May 3, 2019

The Inkey List Order of Application

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If you aren’t living under a rock you likely already heard about the UK’s latest skincare import, The Inkey List.

The Inkey List launched about six months ago in England and is now debuting at (and coming to Sephora stores shortly as well). So far, I’ve been having a good time trying all the different products I purchased from the brand and although small in size seems like the formulas are pretty mighty!

I’m surprised there aren’t a ton of articles out that explain how to use the products, what order to apply them or an order of application for them. I always struggle with this myself. It’s one reason I’m not in love with the Ordinary as I’m always trying to figure out what I can and can’t cocktail and if it’ll work with what I currently use. But trying and playing is half the fun sometimes with skincare.

I created a rather simple how-to guide for the Inkey List’s Order of Application to give you some idea what would work for what skin type and the order you should apply the products.

Here’s the details!

If you have dry skin like me here’s a suggestion for AM and PM use.

In the morning, start off with The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum it’s perfect for drier skin and created with 2% Pure Hyaluronic Acid which allows it to penetrate your skin’s surface for easy absorption. Not only will it plump but it’ll also help you retain moisture resulting in smoother, softer skin!

Next up, apply the Inkey List Q10 Serum! I’m loving this stuff. I actually applied in the PM but it’s actually recommended for use in the AM due to the fact it protects skin against environmental stress and free radicals. It’s very hydrating as well so it gives skin an instantly smoother, softer feel.

Pop up on your moisturizer of choice next! The Inkey List recommends their Hemp Moisturizer for drier skin! I purchased it but haven’t yet tried it. They say it’s rich yet lightweight and contains skin soothing Green Tea Extract as well as Omega-3 and Sativa Seed Oil.

In the evening, you can start your routine with The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum again! If you want you can mist with a facial mist before applying it. That’s what I do as Hyaluronic Acid can feel a little weird on my skin and the mist helps it to absorb fast.

To gently exfoliate your skin try out the Inkey List Lactic Acid Serum after applying your Hyaluronic Acid Serum. This formula contains 10% Lactic Acid but they also contain 1% Hyaluronic Acid which makes this a gentle and hydrating formula. If you textured skin or flaky skin this is the acid you’ll want to use to get smoother finish. Although do keep in mind it’s not ideal if you’re looking for the best anti-aging effects.

One of my favorite products at the moment that I’ve been testing is The Inkey List Polyglutamic Acid. Apparently it retains more moisture than mere Hyaluronic Acid! I’ve used it four times this week and already I can feel how much more softer my skin feels and how plumper it looks. It’s one you’ll want to use after Lactic Acid.

At this point, you’ve applied some great things to your skin but you’ll want to seal all that goodness in! Seal in the moisture with the Inkey List Squalane Oil.

And that’s all for dry skin!

Let’s move on to oily skin next. I’m not a big expert in this area πŸ™‚ But as the Summer starts rolling in I can probably inject some of these items into my routine as I see a bit of shine and oil when the warm weather hits.

In the AM, you can start your routine with The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum! Don’t be scared! I know it sounds like something created for drier skin but Hyaluronic Acid can be enjoyed by all! It’ll plump and smooth your skin and provide just the right amount of moisture without leaving you looking dry or dewy!

You can follow up with The Inkey List Vitamin C Cream which is pretty much great for all skin tones but since the Inkey List lacks an actually moisturizer I feel comfortable recommending for oily skin (from my experience their moisturizers are really hydrating and not ideal for oily skin but I still have to test more) this will act to protect your skin against free radicals and also brighten it up over time. You’ll want to follow up with your moisturizer and SPF of choice after this application! After this stage you can even skip your own moisturizer and apply The Inkey List Polyglutamic Acid in place of it. It’s very, very hydrating but it also smooths and plumps skin. At first it feels a bit greasy but it sets to a very smooth finish.

In the PM, you can cleanse skin with The Inkey List’s Salicylic Acid Cleanser if you’re prone to blackheads or breakouts. and if you’re up for some masking you can use the Inkey List Kaolin Mask to combat oil or any blemishes that might pop up!

BHAs are always great for oily skin and The Inkey List Beta Hydroxy Acid is the perfect way to end your night! It’s an exfoliator that works beneath the surface of the skin to help unclog pores, target blackheads and reduce excess oil. You can seal off everything at the end of the night with more Hyaluronic Acid Serum.

Moving on to sensitive skin types…

In the AM, as with all of us, sensitive skin types can always use The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum. It’s gentle, fragrance-free, and will plump and smooth skin while helping it to retain moisture. For an extra shot of moisture if you’re a dry/sensitive use you can follow up with The Inkey List Q10 Serum.

The Inkey List Multi-Biotic Moisturizer is a nice gentle moisturizer that contains 5% Yogurtene Balance that provides skin the same benefits as yogurt would. It also contains a brightening agent and squalane to seal in moisture!

As you head into the evening part of your routine you can start off with Hyaluronic Acid Serum again followed by Lactic Acid which should be a very gentle way to exfoliate skin. And finally, their The Inkey List Turmeric Moisturizer is the perfect end to smooth sensitive skin especially if you experience redness as this contains Turmeric Root Extract which address the issue!

These are only some of the ways to apply the Inkey List. I haven’t addressed all the products in this post. The cocktails and recipes and orders of application can be changed and rearranged or added to anyway you like! Right now the brand carries 19 different products all $15 or less so, there’s a lot we didn’t yet cover in this order of application post! As I test and use these products I’ll bring reviews and thoughts on each and will explain how I’m using them in my routine!

I hope you’ll add in the comments how you use them or cocktail them with other products.


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About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Kimmwc03

    Thanks for this info. Now I just need to research polyglutamic acid.

    • Isabella Muse

      My pleasure! So far I’m liking it! very hydrating!

  • Colleenie

    Thank you for this post! After reading your post about this brand the other day, I bought several items with the Sephora discount. I really need to step up my skincare regimen and have been interested in a lot of these treatments, but I didn’t really know where to start (and they are usually in skincare that is more expensive and hard to try out more than 1!). I’m really excited to play around with these and, hopefully, see some improvement. I really appreciate all the different skincare posts you do.

    • Isabella Muse

      me either don’t feel bad! There’s so much currently available I’m literally confused how and where to inject them into my routine! Aw thanks I’m glad you found the post helpful! LMK what you think of the line! I purchased a lot of it too and so far I like what I’ve tried!

  • Victoria

    This is perfect. Thank you! I am excited to try my haul of these products.

  • Kish

    Thank you for this! I confess to having too many skincare products that I’m not exactly sure how/when to use. The hemp moisturizer sounds great, I’ve been using Herbivore Pink Cloud, which I adore, but it’s $48. I may give this one a try and see how it goes. I also want to try the caffeine eye cream. I’m not looking as young as I used to, especially if you look closely at my under eye area. Eeep. Hope you have a great weekend!

    • Isabella Muse

      likewise I always get confused when something should be applied/at what step etc πŸ™‚ I haven’t tried pink cloud! I avoided it since I didn’t like the moon one they did! Is it hydrating? I’m testing the eye cream now ;-D It was lovely hope you had a good one!

  • Jodi

    I just followed the link to Sephora … Seems it’s not available in Canada

  • MissMercurial

    Hey Isabella, it looks like you used the dry skin routine image twice on accident – just a heads up.

    Also, I’m looking for a serum of some kind to use to thin The Ordinary’s coverage foundation with – I know they sell a serum version of the same but I’m cheap/poor and figured I’d just mix it with a serum. My skin is oily, I live in an arid/semiarid climate (CA or AZ), I’m in my late 20s, and my routine looks like this:
    AM: Cetaphil cleanser, CosRX birch sap moisturizer, SPF
    PM: Some kind of makeup remover (I use whatever I have on hand), Cetaphil cleanser, Kikumasamune high moist lotion, The Ordinary malic & salicylic acids, The Ordinary niacinamide + zinc, Tony Moly aquaporin sleeping pack

    I don’t mask as regularly as I should but tend to use clay-type or The Ordinary’s peeling solution.
    Occasionally I’ll dip my toes into using Retin-A or TO’s granactive retinoid (before the acids but after the high moist lotion) but don’t regularly use them.
    Also I’ve tried CosRX’s snail solution in the pump bottle and it made me break out, so I’ve avoided snail stuff since.

    I’ve considered adding an eye cream but am not sure if it’s necessary yet – I have a single wrinkle/fold under my eyes that I’ve had since I was twelve, but if you think it’d be a good addition for preventative measures please recommend one to me!

    Thanks in advance. I’m also glad for the coverage about Inkey because I was curious but not invested enough to do q lot of research.

    • Isabella Muse

      Hi there! Yup! Corrected sorry πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your routine! Sorry to hear about the cosrx! The snail essence is a fav of mind damn shame it didn’t work for you! Dr Denese Hydroshield is a nice one to keep eyes nice a hydrated and line-free πŸ™‚ Inkey is turning out well for me so far! Will share more soon about the items I purchased!

  • Gloria

    Hey Muse, thanks for posting this! However, it looks like you posted the dry skin graphic twice instead of including the oily skin guide.

  • Brandi

    I have a question- normally oil and water do not mix. These products are both oil and water based. It is different when it’s applied to skin? I’ve been using the Q10 and the Polyglutamic acid, and am wondering if i’m not seeing results because it’s oil and water. Any advice would be much appreciated!

    • Isabella Muse

      I use them together as well! I’m not really sure if the interaction between the two might cause issues! You can actually email Inkey List or @ them on instagram and they reply to questions about routines/techniques/product combos!

        • Isabella Muse

          My pleasure! I wish I knew more for you but DO @ them because they are really good getting back to people! ;-D I have dry skin too btw so I can relate! Have you tried CosRX snail essence? It’s amazing!

          • Brandi

            I sent them an email. Hopefully they’ll get back to me soon or i’ll DM them on IG.
            I have not tried that- the whole snail thing is icky to me, lol! But I do want to try it. Does it help?
            I have large pores also- I just cannot find anything to close those suckers up!

          • Brandi Bensen

            I just wanted to update you on my email to Inkey list=
            I waited about a week and then took to instagram and left them a DM. They wrote back quickly and said they would “look into it”.
            I’ve still not gotten a response.
            This leads me to believe they probably don’t know what to say. I’d say it is an ok product- but they really need to amp up on their customer service and how their products should be applied (order, etc)
            If you have time, please email me some other products you’re enjoying right now.