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Today, I thought we'd start a new series on here featuring skincare brands Instagram inspired me to check out! And we're going to start with Sweet Chef, a very cutely-packaged, mid-range superfood skincare brand. Update: this brand is now available at Cult Beauty so I've updated the links below!
Obviously the thing about this brand that stands out is the cute pastel packaging and the fruit and veg themed products, but I did want to dig a little more into the ingredients to figure out if it's just a bit of a trendy theme, or if there's any substance to the claims around what these superfoods can do for our skin when applied topically.
Let's start with the Superfood + Vitamins Moisture Boost | £17.50 | which I got in a bundle with the face oil with a $10 saving, so that was pretty good. This has a fairly light texture, which I don't think would be rich enough for dry skin but is spot-on if you're normal or combination. It absorbs nicely into my skin, makes it soft and increases hydration levels, however I'll be upfront and say it didn't 'wow' me. It's nice enough and I'll use it up (the size will make it pretty handy for travel when that's back on the agenda) but probably not a repurchase.
It's formulated with beetroot, kale and ginger, which Sweet Chef cite as sources of Vitamins A, B and C respectively, alongside shiitake mushroom and some more traditional ingredients like red algae, turmeric, oat, ginseng and hyaluronic acid. Let's unpack this! Ginger is actually a pretty good non-irritating antioxidant, so that gets a nice big tick, as is beetroot. Kale probably has the best research behind it in terms of actually getting that goodness into the skin, however much of what we know seems to suggest we'll reap the most skin benefits by simply eating these superfoods. That being said, they're certainly not harmful for the skin. There's not much proof that shiitake mushroom does anything for the skin, however red algae, turmeric and ginseng are all known to be really powerful antioxidants that help protect the skin against environmental damage. Oat is a good moisturising agent that can also have skin-soothing benefits. Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient I go on about all the time because I have dehydrated skin and it has an amazing ability to pull water into the skin to really hydrate it. The ingredient list is actually pretty good overall - the only issue I have is that there's lavender oil in this product, though it's at the bottom of the list (but still worth mentioning). As I said, I find this moisturiser nice, but this cocktail of ingredients didn't really give me anything above and beyond an average basic moisturiser.
I have a far more glowing opinion of the Superfood + Vitamins Beauty Oil | $24. This oil contains beetroot, kale and ginger, same as the moisturiser, but also other antioxidants like carrot extract, apple seed oil and coffee seed extract. It also contains lots of skin-loving moisturising agents like jojoba oil, sesame oil, oat kernel oil, moringa oil and soybean oil. These sorts of ingredients will really lock that moisture into your skin and make it feel soft and smooth. My only negative is that there is lavender oil in this again, and it's just not necessary; it has no skin benefits, it's purely there to produce a nice fragrance and could irritate some skin types. Though, luckily it's right at the end of the ingredient list, so doesn't bother me personally.
Talking a little more about the product itself; I like this a lot! I really enjoy the texture because it isn't thick or greasy on the skin and it doesn't clog my pores. Some oils feel like they just sit on the surface of the skin and don't really absorb, however this one has a very light, fluid texture and my skin drinks it up. It's perfect when things are looking a bit dry and lacklustre; I've been using it as the last step in my evening routine to really help seal in moisture so I wake up with soft, plump skin the next morning.
Finally, I also tried the Kale + Vitamin B Shot Serum | £18.50. We've kind of already covered a lot of the stuff on kale, but if you like niacinamide; that is a form of Vitamin B, so you might like this too. It actually has a lot more ingredients in it than I thought it would based on the description. It contains lots of well-known antioxidants like red algae and turmeric, as well as other fruit and vegetable extracts that we know less about, but aren't going to harm your skin like aubergine and moss. There's also sugarcane in here, which you may be familiar with as a source of AHAs, however unprocessed sugarcane probably isn't going to do that much for your skin. As you may have guessed, that pesky lavender oil is also in there!
In terms of my experience with the product; I actually really like it. It has a milky-gel-like texture that absorbs nicely into my skin without feeling tacky or uncomfortable. It definitely helps hydration levels in my skin and, having used it for the past several weeks in the morning, I do feel my skin has been pretty calm, it's not felt irritated and I've not experienced redness during this time. These are the benefits I usually associate with niacinamide, so I feel relatively comfortable saying that alongside hydration and helping to protect the skin; the vitamins in this serum can produce a similar effect to a niacinamide. The pleasant texture means I'll continue to reach for this regularly!
Have you heard of Sweet Chef before? Are there any products you'd like to try from this brand?