The rise in popularity of single-ingredient product lines proves skin-care devotees aren’t only after $500 jars of cream or a pretty bottle to add to their next shelfie. Even more than housing a status symbol in their medicine cabinets, they’re after results—and we now know high-performance products aren’t always tethered to a hefty pricetag. Case in point: brands such as Lixir Skin, The Ordinary, and the latest addition to the buzzed-about group, The Inkey List, a UK-based brand that’s about to launch at Sephora and serve up some major competition.
Created by Mark Curry and Colette Newberry, formerly of the branding and product development team at Boots, the brand’s black-and-white bottles house high-performing actives—think retinol, glycolic acid, vitamin C, and lactic acid to name a few—in many different vehicles ranging from masks and serums to toners and creams. Additionally, instead of coating packaging with technical science and high-level jargon most of us don’t understand, the brand focuses their efforts on straightforward branding, explanations you’ll understand—there are even skincare experts available 24/7 to help answer any questions—and products you’ll want to restock on.
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The best part: nothing is more than $15. However, don’t expect glass bottles or heaping portions of these formulas—every bottle or tube is made of plastic and, with the exception of two, houses one ounce of product each. However, the formulas are so potent and high-quality, you won’t even notice the lack of bells and whistles. The entire line hits Sephora.com tomorrow, so to help you navigate through the 19 standout products currently offered in the line, we’ve rounded up our top five below.
Collagen Serum ($11)
This lightweight fluid tackles sagging skin and works to firm and fill in lines and wrinkles by boosting the skin’s natural collagen production.
Vitamin C Cream ($10)
Unlike typical vitamin C products, this one trades in a silky serum formulation for a rich cream that boasts 30 percent pure L-Ascorbic acid
Retinol Serum ($10)
One percent retinol boosted with .5 percent “Granactive Retinoid” to curb any potential irritation.
Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($8)
Two sizes of hyaluronic acid ensures the hydrating ingredient penetrates all layers of skin in this nonsticky serum that layers perfectly under makeup.
Caffeine Eye Cream ($10)
A lightweight cream that addresses puffiness, fine lines and dark circles with help from caffeine and peptides.