What's Wrong With Silicones?
Often used within shampoos, conditioners and styling products to create a super shiny and smooth finish, silicones are one of my most hated ingredient inclusions. If I can avoid them I will, as they tend to sit on the surface of hair and block any goodness (including moisture) from getting through; although the instant result it often one of bouncy and shiny hair, within a few weeks your 'do could become overloaded with these tiny particles and feel heavy, dull, lacklustre and dehydrated. Often changing up your shampoo/conditioner is the only thing you need to do to fix it.
What's Wrong With Sulphates?
An ingredient used within everything from washing up liquid and shower gels, to your friendly budget shampoo, sulphates are foaming agents that help lift away dirt and grime from the surface while creating that beautiful lather. However, they're also extremely stripping and remove goodness (including natural oils and moisture) from the hair and scalp. If you've found your head becoming increasingly dry, itchy or irritated then it could be the inclusion of sulphates. They're a nightmare if your hair is naturally dry or if you favour extensions; use with caution.
What's Wrong With Parabens?
The most widely used preservatives in personal care products, parabens stop fungus, bacteria and other microbes from growing in your favourite beauty products - especially in the moist, warm environment of a bathroom. Over the last decade or so they've been linked with illnesses including breast cancer, but the evidence is fragile at best and absolutely not proven beyond a reasonable doubt. However, many are choosing to avoid parabens altogether as other alternatives are available (but that's not to say they don't have their own problems too.)
If you're convinced you need to avoid all three, then Kérastase have launched their first foray into more natural hair care via the Aura Botanica range. Formulated with 96-99% natural ingredients, all the products are free from silicones, sulphates and parabens without compromising on experience or results. Although I'm cautious about what I put in and on my body, I'm also not prepared to compromise on the results achieved: this range is the perfect fusion of great products and great ingredients, all from a brand you can trust.
Kérastase Aura Botanica Bain Shampoo (£14.80)
Utilising 96% ingredients of natural origin (including responsibly sourced Samoan Coconut Oil and Moroccan Argan Oils,) this nourishing shampoo gently yet effectively cleanses away dirt and impurities from the surface of hair. The texture looks and feels like a lightweight oil, but it transforms when in contact with water to lift away dullness and leave hair feeling refreshed; although the reduced lather and somewhat immediate coarseness of strands takes some getting used to, they claim hair is protected against frizz for up 72 hours and looks three times shinier in the end! Free from silicones, sulphates and parabens, this is a great alternative to the high street buys that can leave our hair weighed down and stripped of goodness.
Kérastase Aura Botanica Soin Fondant Conditioner (£17.05)
This lightweight yet deeply moisturising 97% naturally derived conditioner delivers intense nourishment and frizz-fighting benefits, thanks to the inclusion of Coconut, Argan and Sweet Orange Oil. It instantly detangles and leaves hair feeling smooth without the use of silicone, ensuring the result is bouncy and long lasting. The delicate scent of the Sweet Orange Essential Oil leaves hair subtly fragranced while energizing the mind - and that's what I'm all about in the morning. From the first time I used this I noticed a difference in the texture and shine of my hair, so it's definitely a worthy investment if your locks are looking or feeling parched.
Kérastase Aura Botanica Concentré Essentiel Hair Oil (£29.75)
A beautiful 99% natural blend that combines omega-rich Avocado Oil with Jojoba Oil and Rosemary extract to soften, enhance shine and revitalise, this smells incredible thanks to Sweet Orange Essential Oil. Super luxurious as you would expect from Kérastase, you need just a drop or two to treat dry hair or control frizz; use it before you dry, as you style or for touch-ups throughout the day, the formula can also be used as an intensive treatment and even on dry skin patches to soften. It's very much like a traditional serum, but so much lighter - meaning even fine hair won't be weighed down.
Kérastase Aura Botanica Huile Fraiche Hair Oil ( £27.65)
Formulated with 99% natural origin ingredients and free from silicone, this incredibly lightweight bi-phase mist formula combines four nutritious oils (Jojoba, Avocado, Coconut and Argan) with an aqueous solution (usually oil and water don't mix); the two layers work in synergy to infuse hair with nutrition, moisture and frizz-fighting benefits in one hit. It can be used as a styling aid pre blow-dry, or a finishing mist to enhance softness or shine; I particularly like it on day two hair to counteract the dryness of a dry shampoo or to revitalize after I've been tossing and turning on my pillow. It's a great pick-me-up when your hair just needs a finishing touch.
It's great to see a brand such as Kérastase investing in a more natural approach to hair care, but also cutting out ingredients we know to often be damaging. This four-piece range is a pleasure to look at, a dream to use and will keep your hairdresser happy too; what more does a girl need?
The Kérastase Aura Botanica range is available online, priced £59.55 for an introductory three piece bundle (worth £85.10), or from £14.80 for the individual products.
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