'It Feels as if Impurities are Being Lifted Out of Your Face': A Product Review of ILERA Apothecary

Illustration for article titled It Feels as if Impurities are Being Lifted Out of Your Face: A Product Review of ILERA Apothecary
Photo: Courtesy of ILERA Apothecary

I love anything from Detroit. If it’s made there, it is simply better than everything else. If you want your hair did have it styled by a Detroiter at least once. A pair of gators? Detroit’s got you. Even Biggie, may he rest in peace, knew that. But because Detroit is the biggest Black city in America, you know the people have a thing about not being ashy.

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It is unholy.

I think it’s clear that I was born and raised in Detroit. OK, enough for plugging my hometown. Today, I am trying out skin and hair care products from Detroit-based company ILERA Apothecary.

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Chinonye Akunne, the founder, sent me a kit with Revitalizing Night Oil, Conditioning Beard Oil, Clarifying Face Mask, Body Butter, Deep Clay Cleanser and Clarifying Face Mask.

Pro-tip: Learn your hair and skin type as you try out these products. If a product doesn’t deliver the desired results, we tend to assume that a product is bad when, in actuality, we’re not using the right type of product that works for our skin type.

Revitalizing Night Oil

This is my favorite part of the package I was sent. The description says the night oil is light (and it is), but I found it to be very replenishing after rubbing just two drops together with my hands and applying it to my face. It has a slight hint of avocado, so it is not too overpowering. I find that a lot of people—especially men—don’t practice any kind of skincare regimen before going to bed, but ILERA revitalizing night oil will have your skin looking and feeling like money.

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Illustration for article titled It Feels as if Impurities are Being Lifted Out of Your Face: A Product Review of ILERA Apothecary
Photo: Courtesy of ILERA Apothecary

Conditioning Beard Oil

I put this on right after I applied the revitalizing oil and it, too, was a winner. With just three to five drops, my beard was fully moisturized and that is impressive, given that I have a full beard. It’s a citrus-infused jojoba scented oil, but, like the revitalizing face oil, the smell is not too overpowering. Because I am not a beard oil person, I tend not to wear them during the day, instead of going with hair butter. (I wear this particular beard oil at night with the revitalizing oil) But this beard oil complements hair butters if you are looking for an extra sheen that doesn’t disrupt the smell of the butter.

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It’s a winner.

Clarifying Face Mask

This was a full experience. It’s designed to detoxify the skin and fight aging. The active ingredients are “activated charcoal” and “bentonite clay,” which come in a powdered state inside the container. You take a small spoonful, mix it in a bowl, and then apply it to your face and let it sit for 10 minutes. It sort of feels like a facial scrub when you apply it, but it is a thin clay mask. It’s therapeutic as it works through your skin; it feels as if impurities are being lifted out of your face. My recommendation is that you not apply too much if you don’t want to see black water streaks on your sink. It’s more of a tribute to the quality of the product that you don’t need much of it to be effective.

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Illustration for article titled It Feels as if Impurities are Being Lifted Out of Your Face: A Product Review of ILERA Apothecary
Photo: Courtesy of ILERA Apothecary

Body Butter

The butter, made out of sandalwood and patchouli, is another solid feature of the ILERA collection. The best feature is that it hydrates well and replenishes your skin well after showering. The scent doesn’t overpower you; if you want something that hydrates without an overpowering scent, this body butter is for you.

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Body Wash

This is a solid body wash. The best part of it for me is that it lathers up very well and it works well in my beard. Three or four ounces can last a week. There is not much of a scent to it, which isn’t a bad thing at all. The best feature is that it hydrates well and you can go to bed without applying body oil or whatever you use as part of your body moisturizing routine.

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Deep Clay Cleanser

Like the Clarifying Face Mask, the Deep Clay Cleanser was a fun experience because it is clay-based. It took me a few nights to get used to it, but once I had it down, I found the product left my skin feeling like I just left the spa. The trick is that you do not need much and if you go to the ILERA website, you can click on the video tutorials and learn how to apply it to your face. A lot of skincare sites do not provide that, but, in this case, the videos helped me better understand how to use the products. I probably would not have had a positive experience with these clay-based products had those videos not been available.

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Illustration for article titled It Feels as if Impurities are Being Lifted Out of Your Face: A Product Review of ILERA Apothecary
Photo: Courtesy of ILERA Apothecary

Overall

If you are patient and want to try something new, I strongly recommend ILERA. I have to admit, it took me a while to get used to the clay-based facial products, but once you learn how to use them properly you won’t want to try anything else. Generally, I enjoyed all of the products, but the Revitalizing Night Oil is my favorite by a country mile. I never sleep without applying some type of moisturizer or oil to my face and this is one of the best I have tried. A few drops and your skin is popping all night long.

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If you want to purchase ILERA, please go to their website.

Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior reporter at The Root. He is currently writing a book proposal that analyzes US-Russia relations from a black perspective.

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