There’s a difference between the skin stuff you buy over the counter at Boots and the product of hard work and research spent over years and years. Cosmeceuticals – cosmetic pharmaceuticals – are designed to be used with caution but can give off amazing results.
The concentration of the essentials and active ingredients needed for clean, young and plump skin are usually higher, and for that there’s a premium paid.
But honestly, if you’re over 25 it’s worth starting a good skincare routine now.
Trust me, it’s easier preventing wrinkles and pigmentation than it is trying to fix the damage caused by the sun, toxins and neglect. Just. Trust. Me. Working with an aesthetic nurse in a dermatology clinic I’ve seen the damage that can be done, and how medical skincare professionals fix it. And how much moolah it takes to fix it, too.
Flint plus Flint Review
When Flint+Flint’s products (or is it Flint plus Flint? Flint & Flint?) arrived on my radar, I was keen to try them.
How do these size up to the heavyweight products I have imported into the quest for good skin? Click the plus below to get my take on each product.
Dermatologists will use glycolic acid for those who want to improve the colour, texture and overall appearance of the skin. My usual glycolic cleanser, imported from the US and FDA approved, is £30 – as is the Flint and Flint glycolic cleanser. I find it works best in combination with a salicylic cleanser, a beta hydroxy acid or BHA. One rejuvenates, while the other strips the skin of grease. It’s win/win.
Ok so that’s enough science. This cleanser is way thinner that what I’m used to, but as that’s the case you only use a smidgen at a time. I’d say a pea sized amount at most. For best results, I wet my face first to remove some of the grease and grime (I stopped using my salicylic to see how this would hold up to a typical girl/guy’s routine) and massaged in a tiny amount. Ideally, I left the glycolic to work it’s magic for about five minutes. This gives it time to actually work – don’t bother using it if you’re a splash on spash off type. It was rinsed off with warm water, followed by a cold rinse.
My skin felt similar to my other glycolic – smooth and fresh. It did make my skin break out after a few days which was a bit of an annoyance during my Very Important PR Meeting, but it settled soon enough.
It’s a good staple to have for morning and night, but due to it’s high glycolic content start off using this once every two days and build up a tolerance to it.
But, what EVERYONE needs, is a high SPF. No ifs, no buts. This should be a minimum, even if you don’t wear make up. I use an SPF30 sun block daily as a preventative measure, as well as a vitamin C serum which gives added protection. But an SPF as a primer? This is new and interesting to me.
As above the primer is best used in tiny dabs all over the face. It’s silky and light, and admittedly provides a great base for foundation. It also contains high levels of vitamin E, which served as my antioxidant protection while I was off my usual C serum.
After a week, I have to say I’m impressed. It’s not something I’ll use every day, purely as I love my current SPF/C routine. But for days when my skin’s feeling a bit sluggish, or I’m having an off day, I’ll be reaching for the primer. It just has a wow factor I think should be saved for those special occasions.
Vitamin A is fantastic at resurfacing the skin and it works at a cellular level; not just on the surface. It’s potent, but it works. This moisturiser contains Retinyl Palmitate – it’s basically part of the Vitamin A family. The weakest, and safest, part. It needs additional steps to convert within the skin to retinoic acid, the active stuff that works to resurface skin. Tretinoin does this on contact, which is why it’s so effective and so irritating, whereas this moisturiser won’t cause peeling or redness at all.
So while results won’t be dramatic with this moisturiser, even with continued use, the skin is still getting some form of resurfacing and a boost of collagen. Flint+Flint’s moisturiser is clinically proven, making it a bona fide cosmeceutical.
It also contains hyaluronic acid, a sugar produced in the the skin. It’s used in some dermal fillers, especially in mesotherapy, as it gives thirsty skin a great big gulp of hydration. No other biological substance can retain as much water as HA can, so for people with dry skin this should be a staple.
So, what about the actual product? It’s rich, really rich, and glides over skin. I’m probably a harsh critic as I have used tretinoin before so I’m used to the effects of instant vitamin A. As I expected, it didn’t really improve my skin as the latter would, but I would say it’s a perfect introduction for someone who a. doesn’t want to pay a crazy amount for tretinoin, b. has never used a retinol on their face before and c. doesn’t want a peeling face for two weeks in the quest for youth.
I also love how it has two of my favourite skincare essentials. HA will only ever be a good thing for skin and it’s something currently lacking from my routine, so after each use and for hours later my skin felt so, so hydrated. It looked youthful and firmer with continued use too.
Flint+Flint have a great thing going. When my staples from America run out I will easily transfer to this British brand. The glycolic content warrants the price and contains the same amount as my usual but it a less sticky format. This was definitely my clear winner of the three, and one I’d suggest everyone adds into their routine.
Over the counter products may be cheap and easy. But when you have the decades of experience that’s gone into these skincare essentials there can’t be a comparison. I’m never going back to standard cleansers because I’ve seen first-hand how spending on skin can increase confidence (and compliments). Flint+Flint is definitely worth the investment for anyone serious about skincare.