Growing up in South Florida, I’ve always had to be careful with the skin care products I use. The humid climate makes finding the right moisturizer particularly tricky: Not only do I need something that hydrates without melting off or being too heavy to wear in the heat, but my skin is naturally oily, so it’s extra hard for one to stay in place long enough to do its job. After testing dozens upon dozens of creams to see which can stand up to my criteria, I’ve finally landed on my hero product: the Keys Soulcare Skin Transformation Cream.
Because I spend a good chunk of my WFH days outside (I need the movement and vitamin D), my skin faces tons of humidity — not to mention the sun’s damaging UV rays as well as external pollutants, which all wreak havoc on my complexion. But, unlike most heavy-duty face creams, this moisturizer from Alicia Keys’ skin care-meets-wellness line is actually lightweight while still delivering A-plus hydration. It also prevents my skin from producing excess oil, since I’m balancing my complexion with moisture without overdoing it.
Basically, this is the cream my face has been searching for. Read on for the details of how the formula works to quench thirsty skin.
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First Up: The Basics
The Skin Transformation Cream plays well with the rest of my skin care routine. I apply it right after cleansing and toning, and before applying SPF (in the morning), and it absorbs instantly without leaving a thick film over my skin.
Its moisturizing powers come from the hydrating duo of hyaluronic acid and ceramides. But what makes the cream really stand out its how gentle it is — you can get the Skin Transformation Cream as fragrance-free (or regular), which is the one I’ve been using, so sensitive skin types don’t have to worry about having a reaction to any essential oils or scents in the formula. Also notable? It contains malachite, a crystal with antioxidant and detoxifying effects (plus, who can resist a crystal-infused beauty product?)
Another one of its star ingredients is bakuchiol, aka retinol’s less irritating, plant-based cousin. Besides plumping and smoothing fine lines, it can also be safely worn during the day since UV rays don’t affect it (unlike retinol, which makes your skin more prone to sun damage).
After using the cream religiously twice a day for more than a week, I’ve noticed the ingredients have worked wonders on my skin. My face gets red pretty easily in the sun and during workouts, but, upon applying it, the cream immediately reduces redness and calms my complexion whenever it’s hot or inflamed. It’s like an instant dose of calm by way of a luxe moisturizer.
Why I’m Obsessed
While I still get naturally oily as the day goes on, the cream gives me just the right amount of hydration without making it extra shiny — the perfect in-between. Wearing it during the day has also been a game-changer: I’ve been searching for a product that has bakuchiol to soften my skin morning and night, and this one has been so mild. It doesn’t feel like I have a heavy moisturizing cream sitting on my face, and the active ingredients within it don’t sting or burn at all. And, at its $30 price point, it’s a good deal for a moisturizer that can be used twice daily. Plus, you only need to apply a small layer, so you won’t have to restock often.
If your skin is more dry, you may want to also include a heavy-duty moisturizer with an occlusive in it boost your hydration and seal it in. For me, it doesn’t take much to hydrate my skin, so swiping on a thin layer of this helped soften and nourish my face without over-saturating it. Since it nailed the balancing act I was looking for in a moisturizer, the Skin Transformation Cream has earned a permanent spot in my beauty regimen.