Hi everyone! How has your week been going so far? I’m afraid this is another scheduled post (but I have my iPad with me this time hoorah! ) as I am in Brisbane now. On Saturday my Mum and I will be travelling to rural Queensland to visit my Uncle (Mum’s brother) and Aunt. A lot has been happening in their lives recently so I hope they are doing okay – I guess I’ll find out! I might also get a great opportunity to practice my Japanese but you’ll all have to wait and see if that eventuates!
I want to share with you my current skin care routine because it has been working very well for me and you may wish to try it yourself. I plan to gradually transition my skin care and cosmetics products over to those which are as natural as possible, not just for my health but also to help keep my skin at its best long term. My Northern Euro skin is not suited to Australia’s climate and I avoid the sun like a vampire lol! Thus when I discovered okoii via Twitter early this year, I was very curious. Especially because their products are inspired by Japanese skin care practices. However, there are few reviews of this brand online and I was not sure if it was worth me investing my money… Anyway, after a few emails back and forth between myself and Yoko (okoii‘s founder) in which I explained my skin type and skin concerns in detail, I took the plunge!
Which okoii products did I get?
- Camelia Gentle Cleansing Oil (used to remove your makeup in the first step of cleansing), RRP AUD $35/48mL. Given amount I’ve used to date – and I wear makeup almost every day – I think this product can last the average person 3 months. It works very well, better than any other makeup remover I’ve tried. I don’t use it for eye makeup; I prefer to continue to use my trusty Neutrogena for that!
- Luxury Rice Bran Creamy Soap (next step in cleansing, once you makeup is off), RRP AUD $17.00/80gm. I also think this product would last the average person approx. 3 months. Not at all drying – amazing! Smells like Turkish Delight.
- Luxury Camelia Signature Oil (night-time moisturiser; in the day time as per Yoko’s advice I’ve continued with my usual Olay SPF 30 cream – my good ol HG day cream! + Nutrimetics eye cream in mornings) RRP AUD $59.00 /25mL. I use this on my face and decolletage; I don’t think this will last me >2 months.
Also, Yoko kindly included a Green Tea Toner (AUD RRP $45.00/100mL; will last me 2 months max I think) free of charge, as I’m not big on toners and she was insistent on it being a necessary part of the regime. (Arigatou gozaimasu, Yoko-san!) The toner usually contains Vitamin C but I asked Yoko to leave this out of my bottle – as if I use skincare products with that in it daily, my skin peels! – which she was able to do as she makes the products fresh upon receipt of order. The toner is very refreshing and I prefer the Japanese way of using toner (in which you pat it onto your face with the palms of your hands rather than use cotton wool as you do with Western toners).
I’ve previously – briefly – mentioned okoii in a past post. However, at that time I was about to place an order. Now, just over a month since commencing use and trials in winter as well as summer conditions (good ol Indonesia!), I can comment in detail.
Each product comes with a clear set of instructions on how to use it most effectively. For the first few days I had to allow more time in my day and night cleansing/moisturising routine because it took a bit of concentration; after that it was easy and only took me my usual 10 minutes. The process is so relaxing; I find the essential oils within the products to be very calming which (usually!) helps me wind down in the evenings.
I could write an essay on all the ins and outs of these products, the individual ingredients and how they work, but I think the best place to find such information is on okoii‘s website, on this particular page here. It is a detailed website and I found it helpful when considering whether or not to give the products a try!
The bottom line – how do these products perform?
Personally, I have found these products to be FANTASTIC. (Yep, caps, bold, italic and underlining worthy!) It is the first time I can ever remember washing my face and it feeling squeaky clean but neutral, not dry and tight nor oily (over hydrated). I was a bit concerned about putting (natural) oils on my face, fearing that my skin would break out and go a bit crazy. For the first week or two my skin did play up (I got 2 BIG spots – yuk!) but after that it has been fine. Even with the oil on, my skin feels neutral, again not dry nor overhydrated. The feeling takes a bit of getting used to for those with combination-oily skin (like me!) but it is very pleasant. When I wake up in the morning, the oil has been completely absorbed and my skin is not at all oily in appearance (this is different to when I was using other products).
Prior to trying okoii, I would need to touch up my face during the day with a powder compact due to my t-zone getting oily. After 2 weeks of use of the products, and since, I haven’t had to do that any more. The use of the oils seems to have actually reduced the amount of oil my skin is producing. The Thalgo products which I have previously used – and which were recommended by a beautician – had not been able to do that for me.
I believe my skin’s colour/tone and overall appearance has improved and looks healthier – I felt confident enough to not wear any makeup (bar mascara and lipgloss) for most of my time in Bali, as my skin’s been looking so good! Here’s some zoomed in pics of my skin when in Bali so you can see I’m not kidding! (Not the best photos of me haha but I want to show you the results so you can see I am serious. Also I didn’t bring my hair straightener – BIG mistake haha! ) I have not used any filters/photoshop etc.
There didn’t seem to be any difference in the effects of the products in warm versus cool weather; my skin did not feel oily in the warm/humid Bali climate and never broke out, which was something I was concerned might happen. One thing to remember with the toner, however, is that it should be kept in the fridge at all times, where possible, to preserve its life (as it is fresh and I believe without preservatives). This wasn’t a problem and I found the size of the products allowed me to take them all on board the plane when travelling internationally. (This is very handy as the oil bottles are glass!)
I have a couple of fine lines under my eyes; didn’t notice any change in these but I’ve not been getting much sleep lately so… I have noticed that I have a fine line or two on my forehead that I developed from squinting have pretty much gone (yep I have glasses but don’t wear them as often as I should!). From these observations I believe the Camelia Oil could help with reduction of the appearance of fine lines, but the degree to which it works around the eye area is ???
I do think that I will need to reintroduce an exfoliant into my skin care routine, as I still have some blackheads in my t-zone (yuk! However the amount of these hasn’t increased since starting use of the new products). I went without an exfoliant over the past month as I wanted to see how my skin would go and not bombard it with stuff.
okoii isn’t the cheapest skin care range out there BUT 1) it’s Australian made (not tested on animals), 2) it’s all natural = good for you and your skin, and most importantly 3) it seems to work very well, at least for someone in my age group (late 20s) and with my skin type (combination to oily). Please note that okoii has a broad range of products available suited to different skin types/skin care goals, so regardless of age they do have products suitable for most people.
I will be repurchasing all of these products and am now also going to explore the other products in their range given results to date! Due to the results I would add a point #4 – you are likely to save $ using okoii products as you are less likely to need to engage in facials/specialised beauty treatments on a regular basis. I’ve found the impact of these products to be GREATER than >12 months of regular Thalgo facials (and yep I’ve been a Thalgo fan for a while). By no longer needing facials I’m saving $70-$100 per facialist visit, which adds up to a large sum over a year. Of course, the range cannot replace invasive cosmetic procedures (e.g. botox – which I have never tried), but to me this is irrelevant as even if someone does engage in invasive procedures they are still going to have and use skin care products.
okoii products can be bought online at www.okoii.com and can be shipped all round Australia as well as internationally. Currently they are offering a “3 Basic Skin Care Set” for only AUD $39.00 (excluding postage) if you are curious about the brand but want to see how it works for you before committing to a bigger order.
Beautiful rating (the set) 10/10: quality 5/5, value 5/5 (to me it is great value because it produces good results and I no longer need to have facials, which did not work as well as these products do and were costing me a lot of money.)
Have you tried okoii products before? Are you a fan like me, or not?
What are your thoughts on “natural” skin care and cosmetics?