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Review: Kerastase Aura Botanica Range

I think most people would agree that Kerastase haircare is ‘up there’ when you talk about luxe haircare. I think of scientifically advanced formulas and salon like hair when I hear the brands name, so I better have that post hairdresser ‘swish’ and ad like shine after using the products – they ain’t cheap! 😛 I was curious to try this range because it contains a combination of oils in each product. My hair generally likes oils because they are nourishing and give your hair enough ‘slip’ to prevent tugging and dryness (which leads to breakage). The range is also marketed as being silicone free and the ingredients are 96% ‘naturally derived’. I’m not so fussed about this, because I don’t necessarily dislike silicone (silicone coats each strand to also provide slip and protect from breakage) but hey, if the products work even better than ‘standard’ formulas, then great!

The Aura Botanica collection fulfills a growing desire for responsible luxury. Offering truly effective care to enhance natural, lightly devitalized hair to leave it with a healthy glow. Elevating the sensorial, it introduces the sublime sensation of “nude” hair, uncoated and free of residues. Resplendent, glowing hair, reawakened to its natural beauty.TRUE NATURALITY with formulas composed from an average of 96% natural origin ingredients. Active ingredients are sourced from a responsible purchasing program. All formulas average 97% biodegradable. No Silicones. No Sulfates. No Parabens.TRUE PERFORMANCE, with proven active ingredients which deliver 48 hours of durable nutrition, 72 hours of anti-frizz control and 4 times more shine.TRUE LUXURY in a complete sensory experience; indulgent textures and a bespoke fragrance, enveloped in elegant packaging. The experience is enhanced by a customized in-salon ritual and relived, as moments of pure wellbeing at home. Pleasure made even more beautiful with the exquisite quality of responsibly sourced coconut and argan oils.

Bain Micellaire: This gentle cleansing shampoo, naturally coloured by caramel pigments, is a unique alliance of natural origin surfactants that transform into a luxurious lather to cleanse away impurities, while preparing the fibre for optimal conditioner penetration to preserve nude touch and healthy glow. Unlike in most sulfate-free shampoos, sulfates have been replaced with natural origin sufactant agents creating it’s remarkable light, airy yet substantial lather. Must always be used with Soin Fondamental. 

Let’s first start with the shampoo (Bain Micellaire). The shampoo has your typical shampoo like texture – a little gel like and perhaps a little more runny than ‘regular’ shampoo. I’m not sure what they are on about re the ‘caramel’ pigments, because the shampoo is clear… confused It foams up a little, despite not containing sulfates (which are drying). I probably use a little more product when using this shampoo, because it doesn’t spread as easily over the scalp like shampoos with added sulfates do (the ‘foam’ usually helps distribute the product over your hair).

It’s my least favourite product of the range, only because the naturally derived cleansers leave hair feeling matte and dry. It’s just a feeling I don’t particularly like, even though I’ve experienced this kind of ‘matted’ texture before when using ‘naturally based’ shampoos. I thought this shampoo might not leave your hair feeling dry because it does contain coconut and argan oil, but alas. Again, this is also probably because it doesn’t contain silicone too. I still use it of course, as I always condition my hair after shampooing, so it’s not a deal breaker 😉 It would be a deal breaker if it were a shampoo that contained silicones and sulfates, only to leave my hair feeling dry. A benefit of this shampoo however, is that if you experience any dermatitis or have a sensitive scalp occasionally, the ingredients are gentle. It’s also a good one to use before colouring your hair, to get rid of any silicones and build up product (thank you salicylic acid!). In summary, the shampoo leaves hair feeling clean and does a great job at removing oils (I get quite an oily scalp). I wasn’t sure it would, because we’ve been conditioned to think foam equals clean, but it does!

I’m hoping that the description of the shampoo (above) re ‘always use with Soin Fondamental (conditioner)’ means always condition hair after shampooing for optimal results and healthy hair, not ‘only use with our conditioner from the same range’ because that’s bossy…!

Above: Ingredient list of the Aura Botanica Shampoo

Soin Fundamental: This 97% natural origin treatment’s creamy, indulgent texture coloured by natural caramel is richer than a conditioner, but lighter than a masque. Thanks to the certified organic coconut and argan oils, it immediately melts into hair, repaired with Bain Micellaire, to infuse 48 hours of deep, durable nutrition. Instantly facilitates detangling and improves hair quality. Hair is more nourished, stronger and shinier. The surface is smoothed, frizz is weightlessly controlled for an uncoated touch and healthy glow. 

Soin fundamental translates from French into English as ‘fundamental care’. They just gotta be fancy you see 😉 Again, I don’t know what they are on about with the caramel pigments, because the conditioner is a white cream (I’m starting to think whoever wrote the product description was high…). I really like the texture of this conditioner – a thick cream (it doesn’t ‘run’ at all) because it feels nourishing and super conditioning. It doesn’t weight down very fine hair, despite me using quite a generous amount of product. This is also quite a feat, considering it contains sunflower oil, coconut oil and argan oil. Hair is easily detangled afterwards and super smooth. This would be a brilliant conditioner to use in tropical conditions and in the summer, when frizz can appear and be difficult to control. I have noticed that my hair is shinier after using the Aura Botanica Shampoo & Conditioner. Blonde hair (such as mine) reflects less light than other hair colours, so I don’t usually notice a nice shine and reflection after washing my hair, but I do notice it now, which is quite impressive! Kudos to Kerastase for living up to this claim! I should also mention that my hair is chemically treated and damages easily, so I hope this ‘treatment’ helps my hair in the long run to be healthier and stronger. This conditioner or treatment (I don’t know what it call it now) is a keeper in my books!

Above: Ingredients of the Aura Botanica Soin Fundamental 

Concentre Essentiel: A multi-use 99% natural origin oil blend that nourishes, boosts cosmeticity for thicker or lightly sensitised hair. For medium hair – add one drop of Concentre Essentiel to Soin Fundamental. For thick or sensitised hair – add one drop to Bain Micellaire and one drop to Concentre Essentiel. It can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment for all or on the body.

I really wanted to try this oil mixed in with the conditioner, because for some reason, I never thought of doing something like this earlier! The conditioner is pretty moisturising and nourishing as it is, so I was curious to see if it would make my hair oily if I mixed the oil into my conditioner also. I wanted to add ‘only one drop’ into my conditioner but this is difficult because of the pump dispenser. You can’t get ‘just one drop’. I probably get like 3 or 4 drops… I mix the two products together in the palm of my hand, and then leave it in my hair for up to 5 minutes. It surprisingly doesn’t leave my hair flat or oily. Hooray! It maybe isn’t as ‘fluffy’ as it would be without the oil, but that doesn’t bother me.

Above: Mixing the Soin Fondamental (conditioner) and Concentre Essentiel together.

I’ve tried using the oil only through the ends of my hair once my hair has air dried a little and it does a nice job at smoothing out my hair and giving it a little more shine. I wouldn’t use it twice in a row though (i.e. mixed into my conditioner and then as a styling treatment) as then I think it would be to much. Do note, that the oil doesn’t contain silicone either, so it won’t feel quite as smoothing and silky as MoroccanOil. If you’ve used pure argan oil in your hair, this oil gives a similar effect and feel. It’s no where near as oily or heavy as pure coconut oil.

Above: Description of and Ingredients of the Aura Botanica Concentre Essentiel

Summary: All the products have a rosemary/herbal scent, but it’s quite light and refreshing. It could be the sweet orange essential oil that stops it from smelling too much like food 🙂 You can see why they went for this scent instead of a more synthetic perfume, being a range focused on ‘naturally derived’ ingredients and oils.  I really, really like that the ingredients are sustainably sourced – very often ‘all natural’ and ‘green beauty’ brands don’t discuss sustainability when it comes to plant based ingredients (hence to me, ‘all natural’ is just a marketing term). The oils in the range make it hydrating and nourishing, but not heavy. I’m really surprised at how shiny and healthy my hair looks after using the products. The products work really well together as expected, but I really like the conditioner and oil in particular. I like the option of mixing the oil either into my conditioner or using it on it’s own. The oil probably isn’t ‘revolutionary’ in that it works in a quite similar way to pure argan oil and it is quite expensive for only a 50ml bottle, so there are cheaper options out there (for example, a 100ml bottle of pure and sustainably sourced argan oil costs $58 from Argan Life). In summary, this naturally derived haircare line is much better than any ‘natural’ drugstore haircare line that I have tried. Do you need all the products from the line? Probably not. It’s lovely to have all the products of course, especially if you have a sensitive scalp and prefer plant based products that do not contain sulfates or silicones. The shampoo (Bain Micellaire) costs $44, the conditioner (Soin Fondamental) costs $50 and the treatment oil comes in at $79 at Adore Beauty. I’ve seen an Aura Botanica hair mist online, so I’m hoping we see that on our shores eventually! A hair mist should be lighter than the treatment oil, in case you are worried 😉 I’d definitely try it out!

I have to admit that I like salon or high end haircare. I do think it makes a difference to your hair. What about you beauties? Would you splurge on this line or just pick a product or two? Let me know! 🙂

Beauty Bee~

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