THE INKEY LIST – a new, ingredient lead budget brand you need to know

This year we have experienced the rise of launching game changers in the beauty world. Sam Bunting’s Flawless Cleanser, Pixi’s Retinol Tonic are great examples and now The Inkey List is joining the prestigious list of innovators. Just like The Ordinary and Beauty Pie, they firmly believe in the democratisation of skincare, allowing premium active ingredients to be available at an incredibly affordable price (£5-£10).

The Inkey List is a new, ingredient-led budget brand that launched their products back in August. Founders, Colette Newberry and Mark Curry, (who used to work in the branding and product development departments at Boots) together with a group of scientists and experts have created a sleek range featuring 15 essential ingredients addressing different skin concerns. Similarly to the Ordinary, the products are perfect for a custom-made regime with a difference of The Inkey list being clearer about what the products are and what skin concerns they address. The comparison to The Ordinary is inevitable, of course, but that doesn’t mean it’s an exact copy of their model or that they are a ‘dupe’ brand. The description of each and every product is simple and straightforward so even if you are normally confused and lost among the ever-growing amount of beauty products, picking the products that suit you will be a no-brainer. What do I mean by that?

All the boxes state the name of the product (even the pronunciation) and the definition of the main ingredient in the front.

As you turn the box you can see what it does for the skin and what skin type it is for.

Then on the other side, you can see all the ingredients.

Last but not least it tells you how to use it.

Simplicity and transparency is in high demand these days by the public so the the motto of the brand, ‘The complex made simple’ makes them thoroughly relatable and an instant success not just among skin care geeks but people who would like to look after their skin but wouldn’t want to spend much time with doing research in the hope of understanding how products work.

And how on earth it is possible to make these brilliant products so accessible you ask? Allow me to quote Curry here: “We simply went directly to the raw ingredient suppliers. That way we were able to get higher grade ingredients at a lower price point. It’s just being a bit smarter,”

Adding to the list of positives, the brand is completely cruelty-free (they don’t test their products on animals and do not work with suppliers who do and they won’t enter any market if there is no alternative to animal testing by law) and working on the vegan certification (none of their products contains ingredients derived from animals they just have to remove anything animal related from their manufacturing and testing process) too which is great news. According to their website, they will inform customers about the news as soon as they are certified. What’s not to love?

The product range contains active ingredient hits and more unusual ones too:

Hyaluronic Acid – hydrating serum locking in moisture with two different molecular sizes to help penetration,

Retinol – 1% retinol serum with an added concentration of a 0.5% granactive retinoid to lessen the irritation,

Vitamin C – 30% strength serum containing pure L-ascorbic acid in a stable, waterless formulation,

AHA – a 10% strength chemical exfoliating serum containing multi-size molecular hyaluronic acid for added hydration,

Glycolic Acid – 10% strength Glycolic toner which also contains witch hazel to help minimise oil,

Rosehip – 100% pure rosehip oil to soften and smooth,

Lactic Acid – 10% strength exfoliating serum with Hyaluronic Acid,

Collagen – anti-ageing, tightening face serum with matrixyl 3000,

Hemp Oil – soothing moisturizer with green tea extract to calm and smooth,

Caffeine – eye brightener, de-puffer containing matrixyl 3000 to provide a collagen production boost and plumping effect,

Turmeric – antioxidant moisturizer with vitamin E to hydrate, soothe and smooth,

Squalane – 100% squalane oil to hydrate,

Kaolin Clay –  a clay mask that containing smectite clay for absorbing excess oil,

Zinc Oxide – a mineral sunscreen of SPF 50 with 1% hyaluronic acid for added hydration

and Q10 – anti-oxidant serum with squalane and soybean for hydration.

I have picked up an HA serum because I’ve run out and a Collagen serum just out of sheer curiosity.

The HA serum (£4.99) seems to be just the right formulation, not too gelatinous and not sticky at all which is a huge plus for many. We all know how beneficial HA is for the skin for all skin types by binding moisture to the skin working on toning, plumping and smoothing it and this formula doesn’t disappoint. It contains 2% 3 tier Hyaluronic Acid, low and high molecular weight for optimal penetration and hydration. They also added Matrixyl 3000 to the formula to help collagen production and plump the skin.

I have missed HA a lot in my regime, I feel I just need to draw as much moisture into my skin as possible before the winter and this is perfect for that. I usually use it right after cleansing and toning (with a glycolic or retinol) and follow it with heavier, oilier formulations.

Now, Collagen (£8.99) is an interesting ingredient. It is a protein naturally occurring in the skin that helps to support skin firmness and elasticity. As we age our collagen production is slowing down, the skin starts to lose its firmness and lines start to form.

This formula uses Matrixyl 3000 helps natural collagen production and mimics the effect of what natural collagen would do to the skin making it look firmer, plumper. It also contains Syn Tacks, a so-called dual peptide that also has collagen-boosting effects.

It works on all skin types, it is a light texture serum so it is very easy to build it into your routine. I use it after cleansing, toning and my HA serum followed by a moisturizer.

Since I only have the product for a few weeks, it is not easy to see the effects yet but it looks promising and it is very pleasant to use. I will get back to you later on how I got on with it.

Needless to say, these two serums are not the last I’ve bought from The Inkey List. I think Caffeine and Zinc Oxide will be my next purchases. Looking forward to see what they are going to launch next.

The Inkey List range is available at B for Beauty, Cult Beauty and Feelunique.

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