Blog post

The Inkey List First Impressions + Review

March 26, 2019

The Inkey List is a UK brand that has recently hit the shelves nationwide in Canada at select Shoppers Drug Mart stores and online at The breakthrough company’s strategy is to be transparent, simple and affordable.

Sound familiar? (Ahem…The Ordinary). Sure, it’s easy to compare the two ‘no-frills’ brands when they both focus on delivering high-quality ingredients without the filler ingredients, unnecessary packaging and high price tags. For The Inkey List, no product is over $15 and in my opinion, they do a better job of using layman’s terms to make each product more user friendly.

The Inkey List pride themselves on avoiding technical beauty jargon and instead making sure the key ingredient in each product is loud and clear, written in big bold black letters on the front of each package. Rather than brainstorming clever marketing ploys or naming a product ’72-Hour Glow-Boosting, Instant Face Lift, Hydrating System’ – which is a mouthful AND incredibly confusing – they’re calling it ‘Hyaluronic Acid’, because in most cases, that’s what the product contains.

I’ve been testing out four different products from The Inkey List for the last few weeks (with some help from my beau) and I wanted to share my thoughts with you.

Kaolin ($6.99)

“A gentle, yet thick and creamy clay mask that helps to effectively absorb excess oils and remove toxins from the surface of the skin. Gently exfoliates and cleanses, removes skin impurities, unclogs pores and evens skin tone.”

I love a good clay mask that really feels like it’s doing something to my skin. This one is no exception. It feels quite cooling and tingly on the skin. I actually needed to put a robe on while I was testing it out for the first time, as I found the chills went through my body. It dries down fairly quickly, as most clay masks do, and feels tight but not uncomfortable.

Although I should note that Dev said it felt like his cheeks were burning. It wasn’t anything he couldn’t handle and the irritation subsided after he washed it away. But those with super sensitive skin may want to avoid this one.

Turmeric ($12.99)

“Derived from stems of the Curcuma Longa plant, this creamy moisturizer helps to provide powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Targets dry areas by rehydrating skin, alongside brightening and reducing wrinkles.”

I like the way this moisturizer feels and makes my skin feel, but the scent took me a while to get used to. It has a very strong spice fragrance (duh, it has turmeric as the main ingredient), that I just can’t seem to ignore. Dev says he likes it, so it may be a product that will appeal more to men. I do think it helps brighten my skin, however, and even though it’s quite lightweight, it does a great job of hydrating it as well.

Collagen ($10.99)

“A natural protein found in cells that helps support firmness, suppleness, and elasticity on the surface of the skin. Targets and firms sagging skin, fine lines and wrinkles.”

I’ve been using this product for a few weeks now and I haven’t noticed a huge difference. I’ve said this before about a number of different anti-aging products I’ve tried in the past. I don’t have too many wrinkles, and I find these products are moreso for preventing wrinkles, which is hard to track. But what’s most important to prevent wrinkles is making sure that the skin is hydrated and plump. This product seems to add an extra layer of moisture to help do so.

It has a very similar texture to hyaluronic acid in that it is watery but stretchy at the same time. I know, you’re probably thinking “Kelly, what the heck do you mean by stretchy?”. It’s hard to describe, but the liquid definitely has a slime-y, elasticity feeling to it. I like it.

Lactic Acid ($12.99)

“A natural AHA (alpha-hydroxyl-acid) derived from milk and fruit sugars. This light liquid acts as an exfoliant, which helps to loosen and remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface, to target uneven skin tone and reduce wrinkles. Lactic Acid is the less irritating and more moisturizing sister of Glycolic Acid.”

This product intimidated me. Any time something warns me to wear sunscreen the next day makes my heart beat a little faster and makes me have nightmares of my skin burning off. But I’m dramatic. After working up the courage to finally put this chemical exfoliant to the test, I was happy to wake up with my skin slightly dry, but still intact. I have very dry skin already, so I think the trick to using this product is to make sure I moisturize extremely well after using it. I noticed some areas were peeling ever so slightly around my nose after I used it the first time. But I haven’t had any problems with it since.

The Inky List - A New Brand To Shoppers Drug Mart

I have to admit I was disappointed in the size of each product when I first received them. Sure, each costs than $15, but my initial impression was that the size was reflected in that price. However, after having used each product for the last little while, I can now say that the tiny bottles and tubes have gone a long way. In most cases, only a pea size amount are required and therefore they last a little longer than I would have expected.

Have you spotted The Inkey List in stores? Let me know if you have tried any products from the brand, and if you have, let me know how they worked for you!


Disclaimer: The products featured in this post were sent to me for consideration. But all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and honest.


  • Sarah Winton

    March 27, 2019 at 3:59 PM

    I’ll have to try the lactic acid! I’ve been looking for a dupe for the Sunday Riley Good Genes serum which is amazing but costs a bomb!

    1. Beauty by Birdy

      March 28, 2019 at 9:47 PM

      I’ve always wanted to try the Good Genes serum but I gag at the price tag. Lol

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