Body care for winter: Avène Akérat vs. La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP+

Posted on October 26, 2015 under Reviews

This post features press samples. I was not compensated for writing this post and all thoughts and opinions remain my own.

I have keratosis pilaris on my arms and legs, and it’s a fairly bad case. Unlike some people, mine doesn’t clear up in warm weather or even respond terribly well to most treatments. Since Canadian company Dermaglow went under, taking my beloved 8% glycolic acid body lotion with it, I’ve mainly been making do with physical exfoliation and thick body creams. This doesn’t get rid of the KP, but it helps keep my skin as smooth and soft as is possible with this condition.

Obviously, this gets a lot worse in the winter. I have been genetically cursed not only with KP but with the driest skin in the entire freakin’ universe. If I’m not very vigilant with my body lotions when it gets cold out, my arms and legs are pretty much unfit to be seen, touched, or generally existent.

Today I’m here with a comparison of two mid-range body lotions: Avène Akérat Smoothing Exfoliating Cream and La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP+*. Both of these are French pharmacie brands formulated specifically for sensitive skin. Americans may have a hard time finding them, but my fellow Canadians will be able to pick them up in any Shoppers Drug Mart or Pharmaprix. (Both brands are also available at Boots in the UK!)

Claims & Ingredients

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Akérat: “Ultra-rich targeted body care helps restore skin’s comfort level and balance for smoother, softer skin texture.” Contains urea as well as lactic acid and salicylic acid.

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Lipikar Baume AP+: “Beyond immediate soothing, LIPIKAR Baume AP+ spaces out flare-ups of severe dryness. Supple and soft, skin regains a durable comfort.” and “Anti-Itching, Lipid-Replenishing, Soothing Balm.” Contains shea butter and niacinamide.

Texture

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Lipikar Baume AP+ has a thinner texture than Akérat, which feels thicker and more emollient. Akérat also feels significantly stickier, which is all the more noticeable after applying it to the skin. However, neither one is terribly thick at all; they’re definitely lotions rather than body butters or even creams, though the Akérat is moving into cream territory. Neither one feels slippery or greasy. Personally, I think the Lipikar Baume AP+ has a more pleasant texture due to the fact that it doesn’t feel sticky at all and sinks into the skin almost instantaneously.

Packaging

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Akérat: Classic squeeze-tube packaging, which I like. It’s hygienic and easy to get all the product out. I will admit I’m a bit spoiled by La Roche Posay’s easy squeeze packaging, which is thinner and makes squeezing product out a lot easier (especially when it’s running low and more elbow grease is required), but that’s just nitpicking.

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Lipikar Baume AP+: The 200mL version is the same squeezy tube packaging as Akérat, but the 400mL one that I have is a bottle with a pump. This is okay, but not ideal. It is hygienic and at first it’s easy to get the product out, but obviously as the product diminishes the effectiveness of the pump does too. Also, because the packaging is both opaque and fairly solid, it’s hard to tell how much product is actually left. Although the Akérat tube is also opaque, because of its flexible material it’s easier to determine how much I’ve used up. I’m nervous to travel with products with unprotected pumps like this, too; I’m much more likely to chuck the Akérat into a travel bag! The pump packaging isn’t enough to dissuade me from repurchasing this product, but it’s also not the most convenient.

Results

For three days, I applied the Akérat to my left arm and leg and the Lipikar Baume AP+ to my right. Overall, I found that the long-term results (and I’m using that term relatively, as this was a three-day experiment) were the same. Short-term, my left side felt slightly more hydrated – but also stickier. The Akérat left the sticky feeling lingering for hours, whereas the Lipikar Baume AP+ sank in right away, leaving my skin feeling hydrated but not laden with product.

Long-term, both sets of arms and legs felt smoother and more hydrated than when I started this little experiment. I will say that in the dead of winter I think either product would be most effective when combined with something very thick, like a body butter, to lock in the moisture – but on their own at this time of year, either one is adequate. Neither performs a miracle in terms of my KP, but they certainly help with my dry skin, which in turn helps to minimize both the appearance and feeling of the KP.

Akérat is billed as an exfoliating cream, while Lipikar Baume AP+ is merely a moisturizing body lotion for very dry skin. I don’t feel that Akérat is a particularly effective exfoliant; if my skin is smoother it’s because it’s more moisturized. Despite this, however, I feel that both products essentially live up to their claims. I’m happy with both, although both do have minor shortcomings.

Price and Conclusion

Akérat: $29.50 CAD for 200mL/6.76 fl oz; $0.15 per mL or $4.36 per fl oz.

Lipikar Baume AP+: $33.00 CAD for 400mL/13.5 fl oz; $0.08 per mL or $2.44 per fl oz.

Clearly, the Lipikar Baume AP+ is better value for the money, at least when it comes to the 400mL size. Both products perform well and I will continue to use them both throughout the (many) cold months to come. Avène and La Roche-Posay are both brands that I enjoy, trust, and will happily and confidently sell to customers with a variety of skin concerns. However, the Lipikar Baume AP+ has two distinct advantages when it comes time to repurchase one or the other: its texture is more pleasing to me, and it is far better value when it comes down to price per unit.

Note: Product marked with an asterisk was sent to me for review purposes, but as always this does not influence my opinion whatsoever. This post is not sponsored.

Making My Own Lord of Misrule Bath Bomb at LUSH Eaton Centre

Posted on October 18, 2015 under Events, Reviews

I am now in the busy, difficult, stressful part of the semester. If this is any indication as to my state of mind, the other day I drank an entire mug of hot water before realizing that I had forgotten to put the teabag in. Fourth year is no joke!

Between an endless stream of assignments, a massive stack of reading, and the impending doom of grad school applications, Canadian Thanksgiving in Toronto was a nice break – even though I worked for three out of the four days I was home. The one day that I wasn’t working, I had the opportunity to attend the LUSH Eaton Centre grand reopening with my best friend Cheyne.

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We arrived early and, since I had been in the first hundred to RSVP, we each got a free gift. We got to choose between a shower gel and the Comforter Hand and Body Lotion, and we both went with the body lotion. LUSH describes it as smelling of blackcurrant and cypress, but to me it’s just straight up bubblegum. That is definitely not a scent I want all over my body, but I’m sure it will make one of my friends very happy.

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There were also lots of little vegan treats on offer. I did not manage to snap a picture of the mini donut I had before stuffing it down my gullet, but it was just as yummy as this vanilla cupcake. Definitely a nice touch!

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The physical space of the new Eaton Centre store is great. The old store was tiny, and though this one isn’t huge, it’s absolutely an upgrade. They’ve made the most out of the space.

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Now is probably the time to note that I am not a huge LUSH fan. Their skincare is not my thing. I know it works for others, but it’s not for me. However, their bath and body products are pretty hard to resist, between the scents, packaging, and punny names. I also always love LUSH store spaces – they do such a great job of displaying all their products and decorating the inside of the stores.

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They’re gearing up for Christmas already (one of the employees said Christmas starts in August for them)! LUSH Christmas packaging and products are always gorgeous. Maybe Santa will be kind to me this year…

The main event of the day was a chance for everyone to create their own Lord of Misrule bath bomb, which was what lured me to LUSH in the first place. The promise of a successful DIY project, supervised by professionals, was too much to resist!

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LUSH bath bomb-maker extraordinaire Alison demonstrated the process, which is surprisingly simple when everything’s been premixed for you. As you can see from the photo, I was a bit far back, which made it slightly difficult to see what was going on in detail. That’s really my one criticism of the event; the bath bomb-making part was slightly disorganized, with people pushing to the front for their turn. Those in the back would have had an almost impossible time of seeing the demonstration.

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Making this little guy involved filling up one half of the mold with the green mixture, then pressing the purple core of the bath bomb into it, packing more of the green around it, and securing the other half of the mold on top of everything. Alison advised that we let our bath bombs sit for 5-6 hours so that they would solidify properly; I left mine for nearly a week as I didn’t have a chance to use it before then.

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Here is my freed Lord of Misrule bath bomb. Not bad! It has a few slight imperfections (that crack going around the centre being the main one), but I think for my first try it was a success.

Of course, you guys probably don’t just want to look at pretty pictures of the bath bomb sitting on my window sill. You want to see what magic my creation is capable of.

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No surprises here considering it was a green bath bomb with a purple centre! It looked like that for awhile as the bomb fizzed and died. The final product?

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Yeah, I was basically bathing in a tub of wine. Which is pretty badass, and which I approve of.

I am very grateful to the LUSH website for providing a description of the scent of the Lord of Misrule bath bomb for me, as I am hopeless at such endeavours. According to the official source, it “brings mischievous revelry to the tub with a spicy herbal blend of patchouli and black pepper oil”. Personally, my description was “It smells like LUSH”, and my roommate Katie’s was “Floral with a bit of licorice.” Clearly neither of us know what the hell we’re talking about. I liked the scent, for what it’s worth.

I had a really nice time at the LUSH Eaton Centre grand reopening – it was a fun event and they were super generous with the freebies (and food). While I personally don’t care for the body lotion, the bath bomb was awesome, and I really enjoyed the process of making it. I don’t think I’ll turn into a LUSH devotee anytime soon, but I will certainly be picking up another bath bomb – though this one will be made my someone else.

As a guest of LUSH Eaton Centre, I received the products featured in this post free of charge. This post is not sponsored and all opinions remain my own.