Monday, 28 October 2013

REN: clean skincare with real results

You probably all know about the REN skincare line by now. I came across this UK brand many moons ago, when I worked briefly for Space NK. The popularity of the brand seems to have increased no end since their launch in 2000, and you can now find it in most branches of M&S in their new beauty halls, which also means you can order online for free in-store collection - very handy.

To be honest, at first I didn't take much notice of the brand, instead preferring the more high-tech, science led brands instore which seemed to deliver more noticeable results. So it's taken some first-class reviews and visible results to get me to change my opinion.

Over the years, there are a few products which have worked their way up very high in my esteem, and as you can currently get 20% online, I thought I'd share them with you. If you've already turned your mind to Christmas shopping, there are a couple of products here which are my go-to gift ideas, which could not fail to please event the fussiest recipient.

{the top six}

Top row, left to right
1. No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm, £30: after never really finding anything to rival Eve Lom's cleansing balm, REN's version came along and challenged it to the top spot. I think it's just as good as Eve Lom, leaving your skin softer and less congested. It also works out a lot cheaper.

2. Micro Polish Cleanser, £20: a great time saver, this product will cleanse and exfoliate in one quick move. It leaves your skin feel really clean, and looking smoother, thanks to the glycolic acid it contains. Leave it on your skin for an extra minute whilst you're in the shower for greater effect.

3. Guerande Salt Exfoliating Body Balm, £20: this is one of my favourite products to give as a gift. Forget all those body scrub preconceptions you have of heavy glass jars filled with over-fragranced gloop. This scrub goes on dry skin, and the salt really does a great job of exfoliating away any rough patches. And then when you get into the bath or shower, the product dissolves into a really moisturising oil. It'll get rid of any dry, flaky skin, and does a great job on the backs of the upper arms and elbows.

Bottom row, left to right
1. Resurfacing AHA Concentrate, £30: this product never fails to get results. A hat-trick of three natural acids (glycol, lactic and tartaric acids) helps your skin cell turnover to increase, revealing younger, smoother, brighter skin. The removal of all dead skin cells means that your skin is much more receptive to your usual serum, delivering more heightened results.

2. Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil, £30: this was by far the most popular REN product whilst I was at Space NK - a real crowd pleaser, especially for anyone who particularly likes rose-scented products. It's great for anyone who suffers with dry skin, as it's so moisturising, and leaves the skin lightly perfumed, without the need for further moisturisation. A real luxury bathing product.

3. Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask, £30: a mask that delivers results for all skin types. This will leave the skin looking brighter and give it a radiant look. By encouraging skin renewal, fine lines appear reduced, pores look smaller and I find it really helps to combat congestion to keep the skin looking clearer. I use this every week and wouldn't be without it.

The main draw for people when they first try REN is their "clean skincare" credentials. There's a big focus on what they won't put into their products: parabens, sulphates and mineral oil to name but a few, but click here for the full lowdown. The are also very transparent on their stance on both environmental concerns and animal testing, making them a "clean" brand in every sense of the word.

For your 20% online discount, visit and enter the code INSTYLE20.

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