5 The Inkey List Sensitive Skin Faves to Try | CarolinaGMX



The Inkey List UK is a brand that seems to have come out of nowhere to be the brand on everyone's lips in this past year. Below our founder, Carolina shares her thoughts on some of  The Inkey List 's most recent launches, including their Oat Cleansing balm and the Inkey List PHA Toner. Carolina has sensitive, reactive skin.


We were very kindly invited to their most recent press day where we were able to sample their existing range and create our perfect skincare recipe.

What is the Inkey List?

The Inkey List UK is essentially a beauty brand focused on delivering simple, affordable skincare. Each product narrows in on one ingredient such as hylauronic acid and uses as few other ingredients as possible. They are results-driven with the pricing of each of their products ranging between £5-£10.


They tailor to all skin types and are all about building the perfect skincare recipe for your specific skin type and concerns. And it appears people are into it... In 2019 1 Inkey List product was sold every 30 secs in the UK! Crazy numbers!


Where can I buy The Inkey List UK?

The Inkey List UK is now retailing on Cult Beauty, Boots, Look Fantastic and Feelunique in the UK. If you are based in the USA or Canada The Inkey List is now available in Sephora.


What is your Inkey List Review? What Should You Use?

I tried a sensitive skin recipe that included the new Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm, Inkey List PHA toner, hyaluronic acid, polyglutamic acid and the Ceramide night treatment. To be honest, I am a big fan of the overall concept of the brand and I really enjoyed using their products. I found each of the products I tried to be pretty efficient, but some I will definitely be repurchasing over others. My favourites from the sensitive skin/dehydrated options I tried were the Inkey List PHA toner and the Ceramide night treatment, which I will definitely be buying again.


The Inkey List PHA Toner - The Inkey List  PHA toner is an amazing chemical exfoliation option for anyone with sensitive skin who has found they can't tolerate BHAs and AHAs. I generally tend to get mixed results when using AHA's and BHA's. Sometimes my skin seems to tolerate them well, but many other times I can see some redness surface as a result.


The Inkey List PHA toner claims to use polyhydroxy acid to gently remove dead skin cells from the surface layer of the skin, whilst also locking in moisture. For me, the reason I found the Inkey List PHA toner so great is because it really helped improve the overall texture of my skin. However, it didn't encourage any redness. Due to this, I would definitely put this product up there as one of the best chemical exfoliants I've found for my sensitive skin! A great affordable option for a light exfoliant / toner for sensitive skin.


The Inkey List Ceramide night treatment - This product claims to use the 3% multi ceramide complex to help protect and rehydrate the skin and plump it up. I have to say, I loved this from the get-go! I really felt it plumped up my skin from the very first application.


Whenever I used it overnight I could still feel it on my skin in the morning, making my skin feel a lot more hydrated and plumped. It is definitely a brilliant option if you have dehydrated skin or want a plumping night treatment that isn't going to cause your skin to react.


The Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm - I really loved using this cleanser, as I found it incredibly nourishing and comforting. It is great cleanser for sensitive skin as well as dryer skins because it uses the incredibly moisturising oat kernel oil. I've been using it both as a regular second cleanser or to remove makeup and it works really nicely for both. It is also a really nice cleanser to go back to when your skin is playing up and a great one to have in the cupboard! A really great affordable option for times when redness, dryness and irritation are key concerns for your skin!


The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid - Ahh! This product is one of their most famous, and a major crowd pleaser! Things I liked: it is affordable, it contains 2% pure hyaluronic acid and is the perfect travel size. It works well at hydrating and soothing the skin. I will do another post comparing it to The Ordinary's hyaluronic acid, but I will say I am a big fan of both formulas. If you suffer from dehydrated skin this is a great pure form of hyaluronic acid that doesn't break the bank at £5.99, but does what it says on the tin.


The Inkey List Polyglutamic Acid - This was the only one within the range that I tried and wasn't a massive fan of. Polyglutamic acid or PGA as it is known in skincare circles is supposed to help maintain skin's moisture levels and hold 4x more mositure than hyaluronic acid! For me, I prefered the hyaluronic acid from a texture perspective (lighter, more watery). Plus, I didn't notice as big results as the I see with hyaluronic acid from a hydration point of view. It was not an offending product by any means, but in my routine it just didn't seem to find its purpose.

How do I use The Inkey List?

The Inkey List essentially break up their products into 5 step categories - clean, hydrate, treat, moisturise and SPF. Each of their products fit within one of these steps and their packaging is normally pretty clear in showing where each product should sit. They call these steps their skincare recipe and by mixing and matching their different products/ your existing ones with their products you are able to create the recipe for you. They also try to demystify skincare further by clearly putting together certain products to create easy recipes for people who are overwhelmed by the choice. For example, for combating redness the recipe is their Inkey List Oat Cleansing balm + Snow mushroom. However, you can easily mix and match your favourites like The Inkey List PHA toner with your other brand favourites.


What else should I know about The Inkey List?

They don't use any parabens or fragrance (a biggie for sensitive, or allergy-prone skins) and The Inkey List also doesn't test on animals. What The Inkey List do really well is use ingredients that will make the biggest difference to your skin and make high-quality ingredients affordable, much like The Ordinary has also done. They also cater to a range of skin issues and concerns whether you have rosacea, mature or super dry skin.

Head to their Instagram page now to learn more...


We hope you enjoyed reading. If you fancy giving The Inkey list a go, let us know by posting a pic of the products with #Trying...WithCarolinaGMX and tag us @CarolinaGMX.

In the meantime, if you are interested in checking out some more reviews, you can find them here.



Every brand and product featured on CarolinaGMX make our editorial pages once a minimum of 70% of our sensitive-skin testers consider it worthy!

If you are interested in checking out some of our other sensitive skin posts you can find the latest one here.


WHERE — London


EDITED BY— Gabriela Godinho-Moxon




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Carolina - Founder
Carolina - Founder

Carolina started CarolinaGMX after working in the fashion and beauty industries for over 7 years. This has included roles at Burberry, Selfridges & Estée Lauder. Her favourite product is Clinique’s Moisture Surge 72 Hours.

Find me on: Instagram


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