Sunday, 18 December 2016

PRODUCT REVIEW: Al Din Halal Skincare

I was recently sent some beautiful skin care products from a new brand - Al Din - which is has a line of skincare aimed at those looking for halal, vegan and vegetarian products, with the company itself being created by Muslim entrepreneur Suraiya Uddin, who has stated she was looking for this type of skincare but noticed the gap in the market.

These are the products I was sent, don't they look lovely? The strapline for this brand is also 'A Touch of Faith' - which I thought was a great way of harnessing the idea that the brand was going for - following personal ideals combined with good quality products.

I also liked the rich purple and gold packing of this - my first impression of this was similar to a lot of the ouds and perfumes you may see in the shopping malls (or in Dubai!), which gives a luxurious, solid look.

I had a quick look at the mission statement (you can see the rest here) of the brand - it definitely goes with a lot of things I'm interested in when looking for skincare:
"Al Din Skin Care is a luxury British skincare collection made with rich, plant ingredients to give softer looking, beautiful skin, naturally. Our high quality and effective range is Halal, Vegan and Vegetarian approved and we are against all testing on animals. We are passionate about beauty and feel that you shouldn’t need to compromise on quality and luxury when choosing products containing kinder, more natural ingredients."

What does it mean for a skin care brand to be halal? In my opinion, it is when there are only 'halal' ingredients used (that is, does not use non-permissible ingredients like pork-based gelatine or alcohol), and is also made in a way which aligns with halal methods. I do like that Al Din takes the time to explain what halal beauty and skin is here, which basically explains what ingredients are used and why - which is great for those who want to know more about what they're buying.

In all honesty, a lot of the women I know don't necessarily focus on looking for halal skin care - I have seen a lot of beauty brands (such as Kat von D and Jeffreestar) emphasise their vegan products, but I haven't seen much out there in terms of halal products. I think partly this is because a lot of consumers don't prioritise this, and also because some of them don't know this is an option either. Personally, as I am in my late twenties (and nearly thirties!) I have began to focus more on natural skin care and gentle products which are good for my skin, and I love the idea of the products not only benefiting my skin but also being halal, which makes me see them as more ethical as well.

These are the products sent to me - Sumptuous Touch Daily Moisturiser for Women (50ml), Men's Finest Touch Daily Moisturiser (50ml) and Pure Luxury Body Lotion (250ml). I thought it was a really good idea to have a men's product as well, as this is definitely a market which is often neglected, and it's great that there are halal options out there for men as well as women. I have often encouraged my husband to use creams to look after his skin, so it's good to know that this is something which skincare brands care about too.

All three products were in black, purple and gold bottles which looked very luxurious, and which were pretty easy to hold. Both the men's and the women's facial creams were quite lightweight and easy to grip, which is great for quick applications, and the body lotion was a solid bottle which would sit well on any dresser. I thought it was pretty interesting that all the bottles had a pump to dispense the creams, which I know a lot of people like because it helps to control how much product comes out.

So that's my initial impressions of the Al Din skin care brand, let's get on with the actual product reviews itself:

Sumptuous Touch Daily Moisturiser for Women 50ml
I really liked the bottle for this, which had a hidden pump in the lid which you twisted to make it appear, which I thought was very unique and great for avoiding contamination. The product is dispensed pretty cleanly through this slim bottle and then can be put away again pretty easily.

This is the cream in my hand, which was white (all of the creams in this range are white!) and the first thing I thought about this was how wonderful it smelled. There is a mix of jojoba sunflower and coconut in this which gives a really pleasant, non-overpowering smell that lasts for a while.

I applied this on my face and loved how absorbent this is - non-greasy, light yet felt quite moisturising. I have slightly oily-to-combo skin so avoid heavy creams which just sit on my face, so I loved that this felt really pleasant on my face. I can genuinely imagine using this as a daily moisturiser to apply before going to work, especially as my skin felt pretty soft for a few hours and well-moisturised.

Key Ingredients:
  • Hyaluronic acid – naturally found in the body, helps to keep skin, plump and hydrated for a smooth, youthful appearance.
  • Sunflower oil - an emollient with incredibly hydrating properties, helps to keep the skin nourished.
  • Coconut Oil - hailed as a superfood, the ultra-nourishing & hydrating ingredient has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-bacterial and hydrating properties that make it truly unique. Not only will it hydrate beautifully but it can also help to repair and regenerate the skin.
  • Sweet Almond Oil – rich in Vitamin E monounsaturated fatty acids, proteins, potassium and zinc, plus a number of other minerals and vitamins, it is nourishing and super nutritious for the skin.
  • Glycerin Oat Protein - oats are known for their humectant and emollient properties, which are key for keeping skin moisturised all year round.

Men's Finest Touch Daily Moisturiser 50ml
This was a short bottle which also had a pump, fairly easy to dispense the cream and came with a cap to avoid germs. I like that this doesn't take up too much space on the shelf either, and is a decent size for a men's daily cream.

I did try this on my hand (and was about to try on my face) when I thought I'd try it on the target audience instead, and got my husband to wear this on his face. The smell of this one was also pretty yummy, although noticeably more masculine, but again without being too strong or overpowering. This product has aloe vera, argan oil and olive, all of which are great products for the skin.

My husband applied this all over his face and said he liked the smell, and found it moisturising but found it slightly greasy for his face. Personally I found it pretty absorbent on my hand and didn't find it greasy myself, but husband noted that while it's not heavy at all, and smelled great, he prefers lighter, thinner creams for his face.

Key Ingredients:
  • Vitamin E – one of the most well-known and researched antioxidants, vitamin E occurs natu-rally in human skin and can help to prevent signs of premature ageing. It works to block free radicals from the body, which play a large part in the ageing process. It is a fabulous moistur-ising agent to keep skin smooth and supple and also has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Argan Oil - for generations, natives of the Argan Forest in Morocco have collected and pressed the nut to extract this precious oil. It absorbs easily and is non-greasy and non-irritating, which makes it a great natural moisturiser. With its high Vitamin E and fatty acid content, it helps to give skin a natural glow.
  • Wheat Protein - recognised for its great hydrating properties, it is also shown to be one of the most effective pore minimisers and will help to smooth fine lines.
  • Aloe Vera – used since ancient times it is a well-known soothing ingredient. This rich hydra-tor helps to moisturise without leaving a greasy feel and has great healing properties, perfect for post-shaving.

Pure Luxury Body Lotion 250ml
This was the biggest bottle of the three, and came with a pump that locks and opens when you twist it, which I liked. Again, this is a fairly luxurious looking bottle for a body lotion, which I can imagine looking good on my dresser.

This cream was a tiny bit thicker than the face cream which is ideal for the body, especially as I have drier skin on my body than face, and prefer something heavier for my body. This also smelled great, and had a mix of Vitamin E, rice protein, olive, argan and jojoba oils, all of which are a good mix of moisturising ingredients. I used this mainly on my arms and legs and found it pretty absorbent, and again thought it moisturised my skin well, I usually use body butters which last me the whole day so was pleased to see that this works the same way - moisturising my skin the whole day.

Key ingredients:
  • Jojoba Oil - moisturising and nourishing, it closely resembles the sebum in our own skin meaning it is very easily absorbed.
  • Hyaluronic Acid - naturally found in the body, this helps to keep skin, plump and hydrated for a smooth, youthful appearance.
  • Olive Oil Extract - naturally packed with anti-ageing antioxidants and hydrating squalene, it is a superb moisturising ingredient for skin.
  • Rice Protein - helps to improve the skin's moisture barrier for true hydration and dry skin relief and protection from environmental aggressors.

Overall, I think this is an excellent range which has been well thought out and takes more into consideration than just being a halal skincare brand - it actually tries to address good skincare issues by looking at good ingredients and the fact that the creams do what they're supposed to do.
I'm not an expert when it comes to skincare (and usually have to look online for reviews or ask a few friends of mine for more information) but I did also like that this is not just targeted for Muslims - it is for anyone looking for a decent skincare brand and also for those looking for cruelty-free and vegan or vegetarian products, who expect a good quality brand.

I also think this is very reasonably priced for what it costs - one of my biggest problems when looking for suitable skincare has always been value for money (we can't all afford Creme de la Mer creams!) and I think that while some of the better skincare products are expensive for a reason, they don't always have to be - and this is certainly a reflection of that.

You can find out more about Al Din in these links below - let me know what you think!
YouTube commercial

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