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The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum

The Inkey List’s Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum is a skin care product that, while somewhat basic, still helps skin stay smooth and hydrated. This comes in an opaque plastic squeeze bottle with a flip-top cap. It’s fragrance free and has a fluid serum texture that’s lightweight and sinks into skin quickly, with no stickiness after it dries. As the name implies, this contains hyaluronic acid in two forms, that of hyaluronic acid itself and its salt form, sodium hyaluronate. Both work to replenish hydration and plump fine lines and wrinkles. Acting as support are two peptides – palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, which helps replenish skin’s surface, and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-1, a peptide linked to fatty acids that can aid in “telling” skin how to look better. There’s not much else to the formula than these components (there’s not a significant blend of antioxidants, for instance) – but this mix of four ingredients is likely to have an impact in the appearance of lines and wrinkles, as well as have the ability to restore skin’s moisture barrier, which is exactly what this product claims to do!
  • Fluid serum texture absorbs quickly with no residual stickiness.
  • Includes two forms of skin-plumping hyaluronic acid.
  • Contains two peptides that can help skin look and act younger.
  • Packaged to protect its light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
  • Fragrance free.
  • Other hydrating hyaluronic acid serums contain a broader mix of necessary ingredients.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

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Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Hyaluronic Acid, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Phenoxyethanol.

The Inkey List is the creation of Colette Newberry and Mark Curry, respectively the former branding and product developers of the widespread UK-based drugstore chain Boots, which has its own namesake skin care line. As with a number of up-and-coming “indie” brands, the media coverage centers on their inexpensive products with minimalist formulas that tend to focus on a single star ingredient, such as hyaluronic acid, squalane, or retinol.

If you’re wondering about the inspiration for the name, it’s the pronunciation of the acronym “INCI,” which stands for the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, an agreed-upon, regulated list of how cosmetics ingredients should be identified on product labels. Each product has its chief ingredient listed on the packaging with dictionary-style writing underneath showing how the name is phoneticized, a clever and slightly erudite touch.

Though the formulas are somewhat basic, The Inkey List gets its packaging spot-on – all products are in opaque containers, with no jars or clear containers to be found. Fragrance isn’t on this brand’s radar, either–at least not in terms of adding it to their products (which will make your skin very happy).

We’d like to see more complex formulas, but then again such formulas cost more to make, and The Inkey List is mostly a bargain brand. We wrote “mostly” because in some cases, on an ounce-per-ounce basis, The Inkey List costs just as much as some other brands offering the same type of products (like leave-on exfoliants) in larger sizes.

Even with the predominantly one-note ingredient theme, the brand typically includes beneficial ingredients in efficacious amounts and skips irritants, with the exception of a couple a products that contain witch hazel water and drying denatured alcohol.

That aside, the brand offers a good selection of effective products, something we’re always glad to see. The Inkey List is sold exclusively in the U.S. at Sephora; you can learn more about the brand here: https://www.sephora.com/brand/the-inkey-list.


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