About a week ago I was wondering why my skin was looking so dull and drab, despite getting my usual amount of sleep and drinking the same amount of water. And then I remembered that I have gotten lazy at night, and most times I hope into bed with my Nomu hot chocolate, without having followed my usual skin routine of applying salicylic acid, retinol and hyaluronic acid. Anyway, I’m back in action, and my skin is looking brighter already, and I’ve even felt “safe” enough to venture out without makeup.
So, for the last few months I’ve been using sk.in (short for for skin ingredients), and you might remember that a few months ago I did a Q&A with the range’s founder Dr Alek Nikolic, a well-known and well-trusted Cape Town medical aesthetic practitioner. Dr Alek also has the online skin retail store, SkinMiles, which stocks some hard-working and outstanding skincare brands.
Anyway, sk.in has been a few years in the making, and Dr Alek created a range of vegan products with active ingredients to help curb signs of ageing, and help us put our best faces forward.
Dr Alek explains that it’s all very well putting great products on our skin, but if our skin barrier is compromised, the ingredients won’t work optimally. He therefore made a range with active ingredients such as vitamins C and A, and with ingredients that can repair and maintain the skin’s barrier.
For now, there are seven products in the range, but more like five if you consider that there are three types of retinol, depending on what type of retinol you can handle (newbies would use a lower grade), and what level you need – I use the highest strength as I’ve been using retinol for a few years. For now, there are no cleansers, moisturisers or sunscreens – either that will still come, or Dr Alek is suggesting that the products with active ingredients matter the most, which is what he’s covered. I will welcome new products, but I like that the range is targeted and easy to understand.
Just some of sk.in’s power ingredients include:
- Salicylic acid: This can help with both acne and ageing skin concerns. It exfoliates dead skin and stimulates underlying cells to produce more collagen and elastin. Salicylic acid has the ability to penetrate deep into the pores, cleaning all sebum and dirt that has accumulated in the day. Found in sk.in pure.
- Niacinamide: Also known as vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid, niacinamide is an effective skin-restoring ingredient that helps to visibly improve the appearance of enlarged pores, improve uneven skin tone, reduce fine lines and dullness and strengthens a weakened skin barrier. Found in sk.in gloss.
- Hydroxypinacolone retinoate: This is a safe and gentle form of vitamin A. It lightens skin discolourations, breaks down hyperpigmentation, reduces the number of pores and pore size, improves skin texture, increases collagen and elastin production, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and reduces sebum production. Found in sk.in flash and sk.in bounce.
- Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate: this is a lipid soluble vitamin C that is easily absorbed through the skin barrier and is not eliminated through water channels in the skin allowing for longer duration of effect. Found in all sk.in serums with varying concentrations depending on effect needed.
- Hyaluronic acid: This substance is capable of holding a thousand times its own weight in water, making it an incredibly effective moisturiser for all skin types. It helps boost the skin’s moisture content, soothes inflammation and prevents moisture loss. It also provides antioxidant defence against environmental assault, helping to repair and maintain the strength of the skin barrier. sk.in uses a hyaluronic acid complex that contains low, medium and high molecular weight HA. The reason for this is to allow penetration through all the layers of the skin ensuring the HA effect is seen on the surface, in the superficial epidermis and in the dermis. Found in all sk.in serums.
- Pineapple extract: This contains the enzyme bromelain, which can break down the connecting layers between dead skin cells and has antioxidant and skin-soothing properties. Found in sk.in pure.
The range has “superhero” names such as:
FLASH is for the HPR (Hydroxipinalcalone retinoate) because of its ability to restore the skin to is more youthful state but in a ‘flash’.
BOUNCE is the combination HPR and ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate (AT) or vitamin C, to bounce the skin back to its original form.
GLOSS is based on the skin brightening effect of the AT or vitamin C.
PURE is based on the cleansing action of the salicylic acid, the fruit enzymes and the zinc PCA.
MARVEL is based on the hyaluronic acid plumping and moisturising effect and the skin barrier repair effect.
Images via sk.in