Alya Skin was founded by Manny Barbas and James Hachem, two men in their early twenties from Melbourne. Neither had experience in the beauty industry, but they decided to team up and start the brand after seeing the face mask hype on social media. They named their brand based on the Arabic word ‘alya’, which translates to heavenly/beautiful.
So is Alya Skin the key to “heavenly/beautiful” skin? To answer this question, we’ll have to evaluate the product formulations. We’ll discuss what ingredients the brand uses, in what concentrations, and if there’s any research to support the benefits of these ingredients. We’ll also share Alya Skin reviews so you can get a better idea of what customers really think of these products.
What Are The Best Alya Skin Care Products?
At the time of writing this review, the Alya Skin Care collection contains just five products: a clay mask, facial exfoliator, moisturizer, micellar cleanser, and vitamin C serum. Below we’ll give you a breakdown of each of these products.
Alya Skin Pink Clay Mask
- The brand’s most popular product
- This mask is said to defend the skin against the oil, dirt, and toxins, cleansing and revitalizing the epidermis to bring you bright, beautiful skin
- Key ingredients include two clays (kaolin and bentonite), witch hazel, aloe vera root extract, pomegranate extract, licorice root extract, and vitamins C and E
- Formula contains fragrant essential oils
Alya Skin Pomegranate Facial Scrub Exfoliator
- A facial scrub that is said to deeply exfoliate your skin to remove dead skin cells, leaving your skin feeling fresher and smoother
- The key exfoliating ingredient in this scrub is cellulose acetate, a biodegradable polymer made from pure cellulose extracted from wood pulp by a reaction using acetic acid
- Cellulose acetate physically exfoliates the skin, which helps to remove dead skin cells from the surface of skin that can clog pores and cause a dull complexion
- Formula also contains several emollients, such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and macadamia seed oil, which all help keep the skin soft and smooth
- Formula contains synthetic fragrance ingredients
Alya Skin Australian Native Berries Moisturiser
- Facial moisturizer that is said to rehydrate, restructure, and repair the skin
- Contains a bioactive complex of 3 Australian super berries: Tasmannia lanceolata (Pepperberry) fruit extract, Syzygium luehmannii (Riberry) fruit extract, and Kunzea pomifera (Mutries) fruit extract
- These fruit extracts are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants limit oxidative stress caused by free radicals, the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin
- Formula contains several emollients, such as sweet almond oil, macadamia seed oil, shea butter, and cacao butter which all help to improve skin hydration and keep it feeling soft and smooth
- Formula contains synthetic fragrance ingredients
Alya Skin Foaming Micellar Cleanser
- Micellar facial cleanser that remove impurities and makeup from the skin like a magnet
- Helps to reduce and eliminate any bacteria which may cause infection or acne breakouts
- This cleanser is hydrating with a non-drying formula
- Key ingredients include surfactants (lauryl glucoside, coco-glucoside, etc.), witch hazel water, and watermelon seed oil
- Contains one fragrant essential oil
Alya Skin Supercharged Vitamin C Serum
- All of the “key” ingredients in this formula are used in concentrations of less than 1%. We know this by looking at the ingredient list (which is in order of descending concentrations). All of the key ingredients (like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid) are listed after xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is a thickener that is generally used at a concentration of 1%, but as little as 0.1% can be used in many applications. This means you’re getting less than 1% of the key ingredients!
- 99% of the formula consists of water, propanediol (solvent, humectant), polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 (thickener), and glycerin (humectant)
- Formula contains synthetic fragrance ingredients
What Are The Key Ingredients in Alya Skin Care Products?
You already know that the Alya Skin Pink Clay Mask is the brand’s most popular product, so let’s dive deeper into this product formulation to learn more about the key ingredients.
We mentioned that the Alya Skin Pink Clay Mask contains two natural clays: kaolin and bentonite. Both of these clays have excellent absorption properties, which means they can absorb excess oil from the pores and help to reduce shine.
And there’s even research to back up the oil-absorbing and detoxifying effects of these clays. According to a publication in the journal International Geology Review, “The high adsorption and absorption capacities, cation exchange capacity, as well as the extremely fine particle size of certain clays, e.g. smectites (expandable clay minerals) and kaolin group minerals are important reasons why these minerals are used to remove oils, secretions, toxins, and contaminants from the skin.”
Furthermore, kaolin and bentonite can help to exfoliate the skin. These clays do not completely dissolve in water, but instead form a paste with very fine particles. These particles serve as a gentle abrasive that can exfoliate the top layers of skin, removing dead skin cells, makeup, excess oil, dirt, and other impurities that may have accumulated during the day.
Getting rid of impurities that build up on the skin’s surface is crucial in order to maintain clear skin since they can clog pores, eventually turning into undesirable acne or other dermal-related conditions. Furthermore, exfoliating becomes even more important with age since the skin’s natural cycle of shedding dead cells slows down.
While kaolin and bentonite are great skin care ingredients, we’d like to point out that there are many other skin care brands that formulate clay masks with these ingredients. And you can probably find a clay mask with similar ingredients as Alya Skin Pink Clay Mask for a fraction of the cost.
Another key ingredient in the Alya Skin Pink Clay Mask, as well as the Alya Skin Foaming Micellar Cleanser, is witch hazel water. Both of these products contain very high concentrations of witch hazel water.
Witch hazel water is a source of several types of antioxidants, including tannins. Tannins are phenolic compounds rich in hydroxy residues that impart astringent properties, resulting in a constricting and drying effect when applied to the skin. They work by cross-linking with keratin proteins, creating an invisible film that can temporarily degrease skin, tighten and tone skin, and minimize the appearance of enlarged pores. However, it should be noted that tannins can cause irritation and sensitization reactions with some people.
Lastly, it’s important to keep in mind that all Alya Skin Care products contain fragrance ingredients, some that are natural (like essential oils) and some that are synthetic. For example, the Alya Skin moisturizer contains citronellol, geraniol, linalool, citral, and farnesol. While these fragrance ingredients do make the product smell lovely, they could be damaging your skin.
This is because all fragrance ingredients (whether natural or synthetic) impart scent through a volatile reaction, and this natural reaction almost always causes a sensitizing reaction on skin. In fact, according to a 2016 publication in the scholarly journal Dermatitis, nearly 80 essential oils have caused contact allergy. Even if you don’t have a full blown reaction to the ingredient, the damage may still be occurring every day. Ultimately, this can cause mild problems for your skin in the short term and worse problems in the long term.
Where to Buy Alya Skin Care Products?
Alya Skin Care products are sold on the brand’s website, as well as a few third party online retailers, such as Amazon.com and BeautyBay.com.
What is The Alya Skin Return Policy?
The Alya Skin return policy states, “We do have a 30 day money-back guarantee which means we will give you a refund if you are not happy with the results AFTER 1 month of consistently using our products. We do require before and after photos to understand your concerns, so please remember to take photos before starting with Alya Skin.”
Is Alya Skin Cruelty Free?
Yes, Alya Skin is cruelty free and is a PETA certified Beauty Without Bunnies partner.
Alya Skin Reviews
Alya Skin reviews on the brand’s website are overall very positive, however, it seems as though the brand only displays the 5-star reviews. Therefore, we turned to Amazon.com to evaluate Alya Skin reviews from real customers.
On Amazon, the Alya Skin Pink Clay Mask has received an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars after more than 350 customer reviews. The positive Alya Skin reviews for the Pink Clay Mask are from customers who noticed results like smaller pores, fewer breakouts, and smoother skin.
For example, one Alya Skin review says, “I saw results after 1 use. I love what this has done to my skin. I don’t have acne, but I have large pores and I’m always trying to use stuff to keep them at bay. Large pores are just as bad, but this really has made it better. My skin is so smooth and soft that I don’t always wear make-up (days off) or a primer before my foundation. I will definitely purchase again when I run out. I also love the fact you do get a good amount.”
Then, there are some Alya Skin reviews from customers who didn’t see any benefits from the Alya Skin mask. For example, one review says, “I’ve been using this for a few weeks already. I didn’t notice ANY improvement at all!!! Waste of money.”
There are also several reviews that mention it is very drying, for example, “Not overly impressed. Just like any clay mask . Drying and very overpriced.”
And then some reviews comment on the chemical smell of the Alya Skin Pink Clay Mask: “This mask does not smell good at all. Smells like lots of chemicals. I also didn’t see any results while using it.”
Overall, we don’t recommend Alya Skin products. The brand uses low concentrations of key ingredients in their formulations, they use fragrance in their products, and the ingredients in their clay mask can be found in many other clay masks on the market (for a lower price point).
- Kaolin and bentonite are good ingredients for absorbing excess oil and toxins, as well as exfoliating the skin
- Many positive Alya Skin reviews
- Products contain fragrance
- Some products contain high concentration of witch hazel, which can lead to sensitization
- Brand uses low concentrations of “key” ingredients, especially the Vitamin C Serum
What Are Some Alternatives to Alya Skin Care Products?
Since we don’t recommend Alya Skin products, we wanted to give you a couple alternatives for you to consider. One brand we recommend is Formulyst because they believe in long-term skin care treatments rather than short-term cover-ups.
For smooth youthful skin, try Formulyst Retexturizing Microdermabrasion Exfoliator. This exfoliator contains fine aluminum oxide crystals to effectively remove dirt, excess oil, and dead cells, while nutrient-rich jojoba oil, red tea extract, apricot kernel oil, squalane, and hyaluronic acid deeply nourish and soothe newly exposed skin.
Another brand that balances the power of plants with cutting edge science is Carrot & Stick. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals commonly found in skin care products.