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I know it's taken me a while, but I'm here with my full brand review of Kora Organics! If you aren't familiar with Kora Organics, it's the skincare brand founded by supermodel Miranda Kerr over a decade ago. They launched in the UK last year via Cult Beauty, and they were kind enough to send me over some products to try. They've since launched at Look Fantastic, who also sent me over some stuff, (additionally I've picked up a few things myself) so I guess we'll switch up where we're linking to. Let's get into it...
If you didn't know; Miranda Kerr is an Australian model who really came into the international spotlight as a Victoria's Secret Angel. She's obviously ridiculously gorgeous genetically! However, after having sat in on an even with her discussing Kora Organics, I can attest that she's always been into beauty and founded her brand back in 2009 - way before skincare became super-popular and prior to everyone jumping on the celebrity beauty brand trend. I do genuinely feel that Miranda is the creative force behind the brand, she's passionate about it and she's involved in every aspect of her business. It links in nicely with her interest in wellness and nutrition too. I'd class the brand as high-end but not unreasonable, which I can't say for some celebrity skincare brands!
This brand does fall into the 'natural' and 'clean' space and focuses on its certified organic status. You know how I feel about 'clean' (if not read about it here) but I totally understand that people feel connected to the sensory experience they get from skincare and part of that is about ingredients. It's hard to feel passionate about petrolatum but, in the same way I like to see as many colours as possible on a plate of food I'm about to eat, there's definitely an connection we might feel to something like noni extract or rose quartz. I think that's totally fine and would prefer to focus on that over some products being 'safe' and others being 'not safe' when, if it's on the market; it's been tested for safety (just follow the instructions). Just to mention up top: most of the products contain fragrant essential oils, so I'll point out any that don't. It's not 'parfum' so every ingredient in the product is listed individually, so if you have any allergies there are no question marks over what's in there.
I'm neither so cynical that I'll dismiss all celebrity beauty brands right off the bat, nor am I a fangirl who is going to run out and buy everything that has a famous name attached to it. We're talking about the products and the formulas and if they stand up on their own. I'm imagining myself as a consumer walking into Space NK and picking up these products with no knowledge of the brand's background...
- THE PRODUCTS -
Let's start with the cleansers. First up, we have a new launch (currently at Cult Beauty): the Milky Mushroom Gentle Cleansing Oil* | £36. Usually I'm of the mind that 'a cleansing oil is a cleansing oil'; they tend to be pretty similar and just 'do the job', however this is actually kind of different. You'll notice by looking at it that it's a dual-phase product and it was actually specifically designed to be a very lightweight product that doesn't leave behind any excess and doesn't feel heavy on the skin. Simply give it a shake, squirt some out and apply the product to dry skin and it has a milky effect to it. I've not used this on really heavy makeup so far, but it's worked really well with a damp cloth on my usual tinted moisturiser, concealer and mascara situation. It doesn't leave any excess behind on my skin, so also makes a really good morning cleanse if your skin is feeling a bit dry and lacklustre first thing. There are some really nice moisturising ingredients that are going to do a great job of melting down makeup and sunscreen: sunflower seed oil, macadamia oil and jojoba oil, then in the water-based part of this product we have glycerin, snow mushroom and aloe water. There's also a little lactic acid in there, likely more for its humectant properties than for exfoliation.
The other cleanser I have from the range is the Cream Cleanser | £27. This actually has a really nice texture - it's more like a light, non-foaming lotion than a thick cream cleanser, so it melts really easily onto the skin. I'd recommend this for normal and dry skin types, and it's really nice as a morning cleanse so your skin is left soft, smooth and moisturised. I personally don't like the majority of foaming cleansers (at most, I'll do a light lather), as they invariably strip my skin, so I much prefer something like this. It contains some great ingredients like rosehip oil, macadamia oil, aloe leaf juice and avocado oil. Is it setting the world on fire? No, but it's a solid basic for skin types in need of some extra moisture.
Moving on, we have the serums which (spoiler alert!) are really the standouts for me. I think sometimes we get a bit too hung up on packaging: a 'pretty' product must be all style, no substance, a 'medical-looking' product must be more effective. Honestly, I think the Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum* | £60 | is one of my favourite formulas! Vitamin C is famously unstable, but opaque pump packaging like this really helps, and this is formulated ascorbyl glucoside, which is a derivative. Ascorbic acid (which has the most evidence for benefits like evening out the skin tone, offering glow-boosting benefits and potentially stimulating collagen production) is combined with a more stable derivative: ascorbyl glucoside. You're really getting the benefits of both with this formula and I personally find that combinations different forms of Vitamin C work best for my skin. Alongside Vitamin C, we have glycerin and hyaluronic acid (to pull water into the skin), hydrating, soothing aloe extract, moisturising oils like soybean and antioxidant fruit extracts, including noni. What I love about this is that it's a great all-rounder serum, also hydrating and moisturising my skin so it has a healthy glow, as well as containing the treatment element. In addition to this, it's a very gentle formula; it caused me no irritation whatsoever when I used it daily. And, it honestly works! Not only was it giving my skin an immediate dewy glow, but over time it really helped ensure my spots weren't scarring and that my skin looked clear and even.
I also have the Noni Night AHA Resurfacing Serum* | £65. This is an exfoliating treatment serum with willow bark extract (this is like a precursor to salicylic acid, so gives similar spot-fighting benefits, though it's not as strong and can be used during pregnancy) and lactic acid, a gentle AHA with hydrating benefits. Alongside the exfoliators, we have fermented ingredients, avocado oil, jojoba esters and sunflower seed oil to balance out the potential harshness of the exfoliation with lots of moisturising ingredients. I am a seasoned acid-user, but I didn't get any irritation from this product and would wake up every morning after using it with the smoothest skin! Over time, it's also really improved the texture and clarity of my skin. I used this around 3 times a week but if you're new to acids; I'd start with once a week and build it up from there. It's a bit more of a slow-release when it comes to acid serums, taking some of the edge off (when compared with a short-burst treatment) and this is a really lovely, high-effective formula.
Moving on to the masks - there are two. The first is the Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask* | £43. This is a scrub-mask which you leave on for 5-15 minutes before rinsing as you massage. Look, scrubs are never my #1 option for smoother skin - I prefer my AHAs (to get an even, less harsh exfoliation), but I appreciate that some people just like that experience, and who am I to take that away from them? As far as scrubs go, I don't find this turmeric formula too harsh. It's one of those things that really depends on how you use it: don't go HAM rubbing your face raw! Turmeric is also a source of antioxidants, protecting the skin, and papaya enzymes for a very gentle chemical exfoliation. There are other beneficial ingredients in here too, like salicylic acid, aloe leaf juice (which soothes the skin) and rosehip oil to moisturise. It's not bad, it's not my favourite. There are scrub people in the world who will live for this, but I'm not really one of them.
I also picked up the Noni Glow Sleeping Mask | £43. I was expecting to love this, but it's not really what I thought it would be. I was hoping this would be a thick, creamy mask, but it actually has more of a gel-like consistency. I personally prefer something a bit more as a night mask, but it does say you can also use it as a quick wash-off moisture booster, which is what I've been doing. It does leave my skin very nice and soft and smooth, but it's probably not enough for me to repurchase this. There's coconut milk, noni fruit extract, snow mushroom extract and other fruit / plant extracts and oils. For me, it's nice but I don't feel like it's a game-changer. This kind of surprised me because I feel like this is one of the brand's hero products.
Finally, we have oils! Here I have the Noni Glow Face Oil* | £60 | which is divine! There's something about the texture (it's not too heavy but still has a luxurious feel on my skin) that's just beautiful. I use this as the final step in my evening skincare routine to lock in the moisture and it never fails to leave my skin soft and nourished. It doesn't have a really extensive ingredient list but some of the oils in the mix include sea buckthorn, jojoba, sunflower seed and rosehip oil, alongside antioxidant-rich green tea and noni extracts. If you love face oils, I honestly think you will love this!
Lastly, I also got the Noni Radiant Eye Oil | £34. Look, I know the price per ml is more expensive than the face oil, and if you can use a normal oil around your eyes: you don't need this. For me, they're too thick and get in my eyelashes and obscure my vision a bit! Whereas this has a lighter, thinner texture dispensed through a cooling rose quartz rollerball so it doesn't overwhelm the eye area (which can get milia as a result of heavy products). Also, this product doesn't contain fragrance; the skin around the eyes is a lot thinner so even if you're generally fine with fragrance (like me); I'd just be a little careful with it around the eyes. There are some similar ingredients in this product, but also some extras, like macadamia oil, calendula, sea buckthorn, avocado and rosehip. It's lightweight, moisturising and not too heavy around the eyes. I personally like this a lot.
- MY CONCLUSION -
Overall, I really like Kora Organics and its blend of fresh-faced easy skincare and effective formulas. I think it's more than earned its status as 'more than just another celebrity beauty brand'. I think it sits nicely on the high-end side without being ridiculously luxury. For me, the highlight of my experience has been the serums; they're beautiful, they're well rounded and they work! I will definitely be interested in their future launches too.
Have you tried anything from Kora Organics?