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Today we have a brand review featuring Keys Soulcare by Alicia Keys, stocked exclusively at Cult Beauty here in the UK. But does this brand stand out in a sea of celebrity skincare launches...?
I'm sure I don't need to tell you who the legendary Alicia Keys is and - for context - she's always had a very spiritual, earth mother vibe, so when I saw the name and theme of this brand I really wasn't surprised. I was expecting it to be very sensorial and focused on the experience and aromas of a skincare routine. I honestly would've been shocked if she'd brought out a line of cosmeceuticals or something! So, yes, this is very on-brand and I was expecting gentle products that are lovely to use. I was actually pleasantly surprised at the price-point because some of these celebrity lines *cough* JLo *cough* are incredibly expensive and there's nothing about the formulas that really warrants it. So, let's we get into...
- THE PRODUCTS -
Let's travel through the skincare routine as you'd do it, starting with the Golden Cleanser* | £20. This is probably my least-favourite product in the line so we'll get it out of the way. It's a gel cleanser with an aromatic fragrance that I personally really like however it's a foaming formula and I just find it a little bit too drying for my skin. It has some nice ingredients like moisturising castor oil, turmeric as an antioxidant and manuka honey for nourishment and its antibacterial properties that can help fight spots, but the overall formulation just isn't for my normal-to-dry skin. Moving swiftly on, I also have the Be Luminous Exfoliator* | £22. This is an exfoliating powder, so you simply shake some out into your hand and mix it with some water then gently work it into your skin. It does have a mild lathering quality, so I actually use it as an exfoliant and a second cleanse all in one, then I just leave it on for a few minutes after before rinsing. You get mild physical exfoliation with the grains in here, but you're also getting chemical exfoliation with lactic acid, which is a gentle AHA that works to brighten and smooth the skin whilst also having some hydrating properties. There's kaolin clay in here too to provide some clarifying and oil-absorbing benefits. It gives me soft, smooth skin with no irritation, making it a great gentle option.
I guess the primary treatment stage in this line is really going to be the Harmony Mask* | £28. I've been a bit 'meh' about clay masks more recently. They're fine but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy one. However, the texture of this is quite light and it feels as though the kaolin is part of the formula, but it's not the only purpose of the product. I like that this is lighter and more fluid to apply so it doesn't dry and crack and bleed your skin of moisture. At the toning stage, we have the Reviving Aura Mist* | £22. Obviously, a face mist is a 'nice to have' and a face mist with this name is really something you're buying because you like it and it makes you feel good. At the same time, rosewater can be quite beneficial to the skin in terms of increasing hydration (though is available at a far lower cost elsewhere), there's also glycerin in here which acts as a water magnet and castor oil to moisturise and seal in hydration. This also contains rose essential oil, so as with most of these products: it's not for those avoiding fragrance. However, I personally love this scent and this mist is refreshing and hydrating on my skin.
My favourite product from the line was easily the Skin Transformation Cream* | £30 | and this one also does come in a fragrance-free option. This is a beautiful cream for day or night that has a light texture that still packs a punch. It's formulated with the holy trinity of ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol (the composition of our skin's lipid barrier), alongside squalane, a skin-similar plant-derived oil and panthenol, which hydrates and soothes the skin. We also have niacinamide, to help calm inflammation, strengthen the skin barrier and help with oil regulation in the skin, then we also have hyaluronic acid (drawing water into the skin) and honey to moisturise and provide antibacterial benefits. We also have bakuchiol, which may trigger our cells to respond as though it's a retinoid, but this is gentler and pregnancy-safe. A lot more research is needed to verify the marketing claims made about it, but it can't hurt to have it in there! It's so uncommon to find all this amazing stuff in such a lightweight formula. It's beautiful, softening, smoothing and deeply nourishing with zero grease. I think even people who aren't that into the brand concept as a whole could buy this and love it!
Then, lastly, I picked up the Sage + Oat Milk Candle | £35. I am a candle obsessive and this one is just the ultimate night in treat. You get this gorgeous milky, mossy herbal soft scent that's noticeable but calming and creates an ambience I enjoy. It's made from vegan soy wax and gives a nice, clean burn.
- MY VERDICT -
For me, the standouts are the exfoliator and, of course, the moisturiser is just beautiful. This range is broadly for those who like their nights in, their baths, their aromatherapy oils and the self care side of their skincare routine. It's not going to be this crazy, transformative, active-driven line, but I'm sure the name, the products and the packaging convey that to you! If you are more into that side of skincare, I think the moisturiser in particular is still an amazing option.
Have you tried this brand? Is it something you'd be interested in checking out?