October 20, 2015

Skin Care Products with Natural Ingredients from Koru Naturals {Product Review}

As you should know by now if you are a regular to my blog, we are a natural ingredient family. We try to limit our exposure to chemicals in our home-from cleaners to our hygiene items. Earlier this year I enjoyed testing a shampoo and conditioner from Koru Naturals, and when they offered their Skin Clear CreamManuka Honey Propolis SoapManuka Honey and Manuka Oil Facial Cleanser, and the Manuka Honey, Tamarind and Manuka Oil Facial Toner, I was eager to review it and put it to the test. Maybe I could find a new line of body/facial care products that met my standards!
Koru Naturals Product Review

Product Information

Koru Naturals is a company with deep New Zealand roots. They began to bring in things like active manuka honey, lanolin, tea tree, manuka oil, rosehip oil and Rotorua mud from New Zealand to the United States, in order to share in the richness of what New Zealand had to offer in the line of beauty products. In 2002, they opened their store for the world to enjoy and have been providing high quality natural products ever since.

As was discussed in my review earlier this year, they carry a top of the line Emu oil as well as a Manuka Oil and Honey Shampoo and Conditioner. I encourage you to check these out.

Here is some information about a few more products that Koru Naturals offers!

Skin Clear Cream
In order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original release of this product, Koru Naturals has released their most advanced formulation of this creme. It still contains the original ingredients of raw unpastuerized manuka honey and pure steam distilled Manuka Oil, but also contains several more botanical ingredients including: Kawakawa and Harakeke, Burdock Root, Thyme and Canadian Aspen Bark. --Please note that the product says not to use on children younger than 12 years and NOT to use it when pregnant.

This creme is ideal for acne prone skin with its powerful moisturizing ingredients to help improve the appearance of blemished skin. Contains no parabens, artificial colorants or fragrances (4oz tin, $19.20)

Manuka Honey Propolis Soap
Honey and Propolis are reknown for their health benefits--especially for the skin. They have been combined to provide a moisturizing and gentle cleansing soap! (4oz bar, $7.90)

Manuka Honey and Manuka Oil Facial Cleanser
From the same collection that brings you the Skin Clear Cream comes this gentle cleaner that offers a deep cleaning action without irritating or damaging sensitive skin. Free of parabens and artificial colors. (4 oz bottle, $13.60)

Manuka Honey, Tamarind and Manuka Oil Facial Toner
Designed to clean the skin and shrink the size of pores, this product has been designed to condition your skin prior to applying moisturizers. It's been designed for a broad range of skin types and the new formula also contains Vitamin B3 and Beta Carotene to provide even more protection. (4oz bottle, $13.20)

I reviewed the Skin Clear Cream, Manuka Honey Propolis Soap, Manuka Honey and Manuka Oil Facial Cleanser, and the Manuka Honey, Tamarind and Manuka Oil Facial Toner.

How Did I Use This Product?

I was pretty excited when my box of products arrived. I love beauty products and since I have been looking for a good facial cleansing set, I was eager to get started with these! As encouraged by each item, I did a test spot on the inside of my elbow to make sure I wouldn't have any allergies. After a recent experience where I had an allergic reaction for THREE MONTHS to a hair product (before I could figure out what was causing the problem), I take these trials seriously.

After waiting 48 hours, it was clear I had no allergies and I went ahead and gave it a go. I started by using the soap in the shower to not just cleanse myself, but to use as my lather for shaving my legs. I prefer to just use soap and it's difficult to find one with enough lather for what I want. The soap lathered right now and smelled heavenly!! I had a very good shave with it and it didn't appear to dry my skin out. The soap is dual toned--a clear-ish gold on one layer and a cream on the other layer. I lathered with the cream one for my legs!

Now it was time to see how the cleaner/toner/cream was going to work...I pulled my hair back from my face and was ready to go! I have healthy skin without skin sensitivities. This is my normal fresh from the shower face so you can see...
I have pretty good skin...and a cheesy smile.
The bottle recommends applying with hand or cotton pad in an upward motion on problem areas...so I started by doing one squirt on my hand. To see how much was needed, I stuck with a single squirt, rubbed my hands together and then applied it to my face. It was a light lather, but easily covered my whole face--my problem areas are my forehead and chin, so I rubbed in that area a little more. I waited the suggested two minutes, and then rinsed it off with lukewarm water. It felt very clean, but not dried out.
Just a dab...and a nice light lather for my whole silly face.
I followed the cleanser with the toner. The suggested method of use is to apply to a cotton ball and then rub on face and let dry, and follow with a moisturizer. Easy enough--and so I did just that. Only I went with 2 or 3 squirts. Then I simply rubbed it all over my face--especially my problem areas. I looked at the cotton ball to see if it grabbed any more dirt--and it had!

Once it was dry I decided to "moisturize me" (bwahahahah. Inside joke--make sure you leave a me a comment if you got it) with the new Skin Clear Cream.

Opening up the tin, I noticed that it wasn't quite what I was expecting. There was a clear lid layer with an attached little paddle about as long as my pinkie finger. Guessing this was for dipping, I did just that. The consistency was that of...well. Super thick cream. Kind of what I would expect if someone could "whip" honey into a cream. I decided to see how thick it was by dipping my finger onto the paddle and applying from there. I was surprised HOW much the tiny bit covered! I ended up scraping the paddle back in the container because I only needed a dime size amount to rub into my whole face and neck!

This method of using each of the four items has been my method the last few weeks. In the last two weeks I have been using the cleanser and toner in the morning AND evening. Sometimes just the toner. The cream I have used lightly on my face, but also on my neck where I had a HORRIBLE reaction that damaged my skin earlier this year.

What Are My Thoughts on This Product?

I am going to analyze each product individually...

#1 Manuka Honey Propolis Soap
Ingredients List: Sodium Palmitate, Sodium Cocate, Water, Glycerin, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Propolis extract, Manuka Honey, Tetrasodium EDTA, Pigment Yellow 1, 11680, 2512-29-0, EXT D&C yellow 5, Food red 1, 14700, 4548-53-2, FD&C red #4, Pigment yellow 42 FEOOH, 77492, 20344-49-4.

This soap smells HEAVENLY! Like serious;y. The bathroom smells incredible after I use it! So it's very pleasing to my senses to use it. Downside--the scent. I looked at the ingredients (see above) and fragrance was added which is a bummer, because I avoid products with added fragrance. I also noticed that while the color was a gorgeous golden, the soap does have dye in it to help it be that color. The soap doesn't have "good" ingredients like I prefer--as in no fragrance, no dyes, no artificial ingredients and such--and really the added things like honey and propolis don't really make it that much better than a typical sensitive skin soap.

Long story is that it DOES smell heavenly, and provides incredible moisturizing to my skin--without needing to follow up with lotion. I don't have sensitive skin or any current issues, so I can't tell you how it works for that...but I can tell you that when I started using it on my legs, my husband commented that my legs felt super smooth--more than normal. It was that noticeable. But because of the added dye and fragrance, my boys will not be able to use it with their skin allergies to these two items.

$7+ per bar is a bit steep for me, especially pairing it with the less than stellar ingredient list of things we try to avoid in our family. I know I won't be purchasing this soap in the future.

#2 Skin Clear Cream
Ingredients List: Aloe (Aloe Barbadensis), Leaf Juice*, Kawakawa (Macropiper Excelsum) Essential Water, Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Oil*, Grape (Vitis Vinifera) Seed Oil, Honey (Manuka 20+), Lactobacillus/Salix Alba Bark Ferment Filtrate, Emulsifying Wax NF, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Organic Shea (Butyrospermum Parkii) Butter, Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris) Extract, Burdock (Arctium Lappa) Root Extract, Manuka (Leptospermum Scoparium) Leaf Oil, Harakeke (Phormium Tenax) Leaf Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Polyaspartate, Bergamot (Citrus Bergamia) Oil, Roman Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis) Distillate, Sweet Almond (Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis) Oil, Niacimide, Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Flexuosus) Oil*, Aspen (Populus Adenopoda) Bark Extract, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid, Zinc Oxide, Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) Root Extract*, Diheptyl Succinate, Capryloyl Glycerin  (*organic ingredient - 73% organic)

I am just your average consumer without any real skin issues, so I can't give you a raving "Oh this helped me so much!" kind of review. So here is what I can share. I am impressed with the ingredient list. I looked up the non-plant items and found them to all (from what I can see) to be rated very very low on the scale of toxicity. As in like, they are mostly plant derived. This is rare for a skin cream/lotion. I also like that the plant ingredients in this are all super good for your skin health!

*Please note that this product comes with the warning that it is NOT recommended for children under the age of 12. Nor is it recommended for pregnant women.

I found the cream to have a consistency of not quite a thick lotion, but not quite cream. It seemed to get thicker or thinner based on the temperature. Kind of like what coconut oil does. A little tiny dab went a LONG way and it LASTED. Like it put a "barrier" on my face of moisturizer. I had to keep adjusting how much I used to find a quantity that didn't feel...greasy. Even though it wasn't really like greasy. That's how it felt until I got the quantity right.

I loved how good it felt on my neck--especially on the side where I had the damage from my allergic reaction earlier this year. I didn't really use it for my face except for a tiny tab on my chin each night. But definitely on my neck and elbows. It really did the trick, but I couldn't say it was STUNNING results. Just very pleasing.

This tin is going to last me a VERY long time, making the price VERY worthwhile.

#3 Manuka Honey and Manuka Oil Facial Cleanser
Ingredient List: Aloe Juice, Lavender, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocopolyglucoside Tartrate, Sodium Cocopolyglucoside Citrate, Avena Sativa (Oat) Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Vegetable Glycerin, Active Manuka Honey, Manuka Oil, Hydrolized Wheat Proteins, d-Calcium Pantothenate (Pro-Vitamin B5), Vitamin E, EDTA

I love that this is in a squirt bottle and that it's small enough to easily fit in my travel bags and medicine cabinet. I love the design of the little tin bottle. The ingredient list contains quite a few chemicals, but after checking them through a website that ranks the toxicity, most are just a 1 which is pretty much the best score you can get. The cleaner is also free from parabens and artificial colors which is another plus. I find these ingredients to be so much better than even a lot of the "good" cleaners out there promoting themselves as being natural.

I love that one squirt does my whole face in a good lather. I find that my face FEELS very fresh and clean when I'm done and I have found that it appears to be helping me manage my normal chin breakouts a bit better.

I'm not quite sure it would be worth the $13.60, but it is very hard to find a truly good and non-toxic cleaner these days. You get what you pay for, right? I don't know if I will buy another bottle yet...but we will see how my continued use helps me with my chin breakouts. Chin breakouts are so annoying.

#4 Manuka Honey, Tamarind and Manuka Oil Facial Toner
Ingredients List: Aloe (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice,*, Vegetable Glycerin, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Beta Carotene (Pro Vitamin A), White Willow (Salix Alba) Bark Extract, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Manuka (Leptospermum Scoparium) Leaf Essential Oil, Honey (Manuka 20+), Phenoxyethanol, Tamarind (Tamarindus Indica) Seed Extract, Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus) Fruit Extract, Chamomile (Chamomilla Recutita-Matricaria) Flower Extract, Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Leaf Extract*, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA 

I haven't used toner since I was a teenager, so I actually forgot what it's supposed to be good for! Looking it up, it's recommended to use after cleansing the face and to help shrink pores. To help condition the skin for moisturizer. I always just remembered it to be the final step to make sure you got all your oils and dirt. LOL. Evidenced by the color of your cotton ball when you are done.

I think this one smelled good. AND it was not primarily alcohol as so many toners tend to be. My face didn't feel dried out after I used the toner. Oh and I used about 2-3 squirts on my cotton ball. I think it really is helping me out with maintaining a low oil level on my chin especially. My normal mid month breakouts--thanks to you know what--didn't seem to be as bad this past month! Yay!

Price wise--again. The $13.20 for 4 oz is a bit more than I'd like to pay...but with the ingredients being so much better and that it squirts a controlled amount, it may be worth it. I will again wait and see how my face does long term before deciding whether or not I will purchase another one!

Would I Recommend This Product?

Soap? No.
Skin Care Cream? Yes (unless you are pregnant).
Cleanser and Toner? Yes with reservations--until I learn how long it's going to last me and how my skin likes it long term.

I will try to remember and come back and add an update when I've used it longer. Will I continue to use these products until they are gone? Yes.

Want to Know More?

You have learned my thoughts about the Skin Clear Cream, Manuka Honey Propolis Soap, Manuka Honey and Manuka Oil Facial Cleanser, and the Manuka Honey, Tamarind and Manuka Oil Facial Toner available from Koru Naturals. I encourage you to visit my fellow review crew members to hear how they liked these products as well as the other three sets of products some were given to review!
Koru Naturals Review
To stay in touch of Koru Naturals, you can follow them on these social media outlets:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/korunaturals

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/korunaturals/

Once again Koru Naturals has provided some products with better ingredients to be used for a daily beauty regime! If you are seeking out a company that cares about what goes into their products, and I mean--seriously. the good kind of cares--than I encourage you to check out Koru Naturals!
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