The bright side of the latest wave of skincare products is an abundance of choice. The downside? Choice, especially choice without knowledge, can be overwhelming and expensive. Enter the Inkey List, a British-brand dropping knowledge-based skincare for less than $15 a pop.
About the Inkey List
Founded in 2018 by Colette Laxton and Mark Curry, The Inkey List demystifies the skincare landscape for all and empowers consumers to make the best decisions for their skin. The brand features 40 products designed to cleanse, hydrate, treat, moisturize, and protect the skin. The products are shopped by step or skin concern. The company also stands on principles of providing quality ingredients at reasonable prices, transparency, and equality. The brand embraces sustainability and is campaigning to fund young changemakers around the world through The Inkey List Impact Fund.
My Skincare Recipe
The brand fully delivers on upholding its knowledge value, starting with the customer experience. Upon visiting the brand’s website, you are immediately invited to build a personalized skincare routine instead of being bombarded with bestsellers and new products. This takes you to a quiz about your skincare goals and concerns. Once you take the Recipe Builder quiz, the website will recommend a full set of products and a set of must-have basics for your regimen.
Where many companies are moving to ingredient-based collections for buyers to figure out how to mix and match, The Inkey List makes breaks the skincare routine into 5 or 6 very clear layering steps. There is very little guesswork about what acid or serum or complex you should be using for your skin. There are very clear explanations on the packaging and the site about how to use the products, contraindication warnings, and tips to get the most out of each step in the routine.
After completing my quiz, my must-have recommendations were as follows:
- Step 1: Cleanser – Fulvic Acid Brightening Cleanser
- Step 2: Hydrate – Hyaluronic Acid Serum
- Step 3: Treat – PHA Toner and 15% Vitamin C and EGF Serum
- Step 4: Moisturizer – Symbright Moisturizer
- Step 5: SPF – SPF 30 Daily Sunscreen
The Inkey List also recommended Alpha Arbutin and Polyglutamic Acid (Treat), Brighten-I Eye Cream (Eye Treament) and Squalene (Moisturize) for my full regimen. I opted to try the Fulvic Acid Brightening Cleanser, Hyaluronic Serum, and Symbright Moisturizer.
Inkey List Fulvic Acid Brightening Cleanser
5 fl. oz. – $10.99, theinkeylist.com
The Inkey List Fulvic Acid Brightening Cleanser is a gel cleanser with gentle exfoliating properties. This cleanser leverages the power of ingredients like Nordic Peat, Kadadu plum complex, and Licorice Root Extract to brighten the skin, improve radiance, and help with hyperpigmentation.
Although this cleanser has exfoliants, it is unnoticeably gentle. It is so gentle that the instructions recommend using on the eyes, an area that we are frequently told to avoid. I have not experienced any adverse reactions or irritation. The product also has little no scent. In the weeks that I have been using this product, both morning and night, I can tell that my face is brighter and more radiant. It also cleanses without leaving my skin feeling stripped or dry.
Verdict: Mighty Fine
Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid
1 fl. oz. – $7.99, theinkeylist.com
The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum is one of its best-selling products, which is not surprising, given the popularity boom around hyaluronic acid as an ingredient. This serum harnesses the power of its super ingredient to draw moisture into the skin, locking in moisture and helping the products that follow work better.
Verdict: Mighty Fine
Inkey List Symbright Moisturizer
1.7 fl. oz. – $12.99, theinkeylist.com
The Inkey List Symbright Moisturizer is a brightening moisturizer. This moisturizer employs ingredients such as Kakadu plum extract, red algae complex, and clary sage to boost radiance, moisture, and hydration, especially when used in concert with the Fulvic Acid Brightening Cleanser and 15% Vitamin C and EGF Serum.
Given that I did use this with the suggested cleanser, I suppose this product has delivered on its brightening claims. However, I’m not totally sold on how it makes my skin feel. When I put it on, my skin feels moist yet dry at th same time. In fairness, I have grown partial to gelly-like moisturizers that leave an almost wet feeling on my skin. The Symbright Moisturizer leaves my skin feeling…balanced. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially for my oily T-zone, which is not so oily anymore. I just say this to say, if you are looking for a “juicy” moisturizer, this may not be the one for you.
Verdict: It’s Okay
Overall, I am very impressed with The Inkey List’s approach to skincare. I love that the company offers a WEALTH of educational resources to help you learn about skincare beyond just making a purchase while simplifying the process. The value for the cost is excellent. The Inkey List is sold at Sephora alongside very expensive prestige brands, but the prices are on par with the most popular drugstore brands (and in some cases, cheaper). I also appreciate some of the values and initiatives the company backs.The company also stands on principles of providing quality ingredients at reasonable prices, transparency, and equality. The brand embraces sustainability and is campaigning to fund young changemakers around the world through The Inkey List Impact Fund.
Skincare does not have to be complicated, and The Inkey List is doing a great job proving it. I would definitely recommend the Inkey List to anyone who is looking to up their skincare game, find their best regimen, and get the power of skincare knowledge.
What do you think about the new wave of ingredient-based skincare brands like The Inkey List? Tell us below!