It’s hard to put a label on the IONA Ion Cream Naturelle moisturiser, because it sort of does a bit of everything, and everything it does it does quite well. Moisturise (obviously!), smooth, soothe, and pep up the skin. I’ve used it for a few months now, on and off, and it gives my face a good, elastic bounciness.
As you may have guessed from the name, it features ions — more specifically carbonate ions, which Iona says help protect skin against oxidants, promote cell-turnover, and restore moisture levels. The claims maybe a little far-fetched but they aren’t completely unfounded. A lot of therapeutic hot springs in Japan are naturally rich in ions — and regularly bathing in one is considered essential in traditional Japanese medicine. Also, a recent study in Japan (published in PubMed) showed that carbonate ion-enriched hot spring water inhibited the inflammatory process and enhanced wound healing.
I would say that the plumping action is the most prevalent of all of the things this cream claims. It is the sort of moisturiser that is still hanging about many hours later, making winter-dry skin feels all soft and plump and give it a really velvety, cushiony feel. It is wonderfully soothing and nourishing on new, fresh skin after chemical peel process. The added bit of oxidative protection is a nice bonus, but I don’t put much stock in it.
The fragrance is the only real drawback. I don’t have an aversion to fragrance in skincare products, but there’s something old ladyish about its scent. I think it smells even more dated than Club Hormone Cream, which was released 80+ years ago! But I can get over that because the scent is actually very mild and it dissipates quickly.
IONA Ion Cream Naturelle is ¥2,200 from Amazon Japan for 54g — both cheaper than RRP. Very reasonable I feel, especially as the texture of the product is so lovely and the black shale-inspired packaging is so visually pleasing. For full ingredients and other technical product information, do have a look at its own product listing within the site (just click on its name).