January—well, the first two weeks of it, anyway—have been something of a rollercoaster. Farfetched as it may sound, there's a tiny part of all of us that believed the literal flipping of the clock at midnight on New Year's Eve would bring with it a sense of peace and relief. Of course, that proved to be far from the case. The chaos of the new year has brought with it many things, but it's also reaffirmed the case for self-soothing, care, attention, and protection.
An expansion of Alicia Keys' e.l.f.-backed skincare and wellness line, Keys Soulcare, arrives January 14, featuring six new products to treat both skin and soul. The collection isn't just about improving on your physical appearance—Soulcare is aptly named, focused more on the ritual of self-love and pampering over-improving imperfection. Each of the new items not only continues the line's existing mission with affirmations to accompany each piece but also rounds out a robust and effective skincare routine that leaves you with skin like, well, Alicia Keys.
Formulated with Dr. Renée Snyder, Board Certified Dermatologist and Co-Founder of W3LL PEOPLE, the line's new products are all clean, cruelty-free, and gentle enough for virtually all skin types. "What I am most proud of is that the products are clean—all the products are formulated without the 1,680 substances restricted by the FDA and EU Cosmetics guidelines," Dr. Snyder tells Byrdie exclusively. "And they are formulated with skin-nourishing minerals and botanicals."
First up in the Keys Soulcare new product lineup (and your routine) is the Golden Cleanser ($20), a Manuka honey-packed, deep-pore cleanser that thoroughly washes away grime while soothing and calming inflammation thanks to turmeric and chamomile ingredients. With its designated affirmation reading, "You are devoted to this moment," take a few minutes to really massage it in, space out, and just focus on how good it feels to take care of yourself.
Soulcare's Be Luminous Exfoliator ($22) isn't so much a name as an incantation. "When developing this product, we included Japanese hojicha powder to brighten complexions and reveal true radiance," Dr. Snyder explains of the exfoliant's star ingredient, a powdered Japanese tea blend utilized for its radiance-boosting and antioxidant properties.
The formula lathers into a creamy foam that powerfully yet gently smooths away lingering dead cells and other skin-cluttering debris to reveal a radiant complexion underneath. Be Luminous' affirmation is a metaphorical ode to a different kind of skin-shedding: "You are layered, complex and divine."
No self-care line would be complete without a transformative mask to layer on when you need some extra help in every sense. The all-new Harmony Mask ($28), made from a winning combination of purified charcoal and antioxidant-heavy Manuka honey and stamped with the affirmation "You walk in your own strength", is just that. Not only do its top-line ingredients soothe frustrated skin, but the scent of sandalwood and luxurious bits of gold foil make the mask smell and look as indulgent as it feels.
Manuka honey is a powerful antioxidant and antibacterial made by honeybees who live in New Zealand-native Manuka trees. When used as skincare, it can be a highly effective acne-fighter. Even if blemishes aren't your primary concern, the honey is also described as a natural humectant that helps draw and seal in moisture for a dewy, hydrated complexion.
Appropriately paired with "You are as free as the air" as an affirmation, the Reviving Aura Mist ($22) is the sort of product that you'll want to buy in bulk as it keeps finding new homes: your nightstand, your purse, your backpack, your glovebox, your other purse, your best friend's purse, etc. But how could it not? More than just an aromatherapy mist (though it does smell like a dew-sprinkled garden thanks to the Rose of Jericho plant), the spray also contains witch hazel to refresh and hydrate skin.
Finally, the Comforting Balm ($12) is your beauty equivalent of an electric blanket, fuzzy socks, and a huge mug of tea. Featuring a warm vanilla scent, the go-anywhere balm glides on any surface that might need a boost of moisture or protection: elbows, knees, lips, cuticles, you name it. Lush with hydrating camellia seed, it's 30-second Me Time in a highly-portable little jar. The corresponding affirmation, "You surround yourself with things that are good for you", seems to apply to the entire collection.
The six new products join three existing items, including a scented candle, facial roller, and a cream powered by bakuchiol, "which is a plant-based alternative to retinol and helps to improve the texture and elasticity of the skin," Dr. Snyder describes.
By making the ethos of skincare and self-care a primary concern alongside effective products filled with potent ingredients, Keys taps into what makes that morning and evening ritual so soothing. It's about the skin, sure, but it's more about the soul. With this expansion, Keys more than covers both.