Beauty and Grooming

Go Natural: Introducing Aura Botanica by Kérastase

Kerastase Aura Botanica

According to a recent survey, the average British woman spends over £70,000 on beauty products in her lifetime and most of us rub, spray and lather 10 different skincare products onto our body each day. The number of chemicals amassed in this amount of products typically extends into the 100s, and so it seems unsurprising that one of this year’s biggest beauty trends is a move towards natural skincare and haircare products. And brands are taking note. Luxury French beauty brand Kérastase recently launched its new professional natural origin haircare range, titled Aura Botanica.

Created with ingredients that are 98% derived from natural origins, the Aura Botanica collection contains the highest percentage of natural ingredients of any haircare product produced by Kérastase since the brand was founded 53 years ago. Formulated following years of research by the brand, the collection is centred around two key super-ingredients: responsibly sourced Samoan coconut oil and responsibly sourced argan oil.

Is Aura Botanica Right for your Hair?

Aura Botanica’s breakthrough formula is best suited to hair which is dull, frizzy and/or dry to the touch. It is not recommended for hair that is too damaged or highly sensitised.

 

What is in Kérastase Aura Botanica Products? And what are the benefits?

Responsibly Sourced Samoan Coconut Oil

The first crucial ingredient to the Aura Botanica haircare range is virgin, certified organic Samoan coconut oil that is traditionally extracted from local, fair trade communities. The oil is hand pressed from the white pulp of the coconut only once it is perfectly ripe. This pure oil is rich in nurtitive lipids containing Omega 6 and 9 (considered “essential fatty acids”) and extremely abundant in lauric acid (50%), small linear nutritive lipid which allows deep penetration of nutrition into the hair (and anchoring within the fibre for durable nutrition).

Extracted from the towering coconut palms on the islands of Samoa, coconut oil is an active ingredient used in all Kérastase Aura Botanica products. It is one of the rare oils able to offer a rich source of lauric acid, a linear lipid proven scientifically to penetrate deep within the hair shaft. Inside and outside the fibre, coconut oil delivers invisible, long-lasting hydration, nutrition, protection, suppleness and strength: the perfect fusion of nature and performance.

With socially responsible purchasing, Kérastase has committed itself to support the wellbeing of the many women for whom these precious raw materials are a source of life. Bringing revenue to the nation’s indigenous communities will help preserve their unique culture and help Samoa reach its goal of becoming an “organic island.”

 

Responsibly Sourced Argan Oil

The second key ingredient to the range is precious, certified organic Argan oil collected and extracted by a local, female cooperative in Morocco through green practices. This oil is rich in polysaturated fatty acids (Linoleic acid, Omega-6) and Tocopherols (vitamin E and antioxidants). Argan oil is widely used by Moroccan women for skin, hair and nail care and has been used as such for centuries. Many traditional beauty secrets are based on argan oil and it is known for strengthening hair while making it soft, shiny and silky.

Argan oil’s luminous, fluid texture has a natural affinity with the hair. Its rich concentrations of poly-unsaturated fatty acids, especially Omega 6 and 9, allow it to resist oxidation and leave the fibre light and resplendent. Argon oil is used in all Aura Botanica products as it nourishes the dry surface of the hair while adding softness and durable shine.

For centuries argan oil has been prized in beauty rituals for its hydrating and replenishing qualities. Today, it is not only embellishing but also empowering women. Kérastase is proud to be involved in Targanine, a community project helping local Berber women to provide for their families. Several cooperatives have up to 50 members, making it possible to offer literary classes and nurseries for young children. The project perpetuates the traditions of village life, while helping to preserve the fragile ecosystem of the Argan forest; part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

 

The Benefits

Natural touch with 48h durable-feel: Hair fibres feel uncoated and pure to the touch

Weightlessness with 72h free of fizz: Formulated for a clean finish, leaving hair light and alive

Healthy glow with 3x shinier hair: Lit-from-within radiance replaces dullness with natural glow.

“EVERYTHING I EAT, EVERYTHING I PUT ON MY FACE, EVERYTHING I PUT IT IN MY HAIR, OF COURSE I WOULD LOVE IT TO BE AS NATURAL AS POSSIBLE.”

Ton Garrn Kerastase Aura Botanica

Kérastase Aura Botanica Ambassador Toni Garrn

Aura Botanica: Your Questions Answered

How is Aura Botanica different from other brands and ranges?

Aura Botanica is a new professional luxury natural origin haircare range.

Kérastase has developed a range of four products for dull, devitalized hair composed of up to 98%* of natural origin ingredients on average:

  1. Micellar Shampoo formulated with 96% natural origin* ingredients and 99%** biodegradable
  2. Soin Fondamental formulated with 97% natural origin* ingredients and 99%** biodegradable
  3. Concentre Essentiel formulated with 99% natural origin* ingredients and 99%** biodegradable
  4. Essence d’Eclat formulated with 99% natural origin* ingredients and 96%** biodegradable

The formulas are sulphate-free***, silicone-free and paraben-free, with a highly biodegradable fragrance and 2 solidarity-sourced botanical oils: Samoan coconut oil and Moroccan argan oil. With this launch, Kérastase tackled with success the challenge to offer a new hair signature, the “nude touch”, and the promise of healthy-looking glow that is complementary to its hair care DNA.

What do you mean by dull, devitalized hair?

Dull, devitalized hair is hair that lacks in radiance and need to be nourished. It concerns the following hair types: normal to lightly sensitized hair that can be coloured; slightly frizzy, dry to the touch; and neither too fine nor too thick.

 

What does the Aura Botanica range do to the hair?

The Aura Botanica range provides 48h durable conditioning, 72h anti-frizz and 3x shinier hair* thanks to proven highly efficient natural origin actives allied in powerful breakthrough sensorial formulae for a nude touch, lively hair and healthy glow. (*instrumental tests performed using Bain + Soin + Concentré)

Using Aura Botanica reveals the hair’s healthy glow by leaving hair that feels uncoated and weightless yet is deeply nourished with frizz control.

 

Why do Aura Botanica’s formulas contain high levels of natural origin ingredients?

As a brand, Kérastase is convinced that natural and sustainable ingredients can meet performance and luxury. The brand has developed a whole range of products made of up to 98%* natural origin ingredients that deliver high performance with great visible results on hair and a highly sensorial user experience. Aura Botanica represents the brand’s belief that products with high level of natural origin ingredients can efficiently care for your hair, while also respecting and supporting the environment. In its formulas, natural origin ingredients are combined with a few synthetic ingredients, which are always of very high quality, to guarantee the quality and sensorial properties of our products.

 

A few other brands claim products achieving 100% natural origin ingredients. Why is this not the case for Aura Botanica?

Kérastase has made the conscious choice not to have formulas 100% of natural origin in order not to compromise performance. Despite this, the range achieves record high levels of natural origin ingredients (up to 98%* on average) and the Concentré Essentiel and Essence d’Eclat are the highest at 99% of natural origin* each.

The small percentage of the formula that is not of natural-origin ensures the high quality of the formula in terms of cosmetic usage and sensoriality. In the future, if formulae with 100% natural origin ingredients perform to the desired standards, the brand will most certainly integrate them into the platform.

We have heard that Kérastase built the formulation from scratch. Yet you use ingredients that are not new. So what exactly was new in the formulation process? Which natural origin ingredients are exclusive to Kérastase?

The point of Aura Botanica is not to have ingredients that are exclusive or necessarily rare. What is unique about Aura Botanica is that the Kérastase laboratories started each formulation from scratch by respecting the strict requirements to develop formulas made of at least 96% of natural origin* ingredients, that are also highly biodegradable**, without silicones, sulphates*** or parabens, and with no compromise on sensorial experience and performance.

 

Why is Aura Botanica considered to be a prowess of formulation?

The Aura Botanica range required more than 18 months of extensive formulation work that started from scratch; more than 50 formulas were developed, in order to obtain the best candidates meeting each of the following very demanding requirements:

  • High levels of natural origin and biodegradability: formulas made of 98% of natural origin* ingredients, 98% biodegradable** in average and without sulphates***, silicones and parabens
  • Luxurious sensoriality and pleasurable use: unique caring textures with an aromatic fragrance to indulge the senses and beautify hair naturally without weighing it down. For example, creating a sulphate-free***, silicone-free, high natural origin shampoo that delivers a light, airy, plentiful lather to gently yet efficiently cleanse the fibre.
  • Uncompromising high performance: exceptional proven results such as 48h long-lasting nutrition, 72h anti-frizz/volume control/anti-humidity, healthy glowing hair that is up to 4 times shinier (instrumental tests after application of the Bain + Soin + Concentré) and stronger (instrumental test after application of Essence d’Éclat only).

 

How were the key ingredients in Aura Botanica chosen?

The botanical oils used in Aura Botanica, Samoan coconut oil and Moroccan argan oil, were chosen for 3 major reasons:

  1. Their complementarity in fatty acids: Samoan coconut oil is particularly rich in lauric acid (saturated fatty acid). Moroccan argan oil has been used for centuries by the Berbers living in the Atlas Mountains for its richness in nutritive lipids like omega-6 (poly-unsaturated fatty acids) and omega-9 (mono-unsaturated fatty acids).
  2. Their proven performance on hair: Studies in advanced research labs prove that Samoan coconut oil, thanks to its richness in lauric acid, is able to anchor itself and deeply in hair fiber. Its action on the fiber – inside and out – provides hair with protection, hydration, nutrition, suppleness, detangling.
    In addition to coconut oil, Argan oil brings nourishing properties to dry and devitalized hair and its efficacy has been demonstrated on softness and shine.
  3. Their natural, organic and fairly traded/responsibly sourced origin: Coconut oil is a virgin natural and certified organic oil that is cold pressed from fruit harvested in Samoa, a group of 9 islands in the South Pacific. The hand-gathered coconuts are sourced from a local NGO, Women in Business Development (WIBDI). Through this project, nearly 100 Samoans receive regular income, which enables them to stay on the island and invest in health and training programs. Argan oil is natural and organic, extracted by pressing the nuts after cracking them by hand. These nuts are harvested carefully in the argan forest, a vast territory of 8000 km², listed by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve. Targanine, a cooperative of 334 women in southwest Morocco, teaches women how to harvest the argan fruit while respecting the forest, participates in reforestation and organizes literacy programs.

 

Kerastase Aura Botanica Benefits

Aura Botanica uses the same ingredients (coconut oil and argan oil) that have been on the market for years. So how can performance be different in these products than all the other products that contain these ingredients?

What is unique about Aura Botanica is that natural origin ingredients are the driving force for each formula. For example, rather than replacing sulphates in the shampoo with a chemical surfactant, Micellar Shampoo employs three natural-origin surfactants to cleanse away impurities from the fibre.

Furthermore, they are not just any coconut and argan oils, both are responsibly sourced as part of L’Oréal’s Solidarity Sourcing programs that ensures not only a fairly traded price for the oils but also commits to a quantity over time helping local communities foster sustainable livelihoods.

 

Why is Aura Botanica positioned at a price premium?

Ensuring a fair and sustainable price for the ingredients we use means that the costing of the formulas is quite high to manufacture. Furthermore, the experience that we have with Aura Botanica sets it as veritable luxury products. Lastly, there is a true unicity to what Aura Botanica proposes, that sets it apart as being a range able to have formulas with very high levels of ingredients from natural origin (98% natural origin on average) and biodegradability, which have assured quantifiable and proven performance, with ethical sourcing and all with a premium fine fragrance, indulgent textures and a veritable luxurious product experience. For professionals or consumers, Aura Botanica is our definition of natural luxury.

 

Why does Kérastase believe that products inspired from nature, biodegradability are important?

Kérastase is committed to becoming a responsible luxury brand. In the past years, we have made strong headway, as we have engaged to improve the environmental profile of both our formulas and packaging for all new product developments.

 

Why is Kérastase launching a range of produtcs with high level of ingredients from natural origin?

Kérastase is committed to responding to consumer’s needs and desires. We recognize that there are women to whom naturality is important, but this is not a reflection on all of our consumers. Aura Botanica will continue to be our bastion of Natural Beauty. Kérastase will continue to integrate the values of sustainability into all its products but knows that there are limits as to what nature can do, and for hairdressers or consumers in search of pure performance we will still deliver effective formulas that are as conscious and sustainable as possible.

For over five decades years, Kérastase has been inspired by nature and has included the fine, botanical ingredients in the formulation of its groundbreaking products. The 1970s saw the invention of Kéraplasma, the brand’s original plant-based hair balm. In 1980, Kérastase introduced the world’s first hair mask, Masque Kérastase à l’Huile de Germes de Maïs, enriched with maize germ oil. One year later, its first protective hair oil, Soin d’Huile Végétale, was created. In 2010, the golden Elixir Ultime signaled a new era of opulence in hair oils. Since 2013, iconic Nutritive formulas have been infused with the intense, nourishing power of iris rhizomes. Today, Aura Botanica reinforces the brand’s commitment with a complete range of products with high degrees of natural origin.

 

What gives the Aura Botanica products their color?

None of Aura Botanica’s products contain any artificial colorants.

The Micellar Shampoo and Soin Fondamental get their color from caramel, a natural origin botanical ingredient. The Concentré Essentiel and Essence d’Eclat do not contain any colorants.

 

What ingredients allow the Micellar Shampoo to give that squeaky clean feeling?

Micellar Shampoo is formulated with natural and renewable origin surfactants (Coco Betaine, Coco Glucoside, Sodium lauroyl Sarcosinate) and not with any silicones or cationic polymers that are usually present in shampoos to give hair an instant silky feeling. These natural origin surfactants allow the formula to provide effective yet gentle cleansing which translates into the squeaky clean feeling. When paired with the Soin Fondamental (modulated or not with the Concentré Essentiel) balanced care is achieved to reveal healthy-glowing hair.

 

How come the Soin Fondamental does not weigh down hair? What specific ingredients cause the weighing down feeling in other products?

Soin Fondamental is formulated to be smart and deliver what the hair needs, no more, no less. To push cosmeticity further, the result can be modulated with the Concentré Essentiel if needed for more challenging hair types.

There are different agents that can make the hair feel weighed down, often it boils down to the way the products are formulated.

Aura Botanica is able to deliver its signature nude touch and healthy glow without weighing hair down because it has been formulated to have the ideal balance of natural oils to nourish hair while preserving weightlessness.

 

How do I use the Concentré Essentiel?

The Concentré Essentiel is a multi-usage product which application can be personalized according to ones need. It can be applied:

  • As a pretreatment before the Micellar Shampoo on the length and tips of the hair to provide weightless care
  • As a pretreatment on the scalp before the Micellar Shampoo to provide care to dry scalps
  • As a nutrition booster mixed with the Soin Fondamental (advised ratio of 2 pumps of Concentré Essentiel for 10g of Soin Fondamental by the International Testing Room) – As a massage oil for the body to nourish and beautify the skin (please note that this product cannot be applied to the face)

Elixir Ultime is already a range with oils, what is the purpose of Aura Botanica?

The end benefit is perceivably different as Elixir Ultime provides sublime shine and the traditional Kérastase touch, whereas Aura Botanica delivers a soft healthy glow and hair feels nude to the touch. Furthermore, Aura Botanica is not restricted to only using oils, today we use them but in future developments other natural origin actives may be introduced.

 

Does Kérastase test on animals?

Kérastase, like all L’Oréal brands, does not test its products or any of its ingredients on animals, nor does delegate this task to others. Furthermore, cosmetic testing on animals is banned in the European Union, India, Israel and Norway.

For more information, please visit:
http://www.loreal.com/sustainability/l’or%C3%A9al-answers/the-question-of-animal-testing/frequently-asked-questions

 



Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert


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