmann Honey Lecithin Beauty Pack

Rossman: ca. €1.70

http://www.hildegard-braukmann.de/en/Produkte/Care_Line/EMOSIE_FACE/Masks_and_Packs/Honey_Lecithin_Beauty_Pack

Found on Hildegard-Braukmann.de

 

This face mask is described as a “pleasing, creamy face pack with bee’s honey, soya lecithin and valuable wheatgerm oil”. It is said to “bestow an instant and enduring healthy look to the skin” by “improving the moisture content of the skin and enriching the lipid shield”. By that last bit about the lipid shield, I assume they mean it doesn’t strip the skin. Lastly, it is supposed to make the skin soft and supple, and is apparently good for stressed skin. This mask should be left on for 15-20 minutes, and is best for dry and/or mature skin.

 

Ingredients:

Aqua (water), Kaolin, Stearic acid, Caprylic/Capric triglyceride, Mel (honey), Sesamum indicum (sesame) seed oil, Triticum vulgare (wheatgerm) oil, Propylene glycol, Glycerin, Polysorbate 60, Triethanolamine, Tocapheryl acetate, Cetyl alcohol, Glyceryl stearate, Glycine soja (soybean) oil, Lecithin, Arachis hypogaea (peanut) oil, Sorbitan stearate, Parfum (fragrance), Methylparaben, Olea europaea (olive) oil unsaponfiable, Daucus carota sativa (carrot) root extract, Isopropyl myristate, Disodium edta, Propylparaben, Phytosterols, Persea gratissima (avocado) oil, Tocopherol, Hexyl cinnamal, Linalool, Butylphenyl methylpropional, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, Limonene, Benzyl salicylate, Cintronellol, Beta-carotene

 

This face mask does everything is says it does. It is a lovely, creamy mask that leaves your skin feeling soft and refreshed. It is a really good deal for money, as the two sachets you get when buying one unit each contain about 2 uses, giving you 4 uses total for about  €1.70. Unfortunately it is not very clear to me where you can get this, I know Rossmann Germany carries it because that’s where I got it. I believe I have seen this in some apothecaries here in Germany, but I am not sure. The website does not seem to have any stockists listed, but it does offer the site in English, German, and Polish, so that leads me to believe that the products are sold somewhere in the countries where these three languages are spoken. Anyhow, if you have dry skin and want to give it a treat once in a while, I would really recommend it! If you can find it in the first place, that is… :/

Rating: A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion

6.7 oz/200 ml

Sephora (Clarins.com): $40

Clarins.co.uk: ₤30

Clarins.de: 33€

http://www.sephora.com/moisture-rich-body-lotion-P95060

http://www.clarinsusa.com/Moisture-Rich-Body-Lotion/C020202002,en_US,pd.html&cgid=330&start=6

http://www.clarins.co.uk/Moisture%20Rich%20Body%20Lotion/C020202002,en_GB,pd.html?start=8&cgid=330

http://www.clarins.de/Baume%20Corps%20Super%20Hydratant/C020202002,de_DE,pd.html?start=1&cgid=330

**NOTICE: contains parabens (ethylparaben, methylparaben)**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion is a moisturizer for dry skin. It contains “peach milk, shea, candlenut oil and orange blossom” that “visibly minimize the signs of ageing caused by sun, cold, heating and air-conditioning”. It supposedly “helps smooth dry, rough patches and improve skin tone” and “gently removes dull, flaky cells for a youthful, all over glow”. It also should sink in quickly.

Ingredients:

Aqua/Water/Eau, Paraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil/Huile Minerale, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Glyceryl Myristate, Glycerin, Ppg-15 Stearyl Ether, Dipropylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Peanut Oil, Stearyl Heptanoate, Dimethicone, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cetearyl Alcohol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Stearyl Alcohol, Parfum/Fragrance, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Butylene Glycol, Disodium Edta, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Malic Acid, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Potassium Sorbate, Carbomer, Ceteth-24, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Wax, Prunus Persica (Peach) Leaf Extract, Choleth-24, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Sodium Citrate, Sutilains, Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Bht, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Benzyl Benzoate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Citronellol, Eugenol, Citral, Isoeugenol.

This is a very rich, luxurious cream that smells AMAZING but not overpowering at all, and is excellent for hydrating dry skin. I love how it comes in a tube, so everything is very hygienic. And yes, it smoothed my rough patches. It even made the skin on my legs look polished and semi-healthy, despite their deathly paleness. I don’t know if I would call it a “glow” but it certainly is an achievement. On those points the moisturizer has certainly upheld its claims. I cannot speak for the aging part, but I mean as I, not a dermatologist/expert, understand it, well-moisturized skin looks less saggy than poorly-moisturized skin. I guess that makes sense… That having been said, it really doesn’t sink in quickly. At all. Actually, it kind of takes forever to sink in. But it really is a good product that works really well, I would just recommend applying it before bed rather than before anytime you need to get dressed. I am also not so happy about the parabens or the price. However, if neither of those things bothers you, then I think you will be very happy with this moisturizer.

Rating: A

Review: The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Lotion (SPF 15)

50 ml

The Body Shop UK, £10

The Body Shop EU, €16

(This product did not seem to be available on the American site)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Body Shop describes this cream as a light, easily absorbed moisturizing cream with an “SPF 15 for UVA and UVB protection” that “leaves the skin soft and healthy looking”. It is formulated with Vitamin E, community fair-trade sesame seed oil, and wheatgerm oil. Suitable for all skin types.

 

Key Ingredient(s)

▪                 Vitamin E

▪                 Community Fair Trade sesame seed oil

▪                 Wheatgerm oil

Full Ingredients

Aqua (Solvent/Diluent), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (Sunscreen), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (Emulsifier), Cyclopentasiloxane (Skin-Conditioning Agent/Emollient), Octyl Salicylate (Sunscreen), Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (Sunscreen), Glyceryl Stearate (Emulsifier), Butylene Glycol (Humectant), Phenyl Trimethicone (Emollient/Hair Conditioner), Potassium Cetyl Phosphate (Surfactant/Emulsifying Agent), Cetyl Dimethicone (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Triethanolamine (pH Adjuster), Sesamum Indicum Oil (Emollient), Tocopheryl Acetate (Antioxidant), Parfum (Fragrance), Carbomer (Stabiliser/Viscosity Modifier), Behenyl Alcohol (Emollient), Cetyl Alcohol (Emulsifier), Methylparaben (Preservative), Triticum Vulgare Germ Oil (Emollient), Citronellol (Fragrance Ingredient), Tetrasodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Butylparaben (Preservative), Ethylparaben (Preservative), Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone (Fragrance Ingredient), Isobutylparaben (Preservative), Propylparaben (Preservative), Linalool (Fragrance Ingredient), Geraniol (Fragrance Ingredient), Tocopherol (Antioxidant).

 

First of all let me say how nice it is to be able to get a hold of a day cream that has UVA protection. It is really great that I don’t have to go through all the hassle of hunting down a separate sunscreen, then after slathering it on, becoming super paranoid as to whether it will break me out or not. So kudos to you, Body Shop.

The formula is relatively light and feels very nice on the skin. It does sink in pretty quickly, but until it has done so completely, it leaves a slight greasy residue. The residue goes away pretty quickly, leaving the skin very smooth and hydrated, but that still is an iffy point for me. Despite the residue, the texture is still such that it allows for mixing with foundation to create a tinted moisturizer, which is definitely a plus.

Speaking of hydration, this cream is a very, VERY hydrating one. Before I started using it, I had a couple of dry patches on my cheeks. Afterwards? Nada. My face was nice and smooth. On the other hand, it didn’t make me break out on my forehead, where I typically get very oily. This leaves me to believe that the claim that it is suitable for all skin types is a relevant one, and that is something that my finicky combination skin greatly appreciates.

Although one of the things that makes this product good in my books is the fact that it can be substituted for sunscreen, one of the things that I do not like about it is that in some ways, it is too much like sunscreen in that it smells like it. Though sunscreen is very good and I am glad that it was invented, I am not terribly keen on the smell. And having that in a moisturizer is not really something that I enjoy. The smell wears off after a while, so it’s not so bad, but for me it is definitely a weak point in an otherwise good moisturizer.

The packaging is also pretty good in my books, as it is a squeezy tube rather than a tub. I prefer squeezy tubes because they are more hygienic as you do are not repeatedly dipping your fingers into the same product. In addition, it is better for creating DIY tinted moisturizers, as the product comes out it a specific place so the whole back of your hand isn’t covered with cream. Unfortunately, there is always the hassle of having to cut the top portion off to access the cream when the product starts to run out.

 

Overall, this is a pretty good product, especially due to its moisturizing properties and SPF (with UVA!). One of its greatest bonuses, though, is that it is so versatile in terms of skin type, so if you are someone whose skin is either really dry and really oily at the same time, or whose skin type varies drastically from one time to another, this cream should be able to keep up. The smell and slight residue do provide a slight irritation, but probably would not keep me from repurchasing the product. And hey, some people seemed to even like the smell!

 

Rating: A-