The Inkey List

Spotlight on The Inkey List: Affordable skincare and hair care that does as it promises

6th January 2023 | Author: Phee Waterfield

UPDATE: The Inkey List recently announced it would be raising its prices in the wake of the pandemic, rising inflation, and due to the increasing price of materials.

In a blog post, its founders explained that its products will always remain accessible, at fair prices and that the price changes will be “kept to a minimum”. From looking at the site, these price increases range from £1 to £3.50. The Inkey List Retinol has risen from £9.99 to £10.99, as one example.

That said, a number of products are also staying the same price.

These include the Caffeine Eye Cream, Omega Water Cream, and its SuperSolutions range. The new prices went live on 1 January on The Inkey List website but you may be able to get the products at lower prices from third-party retailers.

The original The Inkey List Spotlight continues below

Often, when we’re faced with purchasing different products for our skin and hair, it’s hard not to get confused by all the many and varied ingredients listed on packaging.

Thankfully, there’s a major movement within the beauty industry to change this and one of the brands at the heart of this movement is The Inkey List. We use multiple The Inkey List products on the daily – and can’t live without them – so it made sense for this brand to be the latest to feature in our Brand Spotlight series. It also features on our best skincare brands list.

Over the coming weeks and months, we’re going to be shining a light on brands that represent and align with what we stand for at mamabella– brands that offer great products at low prices; brands which champion inclusivity and diversity; clean, sustainable, and ethical beauty brands, and brands that are challenging the beauty industry hierarchy.

We’ve previously profiled The Ordinary, another fantastic and affordable brand doing amazing work in the science of skincare, as well as Carbon Theory – the must-have skincare brand if you have spots, among others. Read all of our Brand Spotlight guides here.

Shop now at Cult Beauty

The Inkey List: A Brief History

The beauty brand was founded by Colette Laxton and Mark Curry in 2018 and was born from a belief that better knowledge powers better decisions. This was based on the confusion created by beauty and skincare companies, but also because people are curious and “want to understand more about their skin”, enabling them to make the right decisions.

This aligns almost perfectly with what we at mamabella are striving to do; to breakdown the science involved, and cut through the bullshit surrounding skincare and beauty products generally.

In just a short period of time, The Inkey List has transformed what it means to be a beauty and skincare brand today, with digital and online services making it even easier to get products that are just right for you. It even has a live chat tool called #askInkey where you can get personalised skincare advice at any time of the day, direct from experts.

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Why we love The Inkey List

Where do we begin? The Inkey List has a range of products and services that makes it one of the most innovative beauty brands out there.

On its website, customers can benefit from its Recipe Builder—where people can put in what they’re looking for in skin care products—or can get advice directly from the company’s digital skincare specialists or via the #askINKEY.

Its range of skincare – and hair products – also target a variety of problems customers face such as wrinkles and fine lines, redness, dryness, hair loss, grey hair and many more.

The price tags are also not unreasonable. When we put our requirements into the Recipe Builder, we were given an entire skincare routine that would cost us around £50. You can also tailor the recipe based on your budget and requirements – maybe you only need a cleanser and eye cream for example. A concentrated hair treatment that promises to reverse grey hair, meanwhile, costs just £15.

The last thing to love about the brand is its simple packaging. There’s something striking about it; compared to other skincare and hair products, The Inkey List’s selection is black and white, which makes it stand out amongst the crowd.

FURTHER READING: The Ordinary and The Inkey List launch free online skincare consultations 

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The best Inkey List products

  1. For removing makeup: The Inkey List Oil and Water Double Cleanser — £10 | Buy now
  2. For wrinkles and fine lines: Retinol – £10.99 | Buy now
  3. For rough skin: Apple Cider and Vinegar Peel — £14.99 | Buy now
  4. For dull skin: 15% Vitamin C+ EGF Serum — £15.99 | Buy now
  5. For plumper and firmer skin: Collagen Booster — £9.99 | Buy now
  6. For acne and blemishes: Succinic Acid Blemish Treatment– £7.99 | Buy now
  7. For redness: Redness Relief Solution – £15.99 | Buy now

The Inkey List recently released a host of new products to brighten and clear your skin. Like the rest of its range, each of these new Inkey List products is super affordable and highly effective. We haven’t added them to the list below (yet) because we want to put them to the test properly but the details of each are as follows:

  • Fulvic Acid Brightening Cleanser: This gentle cleanser contains 0.5% Nordic Beauty Peat – high in fulvic acid – to exfoliate the skin; 1.5% kakadu plum extract with Vitamin C;  1% liquorice root to get rid of hyperpigmentation, and 0.5% aloe vera to soothe and calm your skin
  • Symbright Moisturiser: A day and night cream that uses fermented clary sage to brighten and consolidate skin tone, 2% kakadu plum extract and 1% red algae complex to hydrate the skin

1. The Inkey List Oil and Water Double Cleanser

£10 | Buy now

Who’s it for? Anyone who needs a good skin cleanse without causing dryness.

Why we love it: This one-step double cleanser uses Sea Buckthorn and Sweet Almond Oil to cleanse the skin as well as remove makeup. It also includes Panthenol, which restores skin moisture levels.

How to use it: Shake well and apply to the face with a cotton pad.

FURTHER READING: Best cleanser: Discover which face cleanser best suits your skin from oily to dry and acne-prone

Buy now from Cult Beauty

2. The Inkey List Retinol

£10.99 | Buy now

Who’s it for? Anyone who wants to finish off their fine lines and rid themselves of uneven skin tones.

Why we love it: Retinol is trending everywhere and for good reason—it helps massively in targeting the signs of aging. Derived from Vitamin A, this serum reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, with the bonus of less risk of irritation. If that wasn’t enough, it also boosts overall skin clarity and uneven skin tone. You can read more about the benefits of Vitamin A in our guide to the acids in your skincare.

How to use it: Use it as part of your nighttime skincare routine only. Following cleansing and applying hyaluronic acid, apply a pea-sized amount of the product to your hand and massage it into the face and neck. See our science of moisturiser article or our What is hyaluronic acid guide? for more info.

The Inkey List recommends starting off using this product two to three times a week, increasing gradually if the skin can tolerate it. A moisturiser or oil can be applied afterward.

FURTHER READING: What is retinol and what does retinol do for your skin?

Buy now

3. The Inkey List Apple Cider and Vinegar Peel

£14.99 | Buy now

Who’s it for? Anyone who wants glowing, smooth skin.

Why we love it: With a tagline like “glow in 10 minutes”, what is there not to love? This peel is meant for multi-level exfoliation and while it’s effective, it’s also non-irritating.

According to The Inkey List, apple cider vinegar helps reduce redness and brighten the skin, while also minimising the appearance of pores and marks from blemishes. It also reduces breakouts and is a great cleanser for your hair.

How to use it: Use it in the evening, once a week. You can increase use to twice a week if you think your skin can take it, but The Inkey List warns not to over-exfoliate. You can usually tell if you’re over-exfoliating if you have a particularly shiny forehead. Apply a thin layer to dampened cleansed skin and leave for 10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Pat your face dry and continue as normal with your serums and moisturiser.

Buy now from Cult Beauty

4. The Inkey List 15% Vitamin C+ EGF Serum

£14.99 | Buy now

Who’s it for? Anyone looking to tackle dull skin.

Why we love it: Used any time of the day, this product helps those looking to rid themselves of dull, lifeless skin. The Vitamin C, combined with plant-derived EGF, aids with skin regeneration, the support of producing natural collagen and elastin, and creates an even-looking complexion.

How to use it: This product is gentle enough for daily use and can be used either in the morning or evening. However, The Inkey List advises only using once and in the morning.

After cleansing the skin, apply a pea-sized amount of serum to the face and neck. Wait 10 minutes before applying a moisturiser. This gives the skin cells enough time to respond to the EGF and won’t affect the cell rejuvenation process, according to The Inkey List.

Buy now from Cult Beauty

5. The Inkey List Collagen Booster

£9.99 | Buy now

Who’s it for? Anyone who wants to have younger-looking skin.

Why we love it: Don’t worry – we don’t mean injecting collagen into your skin. This is a serum that includes Matrxyl 3000 peptide and Syn-Tacks Dual Peptide to boost the skin, mimicking the effect of what natural collagen would do. Skin appears plumper and firmer, as well as reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

How to use it: After cleansing and toning, apply a pea-sized amount of serum into the hand and pat it into the face and neck. If you prefer, you can follow with other serums, moisturiser, and oils.

FURTHER READING: Best anti-ageing cream for targeting wrinkles and fine lines

Buy now from Cult Beauty

6. The Inkey List Succinic Acid Blemish Treatment

£7.99 | Buy now

Who’s it for? Anyone with blemishes, spots and blackheads.

Why we love it: The latest product to join The Inkey List ranks is the Succinic Acid Blemish Treatment. Going against the grain of many acne and spot treatments, this The Inkey List treatment doesn’t dry out the skin, thanks to the addition of hyaluronic acid.

It works by gently exfoliating dead skin cells, through the use of 1% salicylic acid, while reducing excess oil without stripping skin thanks to 2% succinic acid. Succinic acid is a bio-based chemical that’s derived from corn. Then, 0.4% hyaluronic acid helps moisturise and plump the skin. Spots are cleared while the complexion stays soft, supple, and oil-free.

How to use it: You can apply this treatment all over your face because it’s gentle enough not to dry out areas not affected by blemishes. Or you can use it as a direct spot treatment.

FURTHER READING: How to get rid of spots fast with this failsafe makeup artist tip

Buy now from Cult Beauty

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