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It's here! It's finally here! I've been teasing Typology on social media for a while now and featuring them here and there, whilst I've been testing out their products (slowly but surely) since April, as I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak of the brand before it launched in the UK, then I picked up a few bits myself. However, do their formulations set Typology apart from the other affordable brands on the market?
Typology is a French brand and its price-point positions it as decidedly more expensive than the Ordinary and the Inkey List (it looks to be marginal, initially, but as we'll get into: their serums are 15ml as standard, or you can pay more for a 30ml bottle), however cheaper than your mid-range brands (I consider this to be the likes of REN, Medik8 and Paula's Choice). Therefore, I'd still class it as affordable and the extra you're paying is worth it for the chic packaging and if the formulas are superior. Their products are all vegan and are marketed as natural (I'm going to write a whole post on the topic, but this is never a factor in my purchasing decisions: I want effective products and ingredients tested for the skin are not 'toxic'). Most of their products are fragrance-free and it's very easy to avoid the fragranced products if you wish to, because they're clearly signposted (such as the Lavender Hydrolat and Peppermint Hydrolat). I really like that they both describe the products and what they do as well as keeping the formulas simple with the actives outlined on the packaging. They do also do a few full-on blends, but simplicity is really at the heart of this brand.
- SERUMS -
Let's start with serums and Hyaluronic Acid is kind of my measuring stick for brands; most of them have one and I usually pick it up, so it's a great place to start comparing. The Hydrating Serum 3%Hyaluronic Acid + 2% B5* | £11.80 (15ml) | contains wheat-derived hyaluronic acid (a water-attracting humectant, best applied to damp skin, so it can pull that moisture into its deeper layers) and B5 - aka panthenol (great for a strong, healthy skin barrier and for softening and conditioning the skin). There are two types of hyaluronic acid in here, which was a tad disappointing to me, given the Ordinary manage three forms at £5.95 for 30ml. The reason this is important is because the more molecular weights included in the formula, the more layers that hydration can reach. However, what I do like about this is that the formula is more pleasant to apply than the Ordinary's and a lot of other very affordable products (which can often dry down to a tight, filmy finish). I have read other people say they find this a bit tacky, however I can only speak on my personal experience. It does have a thicker 'gloopier' texture as opposed to something water-light like Niod's formulation, so I think it's best suited for normal and dry skin types, however to me it doesn't feel tacky. I find it plumps and hydrates my skin, as well as giving it a healthy, dewy glow. Overall, I really like this hyaluronic acid, but when it comes to replacing it, I do still gravitate more towards Medik8 and Niod for a premium formula, or Good Molecules and the Inkey List for affordable. I don't really see where it fits in for me.
The next product I have is the Antioxidant Serum 3% Ferulic Acid + 3% Resveratrol | £14.80 (15ml). I personally loved this (spoiler), but would say the texture is more for normal and dry skin types (I tended to use this before bed as I was using it around the start of summer). The Ordinary have a really similar antioxidant, which I did pick up but I've not had a chance to try it yet; I may compare the two in the future. The function of an antioxidant is to protect the skin against free radical damage, which can make it very difficult to see 'results' within a standard review period. Ferulic acid (plant-derived) not only protects the skin but can also help stabilise other antioxidants so they work more effectively. Resveratrol is a grape-derived antioxidant that protects the skin and has a calming effect on redness and can help soothe the skin. This comes in a super-moisturising (again, quite gloopy) formula that makes my skin glow and look smoother. I felt my skin looked even and was really calm during the time I used this serum. It's my must-have for dry skin from the range.
I also tried the Radiance Serum 11% Vitamin C* | £11.80 (15ml). Vitamin C is a difficult ingredient to please and all year I've been on a mission to find the very best formulas. The difficulty comes from its instability. My original serum came in this clear glass packaging, however I can see on their website that they've since changed this to a tinted, opaque bottle. This is because the efficacy of Vitamin C can be severely inhibited by exposure to light and oxygen (which is why many people prefer their Vitamin C in pump packaging as opposed to a dropper like this). In all honesty, seeing it in this packaging meant I didn't have high hopes for this formula. Vitamin C is an antioxidant which can give your skin a gorgeous glow, but also harmonise the skin's tone, clear up hyperpigmentation and improve its overall appearance. This formula contains Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, which is pretty stable, but all forms that aren't Ascorbic Acid (or L-Ascorbic Acid) rely on your skin's ability to convert the ingredient to Ascorbic Acid, so it isn't personally my favourite form of Vitamin C when used on its own. What I do like about this serum is that it has a water-like texture so is fast-absorbing and suitable for all skin types. On the flip-side the thicker serums definitely last longer than the more watery serums; I used this for a little over 6 weeks and got halfway through the 15ml bottle, so that's also something to bear in mind. I personally don't mind this massively, because Vitamin C turns so quickly that I'd have to get through a bottle in under 6 months anyway. Personally, I found this to be a nice serum that gives my skin a glow, but I didn't notice any significant difference in my skin's tone or the red marks left behind after I have a breakout. It may work better in the new packaging, but I can only speak on the product I received.
- OILS -
Let's talk about oils! For me, oils are an essential step in my evening skincare routine, to lock all the goodness into my skin from the earlier steps in my routine and provide a seal for the skin, preventing transepidermal water loss. Although it's billed as a serum; it's an oil, so I'm talking about the Dry Skin Serum 100% Squalane* | £11.80 (15ml) | here! Squalane is an all-round fantastic skincare ingredient (though I'd use it sparingly if your skin is naturally oily and spot-prone); it's a plant-derived alternative (this formula comes from olives) to the oils your skin naturally produces. This makes it a fantastic option for sensitive and reactive skin types. It's there to condition the skin, taking care of dryness and contributing to an overall healthy skin barrier. I love this formula in particular because of its very light, almost watery texture that deeply moisturises my skin without feeling at all greasy. I'm not an 'oils in the daytime' kind of gal, but I could easily use this as part of my morning skincare routine without feeling like a greasy mess (I have normal but dehydrated skin).
Next, I have the Organic Jojoba Botanical Oil | £14.80 (100ml). Jojoba oil is a great skin moisturiser but it's in the amber zone of the comedogenic scale, meaning that oily and spot-prone skin can take it in small does, but should probably avoid a 100% formula like this. It's a fantastic emollient and a rich source of skin-replenishing fatty acids, so I recommend it for dry and mature skin types. If it's in that goldilocks zone, it can actually help with sebum production, so combination-skinned people could use this a couple of times a week and see an improvement in their oily t-zone. It's basic, but whenever I use this, I wake up the following morning with soft, smooth, nourished skin. It doesn't feel to heavy or clog my pores either. My only real negative is the packaging, which makes it hard to control how much product comes out.
The Organic Carrot Macerat Oil* | £11.80 (100ml) | was an interesting one in terms of texture. It's a sort of very fluid oil, so perfect for those who want an oil in theory but often find them a bit much for their skin. As it's a plant oil, carrot oil contains skin-protecting antioxidants, and it hovers around the middle of the comedogenic scale, meaning it should be fine for most skin types but is probably going to be best-suited to dry and mature skin. Typology very much emphasise its skin-brightening abilities on their website but I couldn't find much evidence to corroborate this. For me; it's an emollient plant oil that's lightweight but still gives me lovely soft skin.
Lastly, we have an oil-serum in the Blemish Serum 1% Bakuchiol | £14.80 (15ml). This can actually be applied before moisturiser if you have quite a rich, occlusive night cream, and I would recommend it as part of an evening routine. Bakuchiol is often called the 'natural retinol', though I'm never quite sure I agree with its marketing as an anti-blemish ingredient by many brands that use it. It is in a sense, but it's not really for active breakouts, but for blemish scarring left behind afterwards. I personally have never used a bakuchiol that's given me the dramatic skin-smoothing and evening-out effect that a good retinol formula has, and I've tried a fair few now. This also contains hazelnut oil, which is rich in Vitamin E, to act as an antioxidant. This was a nice, moisturising, fast-absorbing oil-serum that conditioned my skin and possibly made it look a little smoother, but I honestly can't say it improved the tone or texture of my skin in any noticeable way.
- MOISTURISERS -
Moving onto moisturising products, I have the original moisturiser Typology launched, though they've since introduced a few more formulas tailored towards different skin types. The 9-Ingredient Face Moisturiser* | £17.80 (50ml) | does exactly what it says on the tin; it's formulated with a small number of ingredients, each of which serves a defined purpose. There's no fragrance and its simplicity means it could be a great option for reactive skin. Hyaluronic acid is in there (which we've already discussed in the serum section) to attract water and another hydrator in the form of glycerin. The stabilising ingredients are also listed out and there aren't a bunch of them, so you can easily deduce if they're ingredients your skin gets along with or not. The only thing in here I think could be problematic for some is coconut oil. I have quite hardy skin so I've never found it comedogenic for me, but that's a personal experience thing. Most skin types can tolerate a small amount of it, but it's the second ingredient on the INCI list here, so if it breaks you out; this moisturiser isn't for you. For my skin, it feels lovely and lightweight in its texture, but still softens, smooths and moisturises. I feel my skin looks plump and healthy when I use this moisturiser too. Whilst it's not a head-over-heels-in-love kind of product, I find this to be a solid moisturiser that I'll use up.
There's also the 9-Ingredient Lip Balm* | £9.80 (15ml) | which is a similar concept. It contains many derivatives of glycerin, castor oil, sunflower oil, Vitamin E and lemon extract (which I don't believe to have any particularly amazing skin benefits like the other ingredients here). It's an oil-based lip balm, so probably one to apply before bed for a lot of people. I personally really liked this when I first applied it and it gave me very soft lips. My issue was that I just felt my lips drank up the moisture from this balm very quickly, even when I applied a fair amount, and I ended up in a very similar position to where I started. I wanted to love this, but ultimately it was just 'ok'.
- CLEANSERS -
I have a first cleanse and a second / morning cleanse from the range. The oil-based cleanser is the 7-Ingredient Makeup Removing Oil* | £14.80 (100ml) | formulated with sweet almond oil, coconut-derived oils, sunflower seed oils, a rapeseed derivative and Vitamin E. These are all really good, moisturising, non-fragrant oils, which I like to see; my main concern with this oil was that it might not emulsify that well, However, it actually does! I massage into my skin and over my eyes and it gently lifts makeup without irritating my sensitive eyes. I then splash it with water to turn it into a milky emulsion and wipe away my makeup with a damp cloth. This works really well at removing makeup, it's easy to get off without leaving behind an excess oily film and it's nicely affordable. It's a solid product that does the job!
I have to preface my 'review' of the Hydrating Palmarosa Facial Cleansing Bar* | £11.80 (100g) | by saying that a bar format is never my first choice of cleansing medium. I used it a couple of times for you guys and it honestly wasn't terrible, I just wouldn't have picked this up myself. It wasn't horrifically drying, which is a plus, but I just find these things awkward and messy and they generally don't contain great ingredients that are going to deliver fantastic results to your skin. It contains a bunch of essential oils, which are really just fragrance, and shea butter (a good moisturiser), coconut oil (usually ok for dry skin, can be comedogenic to some), sunflower oil (non-fragrant moisturiser) and olive oil (as per coconut oil).
- FRAGRANCES -
I also have both Perfume Discovery Sets* | £8.80 each (2ml x 3 in each set). Starting with the more herbal selection, we have Yuzu Mandarine, Sauge Romarin and Cypres Genevrier. The Yuzu Mandarine actually smells really nice and fresh and citric when first applied, however it doesn't really hold and leaves behind a slightly odd after-scent. Sauge Romarin is rosemary and sage. It's not my personal favourite fragrance combination; but if you're into it, you'll be into this. I did actually really enjoy Cypres Genevrier - this is a beautiful, woody, full scent that smells as though you just emerged from the forest with notes of cypress and juniper (I believe they're all designed to be unisex and my boyfriend has his eye on this one!) Onto the second trio, we have: Pamplemousse Petitgrain, Jasmin Neroli and Cedre Vetiver. Pamplemousse Petitgrain of course features grapefruit and herby notes. I quite like it and find it a refreshing summer-appropriate scent. Jasmin Neroli is another standout from the lot. Despite my name, I've never been a huge fan of jasmine but the neroli takes it to a deeper, richer level that I love. Finally, we have Cedre Vetiver, which is also lovely; it's warm, aromatic, spicy and woody, meaning it'll be perfect for the winter months. The longevity is fine besides Yuzu Mandarin, though I'd consider it more like an EDT than an EDP formula. The fragrances are £32.80 so very reasonably-priced and look a lot more expensive than they are, however I'd look to get the discovery sets before committing so you can choose one that's right for you.
- TONERS AND EXFOLIATORS -
The toner I was sent is the Organic Orange Blossom Hydrolat* | £8.80 (100ml). A hydrolat isn't a product type I was really familiar with before discovering Typology. It's effectively a distilled plant water, so it's not a traditional toner, but I personally used them as such. Those who aren't a fan of essential oils probably won't be a fan of hydrolats! This was probably my least-favourite Typology product - it claims to brighten the skin but I didn't really see any benefits of using it. I actually wouldn't say it was massively hydrating either. It smells kind of nice, but that's not the purpose of skincare for me!
I also tried the Organic Roman Chamomile Hydrolat | £8.80 (100ml). I actually did a lot better with this one, as I do like chamomile as a skin-soothing ingredient. Whilst, again, this is very much a water and doesn't have the substance to truly moisturise my skin, I did find this really calmed my skin and helped with redness and irritation. Though I don't have reactive skin on the whole, extreme weather can really knock it off course. This has been really handy for days when my skin has felt irritated post-sun-exposure this summer.
Finally, we have their exfoliator: the Exfoliating Toner 8% Glycolic Acid* | £17.80 (215ml). This has a pretty simple ingredient list; besides water, it contains the glycolic acid and some lemongrass (which can be sensitising to some). Glycolic acid is, of course, a chemical exfoliate within the AHA family, so I'd only really recommend this for people who have used acids in the past before, as it's a fairly high concentration of the acid most likely to irritate the skin due to its molecular size. This exfoliator was fine, and although it wasn't drying per se, I feel it could have done with more moisturising ingredients. Though it didn't cause me overt irritation, I personally wouldn't use it daily.
- FINAL THOUGHTS -
All in all; the products that I liked from this brand have been fantastic-value finds. I like their packaging, I like the way in which they flag up the active ingredients as well as the result the product is meant to deliver and I think the price-point is very fair. My main negative tends to be quite similar across single-ingredient-driven affordable skincare brands: your mileage may vary, and there's a degree of hit and miss. I think if you like 'natural' skincare but want a more scientifically-driven approach; this brand is your 'best of both worlds', though I'm not personally a massive fan of some of the essential oils used in certain products. My standouts are definitely the oils; the jojoba oil is great and this is one of my favourite squalane oils, The serums were a bit of a mixed bag but I really liked the ferulic with resveratrol and hyaluronic acid. The makeup removing oil was also a solid product.
Have you tried anything from Typology? Have any of these products jumped out to you?
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