Disclaimer: This post features item(s) received at no cost for reviewing purposes, but the opinions are mine and, as always, honest. Read the full disclosure here.
The Okoko skincare line was designed by skincare formulator Oyéta Kokoroko to help women achieve optimal skin health after her own journey from skin issues to a radiant complexion. The Okoko line includes facial masks, cleansing and moisturizing balms, beauty oils and rare elixirs to attend to your most important skincare needs, like acne scars and anti-aging. Their products contain high percentage of rare and potent active ingredients to bring spa luxury to your home. The company is located in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and their products are cruelty-free, certified organic by USDA or Ecocert, and they use sustainable, fair trade ingredients.
As you may already know, I am trying to use more natural, clean products all around, and this includes skincare. Although I do venture outside of “green” beauty products, I’ve been quite successful in maintaining a mostly natural skincare regime. I do love exploring new natural products, though, because there are many innovations coming out all the time, and one of those innovative companies is definitely Okoko Cosmetiques. Their products use some ingredients that are unique and I haven’t seen them in other beauty products. The product range is not huge, but they keep expanding it, and I’m sure you will be able to find a number of products that suit your skin issues. I had some nice conversations with Oyeta, the founder of the company, and for my dry combination skin she recommended to start using two products (for now) – the Skin Brightening L’ÉLIXIR DE CLARTÉ and the Tomato Lycopene Multi-Purpose SUBLIME balm.
Packaging and presentation is quite important when it comes to high-end beauty products like these ones, because it points to the quality of the products within, and I have to say that Okoko Cosmetiques doesn’t disappoint. I received my products beautifully packaged in a small glossy black box, all with a blush bow tied around. It really feels special to open such a package!
The main product Oyeta recommended for me is the L’ÉLIXIR DE CLARTÉ. This precious fluid comes in my favorite packaging – a black glass bottle to protect it from light, with a pump topped with a plastic cap to limit the exposure to air, dirt, germs and dust. It just can’t get better than this. The serum inside is a thin yellow liquid, and the scent is neither pleasant nor unpleasant. It’s hard to describe – I definitely notice the hint of vanilla as an undertone, but it doesn’t smell like any other vanilla-scented product I’ve tried. I rather enjoy the scent, it’s natural and warm, but not everyone will.
More important than the scent are the ingredients. This wonderful serum is made with 20 carefully chosen active ingredients, the main one being 5% alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA), naturally sourced from citrus. The serum is formulated to gently exfoliate and retexturize skin to reveal a more even complexion. I firmly believe that acid treatments should be a part of everyone’s facial routine, no matter the skin type, and having an all-natural acid product like this is a true treat.
Ingredients: *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice ,Water (and) Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf Extract (and) Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract (and) Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract (and) Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract (and) Acer Saccharinum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Lactobacillus Ferment, **Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, *Glycerin, **Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, **Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract, Fucus Vesiculosus (Seaweed) Extract, Citric Acid, Salix Nigra (Black Willow) Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, *Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Oleoresin, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, *Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot fcf***) Fruit Oil
* Certified Organic, ** Made using organic ingredients, *** Bergamot fcf* is free from bergapten – it has no photosensitizing effects
You are probably familiar with a number of these ingredients,, but I will focus on the star ones: the first ingredient in most skincare is water, but in the L’ÉLIXIR DE CLARTÉ we start with aloe vera, an ingredient know for it’s hydrating and soothing properties. Next we have AHAs to gently remove dead skin and promote cell renewal. Green tea extract is rich in antioxidants, and the seaweed extract contains large quantities of vitamins and minerals. Lastly Sodium Hyaluronate (salt of Hyaluronic acid) penetrates deeply into skin to help absorb water more effectively.
To apply the product, you simply put a few drops on a cotton pad and gently swipe across your face and neck. I generally use 2-3 pumps, and wipe all over my face until the cotton pad feels dry. If your skin is not used to acids, you may experience some tingling, and it’s the best if you use the serum every other night. Since I use acids all the time, I was using it every night for full three weeks.
The only time I felt any tingling is when I just started using the serum, since I had a few dry patches along my jawline. As soon as they cleared out, I felt no tingling when using it. But again, my skin is used to acids. I could clearly see results within a few days of using the serum regularly – my dry patches are gone, my skin in general feels smooth under my fingers, it’s more even and bright, with no redness. I have a few little hyper-pigmentation spots that are still there, but less visible.
I didn’t notice much of an effect on the size of my pores, but I do have stubborn ones that most products can’t make smaller. However, the serum removing all the dead skin does help to keep my pores less clogged, and my normal hormonal break-out this month was way less pronounced – I only got a few small pimples that cleared out fast. I’m hoping that over time I get even better results with this serum.
I usually wait at least a few minutes after using the serum to apply any other skincare, and one more thing I love about this product is that, because it’s applied with a cotton pad, it instantly wipes off dead skin, making other skincare more effective. My serums, moisturizers and oils don’t have to fight with any build-up to penetrate deeper into the skin.
Please note: It is highly recommended you use sunscreen any time you are using any acid treatment, including this one. It would be the best to use this serum at night, and use sunscreen daily, regardless of the weather conditions.
Since I have dry combination skin, Oyeta also sent me a sample of their new, elevated Sublime balm, that will launch at the end of the month. You can still buy their original SUBLIME balm, though. This new version will have a more refined scent, and new ingredients added – oil soluble AHAs and willowbark. I feel so honored to be one of the first people to try this new version.
Sublime balm is a multi-purpose product that can be used as a cleanser, moisturizer or mask. It nurtures all skin types for a glowing, radiant complexion. It is made with exotic oils and butters, and infused with the world’s most powerful antioxidant: astaxanthin.
Ingredients: *Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, ** Garcinia Indica (Kokum) Seed Butter, ***Sorbitan Laurate, Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate, Dilauryl Citrate, *Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, *Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit/Leaf/Stem Extract, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil (And) Arctostaphyllos Uva Ursi (Bearberry), *Emblica Officinalis (Amla) Fruit Extract, *Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, *Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Kaolin (White Clay), *Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Daucus Carota (Carrot) Root And Canola Oil, Tocopherol (Non-Gmo Mixed Tocopherols), Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato Lycopene) Seed Extract, Helianthus Annuus (And) Beta Carotene, *Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit Oil, **Theobroma Cocoa (Beans), Vanilla Oleoresin, *Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, **Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Seed Oil, Allantoin, *Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Oil, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower Extract, Astaxanthin, Bisabolol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Phytosterols, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables
* Certified Organic, ** Wild Harvested, ***Sorbitan Laurate, Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate, Dilauryl Citrate is a natural plant source, PEG-free, biodegradable emulsifier made from the esters of glycerin and fatty acids. This biodegradable emulsifier is certified by Ecocert.
The most important ingredients here are natural resveratrol, lycopene and beta-carotene. These antioxidants strengthen skin and work to combat signs of aging, like fine lines. Phytosterol soothe and repair skin, while bisabolol hydrates and repairs dry and damaged skin. The photo below is taken over some tomatoes from my garden for a reason – lycopene is an ingredient found in tomatoes. I always found that my skin looks great when I eat lots of tomatoes, but never thought I could apply it topically. For a tomato lover like me, this is a special treat. I assume that the beautiful orange color of the product comes mostly from tomato and carrot oils, too.
As you can see from the photo, the balm easily melts in contact with the skin. I’ve been using it a couple of nights every week, and every time woke up to baby soft skin. I only need a tiniest amount. It’s a balm, so expect some greasiness, but don’t be afraid to use it on oily skin. It will balance your natural oil production. I just apply it at least 30 minutes before bed, so that it has time to sink in better.
If used all over, I noticed that my T-zone gets a bit shiny, however, once I wash my face in the morning my skin looks plump overall. I’ve been using it all over or only on my cheeks, depending on how much hydration my skin needs, and a thin layer is all I need. Used after the brightening serum it feels very soothing and I don’t really need anything else in between, although I sometimes add a Hyaluronic acid serum, and this type of layering works well for my skin.
My first experience with Okoko Cosmetiques products is really great. Both products do exactly what they’re meant to. I like that Oyeta really paid attention to what my skincare needs are and suggested the right products for me. I enjoy the natural scents, and knowing that what goes on my skin is clean, natural and safe. Also, I had wonderful results quite fast.
These are truly high-end skincare products. L’ÉLIXIR DE CLARTÉ retails for $70/ 30 ml and the SUBLIME balm (original) is priced at $85/ 30ml. Prices are in CAD. The effects on my skin are comparable, or better, to those of high-end, non-natural skincare products, and these two products will last for a while, especially the Sublime balm, which can last for months.
Have you transitioned to natural skincare? What is your favorite brand? What do you think about these products?