She's the beauty podcaster who's tried everything, so what made Nicola Bonn fall in love with Skingredients?
My skincare habits have changed so much in the past year. I used to be a true skincare junkie, trying every product that was recommended or sent to me, chopping and changing every other week and combining a variety of often harsh, acidic ingredients that promised glowing, luminous skin.
It was only when I had an appointment with skin guru Pamela Marshall that I realised that my everyday use of alpha-hydroxy acids (those chemical exfoliants such as glycolic and lactic acids that dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells so you can sweep them away) and my constant need to try different ‘miracle’ products was wreaking havoc with my skin. It was dehydrated, sensitised and the all-important skin barrier just wasn’t as strong as it should be. I had itchy, eczema-like red patches on my neck and around my eyes and my usual products only seemed to make things worse.
Pam has taught me so much, namely that we shouldn’t be using AHAs every day (more like once a week), that strong vitamin C creams (another acid!) should be saved for a couple of evenings a week and that gentler polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) such as lactobionic acid, can be totally skin changing. She encouraged me to play the long game, to respect my skin and treat it with care and consistency rather bombard it with harsh products that promise an overnight miracle.
Since meeting Pam my expectations of skincare have changed. What I look for nowadays are products that have been formulated by people who really understand and respect skin. I want shed-loads of robust research and I expect my brands to be open, authentic and ready to support consumers and answer any questions that they may have.
One of the skincare brands that ticks every box for me is Skingredients . Founder Jennifer Rock is an award-winning dermal facialist, skin tutor and creator of the brilliant Skin Nerd Network where she has helped thousands of people with their skin issues. Her stright-talking skincare book The Skin Nerd, £13.63 , is excellent. She is a woman who truly understands skin and has injected all her knowledge and passion into her skincare range, which launched last year with a seven product range. I had the joy of interviewing Jenn on my Outspoken Beauty Podcast and her knowledge and passion were infectious. She truly cares about empowering us to know what is right for our own individual needs.
these are not overnight miracles make but instead are for people who are interested in the long-term health and quality of their skin
What I love about Jenn’s products is that they don’t promise miracles. They don’t claim to give you everlasting youth or overnight radiance but instead work hard to make your skin healthy and balanced. The range is based on the concept of a balanced, healthy meal for your skin with four core products (or meal courses) that work for everyone including the Preprobiotic Cleanser , £23, the Skin Veg pre-serum , £39, the Skin Protein serum , £39, and the Skin Shield SPF 50 +++ , £39. There are also three more targeted buys that you mix and match according to your skin's personal needs.
For my concerns, the standout product is Skin Veg . It's a clear, liquid serum that contains PHA gluconolactone which not only aids product penetration but hydrates the skin, strengthens its barrier and gently exfoliates ( PHAs are brilliant multi-taskers). Jenn has then combined that with low molecular weight hyaluronic acid for added hydration as well as pro-collagen peptides which help reduce the appearance of fine lines if that’s a concern for you. Alongside Exuviance Bionic Tonic Pads , £36.94, this is the best PHA product I have come across and I use it in the mornings and evenings after cleansing and before I apply my other products.
I also love the Good Skin Fats moisturiser , £39, which is jam-packed with ceramides which improve the all-important barrier function, vitamin E and B3 ( niacinamide ) which are great anti-oxidants and again can work to improve the strength and health of your skin. This is a great one to use at night as a final stage in your routine. I always wake up with skin that is hydrated but not oily.
Skin Protein , £39, is another brilliantly formulated product with non-irritating retinyl palmitate (a form of retinol) , ascorbic acid and vitamin E. This product is mild enough to use daily before your sunscreen and even though it is less potent than many vitamin C and retinoid alternatives, with continued use you will see the effects. As I said before, these products are not 'overnight miracle makers' but instead are for people who are interested in the long-term health and quality of their skin.
Whenever I use Skingredients I’m struck by the quality, the lovely way that they sit on my skin and under makeup and how good they make my skin feel and look. There is never irritation, no surprise breakouts, just healthy vibrant skin. This is good, solid, well-thought-out skincare that you can trust and there is a feeling of being safe in Jenn’s hands!
There are many other skincare brands that give me a similar sense of confidence: Medik8, Exuviance, La Roche Posay, Skinceuticals and Dr Sam Bunting are just a few, but there is something so special about a range that has come directly from the heart and brain of someone as knowledgable and passionate as Jenn. This brand most definitely has captured my loyalty and however old or young you are and whatever your skin needs may be, there will be something waiting there to help your skin.
Nicola Bonn is the host of the Outspoken Beauty Podcast
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