Have you heard of the Inkey List yet? No? Well, you’re about to. The buzzy skincare brand is a pioneer behind the belief that intelligent beauty should be accessible for everyone. The founders believe that beauty products should be easy to navigate and understand (read: no more complicated jargon), so each product comes with its own beauty translator—a basic rundown of what it is, what it can do for you and what you should (and shouldn't) mix it with. It pretty much couldn't be simpler.
The best bit? All of the high-quality ingredients are available for under $15. That's because they want you to be able to try things out and work out what's good for your skin—giving you the chance to basically build your own bespoke skincare routine without going bankrupt.
Sounds good, right? We thought so too. To help you begin your Inkey List journey, we thought we'd round up some of our favorite products the brand has launched.
What products are right for you?
Best For: Dull and uneven skin tones.
Alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) is a naturally derived acid that gently exfoliates the top layer of skin to reveal a brighter complexion beneath. The Inkey List's AHA contains 10% fruit acid to target rough skin cells, ungluing their structure so that you're left with a more even skin tone. There's also an added 1% hyaluronic acid, to give skin an added boost of hydration.
Best For: Dull skin, fine lines and uneven skin tone
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that's able to protect skin from environmental aggressors like pollution, UV and stress. It boosts collagen production and brightens skin. Use it in the morning for best results.
Best For: Everyone!
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in the human body. It acts as a cushioning and lubrication agent for our joints, nerves, hair, skin, and eyes. When used in skincare, it acts as a moisture binder, which means that it will attach itself to the water in the cells (while also attracting and holding water from the air) making them plump.
Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient that can hold up to 1000x its own weight in water. It plumps and hydrates skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, plus it increases the effectiveness of your other products. Use it in the morning and evening straight after cleansing and toning to really reap the benefits.
Best For: Tired, puffy eyes
Caffeine is a natural stimulant most commonly found in tea, coffee, and cacao plants. In skincare, it helps to stimulate blood flow and decrease puffiness, as well as works to dissolve fat, which makes it a choice cellulite treatment.
This under-eye serum promises to reduce puffiness, dark circles and the appearance of fine lines. The caffeine helps to stimulate circulation under the skin surface, which in turn can reduce dark circles. Use morning and night, gently patting it around the contour of your eye with your ring finger.
Best For: Oily, spot-prone skin
This gentle but effective clay mask promises to absorb excess oil, unclog pores and even skin tone by gently exfoliating. The kaolin clay helps to draw out impurities but is gentle enough for all skin types. Use once or twice a week for a deep clean.
Best For: Sagging skin, fine lines and wrinkles
Collagen is a natural protein found within our skin, as we get older, our production begins to slow, and skin loses its plumpness with lines and wrinkles beginning to appear. The Inkey List's Collagen Serum contains Matrixyl 3000 to help boost collagen production and support skin firmness.
Best For: Acne-prone and dull skin
Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that works to exfoliate the skin. Its molecule is slightly larger than glycolic acid, meaning it works a bit slower and doesn't penetrate the skin's outermost layer as easily.
Glycolic acid helps remove dead and dehydrated cells from the outer surface of the skin. It's slightly more concentrated than lactic acid (which is better for sensitive skin types), so it penetrates deeper into the dermis to work faster. The Inkey List's Glycolic Acid has a high percentage meant to help smooth and brighten, reduce pores, and speed up collagen production. Plus it's got added witch hazel to minimize excess oil, which makes it a winning recipe in our books.
Best For: Dry, tired, stressed-out skin
Hemp oil contains high levels of fatty acids, which are great at really feeding the skin and keeping cells nourished and energised. Hemp oil targets stressed skin and helps calm irritation by moisturizing the surface of the skin.
Best For: Sensitive skin types
Similar to vitamin C, Q10 is another antioxidant that can help protect skin against environmental aggressors. It's naturally found within our bodies, and it protects, hydrates, and may even help prevent fine lines and wrinkles due to its incredible antioxidant capacity. Q10 is a great option if you find vitamin C irritating on your skin.
Best For: Aging skin
A derivative of vitamin A, retinol helps promote skin renewal and enhance collagen production. It works at a cellular level to promote cell renewal. This means it's great for reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and pigmentation issues. Use at night, and make sure you wear an SPF in the day to avoid irritation and excess sun exposure.
Best For: Dry, dehydrated and oily skin types
Rose-hip oil is extracted from the seeds of the rose plant, and it's a powerful antioxidant. Packed with essential fatty acids, the Inkey List's Rosehip Oil is perfect for hydrating all skin types whilst improving skin tone, texture and pigmentation.
Best For: Dry skin, excess oil and fine lines
Another naturally occurring oil, squalane is great at holding onto moisture underneath the skin's surface. Lightweight and non-greasy, this oil is perfect for boosting healthy-looking skin, even in those with oilier skin types.
Best For: Dull, sensitive skin types; good for beginners
Lactic acid is more gentle than glycolic or salicylic acid, and therefore a great product if you want to slough off dead skin but are worried about irritation.
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Metwally S, Ura DP, Krysiak ZJ, Kaniuk Ł, Szewczyk PK, Stachewicz U. Electrospun PCL patches with controlled fiber morphology and mechanical performance for skin moisturization via long-term release of hemp oil for atopic dermatitis. Membranes (Basel). 2020;11(1):26. doi:10.3390/membranes11010026
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Sethi A, Kaur T, Malhotra SK, Gambhir ML. Moisturizers: the slippery road. Indian J Dermatol. 2016;61(3):279-287. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.182427