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Today we're talking the top-rated skincare products on Space NK's website and if they're worth the hype! I've done this before with Cult Beauty but their website is a little trickier to navigate these days and I thought that switching things up to Space NK might add some new and interesting brands and products into the mix... As a note: I've tried to choose products with a fair amount of reviews so I can be a little more confident in their rating. So, without further ado: let's dive into them and see if they're worth the hype or not...
The first product we'll discuss is the Caudalie S.O.S. Thirst-Quenching Serum* | £30. Caudalie describe this water-based serum as perfect for dry and sensitive skin types and it's formulated with their signature refreshing grape water. It's also made with the humectants glycerin and hyaluronic acid, to pull moisture into the skin. There's squalane, a skin-similar oil that can replenish moisture. Plus there's Beta-glucan which is soothing and great for redness and irritation. I used to love this product back in the day, but my skincare preferences have definitely changed and I rarely make space in my skincare routine for standalone hydrating serums. But... I have to say: I've been reaching for this a lot! It's not sticky and it has enough substance to provide lasting hydration, which means I find myself gravitating towards it time and time again. It's a great option to have on-hand if your skin is prone to getting a bit dry and lacklustre, because it instantly restores the hydration, bounce and juice! My only real negative is that it contains fragrance so it won't be for you if your skin doesn't agree with that.
Next, let's talk about the Kate Somerville Kateceuticals Resurfacing Overnight Peel* | £84. I loooove me some Kate Somerville and last year Kate launched this line of products intended to mimic clinical results. This overnight peel is formulated to be a well-ageing powerhouse; glycolic acid resurfaces the skin, boosts glow and helps improve the appearance of discolouration by chemically exfoliating the skin and it's combined with retinol, and this can actually help that ingredient better penetrate into the skin. Retinol (in the unlikely event you don't know about it!) is pretty much the only cosmetic ingredient that isn't just preventing signs of ageing but is actually reversing existing photoageing and helping to reduce the look of fine lines that have already started to bed in. This peel comes in a moisturising base of ingredients that take some of the edge off these two strong actives (though I still only recommend this product for skin that's used to these sorts of ingredients) so I actually just recommend cleansing then using this. It contains fatty ingredients such as ceramides, to replenish the skin and support barrier function. Niacinamide is also in the mix to help boost up your natural ceramide production but also to help with discolouration (the licorice root extract in here will also assist). On paper, this product sounded incredible - and for some people, it clearly was! - however, for my skin I just found that I preferred the results I got by alternating an exfoliant and my retinal every other night, and I found this method a little easier on my skin. This was just a lot and I didn't feel as though the results justified using these two very intense actives at the same time for me! Plus there's fragrance in here, which is fine for most people in most products, but it's not great when combined with two such strong ingredients that are already going to be at least a little sensitising.
Let's talk about something a little more budget-friendly: the Ordinary's Pycnogenol 5% | £8.60. Like with most of the Ordinary's products: it's not particularly obvious what this is, how you use it or what it's supposed to do! But let me decode it for you... pycnogenol is a powerful antioxidant derived from maritime pine bark. What's an antioxidant? It's something that protects the skin from free radical damage; these unstable molecules from our environment can cause accelerated skin ageing. This particular antioxidant isn't super well-studied but at £8.60, it's worth a punt. As you'd expect from this brand: it's a really simple formula, totally waterless with just the extract and propanediol, which gives it a light but almost oil-like texture. I use something like this in the evening, going in with a couple of drops 3 times a week before my moisturiser and it works a treat. The antioxidant power will still be active the following day and I just wake up with my healthiest, plumpest, best, most glowing-est(?!) skin. It's absolutely worth the hype for me.
From budget to luxury, let's talk about the Chantecaille Hibiscus Smoothing Mask* | £77. This is a wash-off exfoliating face mask designed to be creamy and gentle on skin. It uses grapefruit, papaya and hibiscus extracts alongside glycolic acid. There are quite a lot of fragrant plant extracts in here too, so I don't recommend it if the combination of fragrance and exfoliation might be irritating for your skin. Don't get me wrong, this product does give me smoother, more glowing skin and it feels luxurious to use, but I can't in good faith say that it's worth the price-tag. £77 is a lot of money. For some people, it's incomprehensible to spend so much on a skincare product, for others, they'd consider stretching to it if it's going to transform their skin and has strong scientific backing. This is a luxury product for those who have money to spend on an experience. For everyone else: I recommend just going to Boots and picking up literally any glycolic acid formula!
Right, let's talk about the REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk* | £25. REN is a mid-range brand, I'd say, in terms of price-point and they have a number of cleansers in this post-consumer plastic packaging. Honestly, I do think that if I had to get rid of all of my other cleansers and just use one formula for everything: I'd probably go with this! It's a light, lotion-y milky cleanser packed full of replenishing omegas. This means it's a gorgeous moisturising, non-stripping cleanse to use first thing in the morning to leave my skin soft, smooth, clean and happy. It can also be paired with a face cloth to remove an everyday-level of makeup or you can use it as a one-step cleanse in the evening if you're just wearing sunscreen because it doesn't leave behind any residue. It's simple, it's effective and my skin loves it!
Next we have a product from one of my favourite brands that I do think gets a little overlooked! Medik8's Advanced Night Restore* | £57 | is a ceramide, cholesterol and fatty acid moisturiser to support the skin's barrier function (it's actually very similar to a much more expensive product so stay tuned for some content on that soon), making it a perfect complimentary product to use after stronger active ingredients like the retinoids and acids Medik8 are famous for. There's Vitamin E in here, which is moisturising and has antioxidant benefits and reparative peptides. What I really love about it (if you hadn't already guessed: this was worth the hype for me!) is the fact it delivers all of this replenishing goodness in such a light texture. Don't get me wrong, it's still nourishing and substantial but this isn't too rich and won't smother the skin. It does contain fragrance, so it won't be for you if you're sensitive to that, but I'd recommend this to just about anyone else.
Rounding things off, let's talk about the Dr Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Overnight Texture Renewal Peel* | £79 (16 treatments). This is a pack of single-use, individually-wrapped pads that could be really handy for travel. Each pad is soaked in retinol (our superstar active), ferulic acid as an antioxidant, bakuchiol (which may mimic some of the effects of retinol, has antioxidant benefits and can help even out the skin tone), mandelic acid, a gentle AHA exfoliant that's great for hyperpigmentation and spot-prone skin and lactic acid, which is a more hydrating AHA. This is buffered with soothing ingredients like bisabolol, Sodium PCA and centella asiatica (though there are some fragrant extracts in here that won't gel with everyone's skin). This is a tricky one for me! I do really enjoy this brand and I do use and love their famous exfoliating peel pads (though not 'daily', as suggested) and this peel contains some fantastic ingredients. My tentativeness stems from the fact that it's £79 for 16 treatments, which means I only personally use these around once a week, but with such fantastic ingredients: you really want these on your skin more regularly! I personally think you might be better off investing in the serum or moisturiser from the same line and using a separate acid toner if you want the most bang for your buck. These pads leave my skin soft, smooth and glowing after use, so they're still great for a quick hit, but I guess for the price you might be better investing in something you can use near enough every night.
Have you tried any of these products? Were they worth the hype for you?