Is deer milk the real deal when it comes to hydration?

Kotia Rejuvenating Serum Review

We decided to find out

Editor / August 22 2019

A few months ago, I was lucky enough to head to New Zealand to learn about and experience a world-first ingredient from a new brand, kōtia. If you don’t have the time or patience to catch up on that experience, let me get you up to speed real quick. 

kōtia is the world’s first brand to harness the benefits of New Zealand deer milk in skin care products – and not just to be the next brand with the next gimmick ingredient. Discovered purely by accident when a deer milkhand noticed smoother skin on her hands and stronger nails from milking the animals, the brains behind kōtia decided they must be onto something and did some investigating. What they found was that deer milk has the highest level of antioxidants, nutrients, and anti-inflammatory agents than any other milk used in skin care (and that’s scientifically proven, too). Packed naturally with vitamins A, B, D, and E as well as zinc, iodine, and protein, when combined with other actives you’ve got a pretty potent combo to help repair and improve skin, while helping prevent future damage. 

But does the ingredient actually stack up to its claims? Will the natural regenerative ingredients in the deer milk nourish as powerfully as the brand says? 

Well, I decided to put it to the test. As part of my New Zealand adventure with kōtia, I sampled the range, and while my initial experience with the products was impressive, just three days of use simply wasn’t enough for me to make the call on whether or not deer milk was the real deal. So, the only logical next step was to use some of the products for a bit longer to see how they held up – specifically in the hydration and nourishment departments. 

So, here’s how it all went. 

The product

I tried the whole kōtia range while in New Zealand, and the stand-out for me was the kōtia Rejuvenating Serum, so I decided that was going to be the one I incorporated into my daily skin care routine.

kōtia Rejuvenating Serum

While the deer milk is obviously the star if the show here, it’s been combined with an active ingredient called progeline, which is known to help skin look firmer, fuller and stronger (i.e. a great anti-ager). The serum is also said to help minimise the appearance of pores while nourishing skin, so it sounded just like what my 30-something combination skin needed during winter. 

The process

Well, it’s a serum, so the process wasn’t very difficult. I just added it into my routine after cleansing and before moisturising. Because I like to keep my skin care routine quite simple, I try to only use one serum in my routine. In the morning, that’s usually a chemical exfoliant; at night, I like to add hydration, so the kōtia Rejuvenating Serum found a place in my nighttime routine (but you can use it both day and night). I just used one pump each night and pressed it into the skin on my face and neck with my palms, left it to absorb for a few minutes, and carried on with my night cream. Oh, and FYI, I didn’t change any other products in my routine when I added this in (my skin experiments are VERY scientific). 

The payoff

In the immediate, I loved how quickly the serum absorbed and how silky smooth my skin felt after application. After just one week of using it, I noticed my skin both felt and looked smoother and more even-toned. It felt plumper and even a bit stronger and more resilient. A few more weeks of use and my skin was in a really great place (it looked smooth and fresh when makeup-free). Which, given I didn’t change anything else in my skin routine, means that the Rejuvenating Serum played a big part in what I was seeing.

The final verdict

I’m all for a product that makes my skin feel and look smoother and plumper, and keeps the hydration levels up (and FYI, the better hydrated your skin is, the healthier your skin will be overall). I also found it incredibly easy to add to my regular skin care routine (I really do hate extra steps especially at night when I just want to get into bed), so the kōtia Rejuvenating Serum gets a big tick from me. As for the deer milk and its promises to regenerate and nourish skin, I’d say – given how silky my skin feels as I type this – it stacks up.

Want to know more about deer milk? We've got the lowdown on the innovative new ingredient here.

Have you tried any of the kotia products? Please share your experience in the comments section below.

Main image credit: Sevak Babkhani

Carli was BEAUTYcrew’s Editor from launch in 2016 until May 2020. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.