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Trinny London is the skincare brand by fashion and beauty icon Trinny Woodall - I've reviewed previous launches here as the brand has done a gradual release of more and more products this year (all available as refills at a reduced cost), and today I have 3 more to discuss...
First up, let's talk about the Plump Up Peptide + HA Serum* | £65. Peptides are short-chain amino acids, that are effective in both plumping up the skin but they could also have some well-ageing benefits (potentially boosting up your collagen production - this is what gives our skin its bounce and our stores deplete with age). This formula contains six different peptides, which I think is great because the extent of studies and evidence for different peptides can vary and including several is just hedging your bets - Hexapeptide-9 is probably the most well-studied peptide within this formula when it comes to testing its efficacy on fine lines and wrinkles.
I'm sure you know what hyaluronic acid is, but if you need a recap: it's a humectant i.e. a water-magnet. This formula contains the salt-based derivative Sodium Hyaluronate. This ingredient is best applied to damp skin before you seal it in with a nice moisturiser containing emollients and occlusives to seal in that hydration and soften the skin. What you don't want is to allow it to evaporate off the skin and take water with it. This has a gel texture, so definitely has a little more body than some other peptide + humectant serums on the market, which I do actually like because it just binds together the hydration more effectively in my experience. This serum made my skin smoother and more hydrated for sure. I guess my only question is if this is these ingredients smoothing out those little dehydration lines temporarily or if something more fundamental is working for my skin. It's a question I often find difficult to ask with peptides, but I'm more willing to take a punt if it's on, say, the Ordinary whose peptides are under £15. For £65 I think I'd need to be a little more confident in the ingredients and benefits. So, this is a 'use up' not a 'replace it with my own money when it run out'.
Next, let's talk about the Boost Up 30% Vitamin C Serum* | £65. This is a 30% 3-O Ethyl Ascorbic Acid formula. Definitely check out my Vitamin C series to learn more about this ingredient but in short, for our purposes today: pure-form Vitamin C is known as ascorbic acid, and it's notoriously unstable, prone to oxidisation and difficult to formulate with (especially if you want a gentle formula) - for this reason, many brands (such as Trinny London) opt to use Vitamin C derivatives instead. Derivatives like 3-O Ethyl Ascorbic Acid are more stable (lasting longer without oxidising), don't need to be formulated at a very low pH (so are less likely to irritate the skin) and still work effectively against hyperpigmentation (so long as there's a high enough concentration of the ingredient included) and will still have antioxidant benefits. When it comes to boosting up collagen production in the skin, their efficacy is less clear. I'd say if you find ascorbic acid irritating, you've had bad luck with ascorbic acid oxidising quickly or just can't be bothered with the fuss of using pure Vitamin C: a derivative is still going to be good when it comes to protecting the skin against free radical damage, evening out the skin tone and providing an overall glow boost. 3-O Ethyl Ascorbic Acid is one of the more well-studied derivatives on the market and the 30% concentration in this formula is likely to be effective, though I'd say if you have very sensitive skin it's probably not your starter Vitamin C product.
In terms of other ingredients in this particular formula, there are fermented extracts, for added antioxidant benefits and to strengthen the skin's natural barrier. There are also added moisturisers and hydrators to make this a more well-rounded serum to cover off your AM treatment needs in a single step and it has a slightly milky gel consistency so should suit most skin types. One little negative I have for this product is that it can cause slight pilling; when I notice this I'm careful to ensure I'm not over-applying the product and I try it alongside different formulas to ensure it's the cause. Whilst it was a pretty mild pilling effect, it's just a little annoying for a product at this price-point and seemed especially ridiculous as I was using the Trinny moisturiser we're about to discuss and the BFF skin tint from the brand alongside it the majority of the time and I'd have hoped they'd have been tested together to ensure they apply correctly as a routine. My morning routine is also pretty simple: cleanse, tone, serum, moisturiser, sunscreen and makeup, so it's not like I was layer on loads of products to cause this issue either. This also does contain some extracts that not everyone's skin is going to get along with. It's a shame because I loved the glow this gave to my skin and the fact it didn't irritate my skin at all despite containing a really high concentration of this Vitamin C derivative. For now, I think it does have to be a pass, but if it's reformulated: I'll absolutely give it another go.
Easily my favourite product of the bunch this time round is the Energise Me Niacinamide Moisturiser* | £42. Active moisturisers are a great option for those who simply don't have the time to do extensive skincare routines in the morning or who just want to get some added goodness in their routine alongside their AM serum of choice. Niacinamide in particular is a great all-rounder; though I'm not sure what concentration has been used for this product, the sweet spot for getting proven benefits without risking skin irritation is 2-5%. Niacinamide can help boost the skin barrier by encouraging it to produce more ceramides (an essential component of the lipid barrier) - this helps avoid sensitivity, redness, dryness and irritation. Additionally, niacinamide can help with breakouts by regulating oil production in the skin. Not only that, but it helps with the aftermath of these breakouts by preventing the spread of hyperpigmentation through the skin, so you don't end up with a scar that's larger than the original blemish.
In term of other ingredients, we also have hyaluronic acid, like in the Plump Up serum, and cica, an extract I love. Cica has skin-soothing and skin-healing benefits and almost anyone can benefit from having it in their skincare routine. We also have more fermented goodness and also Vitamin E, as a fat-soluble moisturising antioxidant. When it comes to texture, I loved this product - I have normal-to-dry skin and it is the winter, but this moisturiser still has enough body for my skin. It's not rich or heavy and absorbs easily but still feels like enough for me, softening and moisturising my skin effectively. It also works really well under makeup, so I really recommend it as a quick and easy morning moisturiser for most skin types that contains a little something extra that covers off so many bases.
Have you tried anything from Trinny London's skincare line? Let me know about your experience in the comments!