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.

 

 

 

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Review: Aubrey Organics EveryDay Basics Cleansing Gel for Normal/Oily Skin

3.4 oz/100 mL

AubreyOrganics.com: $8.85

http://www.aubrey-organics.com/ProductInfo/991.aspx

Aubrey Organics Cleansing Gel

According to Aubrey Organics, this “refreshing daily cleanser clears away makeup, excess oils and impurities to leave skin soft, rebalanced and healthy looking”. It is a clear gel with a menthol/minty scent. Organic aloe vera “hydrates and soothes skin”, organic eucalyptus, camphor, and menthol oils “cool and tone”, and organic quinoa protein “balances oils and promotes skin health”. This product is vegan and gluten-free.

Ingredients:

Aqua, decyl glucoside, glycerin, leuconostoc/ radish root ferment filtrate, citric acid, xanthan gum, chenopodium quinoa seed extract*, aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, alcohol*, mentha piperita (peppermint) oil*, eucalytpus globulus leaf oil*, cinnamomum camphora (camphor), menthol*, alcohol, citrus grandis (grapefruit) extract, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil*, salvia officinalis (sage) oil*, ascorbic acid, arctium lappa root extract, avena sativa (oat) straw extract, saponaria officinalis extract, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel extract, salvia officinalis (sage) leaf extract.
*Organic

This product literally lives up to every claim it gives. And then it goes and does more. When I use this, my skin is left clean (evidenced by the amount of dirt my toner removes afterwards compared to how much it removes when I don’t use it) and my t-zone not oily, but it doesn’t feel stripped or tight at all. It deals wonderfully with breakouts as well, whenever I am breaking out I will use this and the zits will be gone or almost gone within a few days. Immediately afterwards, they will look less red. I’m pretty sure something in the eucalyptus/camphor/menthol cocktail is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, but I am not completely sure. In any case, it works.

The product does have an amazing cooling property that makes my face feel more tight. Not in the way that skin gets when it’s dry, but in the way that puffy, tired skin feels de-puffed and awake again. My pores also look considerably smaller, redness reduced, and skin overall brightened. Speaking of redness- I use this after waxing my upper lip and this really takes down a lot of the redness and irritation. The actual skin texture is also much improved, almost like there is a a gentle chemical exfoliant in the gel. It really works wonders if you have one of those days when your face refuses to work with you, and just looks terrible. PMS face, for example. In addition to making your skin feel better, it will also instantly perk you up which is a good addition.

Though it says you can use it every day, I typically don’t. This is partially because my skin is not usually very oily or break-out prone, and partly because I’m lazy and I forget. I use this around 2-4 times a week, and I use it almost as a quick mask, leaving it on for 1-3 minutes. This usually happens in the shower after I put conditioner in my hair and before rinse my conditioner out. If I wake up and my skin looks gross, I’ll also use it quickly then, but not as a mask.

I have to say the packaging makes it easy to apply because the gel is pretty liquidey, but I think there might be some problems getting the last of the product out which is a bit annoying.

I will say, though, that the label normal/oily is accurate. Sometimes I get a combination deal where my t-zone is oily yet I’ve got random dry patches on my cheeks. Using this product doesn’t aggravate my dry patches unnecessarily, but I do definitely need a good moisturizer afterwards. So basically if this extreme combination situation sounds like you, this will still work but just make sure you’re moisturizing well. If you’re dry, I wouldn’t really recommend this.

Overall this makes my skin look amazing and is a real life-saver on those days when your skin looks dull and/or puffy. If you have normal/oily skin I would highly, highly recommend 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+