Dr Alkaitis Day Cream is a very moisturizing cream, which leaves the skin radiant, while Dr Alkaitis Night Cream offers the skin, aside from hydration, nourishment and restful feeling; both creams make your skin feel like it’s just been pampered in a herbal spa. But there is a downside as well.
Dr Alkaitis Day Cream and Dr Alkaitis Night Cream which I’ve been testing are both a part of their travel kit, so the exact packaging of the regular sizes are different from the ones in the travel kit. The regular sized creams come in an air-tight bottle with a pump, whereas the travel sized cremes come in 7ml plastic containers.
The first thing I noticed about Dr Alkaitis Day Cream is its scent: it’s natural; it is exactly what you’d expect from an all natural product, containing natural ingredients – as in not containing synthetic fragrance. The scent is a very strong herbal one and along with the appearance of the cream, which is also natural – it has this very light brownish color, indicating this is a cream, which was whipped together with various herbs into an aloe vera and shea butter base; given this cream does not contain any emulsifiers or other fillers, it does not have that typical appearance you find with other creams – the very smooth and with no bumps one. The scent and the texture of Dr Alkaitis Day Cream make me think of a beauty potion created in some vintage apothecary, some 200 years ago, sans one ingredient.
The application of the day cream is also interesting and a bit tricky; even if the cream is velvety soft and light, it kind of just dries pretty quickly, so you have to spread quickly as well. The cream feels so soft and velvety on the skin! It takes about an hour to fully absorb, but can work nicely under liquid and mineral foundation; I’ve also applied it under only translucent powder as well.
Upon application, you really do feel the cream moisturizing your skin; the interesting effect the cream had was making my skin feel rested. While the consistency of Dr Alkaitis Day Cream is fairy thick, it feels light on the skin. I cannot support the claim that it reduces fine lines, as for such claim you really have to use a product for a bit longer, but I can say it does have soothing and healing effects on the skin, which is not surprising given the day cream contains such ingredients as aloe vera and calendula. Despite its oily appearance, the cream does not leave the skin oily – if anything, it helps balance the oily skin; however, you have to be very modest with the amount you apply.
Dr Alkaitis Day Cream would be suitable for basically any skin type – balancing and moisturizing for combination/oily and nourishing for dry skin. While it does contain soothing and calming ingredients, it also contains essential oils, so it may not be completely suitable for those with either sensitive skin in general or those, whose skin is sensitive to potentially irritating essential oils. When I started using the cream, after first few days, I’ve noticed a bit of a redness on my skin and I’ve ascribed this to potential peppermint essential oil in the cream; while it does not state on an ingredient list there’s peppermint essential oil present, the slightly minty scent along with the fresh and cool feeling it had on my skin, I suppose there might be a bit of this essential oil present.
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Dr Alkaitis Night Cream has a very similar appearance and scent to the day cream, given the ingredients are very similar in both creams (but the formulation differs), just that the night cream has a stronger herbal scent and the appearance is darker. The consistency of the night cream is thicker, while the application also needs to be done fairly quickly as the cream tends to dry up fast.
Where the night cream differs from the day cream is mostly due olive oil, making the night cream heavier, thicker and far more nourishing. In the morning, you feel the skin fed and soft. For those with oily skin, only a tiny amount of this balancing as well as nourishing night cream would be enough to perform well; subsequently, for those with oily skin, this cream could be used as a nourishing mask as well. For those with dry and undernourished skin, this cream would prove to be great.
Given both of these creams are of a rich texture, they would be most suitable for colder and windy days, whereas I would not recommend them for hot Summer days. Dr Alkaitis also recommends combining day and night cream with other products, such as replenishing serum; given I’ve been only testing the night and day cream and not using other products, I am, at this time, unable to tell you how well other products work with both the night and the day cream, but once I will test other products as well, I will let you know.
The absorption of Dr Alkaitis Night Cream takes longer than that of the day cream, as the night cream is thicker and more oily; about 2 hours before the skin is able to soak it up.
So all in all – both creams are of a rich consistency, provide hydration and nourishment – but – I’ve developed a few bumps on my skin along the way of testing these two products. The reason? One ingredient – grapefruit seed extract – just as it happened with Thayers toner.
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How about the ingredients? I have one issue, a big one, actually, with the ingredients, but on that later.
Dr Alkaitis Day Cream:
Organic Aloe Vera gel*, virgin cold pressed Organic Shea butter*, Organic Herbal Skin Support Complex (compounded from the organic herbs St. John’s Wort flowers*, Water Navelwort*, Horsetail*, Coltsfoot*, Marigold Blossoms* and Echinacea root*). Jojoba Oil*, Vegetable Lecithin, natural vitamin E complex (D-alpha, beta, gamma, delta tocopherols and tocotrienols from Sunflower and Palm oils) and Natural vitamin C complex (from Camu Camu° and Acerola Cherry*), Citrus seed extracts, Aroma (a blend of 100% pure Essential Oils).
* – Signifies certified organically grown. ° – Signifies ethically wild-crafted.
Dr Alkaitis Night Cream:
Organic Aloe Vera Gel*, virgin cold pressed organic Shea butter*, Organic Herbal Skin Repair Complex (composed of the organic herbs Jojoba*, Olive*, Hundred-leaved Rose blossoms ¹ , Wild Carrot ¹ , Echinacea root*, Coltsfoot*, Horsetail*, Water Navelwort*, Marigold blossoms*, and Roman Chamomile flowers*). Vegetable Lecithin, Citrus seed extract. Natural complexes of: vitamin E (D-alpha, beta, gamma, delta tocopherols and tocotrienols from Sunflower and Palm oils), vitamin A (from Carrot*, Aztec Marigold*), vitamin B (from Yerba Maté*, Chlorella*) and vitamin C (from Camu Camu¹, Acerola Cherry*). Aroma (a blend of 100% pure Essential Oils).* – Signifies certified organically grown.¹ – Signifies ethically wild-crafted
Aloe Vera has moisturizing and anti-aging properties. It rejuvenates skin. For sunburn and dermatitis treatment. Suitable for acne-prone skin. Shea butter is rich in fatty acids. It’s very nourishing, promotes skin’s elasticity. Promotes skin healing. Softens the skin. Excellent for dry and chapped skin. St. John’s Wort has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Water Navelwort has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Horsetail promotes rejuvenating and smooth skin. Coltsfoot has antioxidant properties.
Calendula is an antioxidant with antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties; suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin, burns, cuts. It has soothing and softening properties. Echinacea root hydrates and acts as an anti- irritant.
Carrot seed oil has high content of vitamins (Vitamin A and carotenes). It has anti-aging and anti-septic properties. It smooths and tones the skin. Roman Chamomile is a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory, antiseptic properties. Borage seed oil is an antioxidant, with high content of gamma linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid). It has anti-aging properties.
Jojoba oil is a skin/sebum identical ingredient. It easily absorbs and retains moisture. Smooths and softens the skin. It is suitable for all skin types, especially for oily and acne prone skin. Olive oil is an antioxidant and moisturizer with a high content of essential fatty acids. It has soothing and healing properties.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and so is Vitamin C.
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Potentially problematic ingredients? There’s something problematic in my opinion.
This is how the ingredients in day cream are listed on Dr Alkaitis official site look like:
Aloe vera gel*, virgin cold pressed shea butter*, Dr. Alkaitis’ Herbal Skin Support Complex (st. john’s wort flowers*, water navelwort*, horsetail*, coltsfoot*, marigold blossoms* and echinacea root*), vegetable lecithin. We also added a full spectrum natural vitamin E complex (D- alpha, beta, gamma, delta tocopherols), natural vitamin C complex and citrus seed extracts and a blend of 100% pure essential oils. *certified organically grown
Does this look like a legit ingredients list? It does not. So I contacted Dr Alkaitis with the following request:
I’m in the process of writing reviews of your products and would require a full ingredients list, preferably INCI.
This was the reply from Dr Alkaitis:
You can read all our ingredients on the web. We manufacture our products in the US and do not use the INCI names, just the regular ones.
You can imagine me being taken aback after reading such response. I specifically asked for the INCI ingredients list, and they sent me to read what I’ve already read – the ingredients they wanted to list on their site. The green beauty industry is awash with greenwashing; brands claiming all sorts off labels on their packaging: free from, winner of (insert a magazine or site which was paid to “review” the product), naturally derived, etc. Unfortunately, still, for too many customers, this is enough to believe that what they are buying is really natural, and the brands count on the customer either not reading the ingredients list or not understanding them. For others, it takes reading the ingredients list to see just how natural a product really is. I wonder in which category Dr Alkaitis put me when they replied the above?
When I ask a brand for their ingredients list or an explanation on any of the ingredients, I expect and demand a full disclosure. An honest brand would jump through the hoops to immediately provide any information regarding ingredients I might want. As you can see, I was not given such courtesy from Dr Alkaitis.
What does INCI stand for? This is a short description:
International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, abbreviated INCI, is a system of names for waxes, oils, pigments, chemicals, and other ingredients of soaps, cosmetics, and the like, based on scientific names and other Latin and English words. INCI names often differ greatly from systematic chemical nomenclature or from more common trivial names.
The “I” in the INCI stands for INTERNATIONAL, so regardless where the products are manufactured, INCI ingredients list applies to every cosmetic brand on this planet. Second, the travel kit in which the day and night cream are part of was manufactured in Netherlands!
Here’s how the INCI applies to USA:
In the U.S., under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, certain accurate information is a requirement to appear on labels of cosmetic products. In Canada, the regulatory guideline is the Cosmetic Regulations. Ingredient names must comply by law with EU requirements by using INCI names.
The cosmetic regulation laws are enforceable for important consumer safety. For example, the ingredients are listed on the ingredient declaration for the purchaser to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction to an ingredient the user has had an allergy to before. INCI names are mandated on the ingredient statement of every consumer personal care product. The INCI system allows the consumer to identify the ingredient content. In the U.S., true soaps (as defined by the FDA) are specifically exempted from INCI labeling requirements as cosmetics per FDA regulation.
A trivial brand would offer trivial names on their ingredients list, as that would allow them to get away with not naming the ingredients which would not comply with the standards and demands from customers buying green beauty products.
Do I look like I approach green beauty products and their reviews from a trivial stand point of view?
What exactly does a “regular ingredient” mean according to Dr Alkaitis? I’ve heard many greenwashing terms describing ingredients which are not natural but the brand wishes to sell them as such, however, a regular one – that’s a new one.
So, then I found the leaflet in the travel kit, and there’s the list of ingredients: on the left side, “regular” ingredients, and on the right side INCI. And what do you know – the “regular” ingredients list greatly, indeed, differs from the INCI one!
First, the order in which the ingredients are listed on the “regular” list and the INCI list differs; the order in which the ingredients are listed on an ingredients list shows the consumer which ingredients are represented in the product in a more concentrated amount: there a lot of first ingredient on the list and less of the last ingredient on the list.
Then there is an ingredient, for example, which is not even listed on their “regular” ingredient list – borage seed oil.
And finally – “natural vitamin C complex and citrus seed extracts and a blend of 100% pure essential oils“. Sounds innocent, doesn’t it? A bunch of ingredients listed in one sentence, so that one ingredient does not stand out.
Citrus seed extracts. Naming the ingredient behind a name citrus seed extracts just that takes the greenwashing and misleading cake. What do you think when you read citrus seed extracts? Something to do with oranges, lemons, right? On the right side of the leaflet in Dr Alkaitis ingredients list, the INCI ingredients list, this is the ingredient that is listed: Citrus Grandis Seed Extract.
Well – here is what is truly behind this “citrus seed extracts” ingredient – Grapefruit seed extract (citrus grandis) : a preservative. Just as with Honeysuckle flower extract, there’s more or less nothing natural about this very natural sounding extract. Its trade name is Citricidal (but you won’t find it listed as such on ingredients lists) – a natural extract can not be patented and sold under a trade name. An actual grapefruit seed extract goes through a synthetic process, and the biggest concern with this preservative is the possible contamination with benzethonium chloride, methylparaben and triclosan. Grapefruit seed extract could be just that, obtained from grapefruit seeds and would not be contaminated. But – grapefruit seed extract is used as a “natural” preservative and in order for the extract to have the properties of a preservative, the compounds, with which the extract is contaminated, are the source of antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
If I were to send another email to Dr Alkaitis, asking them about ingredients, in hopes I’d get an honest and detailed explanation regarding Citrus seed extracts, I’d expect them to send me to this page where it says:
All of our products are edible; we do not use any chemicals or synthetic materials in our products. Our ingredients are certified organic, ethically wild crafted and/or biodynamic. Our products are never tested on animals!
Then there’s their answer regarding Grapefruit Seed Extract:
We manufacture our own Grapefruit Seed Extract and do not use any preservatives, including Benzethonium Chloride.
On the ingredients list for the day cream, you will find Citrus seed extracts stuffed in one sentence with several other ingredients and there’s no asterix next to Citrus seed extracts, denoting it either certified organically grown or ethically wild-crafted – and even if it were, the issue is not whether grapefruit was organically grown, but the synthetic process needed in order to obtain grapefruit seed extract (think how SLS is denoted as “derived from coconut”). Likewise, on the ingredients list of the night cream, citrus seed extract is listed alone, not in a one sentence with other ingredients, and there, too is no asterix.
Why is there grapefruit seed extract in Dr Alkaitis products in the first place? As an antioxidant only? How does Dr Alkaitis manufacture Grapefruit extract? Are the seeds crushed and dried? Then what? Which solvent is used? Water, alcohol? If not, then the grapefruit seed extract was manufactured by synthetic process, in which case – the claim Dr Alkaitis products contain no synthetic ingredients is false. Here’s the short report from USDA, which includes the synthetic process of obtaining Grapefruit Seed Extract.
That’s about their products not containing any synthetic materials and in case you were wondering with what they are preserved.
So, what’s the shelf life or dr Alkaitis products? Dr Alkaitis answers:
One year. Additionally, our products do not need refrigeration but should be kept in a cool and/or room temperature environment and out of direct sunlight. We recommend from time to time you give the products a good shake before use.
That is a mighty long shelf life for all – natural products which contain no preservatives.
As far as their products not containing any chemicals, why would a chemist claim there are no chemicals in his products?
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My final word?
The issue with ingredients with Dr Alkaitis brand really took away a very positive review I’d give of their night and day cream otherwise. Aside from that, the creams perform nicely: they are both moisturizing and nourishing, and last for a very long time due to the fact you need only a small amount of them. I’ve been testing their 7ml containers for about 3 weeks now, and I’ve got the day cream for about 8 weeks more, and the night cream for about 6 weeks more. They are that concentrated.
The price? Both the Dr Alkaitis Night Cream and Dr Alkaitis Day Cream cost €80 for a generous 50ml of concentrated products; given how long these two small pots of 7ml have been lasting me so far, I could safely wager and say a 50ml would last for a year; and you could use one as a day and a night cream: those with dry skin could use the night cream as a day cream as well and vice versa.
But if there’s one product that’s very affordable with many products coming in generous amounts – it’s their travel kit. Quickly – the travel set contains day (7ml), night (7ml) and eye cream (5ml; I’ve been testing it for 3 weeks as well, and you’d think I’ve tried it once), cleanser, treatment oil, serum and soothing gel all in a 30ml bottles and 4 masks – all of this for – truly – only €60. I can’t say I’ve seen a travel set, with so many products coming in such sizes for such price. Dr Alkaitis says this travel set should last for 7 – 12 days. I’d say the creams would last at least 3 months and the oils 6 months.
So all in all, had it not been for lack of transparency when I contacted Dr Alkaitis, the fact it contains problematic preservative, I’d give the two reviewed products a higher score. Why not one green beauty blogger pointed out the inconsistency of these issues, is beyond me. I’ve spend entirely too much time on this review due to the issue with ingredients.
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Have you tried any Dr Alkaitis products? What’s your take? What’s your opinion in regards to brands not being honest and straightforward when it comes to ingredients?
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For more information on Dr Alkaitis, visit their dedicated brand page.
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Dr Alkaitis Travel Kit, which contains Day and Night Cream has been provided to Nature of Europe by Corpo Natura for the purpose of an honest review. Special thanks go to the always lovely and kind Anouk.
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