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Indeed Labs is really underrated, in my option! They're a mid-priced brand with a well-considered collection of products that are genuinely great. If you recognise the brand, you're interested but you're not sure where to start; this is the post for you...
The first product I have here are their Vitamin C Brightening Drops* | £19.99 | which deserve so much more love on the internet! This serum is still pretty unique on the market, as far as I'm aware; if you know Vitamin C, you probably know its pros and cons... Pure-form Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is the iteration that has been shown in robust studies to not only protect the skin from free radical damage (as an antioxidant) but also to boost collagen production, which decreases as we age. However, it's pretty unstable, potentially-irritating and the 'Goldilocks' formulation of it is currently under patent and only available in a very expensive product. Derivatives can help with skin-brightening and have antioxidant benefits, but we can't really say they boost collagen production. There are waterless formulas on the market which side-step some of these issues, but this product delivers ascorbic acid in a traditional serum by encapsulating the ingredient so it can be effectively delivered to the skin without irritation. This is a brilliant serum; my skin was glowing, plump and bouncy and it's not at all harsh or drying on my skin. For under £20, it's just brilliant and a potential alternative for those who just find their skin doesn't get on with ascorbic acid.
Another standout for me is the 10 Balm Soothing Cream* | £25. This is a really great barrier support (or repair) formula that has an impressively light, lotion-like texture. It's formulated with moisturising, antibacterial honey extract, glycerin to draw hydration into the skin, nourishing oils (such as soybean and castor), arnica is in the mix to promote skin healing, plus soothing ingredients like bisabolol and allantoin. This isn't heavy or overly-rich but it's amazing on dry skin and will work for most skin types. It can be applied AM or PM, spot-applied or used all over the face; it's really up to you and your skin's needs. If you're bracing your skin for colder weather; give this a try.
Next, we have one of the more well-known products Indeed Labs do; their Retinol Reface* | £19.99 | which can be used as a night cream or more like a serum. This is a product I always recommend to those trying to get into retinoids for the first time because it's very gentle. Retinoids as a class of ingredient is the gold standard for well-ageing; decades of research has shown them to be effective in reducing texture, existing fine lines and discolouration, plus (very importantly!) they actually boost up collagen production, which is what gives the skin its bounce and we lose collagen over the years. A lot of people can find retinoids a little irritating or they experience dryness or peeling, particularly when getting started or if they're using a product that's a bit strong for them. This form of retinoid is retinol, and is combined with retinoid-boosters and less-irritating ingredients that can imitate some of the benefits of retinoids like bakuchiol and peptides. This means you get maximum results for minimal potential irritation. It's an encapsulated formula for slow release, which is also going to help take the edge of. I think this is great; it delivers the results you want from a retinoid whilst reducing the chances of some of those side-effects.
The next product I really recommend checking out is the Snoxin II* | £29.99. This is a really intriguing formula with an INCI list that's impressive to see at this price-point. This is a peptide-based serum and peptides are short-chain amino acids that help to hydrate and plump the skin, but also appear to increase collagen production. They're non-irritating but shouldn't be paired with pure Vitamin C or acids, as they require a higher pH, and using both can break the amino acid bonds. This uses 3 main peptides: a newer peptide that's supposed to block facial muscles from contracting as much (kind of like Botox), Matrixyl (which is pretty well-established and could help with collagen production) and a third peptide that I'm not so familiar with but seems to speed up skin renewal. This has a gel-like formula with a hydrating glycerin base and overall, I noticed my skin looked fuller, smoother, more hydrated and healthier with daily use of this serum. If you want to get into peptides; this is a great place to start.
Finally, a simple-but-great formula; the Squalane Facial Oil* | £19.99. This plant-based oil (in this case, derived from sugar cane) actually mimics the oils our skin naturally produces, making it perfect for dry skin, especially as we head into cooler weather. I love this formula in particular because it's lightweight, non-greasy and replenishes my skin without overloading it. It leaves my skin silky soft and doesn't cause my other products to pill underneath it. All-in-all it's a welcome booster when my skin is just a bit dry and unhappy.
Have you tried anything from Indeed Labs?