[unpaid/sample/affiliate/ad] I’m fascinated at how fast prices rise at REN – their new serum is £45 which seems fairly steep but I have REN stuck in my mind as approachable, effective, fun and affordable so every time I go on their website, I’m in a state of ‘how much?’ If I’m honest, I don’t really ‘get it’ in the same way I used to but I cannot knock the brand for their work on sustainability and move towards Zero Waste Packaging which is more dynamic and exciting at the moment than their product lines. They’re leading the way within the industry in this and in particular with sampling – all those little, teeny weeny tubes are lovely but they’re hard on the environment.
These sample packs are a beauty industry global first with every part made from 100% recycled aluminium right down to the nozzle (no plastic caps or tamper seals needed). Perhaps the best thing is that aluminium can be infinitely recycled with almost 75% of the aluminium ever produced still in circulation and being used. It melts down again and again without losing quality and malleability means every last drop of product can be reached – it’s also very good at keeping the product inside in perfect condition. It’s energy efficient – using recycled aluminium saves 95% of the energy that would be needed to make virgin aluminium but – the only but – it’s much more expensive to produce and that, I think, is why the price of sustainability and their zero waste goal is being passed on to the consumer. So, it stands to reason that the customer demographic of this brand will change – is changing – to those who can more easily afford to be concerned about the planet. Change is a good thing of course – actions like REN’s quite literally alter the course of resources (their owner, Unilever, is, I think, the most progressive of all conglomerates in making sustainable change) forever. It’s a big deal but perhaps not as democratic as its initial roots.
‘Redness’ is commonly thought to be beauty world’s coy term for rosacea which is a medical condition and impossible to make ‘beauty’ claims on. So, you will see words such as ‘tightness, redness and sensitivity’ as a catch all for what can often turn out to be rosacea. I need to stress that if you think you have actual rosacea, you need to see your doctor and that those generic terms of themselves are not a diagnosis of any sort. But, it’s a common skin issue and if your redness, whatever the cause, can be eased without a visit to a doctor, then so much the better. Very often with skin, it is a case of trial and error and what works for one won’t work for all. In the Redness Relief Serum formula, REN is using White Mushroom extract and a ‘Defence Complex’ for sensitivity relief – in fact, it promises to reduce redness (and is, of course, properly clinically assessed) within half an hour and thereafter continuously improve as the day goes on. It was evaluated in a consumer study of 100 men and women (which is the performance feedback from those 100) and a Clinical Instrumental Evaluation comprising a 14 day study on 32 women and two men, where evaluation of moisture, water loss and redness were evaluated by a dermatologist. White Mushroom is useful in alleviating sensitivities because it’s high in phenols and bringing down redness, while anti-oxidant Beta-Carotene is the mainstay of the Defence Complex. If I look at the top five ingredients for this product, they are: aqua, caprylic/capric triglyceride, glycerine, propanediol, coco-caprylate/caprate which are all nicely skin compatible, followed quickly by squalane. Mushroom extract is somewhere around the middle of the list.
In texture, it’s velvety and silky on the skin. While I wouldn’t say I suffer from redness I have noticed that my skin reddens more easily than it used to – at the moment it’s fine so I can’t really test for efficacy but it’s a beautifully smoothing serum that just feels immediately at home on the complexion. The same can be said for the Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask (if you’ve accidentally had a bit too much sun on your face, use this). Evercalm is, I think, REN’s most successful range – that can only come from repeat purchases and swear-bys. If you’re new to this range, I’d strongly suggest that you dip your toe in the water with the Evercalm Kit for £25 HERE that contains the earlier version of the serum, the mask, a day cream and a cleanser. I feel that it’s a good investment kit to have on stand by anyway for flare ups when you least expect them as well as a newcomer try me set and an already-fan travel set. REN has some great bundles (including Evercalm) going on with savings of over £20 in some cases HERE and the new serum if you’re ready to dive in is £45 HERE.
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