“If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin” is the mantra behind this pure line started by the eponymous Dr. Saul Alkaitis, a research scientist from UCLA. As one of the few ‘doctor’ lines in green beauty, I was naturally very drawn to this concept of food grade beauty products where everything was conceptualized in terms of feeding skin the way one does to nourish the body.
Luckily for those interested, Dr. Alkaitis offers what I consider to be one of the most generous sample solutions available, their comprehensive Travel Kit which includes:
- Facial Cleanser
- Herbal Toner
- Soothing Gel
- Nourishing Treatment Oil
- Day Creme
- Eye Creme
- Night Creme
- Cellular Repair Mask
All pump products are housed in their signature forest green bottles while the cremes and mask are in more temporary housing. The kit also includes a product guide along with a mini-press brochure which basically includes magazines and celebrity clients which is basically a who’s who of supermodels. The designated “7-12 Day Supply” is actually a misrepresentation in my opinion as the products can easily be used for longer. Now onto the products!
Dr. Alkaitis’ Facial Cleanser gets points in my book for being an actual cleanser and not just a balm/oil make-up remover masquerading/marketed as a cleanser which I consider a misleading to customers. This formula is actually a liquid castile soap yet with beneficial ingredients like a natural vitamin complex, think of it as a gentler fancier version of Dr. Bronners.
The cleanser does have slippage and is low foaming which are both good for massaging into skin without pulling. It’s great for those with naturally oily skins but those who are more on the dry side may need to use this only for more powerful cleansing or as cleanser after make-up remover. I find this particularly good for disinfecting skin if you happen to have breakouts, but for everyone else, be sure to follow with a more acidic toner to rebalance skin as the soap base isn’t great for skin’s acid-mantle. (Good thing they have a toner in the line, keep reading!)
At the time this was released there were not too many green cleansers around but now there are more sophisticated formulas that can give a good gel or cream texture without castille soap, such as Tracie Martyn’s cult favorite Amla Cleanser or a personal favorite YULI Halcyon Cleanser.
The Herbal Toner is a light brown watery fluid that is described as toner, astringent, skin balancer, and anti-inflammatory. I quite like this and found it to be a fantastic product to have especially for summer. The astringent and anti-inflammatory qualities mean this helps prevent breakouts during the summer when skin is buried beneath sunscreen and sweat. The only reason I’m reviewing this with the Soothing Gel is that I feel like these two are essentially the same product only the soothing gel is a thicker gel texture compared to the more fluid toner (see pic above). Their ingredients are very similar, they both have astringent, skin balancing, anti-inflammatory qualities. They even look and smell alike.
So here’s my take: do get one of these as they are wonderful for calming skin and making pores feel cleaner but do not purchase both the toner and soothing gel as they’re essentially the same. If you want something more moisturizing go with the soothing gel, if you want something lighter go for the herbal toner. On the other hand if you are very minimal and want to cut down on products and your skin tends to be oilier, purchase the soothing gel and call it a day with the moisturizer whereas the herbal toner is not enough to moisturize on its own. If your skin is more problematic – soothing gel is stronger than the toner and has more anti-bacterial properties which makes it better for acne, but if your skin is more sensitive the gentler toner is your go to, make sense?
Lovely, fantastic, all types of good words are deserved for this fantastic versatile oil that works equally well for body and face. I prefer this for my body because the ingredients can cause some hyperactivity if ingested (I do admit to feeling a ‘buzz’ when accidentally getting some near my lips). What I like about this oil is the high amount of infusions – seriously cool. This process is only done by Dr. Alkaitis, RMS Beauty, and YULI as far as I’m aware among the SBL roster. The smell is herbal like the rest of the line but in such a way that is very in line with aromatherapy. Seriously, if you purchase this just inhale it… it just strips your soul of everything weighing it down. Is it a pretty smell? No. Is it a wonderful smell? Yes. Which one is more important? The latter.
The oil is on the thicker side (thus the ‘nourishing’ aspect) but I doubt it will clog skin or cause any breakouts. Another bonus, as far as I’m aware this is one of the rare oils out there that does not contain citrus oils which I consider mostly used for fragrance and not results as the oils are photo-sensitizing. Well made, at $90 for 4 oz: economic for a face oil, decent for a body oil. A very worthwhile consideration for purchase.
Here’s what you need to know about the Dr. Alkaitis cremes: they’re variations on consistency and slight ingredient differentiations but pretty much all shea butter whipped creams. Don’t like shea butter or the smell of unrefined shea butter? Then these are not for you. Otherwise, you’re bound to enjoy the uncomplicated moisturizers that aren’t formulated with any fragrance compound (pure shea butter scent). The differences between day creme and night creme besides slight secondary ingredient changes are that the day creme is lighter than the night creme, and the night creme contains citrus seed extract and Vitamin A. So really if you’re looking to only purchase one, go for the day creme. If you have dryer skin and wear sunscreen anyway, go for the night creme because the formulas are very similar. For myself personally, the day cream provides enough moisture and I’m one of those people who believes skin needs even less moisture at night so I don’t suffocate it with a heavier product.
However a product you should not skip out on is the Eye Creme which is easily one of my favorites in the entire line. Yes, again similar shea butter texture, but this stuff just works and that is what’s important. Dab a little under eyes (seriously, use sparingly – I’ve barely made a dent using this for 3 weeks) and it glides easily around the entire eye area. No irritation, no stinging, but immediate comfort and moisture. Use at night if you wear makeup during the day, but other than that, very difficult to go wrong with this product, highly recommended.
Dr. Alkaitis’ masks come in 5 flavors and they’re activated powders. They masks are essentially skin foods as they’re just biologically available botanical ingredients mixed in a dry powder form and activated with water. The Cellular Repair Mask is essentially a ‘berry mask’ and it is reported to repair, regenerate, and fortify skin. The ingredients really do conform to the idea of food based ingredients as the berry powders could easily be mistaken as a smoothie supplement.
This mask (like all of Dr. Alkaitis’ masks) needs to be kept moist the entire time since there are enzymes that need the water to be kept active. This makes it a less messier and high maintenance than most masks. Truth be told, using it by itself didn’t impress me too much. It was gentle, and I’m sure I did my skin some favors but I didn’t see or feel anything. Here’s how I recommend using the mask: as a base. I wanted to finish what I had of it so I mixed in some Suti Face Oil along with a rich peptide cream that was too heavy for my skin when applied alone, 20 minutes later and I’m looking at seriously glowing, gorgeous skin. I also like to mix the mask with other powders because the Dr. Alkaitis masks are basically skin foods so I’m just introducing nutrients to whatever else I mix it with, and when used in this way, the results are phenomenal.
I hope for those of you who haven’t given this line a try yet, my review helped zero in on some key products you’d like, if not well… have I mentioned that this travel kit only costs $55 for samples of all of the above? Try it out for yourself, you’ll probably find much to love from this well made line!