Despite the dramatic shift to WFH culture keeping me indoors and in sweats for a majority of the day, I am actually busier than ever. My role as an editor of TZR keeps me on high alert and on my toes round the clock, which is why I like to take my moments when I can. Not surprisingly, these times of quiet and calm often manifest in my daily routines. I've managed to turn everything into a ritual. My weekly hair wash days, my morning walks with my dog, dinnertime — I like to turn even the most mundane activities into opportunities for self-preservation. Even my morning and evening skin care routines have become indulgent mini spa sessions, thanks in large part to my recent review of buzzy skin care line Keys Soulcare.
The newly launched label, created by Alicia Keys, was designed to make daily skin care a more holistic and ritualistic experience that aims to nurture the soul as well as the body. So what better brand to employ to build my own self-love practice?
I do not have sensitive skin, so when it comes to trying new formulas, I don’t really worry about flare-ups or adverse reactions (although I do experience the occasional breakout now and again). However, as a 35 year-old, I am concerned about hydration and radiance-boosting benefits to keep my skin looking healthy, glowy, and youthful — so ingredients are important to me.
That said, considering the founder of Keys Soulcare is Alicia Keys herself, my hopes were riding high on the efficacy of the product line. (Keys famously stopped wearing makeup some years ago to events and special engagements, and her effortless glow is definitely something to aim for.) I also appreciate that the products are free of potential endocrine disruptors like parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and toxins like formaldehyde, and that they include natural calming agents, detoxifiers, and hydrators like turmeric, green tea, chamomile, oats, and Manuka honey.
To give Keys Soulcare a solid and thorough effort, I decided to try it for a week. I tested out every single product and turned my skin care sessions into “me time.” This is definitely more involved than my regularly scheduled skin care routines, which typically consist of a quick layer of serums, eye cream, moisturizer, and sunscreen (during the day). At the most involved, I’ll take some 10 minutes to apply each product. This regimen, however, complete with exfoliant, mask, and facial massage, is an undertaking — but sometimes that’s exactly what we need. Below, I’ll walk you through my “Soulcare” routine and show you how it left my skin. Hint: I was not disappointed.
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Keys Soulcare Review: Set The Mood
If there was a fan club for candles, I’d be president. I always have a candle burning somewhere in my apartment, so when I heard that the Keys Soulcare roster included a Sage and Oat Milk Candle, I was sold. To get myself into restorative mode, I lit the yummy scented dream, put on a podcast (they relax me), laid out my skin care, grabbed my favorite comfy robe, and allowed myself to just settle into the moment. My brain is always going a mile a minute thinking about some task I need to handle or a phone call I have to make, so I usually have to be intentional about allowing it to slow down.
Keys Soulcare Review: Cleanse & Exfoliate
As popular as they may be, I have to say I’m not the biggest fan of rich oil or cream cleansers. I just don’t feel that they get my skin clean. I typically use these thick formulas to remove makeup and then follow up with a foaming cleanser to get things done. I love the gel-like Keys Soulcare Golden Cleanser because it eliminates the need for that first step and makes my skin feel especially clean. I followed up with the Be Luminous Exfoliator, which is a water-activated powder that turns into nice foamy texture. Again, as someone who likes squeaky clean skin, I really loved how smooth and refined my complexion felt after rinsing this gentle lather off.
Next up was the Harmony mask, a rich purifying blend that includes Manuka honey, activated charcoal, and — wait for it — gold. Detoxifying masks can often give skin that tingly, tightening, itchy feel that’s not always comfortable. But this formula felt more soothing and cooling. I left it on for about 10 minutes and washed it off with warm water. At this point, the glow from my routine was starting to kick in. My complexion had a nice sheen to it and felt soft and supple to the touch.
Keys Soulcare Review: Moisturizing Massage
For the last leg of my “Soulcare” session I gave my skin some much needed nourishment. Like I said before, I’m in my mid-30s, so I don’t mess around with hydration and moisture. I pack my skin with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, moringa oil, retinol, vitamin C, and everything else that’ll keep crow’s feet at bay. Keys Soulcare does not yet offer a serum or facial oil, so I added a favorite of mine to the mix to layer on the moisture.
According to brand instructions, the Obsidian Facial Roller should be used with the brand’s Skin Transformation cream “for a deeper massage, enhanced absorption, and accelerated benefits.” So, after applying my oil, I applied the moisturizing cream (the fragrance-infused version, although there is a fragrance-free option) and, before the formula could fully absorb, I worked the roller over and around my face. To promote lifting and contouring, I used gentle upward motions on my forehead, along the hallows of my cheeks, and along my jawline.
As a final step and for an extra blast of hydration, I spritzed my face with the Reviving Aura Mist and applied the Comforting Balm to my lips. I have to say, I’m incredibly impressed by the glow that results from this 15-minute routine. My skin looks dewy and supple, and actually continues to be so throughout my day. But, more importantly, I feel calm and ready to take on the rest of the day after completing it. Now, that’s true Soulcare.