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Today I'm sharing a rather long-gestating review, but one I'm excited about all the same, because I think this brand deserves a lot more love than I've seen it get so far! It's perfect for those who want affordable skincare, but more of a capsule collection that's simplified and less intimidating than the range offered by a brand like the Ordinary or the Inkey List. Let's get into Skin Proud...
This is a brand from the makers of Lottie London, which is a cute, affordable makeup and nail polish brand. They're available exclusively through ASOS (who actually don't list out ingredients for beauty products, however I obtained the INCI lists from the PR company and copied them in below for your information) and their pricing is comfortably affordable, but not super-inexpensive; cheaper than a brand like REN but more expensive than the Ordinary and a touch pricier than the Inkey List. Their branding is very much about inclusivity, which I really like, and the brand overall has a feel that I think really appeals to the Gen Z demographic. It's all vegan and they do go down the 'clean', 'paraben-free' route - if you don't know my opinions on that then check out this post. The packaging is really cute, so I guess some of the extra money goes on that, plus most of these formulations are more like simple blends than single-active-driven products. The line is formulated with fragrance and fragrant essential oils; this isn't an issue for me personally 99.99% of the time, but for those who enjoy fragrance in skincare or - on the other end of the spectrum - for the people who think it's the devil, I'm just letting you know! It contains the basics of a skincare routine, except (oddly, given it should be one of the easiest things to formulate) a cleanser.
Let's start with my measuring stick of all skincare brands: the hyaluronic acid serum! Skin Proud's take on this is the Smooth Talk 2% Hyaluronic Acid Gel Serum* | £12.99. Hyaluronic acid, in case your new around these parts, is a humectant, meaning it draws water into the skin. For this reason, I like to apply it to damp skin so it can pull on that water, as opposed to robbing moisture from the upper layers of my skin. Ideally, you want a formulation with multiple molecular sizes in there, to allow the ingredient to reach the various layers of the skin. Unfortunately I couldn't find any information on this regarding Skin Proud's formula. One of the major issues I have with hyaluronic acid serums of the more inexpensive variety is that many of them leave this awful tacky, filmy feel on my skin. However, this one doesn't! It has a gel formula, as opposed to the more watery textures of the high-end hyaluronic acids in my collection, but it absorbs really nicely into my skin. It gives my complexion a healthy look, provides a good level of hydration and definitely has that plumping effect. It also contains panthenol, which helps condition the skin and keep it hydrated, but it is listed after fragrance, which is usually a sign that there's not much of it in there. This is one of my top picks from the range and my only negative is really the price, because the Inkey List do a HA serum that I like a lot and it's about half the price of this.
Aqua (Water), Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, 1 ,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Butylene Glycol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Disodium EDTA, Parfum (Fragrance), Panthenol, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Hydroxycitronellal, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linaloo
The next serum I tried was the Bright-Boost 2% Vitamin C Multi-Vitamin Serum* | £12.99. I tried this a bit before I went on my big Vitamin C journey, but to be clear; there are two elements to Vitamin C in skincare, one of them is giving the skin glow and making it look fresh and healthy, then the other side is as a treatment for hyperpigmentation. To be honest, I really wasn't expecting a pretty pink serum retailing for under £15 to correct seriously problematic skin; this line seems primarily aimed at good, young skin that's just starting on active ingredients, and I'm not mad at that! This serum doesn't contain asorbic acid, which is usually what delivers those next-level results, particularly when combined with other forms of Vitamin C. The short version is that it's the most researched form of the ingredient and other versions require the skin to convert them into ascorbic acid. On the positive side; this is in opaque packaging with a pump; something that far more expensive serums than this sometimes can't seem to manage! This helps keep out oxygen and light, both of which can degrade the formula and render the Vitamin C ineffective. Overall, I find this to be a nice all-rounder; it's hydrating, it gives my skin glow and creates that lovely 'juicy' look. It isn't curing serious hyperpigmentation any time soon, but if you want something to give you healthy, hydrated skin (it also contains hyaluronic acid) then this is a really nice option. It doesn't contain fragrance, but does contain lemon extract, which can be irritating for some.
Aqua (Water), Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, 3-o-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Trilaureth-4 Phosphate, Chlorphenesin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Citrate, Glycerin, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Panthenol, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Terminalia Ferdinandiana Fruit Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate
Finally, for serums, let's talk about the overnight option (I appreciate the colour-coding here, too!): the Recharge Overnight Retinol 0.5% Serum* | £13.99. For the sake of brevity; let's just say that there's a lot more to the effectiveness and strength of a retinoid than the percentage stated on its packaging. However, again, I wasn't expecting the results I would from a cosmeceutical brand flogging retinoids for £100 a pop. I feel it's intended to be a beginner's retinol and it fulfils that purpose. Retinoids (of which retinol is one) are one of the few proven anti-ageing ingredients we have at our disposal, and can be purchased in off-the-shelf products or prescribed in higher doses. It's often used for post-acne scarring (emphasis on the 'post'; if you're on accutane, you can't use retinol-based skincare on top of that) and can really help to smooth out texture and make the skin's tone look more unified. This serum didn't do anything crazy for me, but it made my skin look a little smoother. My skin is very much used to retinoids, so I experienced no peeling, but this is a pretty common side-effect. This is a very gentle formula, which I'd imagine is designed to be someone's first retinoid treatment, so I doubt many would have issues with it. It's not a game-changer for me, as someone nearing 30, but it's nice enough!
Aqua (Water), Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, 1 ,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Butylene Glycol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Disodium EDTA, Parfum (Fragrance), Panthenol, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Hydroxycitronellal, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool
The exfoliator in this range is the Detox Tonic Daily AHA Exfoliating Tonic* | £14.99. I'm really glad that, as a brand aimed at a younger audience, Skin Proud resisted the temptation to go down the walnut scrub route *shudders in horror*. This product is formulated with lactic acid, a gentle but effective chemical exfoliator that's generally the best option for dry and mature skin types, glycolic acid, which is kind of the 'gold standard' in terms of brightening the skin. Both can help soften and smooth the skin, as well as improve its clarity over time. Salicylic acid is also in this formula; it's great for oily skin because it can clear skin cells from deep inside the pores and also help improve the appearance of blemish scarring. To counteract the dryness that these acids can cause, we have hyaluronic acid, calming aloe and moisturising castor oil. Niacinamide is in there to help with oiliness, as is witch hazel (contrary to popular belief; I don't feel this is damaging in small amounts). Like most acids, it does contain denatured alcohol and there is fragrance in here, which I know I mentioned up top, but it's worth noting again here because exfoliating acids can increase sensitivity and adding fragrance into the mix can be a recipe for disaster for some skin types. This is a pretty gentle formula that's not overly drying. I've tried a lot of acid toners and this isn't up there with my favourites, but it's nice enough.
Aqua (Water), Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Lactic Acid, Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Niacinamide, Phenoxyethanol, Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Chlorphenesin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Hyaluronate, Parfum (Fragrance), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Trehalose, Urea, Malus Domestica Fruit Extract, Alcohol, Pentylene Glycol, Serine, Sorbitol, Caprylyl Glycol, Algin, Disodium Phosphate, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Pullulan, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Phosphate
There's also a hydrating toner in the range: the Refresher Hydrating Rose Water Face Mist* | £9.99. This is a fairly simple formula, primarily made up of rose water and aloe. Again, there's witch hazel in there but it's lower on the ingredient list than fragrance, which probably means there's less than 1% of it in the formula. Again, it's nothing I'm going crazy for; it feels quite hydrating on the skin when first applied, but I do find that dissipates quite quickly, which is why I usually like some oils to be present in my face mists, because they help seal the hydration in.
Aqua (Water), PEG-12 Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol, Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice, Rosa Rugosa Flower Water, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Parfum (Fragrance), Polysorbate 20, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Bark/Leaf/Twig Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Biosaccharide Gum1, Citric Acid, Hydroxyacetophenone, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Sulfite
The Everything Balm* | £7.99 | is kind of like Skin Proud's answer to the Glossier Balm Dot Com, though admittedly without the many different flavour options, however it's considerably cheaper. It's a basic multi-purpose lip balm that moisturises dry lips, can be used during the day or night and also on dry patches of skin to soften them. It's nothing to go crazy over, but it works for me!
Petrolatum, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Tribehenin, Isopropyl Myristate, Pentylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate, Parfum (Fragrance), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, BHT, Silica, Tocopherol, Citric Acid
Let's talk about the Bright Eye Pomegranate Eye Cream* | £14.99. This is formulated with pomegranate for its antioxidant properties (protecting the skin from free radical damage), moisturising shea butter and niacinamide, to promote a healthy skin barrier. This is a gel-cream formula that's lightweight and absorbs nicely to hydrate my eye area without overloading it with heavy, rich product. It's pretty much the perfect balance for my normal skin. It's one of the pricier products in the range but it's one I'd purchase myself when this runs out.
Aqua (Water), Butylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glyceryl Stearate, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Triethylhexanoin, Polyacrylate-13, Behenyl Alcohol, Betaine, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dipentaerythrityl Hexahydroxystearate/Hexastearate/Hexarosinate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Propanediol, Sorbitan Isostearate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Palmitic Acid, Polyisobutene, Stearic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Parfum (Fragrance), Panthenol, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Polysorbate 20, Xanthan Gum, Adenosine, Disodium EDTA, Myristic Acid, Tocopherol
The day cream from this range is a product I've mentioned a few times already: the Sorbet Burst Hyaluronic Acid Jelly Moisturiser* | £13.99. Gel moisturisers can go one of two ways for me: either they're fantastic or my skin drinks them up and feels no more hydrated than it was before application. This contains hyaluronic acid, as we already discussed, alongside hydrating rose water. This formula melts into my skin, makes it feel plump and hydrated and gives it a healthy glow despite being oil-free. I love this and it was one of my go-to products throughout the summer; I recommend it for combination and normal skin types in particular. I think it's fantastic and a total bargain!
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Chlorphenesin, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Parfum (Fragrance), Pentylene Glycol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Benzyl Salicylate, CI 14700 (Red 4)
Finally, we have a nighttime option: the Sleep Hero Overnight Mask* | £14.99. This was a pleasant surprise! It has this sort of blancmange-esque texture which feels light on the skin and isn't at all greasy, however it's actually super-nourishing. It makes my skin incredibly soft and very smooth by morning with gorgeous moisturisers like shea butter and avocado oil, alongside the niacinamide. I think it's a gorgeous and unique mask - if you often find moisturising masks are too heavy and greasy on your skin but you think you need a little something extra for the winter months: definitely check this one out!
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Octyldodecanol, Glyceryl Stearate, Niacinamide, PEG-100 Stearate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Cyclopentasiloxane, Phenoxyethanol, Xylitylglucoside, Cyclohexasiloxane, Anhydroxylitol, Carbomer, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Xylitol, Sodium Hydroxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Glucose, Benzophenone-4, Disodium EDTA, Butylene Glycol,
Parfum (Fragrance), Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, CI 17200 (Red 33), CI 42090 (Blue 1)
Overall, there are some real winners in this range, like the overnight mask and day cream, and I think it's a great collection for younger skin looking to introduce actives into their skincare routine. Are some of the serums enough for my skin personally, at 27? Not really, but there's a place in the market for these types of formulations and I think this is a great place to start for those in their mid-to-late teens and early 20s. The only barrier to that is perhaps the price-point, as it's more expensive than a brand like the Ordinary, but it's also infinitely easier to navigate!
Have you tried anything from Skin Proud? Have any of these products piqued your interest?