I remember receiving, several years ago in one of my subscription boxes, a sample of a coffee facial polish from an indie, green beauty called Nyakio, pronounced NEH-KAY-OH. I loved it so much, that I did purchase it a few times and then I couldn’t find it anymore. Imagine my delight when Nyakio reached out to me and offered some products for me to try! They really have expanded their line and I was very interested in these four products. Many thanks to Nyakio for sending these products to me and I have some initial impressions on these products.
image source ulta.com
Nyakio’s new skincare collection features ethically sourced ingredients that marries the cultural traditions from all around the globe with modern formulas that are results-driven. Nyakio has a five regimen collection, focusing on Cleanse, Exfoliate, Restore, Moisturizer and Treat and they work together to help deliver hydration and anti-ageing benefits. These clean beauty products are made without sulfates, phthalates, parabens, mineral oil, petrolatum, formaldehyde and butylene glycol and is 100% vegan, ethically sourced and cruelty free
I received these products complementary to review and was not paid. All reviews are my own honest opinion and I never have been asked to write copy for a brand. This blog post might contain promo codes, affiliate and referral links, which using my links will help generate a small commission that helps support my blog at no extra cost to you.
Skin Type/Concerns: Oily, blemish prone, pores, aging skin with hyper-pigmentation and fine lines/wrinkles.
Cleanse & Exfoliate
Chinese Rice Exfoliating Cleansing Powder (1 oz $26.00) I love a good exfoliating powder and was really excited to try this one. It is made with Chinese rice powder as its top ingredient and it is coated with mur skin. This also contains exfoliating PHA gluconolactone ~ so it is both a physical and chemical exfoliant ~ along with antioxidant green tea, algae and papaya. This has an added fragrance, but it is an essential oil mix ~ I believe it is the same fragrance on all products that contain it, as three out of the four products I tried here all had the same scent ~ which is a light shea butter with florals.
“In China, it is common for women to grind rice into a fine powder and stir with water, creating a gentle yet efficacious exfoliant for smoother, brighter skin.”
The grains are fine, but they do not work well with just water ~ it crumbles and falls apart and I do not feel like I exfoliated anything ~ plus they do feel very grainy on my face. However, I read Nyakio’s tip to add it to a cleanser and I have been adding a dime sized amount to my oil cleanser and then cleansing my face with the oil/rice powder mix. It works REALLY well ~ the oil helps buffer the grains against my skin while it is exfoliating. My skin is super soft and smooth. I do have a complaint on the packaging ~ this powder goes all over the place as there is no sifter ~ I spill so much and it gets wasted 😦
Nyakio products come boxed, but they unfold to reveal a slew of information on the product inside the box. This is a great IDEA. I love how the ingredients and region where it came from are spotlighted.
Ingredients: Oriza Sativa (Rice) Powder, Cellulose, Gluconolactone, Adansonia Digitata Seed (Baobab) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*+, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Shea Butterate, Sodium Cocoate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Pod Ash, Water, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Glycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Algae Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend) cosDNA *Certified organic ingredient +Fair Trade ingredient
African Black Soap Purifying Mud Mask (4.5 oz $35.00) I love mud masks and I love black soap too, so this was a natural for me to try. This is a detox purifying mask, made with vitamin-rich African black soap, jojoba beads and two types of clays ~ kaolin and bentonite ~ to help remove oil and dirt trapped in your pores. African black soap is a favorite for healing problem skin, helping to even out skin tone and has anti-bacterial, anti-aging, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and exfoliating benefits. Nyakio’s African black soap is hand made, using local resources and is sourced through a Ghanaian cooperative, with over 5,000 women to help promote and preserve local trade and methods.
“African Black Soap is traditionally made by harvesting and sun-drying palm leaves, cocoa pods and the bark from shea trees. This material is then roasted in a kettle and mixed with oils. The soap cures for two weeks before it is ready to use. This combination of ingredients make it ideal for detoxifying all skin types.”
This also has a slew of creamy moisturizing ingredients, to make sure your skin doesn’t dry out ~ oils such as castor, grape seed, avocado, baobab, apricot kernel along with shea butter ~ all of these are rich in antioxidant and vitamins. This mask has the same light floral scent as the Chinese Rice Exfoliating Cleansing Powder and it is a pale grey color with little bits of jojoba beads in it. It is very creamy and spreads easily ~ dries down but not to a hardened shell ~ it still has moisture so it is a bit gummy. Since it has the beads in it, I am able to use this as an exfoliator when I splash water on my face to rinse off. My skin is clean, bright and this is very gentle ~ my skin was not dry after using this, so it doesn’t strip the skin.
Ingredients: Water, Kaolin, Bentonite, Glycerin (Vegetable), Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*+, Glyceryl Caprylate, Panthenol, Allantoin, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Extract, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit/Leaf/Stem Extract, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Jojoba Esters, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Shea Butterate, Sodium Cocoate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Pod Ash, Benzyl Alcohol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Sodium Benzoate, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend) cosDNA *Certified organic ingredient +Fair Trade ingredient
Nourish and Heal
Tamanu Firming Face Balm (1.3 oz $45.00) I love anything with tamanu ~ “Green Gold” ~ in it, so I couldn’t resist this facial balm. Tamanu oil is extracted from the nuts of the Ati tree and has an aromatic, pungent scent. Tamanu is a powerful skin regenerator as it helps promote new tissue growth, which speeds up wound healing. It is not only an anti-bacterial, it is an antioxidant, antibiotic (lactone compound) and anti-inflammatory (calophyllolide and coumarin compounds). It helps prevent UV sun damage to your skin as it can absorb UV rays. You want to find Tamanu oil that is a green color and has been hand gathered, sun dried and cold pressed. Nyakio uses pure, cold-processed tamanu oil
“In India, the reparative properties of Tamanu stretch from the top of the leaves all the way down to the root, allowing locals to use every part of the plant for their skincare concerns.”
This also has a ton of thick nourishing butters and oils ~ shea butter, sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, coffee seed oil, baobab oil, and grape seed oil (whew!). This is the only product that does not have an added fragrance and its scent is just lovely to me ~ I enjoy tamanu oil’s scent and this has the rich earthy green scent of the oil. This is truly a balm product ~ it has a gritty texture initially, but once the balm melts into my skin, the solidified oil melts into a thick liquid oil. I use this only as a night time treatment for my oily skin ~ tamanu is one of the best oils out there for blemish prone skin and it is a great healer. When my skin is experiencing issues with acne, I just add this to my night time routine ~ before I top with a sleep pack. Although my skin is a bit greasy, by the morning, my skin is so smooth and supple. I have not yet noticed any firming, but I have noticed that this rich, concentrated balm helps keep my skin clear, moisturized and soft.
A little goes a long way and this balm could be used for dry skin as a day moisturizer. I really am enjoying this one and I wish more people would jump on the tamanu bandwagon!
Ingredients: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*+, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Calophyllum Tacamahaca Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Oil, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Shea Butterate, Sodium Cocoate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Pod Ash, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycerin, Water, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax cosDNA *Certified organic ingredient +Fair Trade ingredient
Chamomile Soothing Sleep Mask (4 oz $35.00) To top off any skincare ritual at night, a sleep pack is a MUST. It is more than just a night time moisturizer ~ sleeping masks are patted into your skin and it seals in the other skin care products ~ serums, creams and oils. Sleep packs usually have mild ingredients that will hydrate your skin while you sleep and provide nourishment. A night time moisturizer is pretty much the same as a day time moisturizer only it is a bit thicker and your skin will absorb it where as the sleep pack is used to seal in moisture, keeping your skin plump and supple. It isn’t enough just to use a sleep mask ~ normally you would have used a full skincare routine before applying your sleep pack as the last step. As the name suggests, this contains Egyptian chamomile ~ soothing, calming, anti-bacterial, anti-septic and anti-inflammatory benefits, this flavonoid rich-ingredient helps unclog pores and provides protection from free radical damage.
“Chamomile’s popularity grew throughout the Middle Ages in Egypt, when people turned to it as a remedy for numerous wellness concerns.”
This also has another calming ingredient in calendula ~ pot marigold. Calendula has one of the longest histories of usage of any herb in skin care. This is herb, which is not to be confused with the flower marigold, helps heal chapped and irritated skin. It stimulates wound and burn healing and it helps reduce dermatitits. Calendula gets much of its healing properties from its high levels of carotenoids, which are similar to Vitamin A
Coffee contains essential fatty acids and vitamin E, making it a great antioxidant and anti-aging ingredient. The caffeine in in coffee also helps depuff, tone and tighten skin as well. This is full of nourishing oils such as coconut, baobab, avocado, grape seed and shea butter as well as hydrating aloe vera. Also contained in here is natural BHA willow bark extract, great for unclogging pores, removing excess oil and dirt and healing lavender.
This has the same light floral scent and it has a cool tube applicator ~ just twist to open and squeeze out this cream ~ it looks like it would be thick and heavy, but it isn’t! This is a lovely lightweight, hydrating sleep pack that doesn’t leave my skin greasy or oily. It really does help sooth and calm my skin and in the morning, my skin looks refreshed. I love pairing this with the Tamanu Firming Face Balm!
Ingredients: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin (Vegetable), Stearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*+, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glyceryl Caprylate, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Extract, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Shea Butterate, Sodium Cocoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Pod Ash, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Salixa Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Bran Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Allantoin, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend) cosDNA *Certified organic ingredient +Fair Trade Ingredient
I am really happy with these Nyakio products ~ the only one that might need a little effort to make it work is the Rice Exfoliating Cleansing Powder, but once I mix it with a cleansing oil, it gets the job done. You cannot go wrong with a lovely exfoliating African Black Soap mud mask and I love the dynamic duo of the Tamanu Facial Balm with the Chamomile Sleep Mask ~ those two are going to be in heavy rotation this winter! Thank you so much Nyakio for sending me these lovely products! I am now keenly interested in their eye creams ~ that Red Ginseng Line Smoothing Eye and Lip Cream sounds amazing and they have coffee lip polish and a lip balm made with baobab oils. Plus, I need more of their coffee scrubs! The holidays are coming up, so I am making a list ~ how about you?
Where to Purchase
Nyakio can be purchased exclusively at Ulta, both in-store and online (click here). They carry all of the Nyakio skincare line, from cleansing balms to firming lip and eye creams, moisturizers and exfoliants.
- Chinese Rice Exfoliating Cleansing Powder (1 oz $26.00)
- African Black Soap Purifying Mud Mask (4.5 oz $35.00)
- Tamanu Firming Face Balm (1.3 oz $45.00)
- Chamomile Soothing Sleep Mask (4 oz $35.00)
Ulta ships all orders for a flat rate of $5.95 and offers expedited shipping as well. Currently, Ulta only ships to the Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. Territories, PO Boxes and APO/FPO addresses. Don’t forget to earn money while you spend money with eBates! Use my referral link to earn $10.00 with your first purchase using eBates. It is legit ~ I have gotten back over $2000 over the last few years just by using eBates while I shop.
[ disclaimer: Products received for review purposes. Blog post contains referral link ]