Wednesday 16 December 2020

What happened when I’ve tried Apothaka Skincare for a week

**********This post contains mostly gifted items. Gifted mentions may also be present. All links used are affiliate.********** 

Apothaka Skincare is an independent female-owned UK skincare brand loved by many skincare bloggers but are the products any good? The products promise a healthy skin barrier and who wouldn’t want that? I’ve tried almost an entire range exclusively for 7 days to see if it helps calm my often irritated skin. Here are my thoughts.

How we got here.

I fell for Apothaka Comforting Moisturiser a while back. The lotion-like formula feels so soothing on irritated skin and was my cream of choice for aftermaths of acid treatments and retinol nights. I wanted more so I went back and got it. I bought almost an entire skincare routine: newly Skin Quenching Essence, brand’s staple Barrier Support Serum, fragrance-free Comforting Oil Booster as well as hand must have SOS Recovery Nail & Cuticle Oil. I was also gifted the essential oil free Comforting Cleansing Oil and SOS Recovery Hand Cream. Then equipped in the whole routine, I started my 7 days with Apothaka on a Friday night.

Packaging and lack of big claims.

Natasha - the brains behind Apothaka doesn’t claim to be sustainable even if she does a lot more than a lot of brands put together to make her brand impacting less on the environment. From the choice of packaging (all recyclable) with mostly glass, aluminium and less plastic than most used, through the choice of not over the top postage, with small boxes and only a few, mainly paper-based branding included. She does that well and there isn’t a single Apothaka fan that won’t agree that despite that, opening the package from the brand is always such a special moment. Tightly packaged products with zero outer packagings, surrounded by just a little of paper, the pretty on-brand blue string and a tiny handwritten card make the experience special and never wasteful. I know of a lot of brands that should take notes, wouldn’t you agree? 

How I used it.

I rarely use a whole range of products at the same time but there’s definitely something special about that. Straight away I noticed how well skincare layers up. Cleanser strips away the makeup and SPF but leaves skin soft and hydrated, an essence goes next and feels super silky, but that’s only an in-between before the big event - the serum aka the silky goddess of all that’s good and I feel like I don’t deserve it. Then a moisturiser and a couple of drops of the comforting oil and I’m set for the night. Happy skin in the morning anyone?

The morning was w bit different, as I don’t oil cleanse in the morning, so my Apothaka journey would start with the essence, then serum and finally the moisturiser to keep my face in a top condition. Then a bit of cuticle oil topped with hand cream and I am ready to conquer another day of working from home. 

Testers are available.

Continuing on the waste-not ethos are the travel sizes available across most of the products. They are cheaper and allow a customer to experience the benefits before committing to full size. Apothaka prices sit firmly in medium to high-end range depending on size and the product, so it’s great to have an ability to try before spending your hard-earned cash. And at checkout, you are offered samples too, so if you’d like to try another product that will arrive with your order too. That’s exactly how I felt about the fragrance-free Comforting Face Oil which I got a sample of and fell in love with after a couple of uses. I find that most brands don’t do that, as if they were worried you’d never come back for more, but having a great formula should give you enough faith in your product to be able to offer that. It seems Apothaka knows you’ll fall in love with the product and invites you on the journey, and I like that.

Great formulas for happy skin.

Comforting Cleansing Oil is an essential oils-free formula based on Safflower, Grape Seed, Jojoba, Macadamia, Castor, and Calendula natural oils with Caprylic/ capric triglyceride to help make it such an easy to use oil to milk cleanser. A few pumps is more than enough to break down makeup and SPF and utilise the benefits of the skin-loving oils while you cleanse. Just rinse off with water to emulsify and easily remove without leaving a film yet not stripping skin of its natural moisture.

Skin Quenching Essence or a perfect companion to the serum as I’d like to call it is a brand new watery formula designed with dehydrated skin in mind. Here you’ll find a strong moisturising Glycerin base topped with NMF (Natural Moisturising Factors), calming vitamin B5 (Panthenoic Acid or Panthenon) and cooling cucumber extract to name just a few to add that extra layer of hydration. For oily skin, you may benefit from the essence alone whereas dry skin will appreciate this non-essential step before going in with the serum. On top of basics, you’ll also find the sensitive skin-friendly Urea, pore-tastic Niacinamide and even a tiny bit of Lactic acid for a gentle exfoliation all in one step. I personally find toners and essences an essential step in my routine, even if a lot of skincare specialists wouldn’t agree, and one that helped me beat dehydration. This formula is definitely up there with some of my absolute faves like I’m From Fig Boosting Essence, both in terms of results as well as luscious silky texture.

The bestselling Barrier Support Serum is probably the most well-known product of the whole range, and I truly get why. I’m yet to encounter another serum which boasts such silky texture, it’s a dream to apply and little goes a really long way. I mean it, half a pump is more than enough for your face, neck and décolletage. Here you’ll find an abundance of skin-loving ingredients such as hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, barrier repairing Ceramides (1,3 and 6) and pore-caring Niacinamide and deeply moisturising Glycerin. A small-ish ingredient list aims at calming and repairing the skin’s moisture barrier, actively preventing further damage by strengthening and soothing chronic inflammation. It’s truly a gem and one loved by many.

Comforting Moisturiser, 1 out of 2 creams available in Apothaka’s range is aimed at more dry skin to combo types with tendencies to sensitivity. Thanks to fatty omega oils, colloidal oats and ceramide complex it helps deeply moisturise, repair and strengthen skin’s barrier all in one. You’ll also discover the joy of perfect natural oils blend with Sunflower, Hemp and Jojoba at the top and other moisturising and soothing ingredients like Panthenol, Glycerin and Allantoin to further help reduce inflammation. Perfect to top up the serum, and my absolute fave for Retinol nights. It has a lotion-feel and doesn’t feel heavy at all, yet it’s rich enough for my super dry cheeks. I expected a lot richer texture but instead got something a lot lighter yet so good at making my skin feel and look moisturised. If you’re a little more oily, then it’s sister Skin Quenching Moisturiser may be the answer, but I honestly feel like Comforting one would also work well here thanks to the feather-like texture. A couple of pumps is what I use all over, and it works well in the morning (and under makeup) as it does at night.

Comforting Oil Booster is another fragrance-free option in Apothaka range. A lightweight blend of oils works so well to finish the routine with and is super gentle too while providing nourishment one would expect from a face oil. With a skin-smoothing coenzyme Q10 at a helm supported by soothing Calendula and cucumber seed oils it aims to reduce redness, restore skin’s lipid barrier, calm the irritation and say goodbye to dry and flaky bits. It’s a perfect choice for those who don’t want to use or don’t tolerate essential oils as it’s pure and truly free of any potential irritants. And it does work and does it quickly. In just a few days you’ll notice plumper and less inflamed skin, perfect for ageing and sensitised skin that may have overdone it with typically anti-ageing treatments (acids and Retinoids). I welcomed it to my routine quite gladly having recently been put off by too fragranced oils (looking at you Wishful Skin).

I’ve only just found this out but Natasha from Apothaka first started her beauty industry sharing her nails with the world. In fact, her SOS Recovery Nail & Cuticle Oil was the first-ever product I came across with my dear friends Dagmara (@mummysbeautycorner) and Lauren (@themakeupmaestro) sharing their love for this cute cuticle oil on their Instagram! I picked this up ages ago, in my first ever order and have used it since. I suck at being good and remembering to use it every day, but when I do it really makes a difference. It’s powers come from a glorious blend of oils aimed to soften the cuticles while providing nails with nourishment for healthy and steady growth. And if 2020 taught us anything, it’s the hands and nails we need to really care for if we are to satisfy the requirements of washing your hands every half hour. I have tried the corresponding SOS Recovery Hand Cream, though I still have it in the old packaging, and it’s a really good and rich hand moisturiser that will help relieve the dryness that comes from being a good citizen in 2020! I’ll be sure to try the new packaging: an aluminium tube which is probably my favourite, since it reminds me of the hand creams my grandma used (miss you, Nan!).

What I’ve noticed.

First of all, it’s important to mention why Apothaka skincare came to be. Named after apothecary, the brand came to be as a barrier repairing answer to overloaded skincare market. There are no false promises here, a curated list of ingredients aimed to restore the moisture barrier health so you can enjoy a healthy skin every day. And that it does well.

I wanted to go a full week with a stripped-down routine to see if Apothaka can do for me what it did to my skincare junkie friends. Drier winter air, central heating and let’s face it, lack of normality has got my skin quite confused this year. Sure, I didn’t help myself over-exfoliating all these years, but I felt like the stress of 2020 had a lot to do with more inflammation and irritation I’ve ever seen happen to my face. I wanted to go 7 days to see if I can help my skin calm down, reset and rewind. And that’s exactly what I’ve gotten in the end. 


You can’t tell the long-lasting effects of the skincare after 7 days, and I’ll continue to use and test the products but the truth is, I’ve used some of them for a lot longer than a week, only introducing the final 3: cleansing oil, essence and face oil at the start of my #7dayswithApothaka. The whole routine left me hydrated, with a lot less irritation and generally a calmer and happier skin. It’s hard to choose the faves, and I must admit, I love the whole routine as the products layer perfectly, but if I had to, I would recommend you invest into Barrier Repairing Serum and Comforting Face Oil first. Both had probably the biggest impact on my skin’s health over the last week or so. And if you’re feeling spendy, add the Comforting Moisturiser and the Essence to the mix and experience the joy it comes from layering those 4 products and all the befits of Ceramide 1, 3 and 6 complex, Niacinamide, Panthenol and all the other lipid barrier-loving ingredients carefully and loving chosen and tested by Natasha. 

As a brand, Apothaka stands for a totally vegan, minimalistic products and unique formulas designed to be gentle yet effective. I love the ethos with their genderless and ageless approach, one I am fully behind as I don’t really believe ingredients and products should be based on your age but more of your skin needs at the time. I may be far from minimalistic in my approach to layering, but even I appreciate a little less is more from time to time. And with two exciting new launches on the way in January (enzyme exfoliant and gel cleanser) I know where I’ll be spending my money in the New Year!

Discover Apothaka skincare here.

Thank You For Reading.

With love,

Full disclaimer:

In line with an updated CMA/ASA Non-broadcast Code, if gifted products are present, the disclaimer at the top of the post will be specific if all or some products have been sent for review consideration. In the instance there's a need to differentiate between PR and non PR, all products marked with * have been gifted to Beauty Drama Queen for review consideration, therefore are considered sponsored and displayed as a form of an unpaid advertisement.

All articles sponsored by a brand, a retailer or via a PR agency where specific product placement has been paid for on top of product gifting will be clearly branded as AD.

Products I've bought myself, but there's a current or past (up to 12 months) relationship with the brand present will be marked with **.

Products unmarked have been purchased by Beauty Drama Queen, gifted by family and friends or won in a giveaway and therefore not in the scope of the legislation.

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