Where colourful makeup was once the thing that got beauty lovers excited, it’s now skincare that gets us all hot under the collar. Whether it’s micro-needling, acid toners or new-gen sheet masks Team Byrdie and you, (our dear readers) can’t seem to get enough of, anything that you can slap, roll or slather over your face is what we’re always in the market for. And while the high street is filled with marvellous drugstore buys and there are plenty of e-tailers that stock great brands, if you’re really serious about your skincare and want to fill your bathroom cabinet with little-known brands that London’s best dermatologists rave about, then you need to peruse Effortless Skin.
I can all but guarantee you won’t have heard of every name on its brand list. I’ve been working in beauty for well over a decade now and I don’t know them all. Known brands like Oskia, Avene, Niod (you know, from the makers of The Ordinary) and Murad sit alongside names like Swisscode, BiRetix and Epionce that you may not be so familiar with. Below I’m taking you through 10 brands that are worth a closer look.
This is one of the first brands to use AHAs and PHAs in its products. It’s always pushing the boundaries with its innovations. The High Potency Cream (£32) with 18% glycolic acid exfoliates dulling dead skin cells throughout the day to reveal a smoother, dewier surface. Vitamin E hydrates and helps to keep skin supple.
If you’re in the market for a derma-roller, then Genuine Dermaroller is a good reputable choice. Whilst you can shop on Amazon for them (Stacked Skincare’s is a fave), a lot of the too-good-to-be-true options aren’t necessarily safe.
The Genuine Dermaroller Home Roller Kit (£104) comes with a roller that has 0.3-millimetre needles and a bottle of cleaner. You can roll it over your skin every day before serum to enhance absorption of the products you apply. This also helps to boost your skin’s own collagen production, keeping your complexion looking plump.
This brand is dedicated to protecting the skin from the sun. The technology is so advanced it protects the DNA within each cell and keeps our skin safe from UV rays and High Energy Visible (HEV) light emitted from our iPhones and computers, as well as Infrared-A radiation.
Use Heliocare Cream SPF 50 (£19) every day to know your skin is protected. The gel version is great for oily or spot-prone skins whilst the cream (pictured) is good for normal to dry complexions. It sinks in well and you can wear it under makeup.
IS Clinical is a U.S. skincare brand with a Hollywood fan base consisting of Shay Mitchell, Jessica Alba, Lucy Hale, Christine Teigen, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Gwyneth Paltrow (among others).
The A-list crowd swear by IS Clinical Active Serum (£66) to keep spots and pigmentation at bay. Honestly, use this and you’ll soon have good skin days on the regular: fewer spots, less noticeable lines and a brighter, more radiant complexion.
A beauty editor favourite, this brand really does live up to the hype. Its three main pillars are prevention, protection and correction. It aims to minimise the effects of environmental damage, protect skin from the sun and address the visible signs of damage and ageing.
One of its most famous products is C E Ferulic (£120). The name reflects the key ingredients. It contains 15% L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), 1% Alpha Rocopherol (Vitamin E) and 0.5% Ferulic Acid. Vitamin C protects and brightens, Vitamin E nourishes whilst ferulic acid is a plant-based antioxidant. Consider your complexion protected with this.
This brand is focused on concentrated serums, so you won’t find any other products in the range. There’s the "Pure" range which is essentially a problem-solver—whether your issue is dehydration or pigmentation. There are also Bionic elixirs that are packed with plant stems cells and focus on ageing.
Pure Hyaluron (£85) is a popular choice. If you’re noticing small blemishes, fine lines or that your skin just doesn’t glow, it’s likely that your complexion is parched. Tackle dehydrated skin with a hyaluronic acid serum like this one. It boosts your skin’s moisture reserves by 20% in as little as two hours.
A British skincare brand founded in 2009, Medik8 weave very active ingredients into oil-based formulas to minimise irritation. It’s best known for its antioxidant and retinol serums.
Inspired by a computer firewall that protects your computer from viruses, this antioxidant-and peptide-rich formula creates a shield to protect your skin-plumping collagen and elastin stores. The ingredients also work hard to soften the look of lines and dark spots.
Jan Marini is a respected skincare line that was founded in 1994 in San Jose, California. The combination of results-driven formulas that tackle common skincare concerns means this is a smart choice if you want to ramp up your routine.
One of the bestsellers, the C-ESTA Serum (£64), is for anyone concerned with sagging skin. This lightweight serum with 7% vitamin C and DMAE (an ingredient that tightens and firms) will help leave your skin looking plumper, healthier and glowing.
This retinoid-based brand has four products: a cleanser, a peel, a mask and a gel that tackles dullness caused by dead skin and blemishes. By your late twenties or early thirties, incorporating a retinol into your skincare regime is smart, since the vitamin-A derivative is a wonder ingredient that tackles everything from skin tone and texture to those pesky blemishes and dullness.
The BiRetix Mask (£22) is packed with kaolin and green clay to absorb excess sebum, a combination of retinoids that help to clear out congested pores. Keep this in your bathroom cabinet for those bad skin days so many of us get.
Founded by American dermatologist Carl R. Thornfeldt, Epionce combines botanical actives with a delivery system that allows the powerful ingredients to enter the skin without irritation. Double-blind clinical trials by independent companies ensure that the products actually do what they say.
The Epionce Lytic Gel Cleanser (£30) is a popular product in the range. If you suffer from excess oil or eczema, this gel cleanser will clean deep down, removing dirt and dead cells whilst leaving the skin’s delicate pH level intact (read: it won’t irritate). It soothes inflammation too.
Now get to glowing.