Today we’re talking Keys Soulcare, the skincare brand from Alica Keys. Is this ‘just another celeb brand’ or is it a worthy competitor in the vast skincare brand empire? Let’s find out!
I can’t lie, my initial thoughts were ‘not another celeb launch” but did I judge a little prematurely?
Keys Soulcare is a skincare-wellbeing brand (at present, who knows if it moves into beauty at a later date!) created by and in collaboration with Alicia Keys.
“Created with Alicia Keys and inspired by her own skincare journey and love of ancient beauty rituals, Keys Soulcare goes beyond skincare to truly care for the whole self — body, mind, and spirit.” -Keys Soulcare
Keys Soulcare, Alicia Keys and dermatologist Dr Renée Snyder work together to formulate the products in the line.
The brand focus on creating “clean, safe, and effective product offerings — always cruelty-free.”
Keys Soulcare add nourishing ingredients in their products which include:
Malachite, Manuka honey, Hojicha powder, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, bakuchiol and believe in soul-nurturing rituals stating:
“Honoring the connection between skin and soul, every offering is infused with intention — from symbolic icons and affirming mantras to recommended rituals — to transform the time we spend caring for our skin into a moment of personal ceremony.” – Keys Soulcare
So expect affirmations on products and a website full of positivity and rituals.
The packaging is really lovely. All of the items I have are housed in card boxes that have the ‘KEYS’ logo, product name, identifying ingredients, a little info and directions on the back. On the side of each (like the products themselves) you’ll find a positive affirmation.
You are layered, complex and divine.
Keys Soulcare packaging is really quite lux. Weighty, recyclable glass pots in a deep, rich purple hue are embellished with the KEYS logo, positive affirmations and sealed with black lids. They feel expensive and they look gorgeous on your vanity.
I can’t lie, I’m impressed.
I have three products from the line to show you, I’ve been testing them all avidly since receiving them so I think I can be quite fair in my opinion!
Keys Soulcare has launched with 9 items, 7 skincare, a facial roller and a candle. So if you fancy getting your ultimate chill on you can. Light a candle, skincare up to the max and give yourself a lovely facial massage.
This is made even easier as they offer “Ritual Kits” as well as selling the products individually.
Skin Transformation Cream
Keys Soulcare Skin Transformation Cream is available in a fragrance and fragrance-free option. I have the fragrance free one and have to say I’m pleased. At first, being judgey mcjudgy pants over here, I expected to open the jar and be bowled over by an excessive force of sweet, sickly scent. Of course, I wasn’t, it’s just lovely, a little husk-like, just natural. I hadn’t noticed it was the fragrance-free version at this point and when I did, I thought “how smart to offer the two”.
Of course I can’t speak for the fragrance version but given the natural vibe of the brand, I would expect a more natural perfume…
The cream’s texture is a lightweight gel cream that absorbs quickly once massaged into the skin. A healthy glow is left behind and skin feels suitably hydrated. My oily/combo skin really enjoys the feeling and weight of the cream and it doesn’t leave it feeling heavy or greasy throughout the day.
Hyaluronic Acid, ceramides, malachite, backhiol, glycerin, niacinamide, Cetearyl olivate, squalane, panthenol
Skin Transformation Cream is a water-based cream rich in ceramides, has antioxidant properties, skin barrier goodness (ceramides, niacinamide), is both emollient and humectant rich and with backuhoil can aid in skin turn over and the appearance of texture. It contains silicones but doesn’t feel silicone heavy in the slightest. It’s a nice inky list!
And I have to say, my skin has been really enjoying it. There is a glow as soon as you’ve used it and who isn’t going to enjoy that benefit? But it’s not just that. It hydrates my skin without leaving any residue and I’ve had no irritation whatsoever.
Those with a more drier skin type than mine, may wish for a heavier cream, or perhaps to layer with a hydrating serum or oil.
Be Luminous Exfoliator
So, this is the product I didn’t think I’d care for. Simply as I’m primarily a fan of liquid exfoliants. The reason, I just find them a little more gentle on my skin and at times have found manual scrubs can be a little harsh and abrasive.
Be Luminous Exfoliator is a water-activated exfoliating powder. As you mix water with the micro granules in the palm of your hands, a milky cream forms. This solution can then be used to gently buff over your skin and exfoliate any areas of dry skin.
What is lovely about Keys Soulcare Be Luminous Exfoliator is that it is a mix of alpha-hydroxy acids and micro granules, so you are getting the benefits of an acid and manual exfoliation in one product.
Hojicha powder, mung brands, oats lactic acid, betaine, potassium olivate, camellia sinensis leaf powder
Be Luminous Exfoliant contains amino acids and antioxidants (camellia sinensis leaf) to help prevent free radical damage but also works to naturally fragrance. It has mung lentils that provide temporary smoothness to the skin and oats aid in resurfacing. Fatty acids from olive oil along with glycerin serve to soothe and hydrate. It does contains perfume.
A few things surprised me about this little number. First off, it really does turn into a lovely creamy solution in your hand. The microgranuals, which at first sight appear a little aggressive, are anything but. Once they’ve been doused in water and then meet your skin their touch seems light of grain. It isn’t as forceful as I had anticipated. No scratching on the delicate skin, rather a nice feeling to be honest. The solution magically seems to dissolve as you gently massage and you are instantly hit with hydration, which feels quite a surprise for a scrub.
After a quick splash, I have to admit, I’m taken aback. My skin feels rather delish. It’s smooth, any dry areas are buffed away and goodness I have both glow and hydration.
I also feel firmly put in my (judgemental) place.
Keys Soulcare Comforting Balm is a bit of a multi-purpose gem. They say it can be applied to lips, elbows, cuticle and heels. Essentially areas that are dry or tend to need a little TLC.
Camellia seed oil, rose of Jericho, avocado oil, shea butter, vanilla, castor seed oil, beeswax, olive oil, perfume, sunflower seed oil, ascorbic acid.
Comforting Balm is a nourishing balm filled with rich oils and butters to hydrate and moisturise the skin.
I’m a complete lip balm addict. I have chronically dry lips thanks to an autoimmune disorder so I’m never without a lip balm, I mean never… I, therefore, am an avid user and tester of said product and have expectations.
I prefer for there to not be a strong fragrance. I want both a hit of hydration and moisturising, occlusive ingredients to lock that in. Any reparative ingredients are an added bonus. I also want them to feel nice on my skin and layer well if I choose to wear lipstick on top.
With that in mind:
Comforting Balm is pleasant to use. It gives a nice amount of moisture to the lips and they stay hydrated. I have been able to wear lipstick as it isn’t thick, heavy or sticky. There is a vanilla fragrance, however, it is mild and quite natural, think baking vanilla, but soft (not teenage body wash fragrance). I’ve enjoyed it on my lips and I think for most people that level of moisture would be more than enough. I still need my lanolin-based occlusive at night (which I’ve often popped on top of it and what a lovely combo that makes!).
I have loved using it on my cuticles and elbows, it’s been a treat to smooth it over my nails on an evening before bed and I’ve certainly noticed a difference in their condition.
On being “clean”: “All of our products are soulfully formulated with ingredients that have your health and safety in mind. We exclude parabens, phthalates, sulfates, formaldehyde, nonylphenol ethoxylates, triclosan, triclocarban, toluene, coal tar, lead, mercury, acrylamide and hydroquinone, and over 1680 ingredients per the European Union Cosmetics Regulation list.”
Some of their products are vegan, the only ones that aren’t vegan contain beeswax and Manuka honey, these are listed in the product description.
Formulated Without: parabens, phthalates, sulfates, formaldehyde, nonylphenol ethoxylates, triclosan, triclocarban, toluene, coal tar, lead, mercury, acrylamide, hydroquinone.
Keys Soulcare is cruelty free.
In the UK the priciest product is the Sage + Oat Milk Candle £35, coming in next, the Skin Transformation Cream at £30. The cheapest, Comforting Balm at £10. Mid-range items are the Golden Cleanser £20 and Be Luminous Exfoliator £22, Reviving Aura Mist £22.
I think the prices are pretty on point with others in the same standing in the market. I was surprised to see the price of the exfoliator as I do think that’s going to last. A quick comparison with a few items from other brands with a similar aesthetic shows that the price point seems quite fitting.
Kora Organics Turmeric Glow Moisturiser £52, Kora Organics Balancing Rose Mist £30 ( Available here)
Honest Beauty Everyday Radiance Moisturiser £32, Calm & Go Face Mist £20, Magic Beauty Balm £16 (Available here)
Ok so some of the blurb is a bit out there “take the time to polish your skin and your spirit” but at the same time I do find skincare to be a lot about self-care, so take it as you will. The affirmations are nice and the idea of wellness + skincare is timely, goodness do we need it.
I was a bit judge-y, I wouldn’t have bought the products immediately because I wasn’t particularly interested truth be told: that isn’t because I don’t like Alica Keys, I think she’s blinking awesome-have you seen how incredible she is tickling those piano keys?! Oh my, to have an ounce of her talent! It was more, that I felt the celeb brand market is oversaturated and I did feel it was “yet another celeb brand”. The celebrity launches I tend to rush (ok, wait eagerly on my laptop 10mins prior to launch time-here’s looking at you Eldridge) tend to be those who are working artists in their field. So they know the products inside out, they are creating for their kit and the consumer: Lisa Eldridge, Mario Dedivanovic, Jen Atkin, Sam Mcknight and so on. I simply would’ve waited for the reviews to come in before I decided whether or not to purchase.
But guys, I wholeheartedly hold my hands up, I’m impressed. These aren’t your typical rushed out pieces, or private labelled products, they’re really good. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying all three.
I do roll my eyes at the hard ‘clean’ sell but I do that with every brand that does this, it’s just not regulated and a bit of a consumer push for sales at present but it does sit with the ethos of Keys Soulcare, of health, wellbeing, affirmations, soul.
“We’ve got an even bigger story to tell with offerings on mindful beauty rituals, body positivity, and healthier ways to sleep, eat, exercise, etc. — really, to just be the highest vision of yourself.”Keys Soulcare
Do you know what? It’s different, they’re different, it feels like a community effort with collaborations on their blog from grassroots organisations to chats about femininity. Perhaps, this, Keys Soulcare, is the kind of brand that is needed in a 2021 world.
If I were to choose a favourite from one of the three, it would be the Skin Transformation Cream, it is just really blooming lovely! My skin is thankful for it every day. The Be Luminous Exfoliator is a nice treat (and the product that surprised me the most!) but as an exfoliator, it’s one I use occasionally and the Comforting Balm is just that, comforting.
Well Miss Keys, it appears that I’ll keep falling in love with Keys Soulcare…
Bit too much?
Keys Soulcare is available:
Fancy making your bath and body routine more eco friendly? Find out all about L’occitane’s Eco-refill range in this post: L’occitane Eco Refills – Sustainable Beauty