Advertisement information: this post does not discuss gifted items. My blog has Skimlinks and RewardStyle installed to automatically monetise purchases of products I link on my blog, therefore my content may contain affiliate links. All opinions remain my own and please refer to my Disclosure Page  for further detail -

Honestly, Niche Beauty Lab has intrigued me for a while now. They did get in touch to see if I wanted to try a few things a while back, but it was a 'content in exchange for products' deal, which isn't something I do because ultimately the products need to stand out and speak for themselves (and being mandated to do a write up of everything I receive or bang-average products I try is pretty dull to me!) so I left it. But, I kept seeing them around and they kept piquing my interest, so I placed a little order during their sale. I've been using these serums for a couple of months now, so it's time to return my verdict...

The first product that went straight into my cart was the Clinical Vitamin A | £31. This serum combines three forms of retinoid: 5% Granactive Retinoid, 0.3% Retinol and 0.1% Retinal, so it's pretty strong stuff. Just to rewind for the unanointed: retinoids (Vitamin A derivatives) are the most proven well-ageing ingredient we have in our cosmetic arsenal. It's been shown in many, many high-quality studies to a) boost collagen production (which slows as we age) to retain the skin's 'bounce back', b) increase skin cell turnover (again, ageing slows this down) to keep the skin looking radiant and feeling smooth, and c) reverse existing signs of photoageing such as fine lines and discolouration. Retinoids also can really help with acne scarring and skin texture. If you're over 30 and not pregnant or breastfeeding: I recommend getting a retinoid into your PM routine. Cosmetic (non-prescription) retinoids work because your skin converts them to bioavailable retinoic acid, so as an example: retinol needs to be converted to retinal and then to retinoic acid, and with each conversion some of the potency of the ingredient is lost. This formula brings together three forms of retinoid: retinol is the most famous but personally I've seen better results faster (and even have less of a drying side-effect) with retinal, which has only become more affordable and accessible in skincare products over the past couple of years. Granactive retinoid is slightly different in that it's an ester of retinoic acid, so your skin's receptors should receive it in the same way. However, it's of course far gentler and is also more stable.

This isn't you first retinoid; it's the one you might want to pick up once your skin is used to retinol, you're getting on well with it in your routine and you just want to kick your results up to the next level. 0.1% retinal isn't for the faint-hearted on its own, which is why I consider this an option for more advanced skincare users. 0.3% retinol offers an additional booster, but it's at a level my skin can get on with (I don't notice any drying when using this product). The Granactive Retinoid is also a great addition, as it's one of the least-irritating retinoids on the market, but I've absolutely seen results with it. To get a retinal at this price-point would be enough of a win, but to combine it with two other forms of retinoid to maximise your results just makes this even more of a standout formula. The serum has a simple, gentle base of hydrating glycerin (this helps 'buffer' the high concentration of retinoids in the formula, so they don't irritate the skin), there are jojoba esters to soften and moisturise the skin and also ceramides to help boost the skin's barrier function and to keep it happy and healthy. The texture is slightly on the thicker side for a serum, as many retinoids are, but it's not greasy or anything too moisturiser-like. It has the yellow tint of all formulas that are high in retinal, but it doesn't stain or anything like that. I'm honestly so impressed with this formula! I do have to caveat that my skin is very used to retinoids, so if this is a big step up for you then maybe you won't have the same experience but I didn't get any adjustment irritation with this formula at all. And it works; my skin is smooth, even, healthy-looking and plump. If you're looking for an advanced retinoid formula at a brilliant price: this is for you!

Next, we have their Derma-Peptides | £29. Peptides are short-chain amino acids that have hydrating benefits and also seem to boost collagen production like retinoids do (though they aren't quite as well-studied). The big pro with peptides is that they don't have the potential for irritation that retinoids do, so whilst I use them in addition to my retinoid, for people who are sick of cycling through different retinoids that aren't working for them; they can actually be an alternative. Specific peptides also have individual added benefits alongside the general positives, which is why I enjoy a multi-peptide formula like this. In terms of the peptides in this formula, we have the famous, well-studied Matrixyl 3000 blend in the 3% concentration its been studied at. This is kind of the gold standard in peptides when it comes to well-ageing and appears to help reduce the appearance of lines. Matrixyl Sythe 6 also has some evidence that it helps to smooth out fine lines and increase the skin's elasticity. Matrixyl Morphomics is a newer peptide to market that targets wrinkles via a slightly different mechanism to the peptides we've been using for a while now. Munapsys is considered a 'botox-like' peptide because it works by acting on the pathways that cause your muscles to contract. Finally, we have bio peptides which - according to the brand - could work similarly to growth factor, which helps to heal the skin and boost collagen production.

In terms of my experience with this serum; it isn't as ground-breaking of a discovery for me as the retinoid, because there are lots of peptides on the market at various price-points, but £29 for a 22% multi-peptide complex seems a fair deal. This comes out like a milky lotion-emulsion and it sinks in nicely. I do often find it hard to call with peptides: am I experiencing true improvement in fine lines, or are the hydrating properties temporarily plumping my skin so they're less visible? I'm not sure, but this formula leaves my skin feeling bouncy and looking plump, full and hydrated. It's pretty simple outside of the peptides with just some moisturising components to help the skin feel nice and soft. This is a subtle formula that helps keep my skin looking and feeling nice and healthy. It's absolutely an upgrade from something like a hyaluronic acid serum, and if it helps with fine lines in the long-run then that's even better!

The final product I have is an antioxidant, but not the usual ones I go for: the Lino-8 | £29 | serum is formulated with three that are perfect for if you want to try something other than Vitamin C. This is more of a fortifying, skin-strengthening antioxidant with 8% Vitamin F, 1% Vitamin K and 1% Q10, which I think is a great option for dry and / or sensitive skin. It's going to protect your skin from free radical damage, so I recommend using this as part of your morning routine, alongside a good sunscreen. Then each of these ingredients has added specific benefits. Vitamin F is rich in this product's titular Linoleic Acid; it helps to restore and replenish the skin and it has anti-inflammatory benefits to help reduce redness and irritation. There's also some evidence that it can help in a supporting role if you're trying to tackle discolouration. Vitamin K has skin-healing properties and helps to reduce inflammation. Then Coenzyme Q10 is an old school classic, but it's well-loved with good reason; it's a powerful antioxidant that can help slow down skin ageing. And, anecdotally: it just gives me good skin days!

This is a yellow-tinted serum, but again it doesn't stain or anything and it has a creamy-lotion texture that's very moisturising for my dry skin. It definitely leaves my skin looking radiant and feeling strong, calm and healthy; it's a great way to combine skin barrier health with your daily antioxidant. I really like this combination of ingredients and it delivers on the 'good skin day' expectations I have from Q10. If you find Vitamin C too harsh or you just want something a little different from your morning antioxidant: I'm still enjoying using this and I think you're going to like it too.

Have you tried Theramid or any of the other Niche Beauty Lab brands?

Don't forget to follow me on:

Read more posts from this series here!


No comments

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment - I read and appreciate every single one :)

There's no need to spam - I will check out your blog if you leave a click-able link under a genuine comment!

If you have a question please check back for my reply or tweet me @jasminetalksblg


© Jasmine Talks Beauty | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig