I tried Alicia Keys’ skincare ritual for one week

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Janell Hickman is In The Know’s beauty contributor. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for more.

Despite the current climate, 2020 has turned out to be a popular year for celebrity skincare launches: everyone from Rihanna to Jennifer Lopez and, most recently, Pharrell have dipped their toes into the beauty game. Now, Alicia Keys is entering the group chat with her debut line, Keys Soulcare, a three-part collection (individually priced under $40) that officially launched on December 3 online at Ulta and Keys Soulcare. Her goal? To turn your routine into a relaxing ritual. 

Developed in partnership with Dr. Renée Snyder, board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of W3LL PEOPLE, part of the e.l.f. Beauty family of brands, Keys Soulcare aims to dive deeper than surface-level launches and tap into four key pillars: body, spirit, mind and connection — with a robust lifestyle content platform to match. 

So, we know the definition of skincare, but what is exactly is “soulcare?” Of course, I had to find out directly from the muse herself: “Soulcare is paying attention to that part inside of you that you can’t see; that you can feel and nourishing it, fulfilling it, spoiling it and loving it. That’s Soulcare,” Keys explained in a recent press release. 

Intrigued? Keep scrolling to read about my experience mimicking her Goddess Ritual for a full week. 

Shop: Sage + Oat Milk Candle  $38

Credit: Keys Soulcare

I have yet to meet a candle that I didn’t like — and this one was no exception. The minute I pulled the chic black votive out of the box, I was entranced with the scent. It’s light yet impactful, like the background music you might catch yourself humming to but not quite singing along to. Essentially, this candle is memorable and non-distracting at the same time, if that makes sense.

The blend of oat and sage isn’t overpowering at all. In fact, my fingers are crossed that Keys opts to turn this into a true fragrance or mist. I found myself lighting it every evening an hour before I hopped in the shower to wind down from WFH. Yep, it’s that good.

Shop: Skin Transformation Cream $30

Credit: Keys Soulcare

Truth be told, I am more of a face oil kind of girl. IMO, most moisturizers I test don’t do enough or don’t feel hydrating enough. This offering actually hits the nail on the head, though, because it’s formulated with all of the essentials — and has the input of a derm (Dr. Snyder), which helps with the formulation process. 

A blend of thoughtful ingredients including bakuchiol (dubbed as a natural alternative to retinol), malachite (known as the stone of transformation), ceramides and hyaluronic acid that helps to renew skin, without stickiness or tackiness. Since it typically takes several weeks to glean the effectiveness of skincare, I can’t speak too heavily about results yet — but this moisturizer is definitely a strong contender to end up permanently in my skincare line-up.

Shop: Obsidian Facial Roller, $25 

Credit: Keys Soulcare

To be fair, facial tools (outside of my beloved ZIIP device) aren’t really my thing. I use them once, maybe twice and quickly forget their appeal. However, beauty friends have been raving about facial rollers, so I decided to give this one a fair shot. (FYI: Obsidian stone is a volcanic glass created from quickly cooled lava so, even when not chilled, the roller should still feel cool to the touch.)

Inspired by Key’s iconic “Unready” video, I decided to pop my facial roller in the freezer for a few minutes for extra oomph. Clearly, I had been doing myself a disservice by not incorporating this technique earlier. Who knew I was holding so much tension in my jaw? Had I always been so puffy after waking up? Debatable. Consider me sold.

The final verdict?

After spending the past few months of self-imposed lockdown rushing through my current routine (because: anxiety), I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed taking some extra time for myself. Lighting a candle before my shower — or sometimes even first thing in the morning — definitely changed the vibe in my bathroom. Did it feel like a spa? Not quite, but it did ultimately feel more impactful than my typical “get in, get out” routine. My take: soulcare > skincare.

If you enjoyed this story, check out Janell Hickman’s guide to fighting dry scalp this winter!

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