In June I posted a review on my experience with sampling the Okoko Cosmetiques skincare range after winning a great Instagram giveaway of their Mini-Kit which includes sample sizes of every product in the line. In my review I mentioned that while I found the L’Elixir De Clarte to be a lovely product with a great list of ingredients, I didn’t know how it truly performs as the sample didn’t provide enough uses to see results. I hadn’t used a chemical exfoliator in quite a long time and in my experience I need at least 7 days of daily use (sample provided about 5 uses) before I begin to see results, in terms of having smoother skin. The founder of Okoko Cosmetiques, Oyeta, generously offered me the opportunity to try out a full size bottle of her L’ÉLIXIR DE CLARTÉ. I was overjoyed and couldn’t pass the opportunity up since I truly felt it would be a promising product after my experience with the rest of the line. Oyeta is such a kind and caring soul who truly cares about helping her customers in achieving the best skin possible and seeing to it that they have the best experience with her products, so if you have problematic skin and don’t know where to begin, I highly recommend to get in touch with her because she is a wealth of knowledge and her skincare line is a testament to this! Her Instagram is full of tips and tricks so I highly recommend to check out her page.
I’ve been using the Okoko Cosmetiques L’ÉLIXIR DE CLARTÉ (The Clarifying Elixir), a skin brightening 5% AHA exfoliating toner, for a little over 2 months now with AMAZING results, so I had to share this gem with you all!
*Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Water (and) Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf Extract (and) Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract (and) Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract (and) Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract (and) Acer Saccharinum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, **Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, *Glycerin, **Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, **Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Citric Acid, Salix Nigra (Black Willow) Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, *Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Oleoresin, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, *Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot fcf***) Fruit Oil* *Certified Organic
** Made using organic ingredients
*** Bergamot FCF* is free from bergapten – it has no photosensitizing effects
*** Hand blended in small batches by OKOKO Cosmétiques in Vancouver, Canada
WHAT OKOKO COSMETIQUES SAYS ABOUT IT
“For those who won’t compromise on a top notch, impeccable appearance, our brightening elixir was designed to help you press the rewind button on your complexion. This concentrated, priceless blend may very well become one of your favourite beauty rituals. Read on to discover L’ÉLIXIR DE CLARTÉ (the clarifying elixir), a versatile beauty booster carefully crafted to promote radiance and a healthy-looking glow.
This delicate vanilla scented skin concentrate is made with 5% alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA), naturally sourced from citrus, to gently exfoliate your skin leaving it incredibly soft and smooth. L’ÉLIXIR DE CLARTÉ is an effective all-in-one brightening essence, toner and serum that prepares your face to achieve the best results from Okoko Cosmétiques.”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AHA’S (ALPHA HYDROXL ACIDS)
Alpha Hydroxyl Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxyl Acids (BHA) are chemical exfoliators that penetrate the outer barrier of our skin (known as the stratum corneum) and dissolve the bonds that keep dead skin cells adhered to it. I once read a great comparison between chemical exfoliating versus manual/physical exfoliation (such as facial scrubs and sponges) and why the former is more ideal and efficient. Chemical exfoliation is like using a paint thinner to remove wall paper, while manual/physical exfoliating is like using sandpaper to remove the wallpaper. Physical exfoliators do the job unevenly and may be harsh on the skin which can potentially cause damage to the outer barrier resulting in dehydrated skin, inflammation, texture, acne, and even skin conditions like eczema. AHA’s are water-soluble (they dissolve in water) and the list of AHA’s include: lactic acid, glycolic acid, and mandelic acid. BHA’s are lipid-soluble (dissolves in oil) and includes salicylic acid. AHA’s and BHA’s must work at a low pH to be effective. The percentage of each acid in a skincare product determines its strength. The most gentle of AHA’s are found at 2-5% and can go as high as 15%. If you have never chemically exfoliated before or if it’s been a period of time since you last chemically exfoliated, you will likely experience sensitivity so it’s best to start low and work your tolerance up to a higher strength. L’ÉLIXIR DE CLARTÉ is a great product to start with at 5%, if you don’t have an unusually sensitive/reactive skin type.
Benefits of AHA’s include:
SMOOTHS SKIN TEXTURE; HELPS PREVENT CLOGGED PORES
Moisturizing and anti-aging; ideal for dry skin types
Benefits of BHA’s include:
PENETRATES SEBUM TO CLEAR CLOGGED PORES; IDEAL FOR ACNE-PRONE AND PROBLEMATIC SKIN TYPES
HOW I USE L’ELIXIR DE CLARTE
Our outer layer of dead skin is crucial for protection, especially against UV rays, but this outer layer can become thick, uneven, dulled, and pore clogging and that’s why a lot of us want to remove some of this dead skin. When we chemically exfoliate our skin, it then becomes photo sensitive and sun exposure can accelerate skin aging, cause discoloration, and damage our skin. Because of this, only use AHA’s at night. For my PM routine, every single night I apply about two pumps of the L’Elixir de Clarte onto dry skin after cleansing. If my skin is being problematic or out of wack, it’s the only time I might skip use. I use my hands to apply it instead of cotton rounds because I find hands are quicker and better at product distribution, especially when you need to work quickly with a product that has a watery consistency such as this toner. Cotton rounds also absorb a lot of the product so I consider them to be wasteful. Because chemical exfoliators need to work at a low pH, it’s recommended to wait a minimum of 15-20 minutes before applying the rest of your skincare. Once you apply another product on top of it that’s of a higher pH, it may neutralize the pH and effectively stop exfoliating. I don’t always have the patience to wait because I feel skin discomfort when I don’t immediately apply moisturizers, but even in this regard my skin is noticeably smoother and exfoliated so waiting to apply the rest of your skincare isn’t imperative, but it could be worth trying. At the very least, wait 1-2 minutes for it to sufficiently dry and then finish your routine. When using chemical exfoliators, you must wear sunscreen for protection against the sun’s rays during the day time as our layer of dead skin cells is much thinner and more susceptible to damage (but you should be wearing sunscreen anyway ;).
Sure enough after 7 days of beginning use with this exfoliating toner, I started to see great results! My skin feels and looks noticeably smoother with a reduction in texture and is much brighter and radiant as a result. I feel that the 5% AHA is the best strength for me because it keeps my skin so smooth and bright but I’m not experiencing sensitivity/overexfoliation with 10% AHA like I had in the past. 2-3% AHA is too gentle for me and doesn’t reduce texture and dead skin as much as 5% is doing for me now. The amount of breakouts I get have also reduced with my skin being free of excess dead skin cells which are often the cause of clogged pores. With my long-term use of this toner for 2+ months now, my skin’s moisture/hydration levels have improved so much because products are better able to penetrate the skin without dead skin cells getting in the way. As a result of better product absorption and increased moisture/hydration levels, my skin is so plump and glowing.
L’ELIXIR DE CLARTE is such a true gem among the sea of green beauty products with bold claims to their names. A lot of products sound great with their list of natural botanical ingredients, but this list doesn’t matter if the product is not effective. This exfoliating toner has totally renewed my skin and has changed the way that other skincare products behave on my skin as well. It’s a staple and a must-have in my skincare collection and to boot it provides the ultimate aromatherapy experience with its delectable vanilla scent. I highly recommend it for true skin-changing results!