As many of you know, I do enjoy using green beauty products, not because they are necessarily 'green' but because they work so well for my skin. However, my love for skincare has never just stopped at green beauty - I have embraced everything from Korean Skincare products, cosmeceuticals as well as those products you would find at your local drugstore. At the end of the day, I like products that quite simply work for my skin, doesn't cause my skin to freak out and are an absolute joy to use in both texture and scent. Over the past 18 months of blogging, I have come to realise that the products that seem to work best for me are a fusion of science and natural ingredients and there are a few brands that I find that do this quite well. African Botanics is one of those skincare brands where almost everything I have tried, I have absolutely loved and there are a few products in the range which I will happily say are my holy grails and I could never live without. As much as I hate to admit it - their most recent release, the Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream has actually made it to that list. The reason why I hate admitting it? The cost of this cream is sure to raise some eyebrows for some, as it does retail for USD$350, putting it right up there with La Mer's famed Creme de La Mer, however unlike La Mer, I find that the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream is worth every single penny.
*** Please note that this item was kindly gifted to me by African Botanics with no expectation of a review of any kind. However, I am a huge fan of the brand and I have been asked alot about this product that I felt there was a need to share my thoughts on how much I do love it.
What Is It?
The African Botanics Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream is a night cream that takes advantages of exotic night blooms, indigenous African Desert and Bush Plants™ and potent concentrations of highly advanced marine biotechnology which helps to protect, soothe and heal the skin. Basically, it is a night cream on natural ingredients steroids.
What Does It Do?
This is a multi-correcting face cream that is said to stimulate cell renewal and works to plump, nourish and protect the skin. The cream works to help restores the skin’s density and bounce whilst improving texture and luminosity. The African Botanics Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream works to deeply hydrate the skin and also helps to infuse the skin with moisture. The cream also claims to help the skin fight the signs of ageing skin with its use of powerful antioxidants. On top of all of this, the Intense Recovery Cream also helps to soothe and calm the skin, whilst also speeding up the recovery of the damaged cells.
Jasmine Flower Water, Aloe Ferox Leaf Extract, Trichilia Emetica (Cape Mahogany) Butter*, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Soybean Fiber, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Millet, Hydrolyzed Pea, Verbena officinalis (Vervain) Extract, Kigelia Africana Fruit Extract, Jasmine Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower Oil, Tocopherol, Cylindrotheca Fusiformis (Microalgae) Extract, Resveratrol, Green Coffee Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Oxido Reductases, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Myrothamus Flabellifolius (Resurrection) Plant, Panthenol, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter*, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab)*, Citrillus Lanatus (Kalahari Melon)* Seed Oil, Schinziophyton Rautanenii (Mongongo) Kernel Oil, Cyclopia Genistoides (Honeybush) Leaf Extract, Bulbinella Nutens Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Vegetable Glycerin, Schinziophyton Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Copper Gluconate, Niacinamide, Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile), Rosa Mosqueta (Rosehip) Oil, Caffein, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C Ester), Saccharide Isomerate, Pearl Powder, Arnica Cordifolia Extract, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos) Extract, Calendula, Diamond microspheres, Citrus Bergamia Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol. *Wild-Harvested.
In three words - I. LOVE. THIS. If you are on the market for a luxe, high-end night cream then the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream is a product that you must try. This cream is absolutely beautiful in scent, texture and of course how it performs. I absolutely love having this in my skincare arsenal as it manages to keep my skin calm, protects my skin, helps it to heal and gives me a nourished and healthy complexion in the morning. This works not only as a great everyday evening cream but also works wonders as an SOS treatment for the skin. Its performance has amazed me, and due to its price point, I really didn't want to love it...but like any forbidden love story, I fell head over heels for this.
The Intense Recovery Cream is an incredibly luxe night cream that seems to be jam-packed full of exotic sounding butters, oils and plant extracts. With a list that is clearly heavy in botanicals as well as some active ingredients, it's hard to go through every single ingredient in detail. Packed full of antioxidants such as Resveratrol, CoQ10, Oxidoreductase, Vitamin C, Green Coffee, Caffein and Niacinamide, the Fleurs d'Afriques helps to protect the skin from environmental stressors. As a coffee lover, I love the use of coffee in both the Green Coffee Extract and Caffein which is said to have potent antioxidant properties as it helps protect cells against the UV radiation and slows down the process of photoaging of the skin. Caffeine’s other impressive properties is that it works to enhance other antioxidant ingredients such as green tea, white tea and resveratrol, providing a boost to those ingredients which neutralise free radicals and help to improve the texture of the skin. The formula also takes advantage of blue marine microalgae - rich in antioxidants and nutrients which also work to help protect the skin from free radical damage as well as help to renew and repair skin tissue. Plant peptides are also featured in the formulation and are derived from native African plant species, these plant peptides are naturally derived and are said to help protect the skin from oxidative stress, boost collagen synthesis, reinforce the density of the skin and improving the skin's texture.
Like with any other African Botanics skincare product, a nod to the amazing botanicals that are native to Africa is essential. The Intense Recovery Cream is absolutely jam-packed with exotic ingredients such as Kigelia Africana, Bulbinella, Resurrection plant, HoneyBush and Green Rooibos tea which come from the African Desert. These ingredients are renowned for their medicinal and reparative benefits and have been used by African tribes for years to help soothe inflamed, dry, irritated skin, relieving itchiness and work as an antimicrobial. Along with these soothing benefits, ingredients such as South African Aloe Ferox (otherwise known as Cape Aloe) and Bulbine Frutescens helps to hydrate the skin, enhancing its firmness and aiding in the skin looking plump. Aloe Ferox belongs to the Aloe family and works well as a skin moisturiser and humectant, helping the skin to maintain and preserve moisture. Studies have also shown that Aloe Ferox also aids in skin repair, helping to facilitate wound repair and inhibiting bacteria growth in the wounded skin. For extra nourishment for the skin, the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream takes advantage of butters such as Cape Mahogany Butter and various types of mango seed butter, as well as their signature wild harvested Marula oil. Each of these butters and oils are rich in essential fatty acids to help nourish and protect the skin's barrier.
Even though the ingredient listing looks to be quite impressive, does it perform? Well, for me, the magic of this little black jar really is in the way it works on my skin. This cream is just amazing in the way it helps to soothe, nourish, hydrate and reset the complexion. On bad skin days/weeks, I love to use this cream in the evening to help heal and repair the skin. This cream helps to not only seal in any serums/oils applied underneath, it also works its magic to calm any angry, itchy areas of skin. Its clever use of oils and butters, mixed with its complex use of plant peptides and extracts help to hydrate, nourish and replenish the complexion with nutrients minus the feeling of heaviness or tackiness on the skin. I find that when I use this in the evening on angry skin days, my complexion looks visibly calmer, revitalised and overall much healthier the next morning. On those days where my skin is quite normal and I still reach out to use this (I love it and I want to use this all the time), my complexion looks brighter, refreshed and even in tone. I have been using the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream a few days a week over the past few months now, and I have to say that in this time period I feel that my skin's texture has improved quite remarkably, it's healing faster, I'm getting fewer breakouts and overall my skin looks much healthier and clearer. My face is also less irritated and when I do get a spot, this helps to calm the area down, by the next morning, the redness in the area has generally subsided.
Whilst I have also been using other products consistently, I can't help but wonder if the Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream has anything to do with my happier looking complexion as most of the other products I have been using are to target issues such as PIH. Whilst the improvement in my skin may not be single-handedly attributed to the Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream on its own, I feel that it has played a part in the positive change I am seeing in my skin. For me, the improvements I can see in my complexion are both instant (instant calmness and skin looking revitalised) also can be seen over a period of time (improved skin texture and health). For me, these results are what I would normally expect from a serum, so to potentially see this in a moisturiser is so promising and is one of the reasons why I do love using this night cream on a regular basis and is the reason why I reach for it so often. I am so impressed with its overall performance. The difference I have seen in my skin is quite remarkable and its scent and texture just add to the luxurious experience that the Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream creates.
Aside from the performance of the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream, it also gets its texture so incredibly right. Whilst the cream looks and feels quite rich initially, once applied on the face, this velvety smooth cream melts and sinks into the skin like butter, leaving no heaviness or tackiness. It settles beautifully and effortlessly into the complexion and immediately leaves the skin feeling softer and smoother on application. As the Intense Recovery Cream is a little thicker and sinks so easily into the skin, I find that it does not spread as easily over the complexion as other moisturisers I have used, and it is best patted into the skin (like you would with a serum). Alternatively, if you are a lover of oils, this can also be mixed in with a little oil to give it that little bit more slip. Applied, either way, the Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream melts into the complexion so smoothly, immediately hydrating and nourishing the skin.
In terms of scent, the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream smells like an exquisite night garden. It smells absolutely heavenly with notes of jasmine. Its a truly stunning and inviting scent that adds to the indulgence that is the Intense Recovery Cream. As one of the night creams' first ingredients is Jasmine Flower water, the scent of this cream is the real deal and it does very much evoke a sense of walking through a garden filled with jasmine flowers at dusk. The scent of this cream further adds to the experience and ritual of a blissful skincare routine as the aroma is so delicate and calming to the senses, that it feels so decadent. Those who do not like essentials oils or heavy scents may have to reconsider the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream though, as the scent might be too strong. I personally love beautiful scents in my skincare, especially light florals and therefore I have no qualms with the aroma of this gorgeous night cream.
Even though I absolutely love and adore the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream, the price tag of this, definitely puts it in the luxury category as it does retail for an eye-watering USD$350 or GBP£300. This is no doubt a definite splurge purchase as it puts it right up there with La Mer's Creme de la Mer. Unlike La Mer, I do believe that this has a much more sophisticated formulation, as it does contain very little fillers and more rare and unique ingredients that have been sustainably harvested. There is no doubt that its price point will put many off, but do keep in mind that its formulation is packed full of plant extracts, botanicals, wild harvested oils and butters that are so unique to Africa. Due to its texture and potency, only a little is needed so this jar does last. I am only at the halfway mark and I have been using this for a good 3-4 months now. It is clear that a little does go a very long way. The only other qualm is the packaging, I don't personally love jar packaging as I find it can get quite unhygienic (no fingers in jars for me!) and inconvenient. Despite its price and packaging though, the African Botanics Fleur d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream is a product that I do highly recommend for those who are looking splurge on an indulgent cream for the evening. In all honesty, if I were to give up blogging and use just one night cream for the rest of my life, this cream would be it as its formulation and how it works for my skin is unlike any other night cream I have ever used. This is hand down a holy grail find for me.
Repurchase YAY or NAY?
I wish I didn't have such expensive taste, but the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream is undoubtedly a YAY for me. Hands. Down. YAY. I don't think I have used another evening cream like this that has kept my skin looking so healthy, calm, revitalised and renewed. I absolutely adore using this cream, not only for its performance but also for its luxurious, rich texture that absorbs into the skin so effortlessly and its beautifully intoxicating scent. Whilst this cream is expensive, its impressive ingredient listing and the fact so little goes such a long way makes it worth it for those who wish to be indulgent and splurge. There is no doubt that the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream is a truly decadent yet high performing night cream that will continue to appear in my routines. It really is a holy grail find and something that I will absolutely repurchase again.
Have you used anything from the African Botanics range? What was it and what did you think of it? I would love to hear you comments in the section below.