I am so excited to tell you about my new skin care regime, and this is coming from somebody who used a single tube of Mary Kay moisturizer for most of undergrad. I finally feel like I’m taking better care of my skin, and it’s not even hard. As a constantly-rushing person who needs a low maintenance beauty routine (there’s a reason my head is mostly shaved and I don’t wear makeup), I am super pumped about these new products. Best of all, I didn’t have to spend hours googling the ingredients to figure out if they pass muster with my non-toxic demands.
PLUS – I’ve got an awesome coupon code to share with you at the end of this post. Read on!
Full disclosure: I received an Akamai Essentials Kit in exchange for my honest review. And it will be honest. The toothpaste is a little weird (but worth sticking with – more on that later).
The Current State of Beauty
The thing about beauty products these days is that companies (at least companies in the United States) can put basically anything they want in a tube and call it cosmetics and it’s A-OK to sell and encourage people to slap on their faces. Even if it’s full of chemicals and ingredients banned elsewhere in the world.
For instance, the European Union bans over one thousand (1,000!) ingredients from being used in cosmetics. The United States bans eight. Not eight thousand. Just eight.
Something doesn’t add up here.
The mindful, healthful, and minimalist among us want to avoid exposure to toxins wherever we can, especially our face and body. The skin is one of the largest body systems we have, and it absorbs everything. The general rule is that if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, don’t put it on your skin.
Since the FDA doesn’t have our back when it comes to cosmetics, those of us who care to do the digging ourselves have to endlessly google and research to discover what’s really in our favorite products and whether we really want to use them. This problem doubles if you’re vegan or otherwise want to avoid cosmetic products tested on animals or made with animal ingredients. Cruelty free is easy. Chemical free is easy. Cruelty and chemical free? Yeesh. This is the reason I barely have a skin care regimen. UNTIL NOW.
Akamai Basics is “Personal Care Radically Simplified.” Their goal is to deliver quality performance for healthier hair, skin, and teeth – without the long ingredient lists or funky chemicals in conventional products.
How many times have you heard “Lather, rinse, repeat” and thought about what brilliant marketing that really is? You don’t actually need to wash your hair twice in the same shower, but some people take the advice to heart and before you know it, you’re buying a new bottle of shampoo (or conditioner – that ALWAYS runs out first, even if you are stingy with the portions). Smart shampoo company. Akamai is different. They design their products to be long lasting and you don’t need to use them in excess to reap the rewards.
Akamai realizes that the current beauty market says you need a special soap for each body part, different face products for different days of the week, and fourteen hair products to achieve that effortless “I woke up like this” glam. And then they give you the complete opposite, with three simple products that do basically everything.
The Akamai Essentials Kit
In the Essentials Kit, you get:
- Two 3 in 1 Bars
- Skin Fuel
- Mineral Toothpaste
The 3 in 1 Bar
The bars are shampoo bars as well as being great for general washing and shaving (I didn’t use it for shaving and my man-beast uses an electric beard trimmer, so I cannot attest to its shaving prowess, but it lathers GREAT). The folks at Akamai told me it can take up to three weeks for your hair to adjust to using a shampoo bar, but I didn’t have the greasy breaking in period you typically expect from switching to a non-toxic, non-chemically shampoo. Probably because I’ve done the baking soda (no-poo) thing in the past and was already using a “cleaner” shampoo product. My hair took to it right away and while I felt it left my hair without its usual softness after a shampoo & condition, using the Skin Fuel as a hair moisturizer immediately took care of my concerns.
I also love that their use instructions for the bar consist of “Wash the stinky bits.” They don’t recommend using this soap all over your whole body. Water actually takes care of most of that without affecting the microbiome of all our little bacterial friends. Wash just the gnarly parts (armpits mostly) and the bar will last you at least a month.
An added bonus: I found that I only needed to wash my hair twice a week with this bar. On my old shampoo I could maybe get three days out of a wash but had best luck and cleanest feeling hair with an every-other-day wash. My hair feels clean and healthy being washed with this bar (and conditioned with Skin Fuel) only twice a week. So I can take a maintenance shower to wash my body more often, but I don’t need to wash my hair as much. (Believe it or not, this is better for your hair).
I also use the 3 in 1 Bar on my face, and it’s actually clearing up my acne, which I thought would be delivering my eulogy someday as my eternal companion.
Final verdict on the 3 in 1 Bar: I give it 5 out of 5 stars.
The Skin Fuel
I had previously been using an Argan Oil hair conditioning oil after a shower, so I know the drill with this. Put a couple of pumps in your hand and run your oily fingers through your hair to moisturize. My hair feels stronger and healthier using Skin Fuel, and I use two pumps on my hair and one pump on my face. Using the moisturizer after washing my face in the shower is new for me, as I typically avoid buying moisturizer because I am cheap and hate having eight hundred bottles of product in the bathroom. Seriously, my husband has more hair and face stuff than I do. (Lots of it for his beard, which I fully support. Long live beards).
With only six ingredients, Skin Fuel is efficient and effective. Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Argan Oil, Trace Mineral/Fulvic Acid Concentrate, and Rosemary Essential Oil. Have you tried Argan oil before? It makes your hair soft and amazing like little woodland creatures came and washed it for you while you sang a happy song.
My only – ONLY – complaint about Skin Fuel is that the rosemary in it makes me think of food, and I feel like I’m marinating myself. It smells delicious! In a weird way, like rubbing something delicious on your face. Hard to explain, but it’s just a little cognitive dissonance.
Skin Fuel is also a great aftershave, according to Akamai, which I am inclined to believe as it leaves my face feeling moisturized, healthy, and NOT AT ALL OILY. Rub oil on your face so you don’t feel oily. I know, right?
I’ve tried the “Oil cleansing method” in the past, which is where you mix up olive oil and castor oil and jojoba or sweet almond oil if you’re fancy, and rub it all over your face to clean and moisturize. But once again, I have issues with time and having to put together a recipe for my bathroom routine. Skin Fuel delivers everything I need in one tiny bottle, and it’s clear for travel since the bottle is two ounces. You can’t take my soft, healthy skin, TSA!
Ways you can use Skin Fuel:
- Hair Conditioner
- Beard Oil
- Scalp Massage
- Facial Cleanser (like the oil cleansing method I described above, with NO recipe needed)
- Makeup remover
Final verdict on Skin Fuel: 5 out of 5 stars.
Okay, this is where it gets weird. I’ve used clay based toothpastes before. I’ve been interested in trying one again so I was 100% excited to try the Akamai toothpaste. While I love how it makes my teeth and gums feel, I am still not sold on the flavor after trying it for a solid month.
The pros: My teeth and gums feel healthier, there is no more bleeding when I brush, and my teeth are whiter.
The cons: This flavor is so weird. It’s got several essential oils in the ingredient list: peppermint, cinnamon, clove, anise, and tea tree. The result is a very overwhelming flavor profile that kicks your ass the first few times you brush.
HOWEVER: These essential oils are not random choices, they are specifically selected to reduce plaque, freshen your breath, and prevent cavities. They work, and you can tell they work.
The amount of thought that went into designing this toothpaste is amazing. It contains raw coconut oil, which is a natural anti-bacterial agent, along with sea salt that stimulates saliva to help clean the mouth and improve circulation for healthier gums. Trace minerals help remineralize teeth. Natural clays (bentonite clay and kaolin clay) are rich in minerals and are slightly abrasive to help clean and whiten teeth. Liposomal CoQ10 penetrates the gums to help prevent gum disease.
I can’t even be mad at this toothpaste, it is so full of science and health-focused technology. You can also use it as a blemish treatment or on cold sores. Akamai designs everything to be multi-purpose and useful for all your needs.
Final verdict on toothpaste: 3.5 out of 5 stars, because I am going to keep using it and my mouth feels amazing but that flavor is still an acquired taste.
Don’t let me scare you – when you try it out, give the toothpaste a solid 2-4 week trial period. My husband did a 1 day trial and then promptly quit, but I BELIEVE IN YOU!
What I Love About Akamai
What I truly love about this company is their commitment not only to healthier, non-toxic skin and beauty products, but to a versatile multi-functional approach. As a minimalist who tries to keep a small footprint, Akamai’s natural products help me do that. I don’t have to buy several different products to keep up with a beauty regimen, and these products are easy to use and are travel-friendly so I can use them anywhere.
Did I mention that you can subscribe to Akamai’s products so you never run out of your favorite products? That’s right – they’ll send your Essentials Kit (or separate items) right to your door at a schedule that works for you. Typically, one 3 in 1 Bar lasts about a month, a tube of toothpaste lasts about two months, and the Skin Fuel lasts about two months. So one Essentials Kit is designed to last two months.
The Million Dollar Question
I disclosed above that I received this kit in exchange for my honest review, so now I need to honestly answer the question: Am I going to continue with Akamai as a paying customer? The answer is a resounding “hell yes!”
- Healthier ingredients I can trust? Check.
- Low maintenance beauty routine I actually follow? Check.
- SMELLS SO GOOD? Check.
- Whiter teeth without bleaching? Check.
- Only have to wash my hair twice a week and it looks amazing? Check.
I’m totally sold.
Your Turn to Try!
It’s your turn to try the Akamai Essentials Kit, and I have an awesome promotion that the folks at Akamai put together just for you! The Essentials Kit is usually $38.00 – but when you use this coupon code you’ll get $20 off. Sign up quickly because the offer is only good from 5/9/17 to 5/16/17.
- Use this link to sign up for your Akamai Essentials Kit: http://akamaibasics.refr.cc/caitlinherron
- Use code MINIMALIST20 for your $20 off – HURRY, this code expires 5/16/17
Limit 1 per customer, valid only on the first order. Subscriptions can be modified or cancelled at any time – no risk or obligation.