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Never have a posted about a skincare brand I have some products to try from and received the level of response as I did when I showed some Medik8 on my Instagram page. There were dozens of comments saying how amazing their products are, how they've transformed people's skin and telling me that I was going to love Medik8. And, it turns out they were absolutely right! If you're interested in purchasing their products, you can buy them directly, via Cult Beauty, Feel Unique, Skin City or Look Fantastic (if you do buy them at Look Fantastic, I have an affiliate code for 15% off: JASMINETALKS_LF). Today I'm doing a proper review on everything I've tried from them...

Medik8's skincare philosophy is 'CSA': Vitamin C (as an antioxidant and pigmentation-corrector), sunscreen (of course to avoid melanoma, but also to ensure you actually see the benefits of the products you use and because Vitamins C and A can increase sun sensitivity) and Vitamin A (aka retinoids; pretty much the only proven anti-ageing ingredient you can buy off the shelf and an amazing way of counteracting skin texture). They're a results-driven brand that's all about active ingredients and products that compliment them. I also find their products to be really reasonably-priced given how effective their formulas are. The only thing I'd flag up is that there are some fragrant elements in their formulas; nothing noticeable, nothing that causes me any issues and not a whole load of it, but it's there and I know some of you don't like that, so I'm just pointing it out!

I also wanted to touch on something that occurred between my originally writing this very enthusiastic (and largely unaltered) post and it being scheduled for release on my blog. Medik8 have an unfortunately-named brightening line called White Balance; despite going for what they felt was a photography-inspired name, for myself and many others the proximity to skin whitening was a bit too close for comfort. Myself and several others brought this to their attention and they have agreed the name should change, but I guess the proof is in the pudding and only time will tell if they follow through on this and try to get the input of a more diverse group of people when deciding on how to market their products. I'm not out here burning my Medik8 products like a teenager with their James Charles palette last year, but it's something I have my eye on...

We'll get the only product I feel lukewarm about out of the way first. I wouldn't have picked up the Micellar Mousse* | £24 | myself, so I can't really be too mad that it's a bit of a 'meh' product for me. It's a cleansing foam that can remove light makeup (with the help of micelles to attract oil-based particles) or work as a refreshing morning or second cleanse. It's nice, it melts into the skin and it's lightly hydrating. It just didn't knock my socks off; it's a pretty basic product, so let's move on...

Also on the cleansing side; I really liked using the Lipid-Balance Cleansing Oil* | £27. It's simple but it works for me and feels lovely! This cleansing oil is formulated with safflower oil, olive oil (this can be comedogenic for some in high concentrations like this, however it's an emulsifying formula so very little is actually going to be absorbed by the skin), sunflower seed oil, carrot seed oil and others. It's packed full of replenishing omega fatty acids and Vitamin E to protect the skin. Obviously it isn't sat on the skin all day; it's a cleanser, but it could still make a lovely moisturising morning cleanse for dry skin types. I personally use this to remove makeup; it's not overly greasy, it emulsifies easily on contact with water and does a great job of removing makeup whilst also being gentle on my sensitive eyes. Overall, this is a solid cleansing oil and a great thing to use alongside active ingredients.

Moving into the realms of powerhouse ingredients, I have the Hydr8 B5 Liquid Rehydration Serum* | £40. This is a wonderful hyaluronic acid serum; it isn't sticky or tacky, it just melts into the skin and fully absorbs. Hyaluronic acid is famous for its ability to hold 1000 x its own weight in water and it pulls moisture into the skin (so I always recommend applying it to slightly damp skin). This is a multi-molecular formula, so can reach into the deeper layers of the skin, not just those towards the surface. Vitamin B5 supports the work of hyaluronic acid by helping retain that moisture in the skin. I absolutely loved using this serum and think I'll pick up the 'intense' version next because I've heard such glowing reviews on it, and if this serum is so amazing, that must be out of this world! This serum plumps and hydrates my skin, so it looks healthy as opposed to dull and has a fresh glow about it. If you have dehydrated skin, this is the perfect lightweight antidote.

As a day cream, I used the Daily Radiance Vitamin C C-Tetra Antioxidant Cream SPF 30* | £55. This has a lovely texture for my skin and I'd recommend it for you if you're normal or dry. The texture melts into my skin, but I think it could be a bit much if you're more on the oily / spot-prone side. I find it nicely nourishing and really made my skin feel smooth. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from free radical damage, but can also brighten the skin, giving it a gorgeous glow and harmonising the skin's tone so hyperpigmentation is less visible. The issue with it is that it's so unstable! This formula uses tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, which is an oil-soluble form of Vitamin C that's relatively stable, but I do think you would have to use this up quite quickly to get all of those Vitamin C benefits, given it's in a jar as opposed to an airtight bottle with a pump. To be fair, Medik8 have highlighted its ability to protect the skin from environmental aggressors as opposed to its brightening abilities, so I can't complain too much about it not delivering dramatic changes in that respect. What it does do is give my skin a healthy glow and moisturises without feeling heavy or leaving a greasy excess on the surface of my skin. It's a beautiful formula that's spot-on for my skin type. It does also contain SPF 30, but if you're going to rely on that protection you need to ensure you're applying the correct amount (around half a teaspoon for the face and neck, which could be way too much product for most people when it comes to foundation or moisturiser).

Let's talk about retinoids! I was gifted the Crystal Retinal 3* | £45 | and have purchased the Crystal Retinal 6 | £59 | for when I finish it. The concept of this is that there are 4 options: 1, 3, 6 and 10 and you choose the right concentration for your skin. If you're totally new to retinol then you start at 1 (however as I'd used this ingredient before I went straight in at 3) and progress from there. Retinal, like retinol, is within the retinoid family however it's been proven to deliver real results far faster, though that does come with potential irritation (like retinol) which is probably why Medik8 has this system of different concentrations. Retinoids encourage collagen production in the skin so can really help smooth out fine lines. They also help the appearance of skin texture, particularly for those who've suffered with acne (you just can't use them if you're still on accutane). It's one of those skincare ingredients that can give those incredible, noticeable results and if you find the right formula; you've hit the jackpot in terms of getting your best skin ever. This is a vegan formula that also contains hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E and glycerin (another humectant). I've not yet opened my 6 formula, but the 3 has truly been transformative for my skin. As someone who's used to using active ingredients in their skincare routine, it's difficult to really see dramatic results from a specific product, as you kind of adjust to how your skin looks like with Vitamin C, retinol and acids and that becomes your new standard, however this gave me that 'wow' moment even after just few weeks of use. It's incredible; it smoothed my skin, made it look plump and full and cleared up marks left behind from old breakouts. It's pretty normal to experience a bit of peeling when you start on retinoids but I didn't experience any with this product and it gave me no irritation. I honestly found this to be better than far more expensive products I've used and it's the one I recommend all the time. If the 3 is this good, I can't wait to graduate to 6...

This seems a pretty good segway into Bakuchiol Peptides | £45. Retinoids aren't always an option for everyone; if you have very reactive skin, if you're pregnant or breastfeeding or if you're just using a lot of other actives and don't want to overdo it, you might not use them as part of your everyday routine. Bakuchiol is often labelled the 'natural retinol'. I personally find this to be a classic marketing overstatement! Having tried many bakuchiol formulas by this point, I can safely say that the results it can deliver are nowhere near on the level of retinol and you'll probably be disappointed if that's what you're expecting. This is an oil-serum that I personally use prior to my night cream, as it has a lightweight texture despite being rich in replenishing fatty acids. I find this formula beautifully moisturising and I do find it plumps my skin, making it appear smoother, feel softer and look that bit healthier. It doesn't give you that jaw-dropping 'skin on retinoids' effect but it's a really lovely product for lacklustre, dry or mature skin.

Finally, I have the Advanced Night Restore Rejuvenating Cellular Repair Cream* | £55 | which is another standout for me. This cream is designed to work alongside something like the Crystal Retinal and is packed full of ceramides, which help replenish the skin barrier, contributing to its strength and overall health. They're also great for preventing transepidermal water loss, which often happens at night. I personally love this cream, not only because it's ceramide-rich and ensures I wake up to super soft and nourished skin, but because of its texture; somehow it does all of that whilst feeling lovely and light on my skin. If you like the idea of a repairing ceramide cream but find most formulas on the market too rich or heavy for your skin; I really recommend trying this one out.

Have you used any Medik8 products before? If so - what are your favourites? If not - what's on your wishlist?

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