Well, this is an odd one. TIA sent me a set of trial-sized facial products for dry/mature skin from a company called Aurume Skincare Elements. The timing was good: I have dry, mature skin (yup, I’m still 57), and I was going away for a week (incidentally, to a hot, dry climate) and not looking forward to decanting my usual stuff into travel-sized containers. The samples (mostly) lasted almost three weeks, with mixed results.

The four items in the set were a cleanser (“Fluere Amadis”); an herbal toner (“Erianthe”); a serum (“Evanesce”); and a cream (“Floresse Aegis”). Add to those mouthfuls that the products’ labels (and the artwork on the company’s website) are rendered in a pseudo-medieval script on a parchment-patterned background, and I felt the need to brush up on my Elvish. The company may have been going for a the vibe of a renaissance herbalist or alchemist (aurum, you may remember from high school, is Latin for gold, though Google helpfully informs me that Aurum Vale is a dungeon in Final Fantasy) but it felt more like Middle Earth to me. (And I suspect it’s bad marketing to select names that customers can neither spell nor pronounce.)

Whatever. The products are very reasonably priced and feature herbs and botanicals, essential oils, butters, and the like. (You will be further reassured to hear that these ingredients are not only organic and fair trade, but are reaped during the appropriate lunar phase.) And the ingredient lists appear indeed credible – all start with aloe, and contain plenty of plant extracts, oils, vitamins, etc.

The best-performing of the lot were the cleanser (though it is so very rich I initially mistook it for a night cream) and the serum (not surprising, given the ingredients, which do include vitamins, hyaluronic acid, and a host of extracts and oils; it is also the most expensive of the four and has a very strong rose fragrance, which some may not appreciate). The toner looks and smells like day-old peppermint tea (sort of murky) and I didn’t see much benefit to it. The facial cream is okay, and contains a lot of good stuff (including shea and other butters), but I found it dry and waxy on application, and I guess I prefer a more emollient feel. I will say that though I suffered a couple of breakouts, my skin did feel adequately hydrated, even during a weeks’ travel, though in three weeks I saw no “anti-aging” effects (such as wrinkle reduction or improved firmness or volume).

Those looking for all, or at least mostly, botanical formulations might want to review the brand’s other offerings as well. In each product category the website lists at least five individual formulations. And they are, as I mentioned, relatively inexpensive for “organic” herbal skincare: Fluere Amadis (cleanser) is listed at $22.95 for four ounces; Erianthe (toner) is listed at $9.95 for four ounces; Evanesce (serum) is listed at $28.95 for one ounce; and Floresse Aegis (cream) is listed at $29.95 for four ounces.

I suspect that many in the 50s-and-up category will want to see their botanical ingredients teamed with a more heavy-hitting anti-aging battery – the sorts of things TIA introduces us to regularly from science. I give the folks at Aurume Skincare Elements full credit for trying, though, and for a creative use of pidgin Latin.

Ingredients in Aurume Skincare Elements:

Fluere Amadis

Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Olea europaea (Organic Olive) Oil, Lavendula angustifolia (Organic Lavender) Extract, Emulsifying Wax NF, Aspalathus linearis (Organic Rooibos Tea) Extract, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), Calendula (Organic) officinalis Extract, Camellia sinesis (Organic White Tea) Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Ester), Panthenol (Vitamin B Complex), Retinol Palmitate (Vitamin A) Oil, Polysaccharide gum (Xanthan Gum)


Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe Leaf) Juice, Mentha piperita (Organic Peppermint) Extract, Glycerin, Salix nigra (Organic Black Willowbark) Extract, Vaccinium myrtillus (Organic Bilberry) Extract, Saccharum officinarum (Organic Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer saccharinum (Organic Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus auranium dulcis (Organic Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus medica limonum (Organic Lemon) Extract, Vaccinium macrocarpon (Organic Cranberry) Extract


Rosa damascena (Rose) Distillate, Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe Vera) Juice, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), Emulsifying Wax NF, Limnanthes alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Vaccinium myrtillus (Organic Bilberry) Extract, Saccharum officinarum (Organic Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer saccharinum (Organic Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus auranium dulcis (Organic Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus medica limonum (Organic Lemon) Extract, Vaccinium macrocarpon (Organic Cranberry) Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Ester), Phenoxyethanol, CoQ10, Beta Carotene (Pro Vitamin A), Retinol Palmitate (Vitamin A), Alpha Lipoic Acid, DL- Thioctic Acid, d-Calcium Pantothenate (Panthenol Vitamin B5), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Daucus carota (Carrot) Oil, Lecithin, Xanthan Gum (Polysaccharide gum), Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid

Floresse Aegis

Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe Vera) Juice, Rosa damascena (Rose) Distillate, Butyrospermun parkii (Organic Shea) Butter, Calendula officinalis (Organic Calendula) Extract, Theobroma cacao(Cocoa) Butter, Emulsifying Wax NF, Persea americana (Avocado) Oil, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Daucus carota(Carrot) Oil, Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Garcinia indica(Kokum) Butter, Mangifera indica (Mango) Butter, Palm Stearic Acid, Xanthan Gum (Polysaccharide Gum)