Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask Review

My love affair with Miranda Kerr’s Kora Organics continues, they seem to come out with very good and eco conscious mid-range products a lot. I’ve previously reviewed their Moisturizer and Luminizers, please check out the posts if you’re curious. Today’s product is a bit strange one as I think you’d either love or hate it..

*Product gifted for consideration, post contains ad links to support the blog.

 Copyright Laura Loukola

Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening and Exfoliating Mask

Kora’s Turmeric mask is a two-in-one exfoliating facial treatment to promote brightening look and cell turnover. It combines enzymatic exfoliation with manual scrub with rosehip seeds and quartz. Continuous use of the mask promises to help with discoloration, pigmentation as well as congestion. €49.9 for 100ml. Vegan product, comes in a golden squeeze tube. Available at Kora Organics, Jolie and Kicks.

Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Using Kora Organics Turmeric Mask

Up: Me and baby Cara

Some websites that sell this product do suggest regular using of 2-3 times per week. Personally I think that’s too much as this mask is pretty abrasive. The packaging also says “All Skin Types”, which I certainly disagree No matter how natural the exfoliating particles are - they can still be sharp and strong. This mask reminds me a lot of the Yon-Ka Guarana Scrub (review) I reviewed last Summer, but with an added kick. I don’t have a very sensitive skin, but I can’t put strong enough emphasis on the fact it is strong - scent-wise as well. The peppermint scent can be invigorating and cooling to some, but a big turn-off if you’re sensitive or prone to redness.

The texture of the mask is pretty fluid and feels cooling on the skin. I wouldn’t answer the door while wearing it as the “baby puke” color from the turmeric isn’t too attractive. I apply the mask on dampened skin, let it sit about five to ten minutes and gently rinse without too much rubbing or tugging. The feel is very refreshing, clean but not tight, which I like a lot.

If I want just a chemical exfoliant mask or more gentle physical one, I reach for Evolve masks. They’re also very good price-wise. I reach for Kora if I don’t have the time to do multiple steps, but want a clean and refreshed look with one product, miss manual exfoliation or want a mental pick-me-up with the strong peppermint scent.

Ingredients

Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice*, Quartz, Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Seed Powder*, Maranta Arundinacea (Arrowroot) Root Powder*, Lactobacillus Ferment, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Powder*, Glycerin^, Cetearyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Fruit Oil*, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract, Lactobacillus, Morinda Citrifolia (Noni) Fruit Powder*, Sclerotium Gum, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Powder*, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Juniperus Virginiana (Cedarwood) Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Salicylic Acid, Water/Aqua/Eau, Sodium Phytate, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Glucose, Alcohol, Sorbic Acid, Limonene**, Linalool**. *Ingredient from Organic Farming. ** From essential oils. ^Made using organic ingredients.

99.8% natural origin of total. 75.8% organic of total. 

Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Kora has two hero ingredients: noni, which is a native fruit to South Pacific Islands and quartz (rose?) as Miranda believes in its healing powers, vibrations and opening the heart chakra. As I know little about chakras, I’ll focus on the INCI instead! But I assume that in this mask quartz bits offer also a manual exfoliation among the rose hip seed powder. With these type of products it’s difficult to be sure if these powders are crystalized aka do they cause potential micro cuts to the face. Couldn’t find more information on the website, but I suggest you don’t rub the mask vigorously.

The powders are in aloe base, which is a nice soothing and hydrating ingredient for almost all skin conditions. It’s soon by Lactobacillus ferment, a probiotic ingredient with promising antioxidant or environmental protection qualities. As I’m not a scientist myself I cannot tell if green tea leaf powder works as effectively as extract, but I’m happy to see lots of promising plant based ingredients at the top. I wish there was more resources about the topical benefits of turmeric, but at least orally it’s a very good antioxidant.

Papaya fruit extract is a source of the enzyme papain, which has some exfoliating properties. It may be a potential skin sensitizer, but so are many other exfoliants such as glycolic acid (this mask does have a small amount of salicylic acid). Personally I haven’t found skincare with papaya extract irritating, but I think the amount of essential oils can be a make or break to many users combined with exfoliation. There is Lavender, Lemon Peel, Peppermint.. to name a few. If you have no problem with essential oils, I think the natural moisturizing ingredients such as rose hip will help to condition the skin after exfoliating.

Final Thoughts

Do I like and use this product? Yes. Would I recommend it? ..Maybe, but you need to love scrubs and peppermint. Or love Miranda and her good vibes, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I like many products from Kora and this is one of them. I found the ingredients list nice, but some difficulties to if powder forms have the best topical effects (compared to extracts and so on). The Kora Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating mask might give pretty polarized results. Especially with a price this high, I suggest you sample it somewhere and see if your skin and nose agrees. If you want a safer splurge, I’d go for Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser (review) and use it as a mask.

Do you currently have a favorite exfoliating mask, would you try Kora’s Organics Turmeric Brightening and Exfoliating one? I’m also curious to hear if you love or hate peppermint!

Niki Newd - the Pioneers in Fresh Skincare (Review)

There are many green and eco friendly Finnish skincare brands, but nothing quite like Niki Newd. They are a new artisanal skincare brand based in Helsinki that makes 12 batches of fresh skincare products in a year. Today I’m chatting about their philosophy of “gourmet nutrition” and reviewing a couple of products I was kindly gifted to try. Enjoy!

*Products marked with asterisk(*) are kindly gifted for consideration.
My thoughts are honest & my own.

Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

About Niki Newd

The inspiration for the brand came when the co-founder Kirsi’s shared her family’s skincare recipe with her biochemist friend. This facial recipe was passed down from mother to daughter where food grade, quality ingredients were used for a fresh skincare facial. Fast forward and the brand Niki Newd was born, with similar core principles: everything is hand-made, top quality with full traceability, purest, freshest, organic ingredients.

Many eco skincare brands use luxury ingredients, but not food grade. Even organic cosmetic grade ingredients are not meant to be edible. Niki Newd wanted to create a “gourmet” luxury brand where every ingredient is food grade, naturally sourced and inspired by the Nordic superfoods. Niki Newd uses zero fillers, no alcohol, preservatives - on the contrary the products are made in small batches with a limited (‘fresh’) shelf-life of marked on the packaging. Read more about their philosophy. The product line now includes masks, soap, cream (must be refrigerated), facial oils and balms.

Fresh Batch of Skincare

Niki Newd doesn’t joke when they say everything is made in small batches: they are made to order. In May you may order products for June and forward, delivered globally. I chatted with the founders of Niki Newd and learned that some customers choose to place an order every month, some every other. If you’re stingy with a product it may last you longer than ~1 month, but everything is best when it’s fresh. The maximum shelf-life/“use within” of certain products is 3 months. All products (except soap and mask powders) are packed in the highest grade of violet glass.

Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Niki Newd Oatmeal Soap

I was very excited to try this soap, I liked the idea of a solid cleanser and heard it would also remove light makeup. I also love anything oats and oatmeal. Unfortunately I felt this soap is way too drying for my face. While I liked the texture and cleansing properties of this soap, I feel the lather dried out my skin every time. I don’t like the “squeaky clean” feel it leaves. I was talking with the other founder of Niki Newd and she mentioned it make take a while for skin to get used to the difference, if the skin is used to cleansing milks. I tested this soap with a friend who has more combination skin on her T-zone and she loved the results.

Since it’d be a waste to not enjoy the high quality, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich ingredients of this soap, I think I will use it for my body. After all, these products were meant to use head to toe. Someone with much more combo or oily skin might enjoy this soap, but for now it’s not my first recommendation. €45 for 2x20g soaps and linen washcloth.

Oatmeal Soap INCI: Sodium Rapeseedate, Sodium Cocoate, Aqua, Avena Sativa Bran, Linseed Acid, Faex

Niki Newd Yogurt Face Mask

The idea of this mask is lovely: you get a sachet of the mask and a small bottle of Spring Water from Lapland. You mix them in a lovely dish and apply to your skin, wait until the mask starts to dry and crackle - then wash off. For extra effectiveness you can wear the mask in sauna. I think this also wasn’t my thing. I loved the ritual of mixing the mask - even my cat wanted a bite (he likes oatmeal), I have a whole post about using powder masks right here.

I was having a stressful moment when applying the mask and didn’t feel much difference when I washed it off. I smelled like oatmeal cookies, but that’s about all. Beta glucan has antioxidant and skin-soothing properties, but I think this mask would probably better suit for sensitive skin to tone redness. For me €35 is also too pricey for a single-use mask. I want to mask as much as possible!

Yogurt Face Mask Powder INCI: Oatmeal, yogurt powder, potato starch, yeast
Water INCI: Aqua

Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Niki Newd Velvet Skin Oil and Skin Butter

The Skin Velvet is a “heavier” type of facial oil – again, can be used head to toe, even on the eye area. I could tell it’s high quality even by the feel alone: its golden color and non-artificial scent that’s like a hint of berries mixed with camelina oil. Only a few drops is enough, but I’ve slathered this on generously. It sinks in, pampers, moisturizes intensively, but doesn’t feel greasy or leave a residue. It’s truly luxurious and lovely, I’m happy to find a facial oil that utilizes whats local and natural for me and my family: Nordic berries.

The Skin Velvet consists of cold pressed avocado and camelina oils mixed with Nordic berry oils: sea buckthorn oil, strawberry seed, oil, lingonberry seed oil and blackcurrant seed oil. The oils are naturally high in omega -3, -6, -7 and -9 fatty acids that topically applied soothe, reinforce, treat and protect dry skin. It’s also packed with antioxidants, carotenoids, Vitamin E and CoQ10, all which help with signs of ageing.

To my nose the Skin Velvet has a leafy scent, reminds me of blackberry leaf juice my Grandma makes. I never liked the juice, but the memory brings me back to our summer cottage, next to lake and birch trees.

Skin Velvet Oil INCI: Persea Gratissima Oil, Camelina Sativa Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Fragaria Ananassa Seed Oil, Vaccinium Vitisideae Seed Oil, Ribes Nigrum Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract

The Skin Butter is a soft, creamy skin balm with a yellow hue. In room temperature it’s soft enough to be picked with a finger (or a spatula) and spread on the face. You can also warm the balm between your fingers and then massage. This is the most refined balm on the lips as well. Your skin is left feeling soft and moisturized, if you layer or mix this with the Skin Velvet it’ll take a moment until everything sinks in.

The scent of the Skin Butter is more buttery, soft and creamy. I’ve used coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil in multiple products but they never smell this concentrated and “real”. Not to be confused with coconut or shea perfumed things, this is the real stuff.

The Skin Butter INCI: Cocos nucifera oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Cera flava, Tocopherol, Lactic Acid

Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Final Thoughts

The prices are high and amounts are small, true luxury, but Niki Newd believes in a minimal routine with multi-purpose, powerhouse products that you can apply head to toe. The price is similar to other highly luxurious skincare oils like Vintner’s Daughter, for example. Let’s say the Skin Velvet lasted you only a month, the price would be ~2,7 euros/day (two applications). If you can skip daily takeout lattes and want to invest them in skincare, I think it’s doable treat. Expensive, yes, but if I prefer to spend on something in my beauty routine, it’s serums/oils. In my experience Niki Newd Skin Velvet and Skin Butter were the most exquisite: if you want to start from somewhere, I’d pick the oil.

Let me know if you have any questions, I’ll find out! What do you think about ‘fresh skincare’?

Algamaris Face Sunscreen and Body Sun Spray Review (AD)

In today’s post I’m discussing sunscreen safety for both you and the environment while reviewing Algamaris sunscreens in paid partnership with House of Organic. I’m so happy to do this review as Algamaris products are something I’ve enjoyed a while and my regular readers know my passion for sunscreen! I hope you learn something new, enjoy!

*Review sponsored by House of Organic, all opinions are honest and my own.
This post contains ad links to support this blog. Thanks!

Algamaris Sunscreen Reviews | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Chemical and Mineral Sunscreen Safety

I’m personally a big advocate of natural, physical (or sometimes referred as “mineral” or “inorganic”) sunscreens as they’re both safe and very effective. With natural sunscreens you get instant protection on application as the sunscreen acts as a physical shield from UVA and UVB rays. Nanoparticles are not allowed among eco beauty brands, so there is less danger to waters, oceans or coral reefs. Of course no sunscreen is 100% ocean safe as high amounts of titanium dioxide may take long to biodegrade.

“Chemical” sunscreens are carbon-based ingredients, such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone. These organic compounds catalyze a chemical reaction when exposed to the sun. UV rays are transformed into heat, then released from the skin. The recommended application of “chemical” sunscreens is 20 minutes before stepping in sunlight, so they get better absorbed. This is troubling because of the potential skin irritation (for example avobenzone), allergic reactions, pore clogging and according to a preliminary study chemical sunscreens may absorb into circulation. There has also been studies of potential endocrine disruption. Many countries have also chosen to ban certain chemical UV filters (particularly oxybenzone and octocrylene) as it has been found that most damaging marine flora and animals.

Algamaris Sunscreen Reviews | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Finding a Safe and Effective Sunscreen

Fist and foremost, the best sunscreen is the type you actually use every day. Rain or shine. When I’m choosing a sunscreen to use I like to play it safest for me and the planet and go for a mineral sunscreen. I’ve tested a bunch of chemical sunscreens and while some of them are okay, I always go back to mineral filters. Algamaris has been a firm favorite in my previous posts: here and here for example. They offer a variety of products and textures, you’ll find a favorite wether you have dry or oily skin, mature or sensitive. There’s also tinted sunscreens that double as tinted moisturizer, body, kids and lip products.

What I like about Algamaris’ is that they have created innovative formulas that are not only safe, but cosmetically elegant. Their hero active ingredient is an antioxidant rich red seaweed extract that adds extra protection from premature ageing. If you don’t like sunscreen smell, I’m happy to tell you these have either no scent at all or a faint coconut scent. These products do have natural coconut alkanes, personally I’ve had no issue with coconut in Algamaris products, but if you’re very acne-prone maybe patch test first.

Last but not least these sunscreens aren’t too expensive in my opinion as I tend to run through sunscreens like water. As much as I like to invest in my skincare, I just can’t do it with lip balms and sunscreens..

Algamaris Sunscreen Reviews | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

AlgaMaris SPF50 Face Sunscreen

Algamaris SPF50 Sunscreen for Face (€23.9 for 50ml or €27.9 for 100ml!!) doubles as an effective sunscreen and moisturizer. The formula is advertised as non-greasy, but I’d say the texture has some oiliness. I think this is best suitable for drier skin types that easily irritate or burn. I personally reach for this formula the most as it adds and extra layer of protection and moisturization to my dry skin. Aloe vera is one of my favorite ingredients for hydrating purposes, I’m happy this sunscreen has some in it as it also soothes the skin (when and after being in the sun!). The SPF50 has a slight white cast so I recommend you massage it in - you can see how it looks like on my skin in the picture above. Perfume free, but doesn’t smell like sunscreen!

AlgaMaris SPF50 Face Sunscreen INCI

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Coconut Alkanes, Zinc Oxide, Aqua, Titanium Dioxide, Talc, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Prunus Domestica Seed Oil*, Sorbitan Olivate, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Glycerin**, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Alumina, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Caprylate, Magnesium Sulfate, Gelidium Sesquipedale Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder*, Propanediol, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Sodium Benzoate, Tocopherol, Potassium Sorbate

*Ingredients from organic farming **Processed from organic ingredients, 99.6% of the total ingredients are from natural origin16% of the total ingredients are from organic farming 

Algamaris Sunscreen Reviews | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

ALGAMARIS SPF30 Tinted Face Sunscreen

This sunscreen (€21.9 for 50ml) was by far my favorite texture-wise. Unfortunately the lightest shade is too dark for me. I tested it on my face, but had to wash it off. But if you’re light/tan to medium, I think you’ll have a good match. There is no white cast, but an even, pretty pigment from natural mineral origin iron dioxides. I think I will gift this bottle to a tan friend or use it for my legs (I can use some help there haha). The silica micro beads make this cream silky and lovely to touch. It feels matifying compared to the SPF50, very lovely. If you’re concerned about the SPF difference, I explain the numbers in this post.

ALGAMARIS SPF30 Tinted Face Sunscreen INCI

Aqua, Coconut Alkanes, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Titanium Dioxide, Sorbitan Olivate, Zinc Oxide, Talc, Silica, Glycerin**, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, CI 77492, Parfum, Octyldodecanol, Alumina, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Caprylate, Magnesium Sulfate, Gelidium Sesquipedale Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder*, CI 77891, Potassium Olivoyl PCA, Octyldecanol, CI 77491, Maris Aqua, CI 77499, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopherol, Jojoba Esters, Trihydroxystearin, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Sodium Hydroxide

*Ingredients from organic farming**Processed from organic ingredients

Algamaris Sunscreen Reviews | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

ALGAMARIS Organic SPF30 and SPF50 Sunscreen Spray

These sprays are simply gorgeous, excellent products I’ve used a ton. I thought the SPF30 spray (€26.9 for 100ml) would be my overall favorite, but there is little difference in the feel between the new SPF50 spray (€28.9 for 100ml). Lovely, high protection but no tackiness, only a moisturized layer from organic sunflower and coconut oil.

These are easy to spread as you can either spritz the sunscreen on a large area or very controlled when sprayed right next to the skin. I often spritz these as close my arms as possible or some on my hand to get those hard places, such as back of the hands and wrists. And the spray works upside down! The scent of the sunscreen has light coconut and floral, summery feel. Not tacky, too sweet or synthetic feeling. I think you’d love either one!

ALGAMARIS SPF50 Sunscreen Spray INCI

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Coconut Alkanes, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera Oil*, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Alumina, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Stearic Acid, Coco- Caprylate/Caprate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Gelidium Sesquipedale Extract, Propanediol, Tocopherol, Aqua, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate

99.9% of total ingredients are from natural origin 12% of the total ingredients are from organic farming

ALGAMARIS SPF30 Sunscreen Spray INCI

Coconut Alkanes, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Cocos Nucifera Oil*, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Parfum, Alumina, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Caprylate, Gelidium Sesquipedale Extract, Propanediol, Aqua, Tocopherol, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate

100% of the total ingredients are from natural origin 30% of the total ingredients are from organic farming

Algamaris Sunscreen Reviews | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Thanks again to House of Organic for sponsoring this post. I hope you take a peek at their site as there’s a vast selection of suncare products, including Algamari’s after sun products, money saving product kits and more. If you’re new to sunscreens, please check out my previous post to know more about application, SPF numbers and so on.

Do you know Algamaris? In general do you go for mineral or chemical sunscreens?
Thanks for reading! x