Sunday, 9 July 2017

REN Skincare Review

The ethos behind REN is 'clean skincare' meaning that ingredients come from '100% plant and mineral derived actives and are free from skin unfriendly synthetic ingredients.' Every product has a logo on the back stating that the there are no parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, petroleum, synthetic fragrances, synthetic colours, T.EA, D.E.A, silicones and PEGs in their products. 

REN skincare is a company that is able to invest in the newest or hard sought ingredients and technology. However I think this is sort of their Achilles heel. They aim towards 'simple' and 'pure' skincare while throwing in random fruit and plant extracts and essential oils for the sake of fragrance, but which are likely to cause irritation, counteracting the other good ingredients in the formula. There is also some debate about whether the ingredients they purposely exclude such as mineral oil are actually that bad and REN have been accused of green washing.  I personally haven't experienced any bad reactions to REN's products. The packaging is kept simple and white- clean like their skincare and unisex. I have been trialing these travel sized products but the full sized versions come in tubes with a push up bag inside them. REN is also against animal testing.

REN Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser  Full Size 150ml  £16 for all skin types
The cleanser comes with a small wash cloth/ flannel measuring 8" x 8." I have been using this for over a month. REN claims that this cleanser will decongest and gently exfoliate the skin and remove all make-up. 'Skin will be refreshed, radiant and smoothed, without dryness or tightness.'  Both the rosa damascena and vitamin P soothe the skin. You are supposed to massage the cleanser onto dry skin and then use a hot cloth to remove it.  It does remove eye makeup but I think the Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk (below) cleans my face slightly better. My skin didn't feel dry or tight while using this. But apart from using a flannel it didn't exfoliate my skin much.

The Evercalm range is aimed at those with sensitive skin. These samples lasted just over 2 weeks

Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk  Full size 150ml £17
This cleanser 'gently removes dirt, pollution and make up, leaving skin purified, calm and soothed.' It also claims to minimise the feelings of sensitivity and combat premature ageing. Calendula and omega 3 and 7 reduce inflammation and soothe the skin. The fennel seed extract de-stresses the skin by neutralising harmful pollution particles while protecting against the oxidative damage that causes premature ageing.

Although REN describes this as a 'cleansing milk' the texture is thicker and creamy like a lotion rather than runny milk. The directions tells you to rub the cleanser between your hands and then massage the product onto the face and finally rinse off with water or remove with cotton wool. I preferred to rinse with water in case it left a film over the skin. I didn't really understand why they suggest you rub the product between your palms because it felt like the product disappeared between my hands and so I ended up using more.  The mandarin peel oil makes the cleanser smell fresh and citrusy and the extracts of chamomile, fennel and rosemary gives it essential oil scent. I mainly used this as an evening cleanser before bed. If I was wearing makeup I followed up with a micellar wet wipe afterwards, just in case I still had makeup or dirt on my face and the wipe often looked clean showing that all the dirt had been washed away. I didn't use this to remove my eye makeup because I'm a little wary of using products with essential oils on my eyes. Since this is only sample size I can't really make a comment on whether it has reduced my skin's irritation and sensitivity level in the long term.

Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream Full size 50ml  £29
This moisturiser aims to keep your skin 'optimally hydrated, calmed, soothed.' REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream shares many ingredients of the cleansing milk (and smells very similar) but with added Bisabolol to sooth and reduce redness. The 'Global protection complex'  is potent blend of bio extracts that fights free radicals and oxidants to protect the skin from UV damage and premature ageing.

This day cream not as rich as an intensive moisturiser but more hydrating than a light summer moisturiser, it's between the two and perfect for the transition of seasons. It is gentle and soothing and didn't sting my cheeks like some moisturisers can. I didn't see any difference in terms of redness on my cheeks but so far it hasn't caused any break outs. It's perfectly fine to apply makeup on top and you don't have to wait very long for it to sink in. Ren claim that over time this moisturiser will train your skin to be less sensitive but as this is only a sample size I can't comment as to whether it reduced my skin's sensitivity in the long run.

Evercalm Anti Redness Serum  Full Size 30ml £29  my sample lasted 1 week
This serum claims to improve sensitive skin, hyper pigmentation, redness and reduce signs of aging. Milk polypeptide and Prebiotic Oligosaccharides strengthen the skin barrier, protecting the skin against toxins and environmental aggressors. To target aging, Sirtuin activators promote the natural repair of skin cells and Antileukine helps to reduce damage caused by U.V. radiation. The tyrosinase Inhibitor reduces the appearance of hyper-pigmentation. It also contains super moisturising hydrauronic acid.

I have red patches around my nose and cheeks and after using this every morning for a week I found that my red patches were fading to pink and the red areas on my cheeks were significantly reduced! This is the first serum I've used and I did not expect it to make such a difference! Now I've finished the sample up my cheeks still look less red so it wasn't just a temporary thing. REN also claim that after 3 weeks your skin will be less sensitive. Since my sample only lasted a week I couldn't test this out, but my main concern were my red patches rather than calming the skin. I also don't have any lines on my face so I couldn't notice a difference there but I would advise against using it around the eyes because of the arnica flower extract. Due to the lactic acid and bitter orange extract in this serum that can make skin photosensitive and prone to pigmentation you should follow this up with sunscreen, even when it's not sunny. The only negative points are that it takes around 12-15 minutes to truly sink in which is annoying and I'm not keen on the smell.

The Vita Mineral Range concentrates on moisturising skin. 

REN Vita Mineral Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream (Day Cream) 
Full Size (50ml) £29 My sample lasted 1 week
REN Vita Mineral Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream seems to have the longest name ever!
However I can see why they called it that because of the vitamins, mineral ingredients and antioxidants that all aim to keep skin toned, radiant and youthful. Vitamin A boosts cell renewal and retains moisture. Vitamin P decongests and soothes the skin. Tocotrienols (a Vitamin E sub group), protects the skin against UV damage, preventing the skin from premature ageing and protecting against free radicals. Trace mineral elements Copper, Magnesium and Zinc boosts radiance and collagen.

Although it's not part of the Rosa Centrafolia line this smells fairly strongly of rose water, so if  you don't like rose scented cosmetics this is one to avoid!  It is lightweight with a mid level of moisture but it is more moisturising than the REN Evercalm Global Protection Day cream. It didn't sting my cheeks or break me out but it didn't really decongest my skin either. Regarding anti aging claims I can't really comment on this because this is only a sample size and I would need to test it for longer and I don't have any lines yet. However I think this would be good for fine lines caused by dehydrated skin. It does give a dewy finish to skin making it look healthy, fresh and glowing.It is moisturising enough to use after a bath and shower when your skin needs it the most.

Which products are worth purchasing?
Personally I would buy the Evercalm Cleansing Milk again and Evercalm anti redness serum in full size. I would also use the  REN Vita Mineral Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream. REN also have gift sets which are good value for money the REN Stop Being So Sensitive  Kit (£15) and the Evercalm Gift Set (£35.)

What arr your experiences with REN Skincare? Let me know if you have any favourites below.

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