It’s a new year, but I got the same ish on my mind: dishing about the good-for-you products I try! As I fall deeper into my love affair with cleaner skincare and aggressive label-reading, I couldn’t hide my excitement when a rep for Nyakio (Neh-Kay-Oh) kindly sent me some skincare samples to try. After researching Nyakio, understanding their ingredients, and incorporating their products into my routine for the past month or so, I had to share my thoughts with you!
Read on for my experience using Nyakio’s Cold Pressed Oils Discovery Kit, Kenyan Coffee Face Polish and Red Ginseng Line Smoothing Eye & Lip Cream. Spoiler alert: I’m kind of into this stuff.
Founded by and named after first-generation Kenyan-American, Nyakio Grieco, the collection fuses her family recipes with ethically-sourced ingredients and skincare secrets from all over the world. Peruvian quinoa. Tamanu oil from India. Ghanian baobab oil. Egyptian chamomile. Sweet almonds from Spain. The list goes on…and seriously makes me want to do some eco-beauty/farm-to-face exploration on my next trip abroad.
This line features five collections that work together to hydrate, revitalize, smooth and provide anti-aging benefits and is said to be suitable for all skin types. The line is also advertised as cruelty-free and formulated without sulfates, phthalates, parabens, mineral oil, petrolatum, formaldehyde, and butylene glycol. Many products in the line are also vegan.
For those unaware, Nyakio is part of the Sundial Brands family (alongside SheaMoisture) which was recently acquired by the CPG giant, Unilever. If you’re interested in learning more about how Sundial and Unilever plan to empower women of color entrepreneurs through this deal, check out this article on Forbes.
Most items in the line run from USD $22-$49. Currently, the entire line is exclusively sold at Ulta. While Ulta is my jam, this is an obvious drawback for my friends abroad, as Ulta is U.S.-based with limited international shipping at the moment.
Cold Pressed Oils Discovery Kit
As someone who primarily uses almond or argan oil as a facial moisturizer, I am a huge fan of oils in lieu of creams for my dry, sensitive skin. Naturally, I was pretty happy to see the oils among the samples. This kit retails at $19 and contains one .15 ounce bottle of each of the following oils:
- Marula & Neroli Brightening Oil: claims to minimize the look of discolorations, age spots and uneven skin tone in a lightweight formula comprised of South African marula oil and Moroccan neroli oil.
- Maracuja & Yangu Soothing Oil: claims to nourish and condition the skin while minimizing the look of redness with Rwandan maracuja oil and South African yangu oil.
- Manketti & Mafura Anti-Aging Oil: claims to target premature signs of aging – from wrinkles to loss of firmness and dullness – by utilizing indigenous ingredients from Zambia and Mozambique.
All three oils are noted to be suitable for all skin types and the kit even comes with little droppers, which I loved. Due to my dry, sensitive skin with pigmentation/unevenness, I was drawn to the Brightening and Soothing Oils. I have been using them daily for about a month now and just love how glowy and plump my skin has been looking and feeling! For both oils I have used, I found that they absorb into the skin quickly and sealed in moisture throughout the day and night. As for the scent, all oils have this light, relaxing and clean scent, which I enjoy.
I use 3-4 drops of the Brightening Oil in the morning on clean skin. After just a few uses, my skin began to look as though it had a nice glow to it. After just a few weeks, I even noticed the fading of some pesky scars from a breakout I had in November. So, yes, I am impressed…so much that I’ve just picked up a full-sized bottle!
At night, I apply 3-4 drops of the Soothing oil onto clean skin, concentrating on my driest and/or reddest areas (nose, cheeks, and forehead). Cleverly, the green color is supposed to work as a color corrector to balance out any redness. I didn’t notice a drastic reduction in redness, but my skin feels less irritated and tight from dryness when I wake up in the mornings.
If you are curious about incorporating oils into your skincare regimen, want something that gives you a lot of options to play with and comes packed with skin-loving ingredients, I highly recommend this little kit.
Kenyan Coffee Face Polish
I always struggle to find gentle, moisturizing exfoliators, so I was so excited to test this out. Per the product claim, this facial exfoliator has a naturally derived formula that combines Kenyan coffee, which is rich in antioxidants and caffeine, along with Jojoba and moisturizing shea butter. This particular product is gentle enough to use 3-4 times a week. It is recommended that you apply it gently in circular motions, avoiding the eye area.
Coffee scrubs have been all the rage lately, and its no surprise. Caffeine does wonders for the skin. When applied to the skin topically, it tightens the skin and reduces redness and swelling because it restricts small blood vessels. Caffeine is also loaded with antioxidants, which help to fight premature skin aging like wrinkles, sun spots, and fine lines.
I won’t beat around the bush anymore. I love this scrub…and, paired with the Brightening Oil, it is my ultimate skin pick-me-up. I have been using it 3 times/week in the mornings before using the Brightening Oil. On the days I use these together, I find that my skin looks particularly radiant and well-rested. It buffs away the dead skin on my cheeks, forehead, and nose without being over-drying like many scrubs can be. It also has the same scent as the oils, so there was no war of the smells type of situation to worry about, either.
I may need to make this a regular in my skincare line-up, too. This 4.0-ounce tube retails for $32. The only drawback, in my opinion, is that the applicator tends to over squirt after you twist the cap shut, so if you aren’t careful you can end up wasting some of this gold!
Red Ginseng Line Smooth Eye & Lip Cream
I struggle to find an eye cream that I like and use consistently, and as I get older, this scares the crap out of me. The star in this cream is Red Ginseng from China, which supposedly has a number of skin-perfecting benefits, including anti-aging properties. Its first ingredients few ingredients include caprylic/capric triglyceride, sunflower seed oil, and glycerin which signals to me that this product will help replenish my skin’s lost moisture.
As with most anti-aging products, however, I personally feel that it is difficult to assess efficacy without prolonged use. So, at this point in time, what I can honestly say is that this unscented cream leaves my delicate under-eye and frown-line area feeling incredibly soft. It is so rich and creamy that the teeniest bit is all I need, so I suspect this will last long. Seriously. I have barely made a dent in nearly a month. This exact size (.44 ounce) retails for $39.
The only con for me was that I wish there were clearer instructions on the packaging for how to use this for the lip area. I had to watch Nyakio’s video on Ulta.com to figure it out. Apparently, this is not a lip balm…oops!
For anyone considering trying some new skincare items in 2018, I hope Nyakio is on your list. As always, drop me your comments below!
FTC: This is not a sponsored post, but I was gifted the PR sample products reviewed in this post. All opinions herein are my honest take on the products after nearly a month of consistent use. There are no affiliate links in this post; all links are purely informational.