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The Skin Revolution Akasha Versatile Cream ($60) is an artisanal, light-weight moisturizer featuring more than 48 organic, active ingredients.
The Skin Revolution is an interesting brand. Their philosophy is to load their products with skin-friendly actives to achieve a natural balance to the skin. For example, rather than using a gritty scrub, they suggest you smooth on enzymes which will dissolve dirt and impurities, allowing your skin to sustain itself naturally. Each product in their line is pH balanced to be friendly to skin so as not to disrupt the skin's protective acid mantle. The line was formulated by Michael Marano, a licensed esthetician and perfumer.
The ingredient list for Akasha Versatile Cream is long -- from sea buckthorn to powerful anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, Usnea Lichen (also known as Usnea Barbata) and much in between-- but appears to be nothing artificial in it and the fragrance is naturally-derived. I found it to have an earthy smell fresh from the bottle that did not linger. There are many pulps, tinctures and extracts in this formula. The cream's fresh ingredients are preserved with radish root ferment.
Many of the ingredients will be familiar to the TIA community, including milk thistle, marula and baobab oils and slippery elm. The formula also includes two different mushrooms: Reishi Gano mushroom tincture and Wild Raw Chaga mushroom. Mushrooms, if you didn't know, are the new black!
Both mushroom ingredients are known for their immunity-enhancing properties. Reishi Gano has a melanin suppressing factor which can be helpful for fading hyper-pigmentation. The Chaga mushroom must be the wild, raw variety for effectiveness. It is a great source of superoxide dismustase, a naturally-occurring antioxidant and enzyme. Both of these mushrooms are used in Chinese medicine as cancer treatments and there are Western medicine studies that actually do show an effectiveness.
The box and website suggest The Skin Revolution Akasha Versatile Cream can also be used as a cleanser and make-up remover. I tried it once or twice as a cleanser, but at $60 an ounce, I think it's too expensive to leave on for mere moments. It works very well as a moisturizer. I used it daily as a moisturizer underneath sunscreen.
Akasha Versatile Cream is lightweight with a mousse-like texture, dispensed from a airless pump. I found the packaging to be a little cheap, but when I reminded myself that each batch of the cream is handmade, I changed my mind from "cheap" to "charming." It spread easily and was quickly absorbed. It didn't pill or flake under several different sunscreens or make-up. I don't often wear foundation, but when I did, it was a nice primer. It kept my skin adequately moisturized throughout the day. It was gentle enough to use around my eyes and was not irritating at all. In fact it was soothing.
There are ingredients to counter all skin conditions: acne, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, scarring and so forth, but I think those effects might more likely be seen with longer-term use. Using all natural, organic ingredients appeals to me, but I wonder how they achieve reliable product consistency if, say, the cantaloupe used in this batch got less sun or water than the cantaloupe used in another batch.
I didn't really see any dramatic changes in a month. However, I do feel my skin, which can be oily one day and dry the next, came into balance. It soothed redness and, along with some other products I was using, lightened and brightened my face for a more youthful appearance. I like to think that some of the ingredients like the Reishi mushroom and sea buckthorn boosted my sun protection.
I found nothing not to like about The Skin Revolution Akasha Versatile Cream. I appreciate the philosophy behind the products, and would be interested in trying other products in this small line.
The Skin Revolution Akasha Versatile Cream: Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Cocos nucifera (Organic Coconut) Oil, Camellia sinensis (Organic Green Tea) Extract, Cetearyl Olivate*, Sorbitan Olivate*, Cetyl Palmitate*, Sorbitan Palmitate*, Olea europaea (Organic Olive) Oil, Sodium Anisate (Basil)*, Sodium Levulinate (Corn)*, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate (Preservative)*, Vitex Castus Extract, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Tocopherol, Liposomal Phosphatidylcholine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Reishi Gano Mushroom Tincture, Jujube Tincture, Maral Root Tincture, Living Phytoplankton, Organic Wild Raw Chaga Mushroom, Wild Organic Oregano, Organic Spice Emulsion, Hawthorn Extract, Organic Usnea Lichen Tincture, Gingko Biloba Extract, Neem Extract, Stone Crop Tincture, Yerba Mate Tincture, Cucumber Tincture, Olive Leaf Tincture, Sea Buckthorn Pulp Oil, Carrot Maceration Oil, Raspberry Seed Oil, Tamanu Nut, Meadow Foam, Watermelon Seed Oil, Marula Oil, Andiroba Oil, Organic Baobab Oil, Yangu Oil, Cucumis melo (Honeydew) Extract, Molasses (Saccharum Officinarum) Extract, Cucumis melo (Cantaloupe) Extract, Organic Aphanizomenon flos aquae (Blue Green Algae) Extract, Organic Urtica dioica (Nettle) Extract, Organic Stellaria media (Chickweed) Extract, Organic Ulmus rubra (Slippery Elm) Extract, Organic Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle) Extract, Organic Althaea officinalis (Marshmallow Root) Extract, Organic Avena sativa (Oatstraw) Extract, Vitis vinifera (Green Grape) Extract, Avena sativa (Oatmeal) Extract, Ficus binnendijkii (Fig) Extract, Chaulmogra, Helichrysum, Palm Stearic Acid, Xanthan Gum (Polysaccharide Gum), Organic Alcohol, Citric Acid, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Rosemary Oleoresin, Lecithin, Olus Oil, Vegetable Oil, Cyclodextrin. *ECOCERT Approved Contains essential oils. For external use only, avoid contact with eyes.