Esho Sculpt Review

Esho Sculpt is a lip treatment created in collaboration with Deciem and Dr. Tijion Esho, cosmetic doctor. Sculpt is a treatment with actives and peptides sold as an alternative to invasive lip fillers. This product claims to encourage lip volume in minutes and over the long term, as well as enhance shape and tone. Sculpt can be used in conjunction with another Esho product, Drench, to encourage hydration, which I have also used.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Tripeptide-29, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, PEG-12 Glyceryl Dimyristate, Methyl Nicotinate, Stevioside, Isosorbide Disunflowerseedate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Butylene Glycol, Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides, Copernicia Cerifera Wax, Aroma (Flavour), Hexapeptide-3, Acetylarginyltryptophyl Diphenylglycine, Disodium Acetyl Glucosamine Phosphate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Adansonia Digitata Fruit Extract, Hibiscus sabdariffa Flower Extract, Commiphora mukul resin extract, Swertia Chirata Extract, Ornithine, Arginine, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Aspartic Acid, Phenylalanine, PCA, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Fructose, Glucose, Maltose, Trehalose, Urea, Allantoin, Levulinic Acid, p-Anisic Acid, Simmondsia Chinensis Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Glycolipids, Phospholipids, Lecithin, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Decyl Glucoside, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Citric Acid, Potassium Phosphate, Sodium metabisulfite, Sodium sulfite, Sodium Chloride, Ethoxydiglycol, Triethanolamine, Aminomethyl Propanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Alcohol, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Potassium Sorbate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol. 

Methyl nicotinate produces redness and inflammation of the lips for a short time by causing capillary dilation and an increase in blood circulation. Stevioside is a sweetener from the stevia plant. This product has amino acids and sugars.

This is very sweet-tasting, fruit-flavored (guava I believe) that I think would have been better in mint or at least less sweet, and I don’t particularly want glucose and fructose by my teeth.

Esho sculpt
Top photo – before; bottom photo –  3 minutes after application. The photo doesn’t do it justice, but all around the lip got red up to the nose and there was a slight increase in volume.

I’ve been using this for 4 months, morning and evening. On my first use, I put too much on and then made the mistake of touching my tongue to my lips which then went a bit numb. My lips got quite red all along the lip line and up to my nose and my lips felt wind-burned. On subsequent uses I applied less, but the redness still occurred up to my nose and my lips felt wind-burned, albeit less so, and over time my skin got used to it. It was nothing I couldn’t handle and not a deal-breaker. The initial maximum redness, slight volume increase and wind-burned feeling lasted about 5 minutes and the lips went back to normal after about 15 minutes.

Sculpt absorbs quite quickly and then leaves a dryness. Deciem recommends using Drench over Sculpt for “additional hydration,” to me implying that Sculpt would be a bit hydrating, which I didn’t find to be the case.

Top photo – before; bottom photo – results after 4 months

I was actually very surprised by the after photo, as I saw no results in the mirror, but after 4 months there is increased volume, uniform color and nice shape. My results are more subtle than other before and afters that I’ve seen.

It seems the partnership between Deciem and Dr. Esho has ended, and the Esho products will not be continued through Deciem; perhaps Dr. Esho will continue the formula and sell the lip treatments. If so, I would purchase Sculpt again.

 

 

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Esho Drench Review

Esho Drench is a lip treatment created in collaboration with Deciem and Dr. Tijion Esho, cosmetic doctor. This product claims to offer lasting water hydration, unlike traditional lip balms that use “mainly waxes and oils to mask dehydration.”

Esho drench 1.png

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Lactococcus Ferment Lysate, Panthenol, Glycerin, Polyurethane-34, Stevioside, Sodium Hyaluronate, Arginine, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Aspartic Acid, Phenylalanine, PCA, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Fructose, Glucose, Maltose, Trehalose, Xylitol, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Polyglutamic Acid, Urea, Allantoin, Niacinamide, Rosa Canina Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis Leaf Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Copernicia Cerifera Wax, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Cetyl Palmitate, Ceteareth-20, Ceteareth-12, Cetearyl Alcohol, Decyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, Carbomer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Ethoxydiglycol, Citric Acid, Triethanolamine, Aminomethyl Propanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium metabisulfite, Sodium sulfite, Sodium Chloride, Benzoic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Aroma (Flavour).

esho drench

Drench contains a number of oils, amino acids and sugars (I’m not sure I particularly want glucose and fructose by my teeth all day). Stevioside is a sweetener found in the stevia plant. Urea increases moisture on the skin’s surface, but can also be irritating. Acrylates/C10-30 binds to water and oil and is used as a stabilizer and increases viscosity. Trisodium ethylenediamine disuccinate improves the efficacy of preservatives and antioxidants. This uses phenoxyethanol as the preservative.

I’ve been using Drench for a bit over 3 months, 2 to 3 times a day. I’ve also been using Sculpt from Esho, a product that claims to encourage lip volume.

Drench is not an oily product, but a thick liquid treatment. It has a strong fruity, guava flavor (many people don’t like the flavor); I think it would be better in mint. It goes on smoothly and absorbs into the skin quite quickly, but leaves a bit of dry stickiness behind. I didn’t find this hydrating at all. While it didn’t make my lips worse than normal, they didn’t feel moisturized and I may as well not have had any product on. I ended up putting on another lip treatment, Quench, over the Drench for the last few days, and my lips felt hydrated and protected – Quench likely did the work though.

While the company seems to imply a lip treatment of waxes and oils only masks dehydration, oils can be very moisturizing and healing and waxes (like beeswax) can be conditioning and provide a protective barrier.

Esho Drench will not be a repurchase for me, and I’ll be sticking with my Quench from Your Best Face Skincare.

Akita Roll On Deodorant Review

Akita is a skincare company founded in Turkey specializing in rose water and rose oil skincare. They have four different product lines; rose, lavender, cacao and unscented and use natural plant-based ingredients. I bought a number of Akita’s rosewater products, one of them being the roll on deodorant. Only available in the rose scent, this deodorant is the first all natural deodorant I tried after making the move from conventional deodorant/antiperspirant.
Ingredients : Water, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Potassium Alum, Olive Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil.

According to the Akita website, this is an all natural, alcohol-free, preservative-free and aluminum-free roll on. Standing out in the ingredients is potassium alum, another name for potassium aluminum sulfate. This is a natural mineral salt with molecules too large to be absorbed by the body. So all natural, yes, but I’m not sure I’d call this aluminum-free (though of note, when a deodorant is described as aluminum-free, they are usually talking about the synthetic forms of aluminum used in antiperspirant).

This is a liquid roll on deodorant that smells like a rose garden. The scent isn’t too over-powering once under the arms. It dries fast and has no residue. I found the scent lasted for about 3 or 4 hours when working at the office, and didn’t last over a workout or walking outside in hot weather and didn’t help the odor of stress sweat. When reapplying I found it kind of covered up the sweat smell under a layer of rose, but didn’t take the body odor away.

I wouldn’t repurchase the Akita Roll On Deodorant, and have since found a great all natural deodorant, Routine Cream.

*image courtesy http://www.akitacanada.ca

Routine De-Odor-Cream Review

Routine is a small Canadian company specializing in all natural deodorant with a number of formulas (baking soda, reduced baking soda, baking soda free, vegan) and many different scents, so there is a routine for everyone.

After using conventional antiperspirant and making the switch to an all natural deodorant, the Akita roll-on, I was looking for something where the scent would last longer. I’ve never had skin sensitivity, so ordered from Routine’s baking soda line, Like a Boss and Sweet Jane. These also contain clay and beeswax.

Like a Boss ingredients: cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), zea mays (corn, non-gmo) starch, kaolinite (kaolin clay), cera alba (canadian ethical beeswax), theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), calendula officinalis (marigold) infused olea europaea (olive) oil, tocopherol (vitamin e), citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, lavandula officinalis (lavender) oil, pelargonium roseum asperum (rose geranium) oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, citrus reticulata (mandarin) oil, citrus sinensis (sweet orange) oil, mentha viridian (spearmint) leaf oil.

Sweet Jane

Sweet Jane ingredients: cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), zea mays (corn, non-gmo) starch, kaolinite (kaolin clay), cera alba (canadian ethical beeswax), butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), calendula officinalis (marigold) infused olea europaea (olive) oil, tocopherol (vitamin e), theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, flavor (organic vanilla, pear), vanilla planifolia oil, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract.

Like a Boss is a unisex, stronger smelling deodorant that I bought for use at the gym. I was worried it might smell too masculine, but I found it just fine for me, smelling like geraniums with an undercurrent of rosemary. Sweet Jane smells like brown sugar and vanilla cupcakes. Both of these contain kaolin clay that helps absorb a bit of sweat, and beeswax. They are both quite solid, with a bit of powdery grittiness from the baking soda.

After about a month of using the baking soda formula, my underarms turned very dark with what looked like thickened skin. I was surprised, as I had no redness or itchiness; symptoms that might be linked to sensitivity. I emailed the company asking if this might be due to the baking soda, which they confirmed it might be, and kindly sent me a sample of the reduced baking soda line, Superstar, and the baking soda free, The Curator.

Superstar is made with charcoal, prebiotics and reduced baking soda. The scent comes from the tonka bean, and smells like vanilla and a bit spicy, kind of like cinnamon. This is my favorite scent of the deodorants I’ve tried thus far. Superstar has a creamy, smooth texture that is dark grey in color, but doesn’t turn the underarms grey.

Superstar ingredients: cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, magnesium hydroxide (dietary magnesium), kaolinite (kaolin clay), zea mays (corn, non-gmo) starch, maranta arundinacea (arrowroot powder), cera alba (canadian ethical beeswax), sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), calendula officinalis (marigold) infused olea europaea (olive) oil, tocopherol (vitamin e), activated charcoal, inulin alpha-glucan oligosaccharide (prebiotic), cetearyl olivate (and) sorbitan olivate (natural olive based stabilizer), brassica glycerides (natural cruciferous vegetable emulsifier), pogostemon cablin (patchouli) oil, vanilla planifolia, elettaria cardamomum (cardamom), vetiveria zizanioides (vetiver) root oil, dipteryx odorata (tonka bean), roseum asperum (rose geranium) oil, salvia sclarea (clary sage) oil, melaleuca ericifolia rosalina) oil, piper nigrum (black pepper) oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract. 

I just want to point out that topical activated charcoal doesn’t detoxify skin; makes for a nice color and clever marketing though.

The Curator is baking soda free (the baking soda is replaced with magnesium) and smells like marigolds and eucalyptus. This is a good deodorant to use while at the gym. It feels more smooth going on than the bit of grittiness in the baking soda formulas.

the curator
The Curator

The Curator ingredients: cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, magnesium hydroxide (dietary magnesium), kaolinite (kaolin clay), zea mays (corn, non-gmo) starch, maranta arundinacea (arrowroot powder), cera alba (canadian ethical beeswax), theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), calendula officinalis (marigold) infused olea europaea (olive) oil, tocopherol (vitamin e), cetearyl olivate (and) sorbitan olivate (natural olive based stabilizer), brassica glycerides (natural cruciferous vegetable emulsifier), eucalyptus globulus leaf (eucalyptus) oil, aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, pogostemon cablin (patchouli) oil, pelargonium roseum asperum (rose geranium) oil, tsuga canadensis leaf (black spruce) oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract.

I also ordered a couple samples to try, A Girl Named Sue (reduced baking soda) and Blackberry Betty (baking soda free). A Girl Named Sue smells like raspberries and sage and Blackberry Betty smells like blackberries.

I use a pea-sized amount rubbed onto the underarms. As for residue, I find that this de-odor-cream will leave white marks on clothes unless it is left on for a minute to be warmed up by the underarms and rubbed in a bit more.

For each deodorant I tried, I used one application for the whole day in a number of different scenarios; at the office, at the gym, out hiking in 30ºC full sun weather, with different combinations of all scenarios to get a sense of how well each deodorant worked. I am very happy that each deodorant definitely exceeded my expectations; I had no sweat smell at all, even after doing leg day at the gym. The scent of the deodorants lasted 12+ hours, with some fade of the lighter scented ones, A Girl Named Sue, Superstar and Blackberry Betty. Even though these scents faded, my underarms didn’t smell like sweat at the end of the day. While the clay in the deodorants absorbed a bit of wetness, this isn’t an antiperspirant, so I still felt some moisture. I found as well that if, for example, I woke up sweaty and stinky, once I put the Routine deodorant on, the sweat smell was gone; not just covered up (as I’ve found to be the case with conventional antiperspirants). In fact, I found this deodorant worked much better than conventional deodorant to keep the sweat smell away.

My favorite combination I’m using now is a half pea size of The Curator and a half pea size of a Girl Named Sue. It’s a great combination that provides a more feminine scent without the fade of a lighter scented deodorant for days when I need a bit more sweat smell protection, like at the gym.

I’ve already made a repurchase of Routine cream and will continue to do so.

Akita Natural Hand Cream Review

Akita is a skincare company founded in Turkey specializing in rose water and rose oil skincare. They have four different product lines; rose, lavender, cacao and unscented and use natural plant-based ingredients. I bought a number of Akita’s rosewater products, one of them being the hand cream from the rose line. I get very dry hands no matter the season and in the colder months will get very dry, peeling skin.

Ingredients: Water, Apricot Seed Oil, Glycerin, Beeswax, Cetyl Stearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Mono Stearate, Olive oil, Ceteareth-20, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Aloe Vera Barbendensis, Rose Essential Oil, Hazelnut Oil, Centaury Oil, Sesame Oil, Chamomilla Extract, Sweet Almond Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract.

These ingredients are all natural and this product claims to soften skin and protect the skin’s natural moisture balance while accelerating healing. Along with a number of oils, this product contains beeswax. Beeswax provides a protective barrier and can act as a humectant (attracts water). Centaury oil comes from the yellow centaury flower and is used primarily in the treatment of burns and wounds.

I got the rose hand cream in the hopes that it would sooth my dry hands and prevent further peeling and soreness in the winter months. I use this primarily twice a day, in the morning and evening. This is a very strong-smelling product; not unpleasant, but a very strong rose smell that lingers for a couple hours. The cream is very thick, so a little goes a long way. It absorbs nicely and almost immediately without feeling greasy, but leaves a bit of a protective layer that is not heavy feeling. This protective feeling lasts even through a couple hand washes. For me, there was immediate relief of dryness and pain that very dry hands can cause. The cream is very smoothing and indeed prevented new peeling skin and dry spots on my hands. I didn’t find much difference in the signs of aging my hands; the bit of wrinkling and thinner skin around the knuckles, but I didn’t really expect to. This hand cream would be a good preventative for some of the signs of aging, however. I really like the Akita hand cream and will definitely repurchase.