When I was first contacted by Narynda Kumar about testing some of her skincare line I took to the website to research what she had to offer and was delighted with what I found. Firstly Narynda herself is glowing at 53 years, truly radiant and always a great sign of things to come for products. Secondly the range is one of the few smaller brands that isn't essential oil heavy, in fact many of the products are completely fragrance and scent free making it ideal for sensitive skins. Like many skincare entrepreneurs Narynda developed her line in response to her own skin problems when she developed stress induced contact dermatitis, and the line has been seven years in the making.
One of Narynda's signature ingredients is oat oil, and it is included in the day cream, night cream, hand cream and body lotion. Oat betaglucan is soothing and helps the skin repair as well as containing high levels of linoleic acid which hydrates the skin. I have been lucky enough to test out four products from the range all of which I thought were lovely and performed incredibly well, the packaging is fresh and I think it will appeal to all ages, making this a versatile line.
Day cream* (£17.50 for 50 mls) I test a lot of moisturisers, I have reached the point in the last couple of months where I thought I didn't need to test any more, that I had my favourites and couldn't be swayed. But that's where blogging is so much fun, because occasionally you find a product that really proves you wrong and out performs all it's expectations. This is the best seller of the range and looking at the ingredients list you could be fooled in to thinking it would be a heavy cream, with ingredients such as Shea butter, the signature oat oil which is first on the list (after water) and glycerin, I will happily admit I was blown away by this feather light potion and it's the furthest thing from heavy you could imagine. It feels wonderfully soothing on the skin, the lack of fragrance makes it perfect for layering with serums and oils and the feel is so beautiful. Whilst this is a day cream I have been using it day and night and it's just wonderful, really good for calming red patches of skin and far more luxe than it's price tag would suggest. It offers enough hydration and moisture for my dry skin without overloading it in the slightest and it is easy to adjust how much you use depending on your skins needs. As long as you are not sensitive to Shea Butter then I don't see why normal and combination skins couldn't also use this however I think it would probably be too much for those who are very oily.
Toner* (£12.50 for 100 mls) Is again a more budget friendly option, this toner is full of fruit extracts and floral waters of grapefruit and lime and oat peptides. Looking at the ingredients list it certainly seems to offer a little bit more than your average floral water based toner, the sugar will provide gentle exfoliation but I would be wary of using too many other AHA's alongside it as you don't want to over exfoliate. It comes in an airless container with a pump which is really my only gripe with this toner as it requires the old fashioned cotton wool method of application, I know quite a few people quite like that, however I have conditioned myself to use a spritz and I found it really hard to go back. I personally would prefer a spray applicator that way if people wanted to spray on a cotton pad they could so best of both worlds. This left the skin soft and ready for serums and treatments which is generally what I like from a toner.
*Edit: Narynda explained to me after reading this review that the toner is designed to be used with cotton wool to cut through dirt and lift impurities whilst still leaving the ingredients on the skin. I think that if you are cleansing properly that it shouldn't be necessary to cut through dirt but I appreciate the way this is formulated as a gentle exfoliating toner and the application method is just personal preference on my behalf.
Heel balm* (£9.50 for 50 mls) I am really good with moisturising my feet, I do it every night before bed sometimes twice a day as I can't stand the feeling of cracked skin. This product has an interesting mix of ingredients that take it beyond what you usually get in a foot product, first off it has cranberry, olive and chamomile butters but further up the ingredients list it has a base of Shea butter, coconut and meadowfarm seed oil, all nicely emollient and nurturing ingredients. The second thing that makes this quite unique is that it is unscented, most of the other foot products I favour are highly scented such as Weleda's Skinfood, I can imagine this would be a welcome addition to anyone who doesn't like or want scent or who is sensitive to essential oils. This kept my feet in great shape during the testing period and was a pleasure to use, so if you want to get your feet sandal ready it is certainly a product I would recommend. My only slight criticism again comes down to the packaging, as this is quite a thick waxy balm after a few applications the top of the tube split open which meant that I had to try and use this up more quickly than I otherwise would have done. This did give me the chance to test this as a body butter for dry skin, for which it was superb and whilst this says heel balm I would definitely say it's a brilliant multi-purpose product which could be used on elbows, knees and dry patches all over the body.
Handcream* (£7.50 for 50 mls) This hand cream has the oat oil signature ingredient right up at the top after the water in the ingredients list so as you can imagine it is very soothing. Just like the day cream whilst you are applying it the hand cream feels very silky and cooling but when it has absorbed it leaves a matte but nurtured feeling. I like this as a night time hand cream it is also suitable for use during the day just use a small amount as it is a concentrated product. Again this has a gentle oat scent from the ingredients but no fragrance, which I think is a good selling point as so many of the products out there are heavily scented and it's not always what everyone wants.
For reference the water based products are preserved with phenoxyethanol, anyone who reads this blog knows it is not an ingredient that I avoid but it is an ingredient which more people seem to have become unhappy with lately, hence me mentioning it. For me the rest of the ingredients list is stellar and so as long as the product is safely preserved I am happy, however preservatives are always a contentious issue so others may feel differently. I feel like Narynda skincare has a lot going for it and I love to support smaller brands, I like the performance, price point and the use of the oat oil as a main ingredient as well as the availability of essential oil free options. I would happily repurchase the hand cream and the day cream and would look in to more of the range in the future. I am particularly impressed with the fact that the brand offers a money back guarantee for their products as it says a lot about the passion Narynda has for what she is doing. Have you ever used skincare with Oat oil? What do you think of Narynda?
*Indicates samples were generously provided, all thoughts opinions and beauty musings my own.