Posted on May 21 2020
by Joe Tan

During the course of this Circuit Breaker, I’ve been going through my stash of skincare products to try, in high hopes of finding a new staple to replace in my current beauty regime. Some did wonders while others made me break out a couple of times. But when I finally touched on my box by The Inkey List that’s been sitting in my stash for some time since Sephora’s Press Day, I decided to try it and the results were surprisingly remarkable.

But before diving into my review, here are a few things you should know about the brand that’s made a name for itself in the UK and the US.




Otherwise known as the inside-term for the long list of ingredients and compositions at the back of beauty products, The Inkey List emphasises its focus on ingredients in their products. By doing so, they are keeping costs down while priding themselves on high-quality ingredients with no-frills formulas that work for your skin.



They basically offer a straightforward and succinct collection of hero products without all the beauty jargon — achieving a minimalistic skincare brand that allows customers to easily navigate through.

To top it all off, their range also incorporates heavy-hitters into their collection (read: retinol and hyaluronic acid), giving consumers a way to safely experiment with products that they might not be used to.



Hence, this brings about our next point: the name of their skincare products. With a uniform design that sticks to its monochromatic tones, the brand brings more focus on their main ingredients that are found in the products rather than attracting consumers with loud and colourful packaging. Taking their approach to name their products based on their respective hero ingredients without the fancy hoo-ha. Some of their products that come with straightforward names include their Glycolic Acid Toner, Vitamin C Serum, and Collagen Booster.





I’m pretty apprehensive when it comes to incorporating products like retinol into my regime. This serum is formulated with RetiStar Stabilised Retinol 1% and Granactive Retinoid 0.5% which is said to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles — whereas, Squalane, that’s also found in the formula, works to hydrate and soothe your skin.

Though retinol been considered as one of the popular ingredients when it comes to stimulating cell turnover, improving skin texture and helps with anti-ageing, it can, at times, cause irritation for sensitive skin. Also, when you’re using these ingredients, it can also increase your skin’s photo-sensitivity to UV which is why it’s best to use it at night.

I have dry to combination skin, and so I was very careful when I incorporated this Retinol  Serum into my night routine. After using my toner, I would usually apply a pea-sized amount on my face before applying my other serums and moisturisers.

To my pleasant surprise, this highly raved product was really worth the hype! After diligently using it for 2 weeks, I could tell that my skin was so much smoother and brighter than it was before. Not trying to be dramatic but it felt like I injected life into my skin. The small bumps on my face and hyperpigmentation on my skin also slowly disappeared and it gave my skin some clarity.

The Inkey List Retinol ($20) is available at Sephora.



Besides having tried the brand’s Retinol, I also tried their Polyglutamic Acid which has been said to be suitable for all skin types.

In comparison to the ever-so-popular ingredient, Hyaluronic Acid, Polyglutamic Acid is believed help to maintain the skin’s moisture levels and holds four times more moisture than the former. Besides that, the product also promises to reduce the appearance of fine lines, while it evens your skin tone and brightens it at the same time. Formulated with a 3% polyglutamic acid complex, the serum promises to leave skin smooth, supple, and hydrated — heck, you can even double it up with your Hyaluronic Acid serum for an extra dose of moisture!

What I like most about the serum is that it absorbs really quickly into the skin while giving it a dose of moisture that doesn’t feel heavy, especially when I’m applying it before my moisturiser.

I could see that with each use, it manages to plump up my skin and allowed it to set a nice base even before applying makeup over it. After using it a few times, I could also tell that my skin appeared softer, plumper and I didn’t have to deal with that midday oil slick because my skin was well hydrated and moisturised thanks to the serum.

The Inkey List Polyglutamic Acid Serum, $22. Available at Sephora.



Overall, from my experience with these two products, I would say I have a great impression of The Inkey List and I look forward to trying more products from their range. Now I’m very picky with what I usually use on my skin because it’s prone to breaking out, but these two skincare essentials have paved its way to my must-have staples that I can’t go without at the moment. Till the day I find something better to replace it, I can definitely see myself repurchasing and keeping them in my rotation for the next few months.