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Reviewed: Isla Apothecary Discovery Kit


As a beauty site, it’s kind of our job to keep an eye on every ebb and flow of the natural beauty industry – every launch, every new ingredient, every new bit of beauty tech. Sounds like a dream, but rest assured that it’s often more overwhelming than rewarding. There’s just too much to report, too many trends to address.

But once in a while, from amongst the rubble a small sparkle will catch our eye: the birth of a new brand. The idea of new products to fall in love with sends us scampering across Instagram feeds with feverish resolve until the wee hours of the morning. That’s how I discovered Isla Apothecary.

Presenting as a sleek small-batch skincare brand dipped in coppery labels (it looks pink but it’s actually not) and gold foiling, it’s impossible to resist. “Products that like that are practically begging to be loved,” I justified as I headed home later that week, a whole set of Isla bestsellers in tow. Now here I am, baring the results of my latest crush to the world. Will it be true love or will it end in heartbreak? Read on to find out…

Refine & Radiate Beautifying Face Mask

Don’t let the bright orange colour intimidate you: it won’t stain skin (unless you decide to leave it on for the rest of the week) and comes from turmeric root, an ingredient well-loved in the natural beauty sphere for its acne-fighting and anti-inflammatory effects. The website suggests mixing the powdered mask with honey or floral waters so in true spirit of a beauty junkie I use both. I incorporate about a teaspoon of wildflower honey with a few pumps of Mega Mist and smear it all over. It doesn’t contain clay so it’s not drying at all, and leaves my skin noticeably brighter and calmer – which I’m totally okay with!

Relax & Recover Bath Salts

The bergamot is strong with this one. Despite the presence of dried lavender buds, there is actually no lavender oil in this, which I found a welcome detour from your standard lavender-oil-soaked bath goods. Instead, you’re presented with a melee of bergamot, cedarwood, rose geranium and limonene, and with each whiff you’ll catch a different scent. Couple that with the relaxing effects of epsom salt and you have yourself a recipe for the perfect night in.

Neroli Body Oil

This oil feels luscious, glides on smoothly, and its richness means it’s also deeply hydrating. (Great for dehydrated winter skin!) The fragrance might be slightly overpowering at times, but fades away once the oils have been absorbed. I’ll be honest with you: on some days, it takes a hefty amount of kneading to reach full absorption, but considering that part of its job description is to be a massage oil, I’d say that the formula counts as being quite effective. Oh, and it works even better when added to a bath!

Blood Orange & Vanilla Sugar Scrub

I minute I smell this I knew I had found The One. This blood orange sugar scrub is truly the cherry on the cake: it’s so hydrating that you feel the difference right after rinsing: your skin feels instantly softer and stays this way for a good few hours after showering, even without moisturiser. However, the sugar is rather rough, meaning we would highly advise keeping this away from your face – not that it’s a loss, mind you. More like a massive gain for your new, baby-smooth body.

The Isla Apothecary Discovery Kit retails for £21 at Get one here.

– Jennie Lim