BRANDS I LOVE AND BELIEVE IN : THE INKEY LIST BS-FREE SKINCARE
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’m a big fan of The Ordinary’s skin care. Not because it’s so affordable, but because it’s affordable and well-formulated. But you know what? All that b.s. drama the Deciem founder subjected the brand’s fans to was over the line for me. Seriously?! Shutting the company down was not only a stupid, arrogant stunt, but hugely disrespectful — to Deciem’s customers and, most importantly, to his hardworking employees who relied on him for their livelihood. What. An. Ass.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t give up on my infatuation with The Ordinary and its high-science sister brand NIOD. My skin health is too important for that. I’m just a lot less infatuated now. So, I started looking around for equally inexpensive and effective skin care. I’ve talked a lot about e.l.f.’s skin care and even reviewed the brand here. For the most part, it’s well-formulated and like its makeup, quite inexpensive. But my Deciem horror led me right to The Inkey List! The unsexy, straight up, b.s.-free skincare brand was founded by Colette Newberry and Mark Curry, formerly a branding manager and product developer from UK-based Boots. I trust they have their heads screwed on right! They obviously know what they’re doing. Not only did they take a page from Deciem’s pricing play book, but they created a range of really well-formulated products.
You really can’t go wrong with The Inkey List. As they begin to establish and expand distribution, it will become more readily available. I’m currently purchasing The Inkey List products through Cult Beauty’s web site, also UK-based. Shipping to NYC hasn't been an issue; I usually get my order within a week or so. I acquired nearly the entire Inkey List range about a month ago and have been playing around with the products ever since. There are 15 in total and I can’t possible cover them all here, but I’ll review a few of the standouts.
I was probably most intrigued by The Inkey List’s Turmeric Cream. I use some form of turmeric every day to alleviate inflammation in my feet, knees and elbows. After all, the ancient cure-all is purported to be an effective alternative to Tylenol. And we know too much Tylenol isn’t good for the liver! I’ve found turmeric supplements or herbal drinks do the trick. In addition to its proven anti-inflammatory benefits, turmeric is also a potent antioxidant. But The Inkey List’s formula isn’t just an antioxidant-packed moisturizer. It’s also loaded with skin-replenishing plant oils like Squalane, Coconut Oil, and Oat Kernel Oil — in addition to Vitamin E, emollient Lecithin and humectant Glycerin. As with all of their formulas, The Inkey List kept out any potential irritants like denatured alcohol and fragrant plant oils used to scent a product to make it more appealing. That must have been particularly tempting with this one as turmeric has a really strong odor. In fact, Turmeric Cream does smell slightly spicy, but it doesn’t linger long. Its soft, creamy texture melts right into skin. On top of the replenishing and antioxidant draw, at £7.99 ($10.37) it won’t draw funds out of your bank account.
Hemp Oil Cream
Hemp is hot. CBD is hot. Marijuana has been hot forever. Actually, the harvesting of hemp has been going on for 10,000 years. But it’s only recently made its way into skin care. Hemp Oil itself is great for our skin as an effective emollient with a high content of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The Inkey List’s Hemp Oil Cream is a super lightweight, effective moisturizer infused with non-fragrant plant oils and extracts like Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil (aka Hemp Oil), Coconut Oil and Green Tea Leaf Extract. It’s a great option for normal and oily skin types, but I wouldn’t recommend it for dry and especially very dry skin. Both the nourishing Hemp Oil and antioxidant Green Tea Extract are at very high levels, making this a superb pro-skin health product. It’s £7.99 or $10.37 at Cult Beauty.
Vitamin C Serum
I must get a half dozen DMs a week asking me how to fade, erase, eliminate dark spots and acne marks. My answer is the same every time: a potent vitamin C serum! The benefits of Vitamin C cannot be overstated. It’s likely the single most effective ingredient in skin care for promoting skin health — with all manner of benefits. It’s an excellent antioxidant. It’s an awesome complexion brightener. It evens out skin tone. It even helps to stimulate collagen production.
The Inkey List’s Vitamin C Serum is spot on, as the Brits like to say. As powerful as Vitamin C is, it’s very weak in the presence of water, air and a multitude of other ingredients used in skin care. The remarkably unstable substance simply doesn’t play well with others. And that’s why it’s wise to use a separate Vitamin C serum, rather than relying on the efficacy, potency and questionable stability of the Vitamin C found in your daily moisturizer. The Inkey List clearly understands that by keeping the formula’s ingredients limited to just four — Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) and 3 forms of silicone that give my fave antioxidant something to sit in. Again, Vitamin C doesn’t mix well with water, so this waterless serum is actually going to stay potent and effective long enough for you to use it up. Plus, at high level of 30%, it’s going to do wonders for your complexion. Also £7.99 or $10.37 at Cult Beauty.
Kaolin Clay Mask
There’s a lot to appreciate about The Inkey List’s Kaolin Clay Mask. Notably the fact that it contains none of the ingredient mistakes of many clay masks — most importantly, denatured alcohol. Formulators like to use alcohol in a clay mask because it dries out surface oil, giving the oily skin user the impression that the clay mask has worked wonders by drying out excess oil and making their skin feel tight.
Both of those are huge indicators — not that the mask worked wonders, but that it needlessly dried out your skin. You never want to do anything that strips the skin. Stripping oily skin of all its oil only makes it overreact by producing more oil. This mask is also super unique in other ways. It contains very high concentrations of skin-nourishing natural oils and extracts including Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Centella Asiatica Extract, Safflower Seed Oil and Sunflower Seed Oil. What’s most interesting to me, though, is the plethora of seaweed extracts! Seaweed, kelp, algae, whatever you want to call it, is full of nourishing and replenishing properties. Just ask La Mer! All of these give the formula a surprisingly light, silky texture akin to a creamy moisturizer rather than a heavier, denser clay. It’s £4.99 or $6.41 at Cult Beauty.
Watch me try out the Kaolin Clay Mask for the first time here.
Things just have a weird way of working out, don’t they? Brandon Truaxe’s head exploded. I panicked that I would lose my favorite skin care and the light in my complexion would somehow go out. The cosmic law of cause and effect led me to The Inkey List. Thank you, Brandon. 🙏🏼
Watch my video review of The Inkey List brand on my Youtube channel below:
The Ingredient List of The Inkey List Turmeric Cream:
Aqua (Water), Squalane, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, C12-16 Alcohols, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Curcuma Longa Root (Turmeric) Root Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil, Palmitic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Lecithin, Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Tocopherol.
The Ingredient List of The Inkey List Hemp Oil Cream:
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, Isoamyl Laurate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Betaine, Pentaerythrityl Distearate, Propanediol, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Anisate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Hydroxide, t-Butyl Alcohol.
The Ingredient List of The Inkey List Caffeine Serum:
Propanediol, Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Jojoba Esters, Glyceryl Dibehenate, Albizia Julibrissin Bark Extract, Squalane, Caffeine, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax, Phospholipids, Tribehenin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Xanthan Gum, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Extract, Polysorbate 60, Disodium Edta, Glyceryl Behenate, Butylene Glycol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterol, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Hyaluronic Acid, Carbomer, Darutoside, Polysorbate 20, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Phenoxyethanol.
The Ingredient List of The Inkey List Glycolic Acid Liquid Toner:
Aqua (Water), Glycolic Acid, Propanediol, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Alcohol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Betaine, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate.
The Ingredient List of The Inkey List Retinol Serum:
Water (Aqua / Eau), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Dimethicone, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Phospholipids, Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Squalane, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Extract, Carbomer, Sodium Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Polysorbate 60, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycolipids, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium Edta, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Retinol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterol, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Phenoxyethanol.
The Ingredient List of The Inkey List Vitamin C Cream:
Dimethicone, Ascorbic Acid, Polysilicone-11, Peg-10 Dimethicone.
The Ingredient List of The Inkey List Kaolin Clay Mask:
Aqua, Kaolin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Carthamus Tinctorius Seed Oil, Stearic Acid, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Magnesium Silicate, 2-Phenoxyethanol, Dimenthyl Sulfone, Centella Asiatica Extract,Glyceryl Caprylate, Decyl Glucoside, Cellulose Gum, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Carbomer, Tocopherol, Macrocystis Pyrifera (Kelp) Extract, Sea Water Extract, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Vitis Vinifera seed oil, Lonicera Caprifolium Flower Extract,Sodium Hydroxide, Lonicera Japonica Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Oryza Sativa Bran Oil, Geranium Maculatum Extract, Taraxacum Officinale Extract, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Spirulina Maxima Extract, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil.
The Ingredient List of The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum:
Water (Aqua / Eau), Propanediol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Hyaluronic Acid, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Phenoxyethanol.