One of the things I love about Victoria Health is how thoughtful they are with the brands they choose to launch. It takes a lot for Gill to add a new skincare line to the site and with the last one being The Ordinary, you know LixirSkin has to be something special to make the cut (spoiler alert: it is). I was so pleasantly surprised when the products arrived at my door a few weeks ago and have been so excited to talk about them since my very first use. Beyond the fact that this new brand is a millennial’s dream in terms of branding and packaging, it also has a lot going on formula wise and I have a feeling LixirSkin is destined for big things.
LixirSkin launched on the October newsletter and like Gill wrote, Colette Haydon is not new to the skincare industry (interview here). She has worked behind the scenes for over 20 years and has formulated countless best-selling products for brands like REN, Jo Malone and HealGel. REN was one of the first brands I turned to when I went all “natural” a few years ago, so I know for a fact I have already had Colette’s creations on my face without even knowing it and I’m sure many of you have, too.
LixirSkin is such an interesting concept and because Colette is a doctor in dermo-pharmacy her approach to skincare is straightforward, no-nonsense and uncomplicated. The products are advanced and effective yet still have a very on trend cool but relaxed vibe, which might fool you into thinking there’s not much to them, but that is not the case at all. LixirSkin is as if Glossier and NIOD had a baby because it has that “less is more” approach, but is still doing exciting things with the “less” than most brands out there.
In light of her effortless philosophy to skincare Colette has launched just six products to begin with, but I already want more. The three main items are The Universal Good Skin Trio, which includes a brilliant cleanser, mask and moisturizer (suitable for all skin types) and then you have the Night Switch Molecules and those are three “boosters” designed to target specific concerns. You can just tell Colette has been a formulator for many years (she has her own lab in London) because each product is made as close to perfection as you can get and that’s not something I say lightly. The textures, scents, consistency, design, efficacy etc all come together beautifully in simple yet advanced products that are easy to understand, a pleasure to use and feel amazing on the skin.
Electrogel Cleanser 100ml £25
This product has quickly become my favourite out of everything because it is so unassuming, but I absolutely love it and so does my skin. On the surface it might seem like any other cream cleanser, but this one includes a “very small negatively charged Electrogel”, which works to attract and remove the positively charged toxins (“pollution nanoparticles, heavy metals and free radicals”) from the skin for a truly deep cleanse that will not compromise barrier function. This cleanser is so gentle yet still very effective and I find myself reaching for it more than anything else at the moment.
This has a light, whipped cooling creamy texture that is easy to massage into the skin (even though shea butter is high on the list) and my skin has responded so well to it. It has a delicate floral scent that smells very relaxing without being overpowering and is safe to use around the eyes. I take quite a generous amount (more than what’s pictured above) and apply it on to clean/dry skin then leave it on as a mask for about two to five minutes while I’m brushing my teeth etc. Next I add water, massage my skin a bit more and then rinse with warm water. It rinses very clean and leaves the most perfectly balanced “finish” of any cleanser I’ve used. My skin isn’t coated yet it doesn’t feel squeaky clean stripped either. It just feels normal.
Colette designed this to be an evening cleanser and detoxifying mask, but I have loved this as a morning cleanse and mask in one, too. In the morning I apply as instructed with damp hands and again just rinse with warm water, but you can use a washcloth if you prefer. I have tested this as a first and second evening cleanse and morning cleanse and all three ways work very well. It easily removes the level of makeup/sunscreen I wear, but I would love to hear from those who wear a more full face on how it removes that. If you don’t like cream cleansers than this is the one to try. It is almost like a cream-gel hybrid because of how light it is and no matter what your skin type this would be great to use, especially now it’s getting colder.
Electrogel Cleanser £25 for 100ml
Vitamin C Paste 50ml £32
This was the product I was most skeptical about when I first read about it. I didn’t see how a wash off vitamin c product could do anything worthwhile, but this really did. I first tested it on my sister because my skin does not like L-AA and after she removed it her skin was unquestionably glowing. It looked bright, even, smooth and just good. It has 10% L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) that works to “neutralize oxidized sebum” and revive dull skin, which is exactly what it did. Even though I personally love the cleanser, I think this could be LixirSkin’s star product.
As with everything in this range this mask has been beautifully formulated, but this one is special. It has lovely gel-balm texture (so not exactly a paste) and the scent is gorgeous. It is a mix of jasmine, mandarin and lavender and like the cleanser, is noticeable but mild. The mask starts off clear but turns a translucent white as you massage it into the skin. It also melts into a more thinner almost oily balm texture, but it won’t run down your face. You could easily leave it on while you brush your teeth, shower or have breakfast.
There’s no real set time for how long you leave it on, so whether you have just five minutes or 15, it would be great to use in the morning because it is such a multi-tasker. It helps tackle free radicals, boost collagen, support elastin, regulate melanin and can arguably provide a level of protection against UVA and UVB damage. This mask is almost like a serum in that respect and would be excellent for those who don’t like layering more than a couple of products on their skin.
I take a large pea size amount, apply it to dry skin, leave it for a few minutes then massage with damp fingers and rinse. This rinses completely clean, even more so than the cleanser and I suspect that you could use this a morning cleanse, mask and serum in one. You could use this every day or a few times a week, it all depends on how much time you have and the type of results you want. It definitely gives an immediate brightening effect, but with continuous use you will get the more in-depth skin benefits. If Colette ever wanted to make another cleanser, then one with this texture and scent would be perfect.
Vitamin C Paste £32 for 50ml
Universal Emulsion 50ml £29 (100ml £45)
This has been the year of the moisturizer for me and here is yet another one that I actually really like after years of hating them all. Colette understands the importance of water and retaining it for the skin and created this product to do exactly that and so much more. It is a moisturizer, night cream, sunscreen, serum and primer all in one. You can absolutely use it all over (face and body) because it sinks in so quickly and doesn’t feel heavy.
In what I have come to understand as typical LixirSkin fashion, this product is so much more than what it seems. Beyond the excellent texture, scent and performance, it has been formulated in a way that takes the humble and plain moisturizer to the next level. Colette emulsified this in a special way to create a clinically tested SPF rating of ten without any actual sunscreen, which is amazing. It also works to shield the skin from free radical damage, supplies water molecules and boosts retention of it and serves as the perfect base for the Night Switch Molecules.
I have used this both day and night and it works very well with the other products in my routines. There is no pilling or rubbing off and it doesn’t feel heavy or greasy. I take about a small pea size amount, apply it like any other moisturizer and it absorbs extremely well. It has a lovely (but still mild) floral scent, which reminds me of something I can’t quite place, that doesn’t linger or irritate my skin. At first I was worried that the shea butter in this would cause my acne prone skin to break out, but in this product it has been perfectly fine, but that’s what I would expect from a long-time formulator like Colette.
The finish of this is a sort of velvet-y matte that leaves my skin feeling hydrated, plump and soft. There’s no greasiness, although it doesn’t completely disappear on the skin, which is a good thing. What is left behind isn’t a coating or silicone-y layer, but a protective seal that feels very comfortable and has kept my skin balanced and clear on the days I use it. If you struggle to find a good moisturizer at a decent price then this could be just what you’re looking for.
Universal Emulsion £29 for 50ml; Universal Emulsion £45 for 100ml
The Night Switches 15ml – Retinol 1% £28, PHA/AHA 10% £20, BHA/AHA 10% £20
These little targeted boosters are such an exciting addition to the lineup and I hope Colette makes more. I love retinol and I know so many of you love acids and these three are such great formulas. LixirSkin recommend you use them according to your skin’s primary concern (below) and I have been mixing the Retinol 1% with the Universal Emulsion on alternate nights to great effect. I haven’t been able to use the acids because both contain lactic acid, which I am allergic to, so I enlisted my sister again to help me test those and the results have been very good.
I have talked about my love for retinol a lot on here and on Instagram and I love this one because of the texture. It is like water and can be used with pretty much any other product. I have used it directly on my skin under other products as well as mixed with other serums, moisturizers and oils and it works perfectly well each way. I have had the usual minimum retinol related side effects, but my skin hasn’t felt raw or irritated at all. If you don’t love the textures of the retinol products from The Ordinary than try this one instead.
The acid Night Switches are the two products that disappointed me the most and ONLY because I can’t use them!!! My skin hates lactic acid and despite the fact that both products contain other acids that I absolutely love like lactobionic, salicylic, azelaic and phytic, I just can’t use them. The PHA/AHA 10% which contains a mix of Lactic Acid, Lactobionic Acid and Phytic Acid is an excellent option for those who want to tackle pigmentation and the BHA/AHA 10% is good for those dealing with blemishes because it includes Lactic Acid, Azelaic Acid and Salicylic Acid. Neither should be particularly drying due to the hydration boosting abilities of lactic acid and you could switch between both if you are at that age where you need to prevent wrinkles and heal breakouts.
These are excellent exfoliating products because you get multiple acids in one and can use them directly on the skin, mixed with other products or use them as a wash off chemical exfoliant or mix them with a clay mask for even better results. They have the same watery texture as the Retinol 1% and smell quite chemical-y, but it’s not overpowering. You don’t need to use a lot to cover your whole face, so even though these are small, they will last a long time making them great value for money. I really hope Colette makes more of these without lactic acid and adds mandelic to the mix because I love the concept and it’s just such a shame I can’t use them.
Night Switch: Retinol 1% £28 for 15ml; PHA/AHA 10% £20 for 15ml; BHA/AHA 10% £20 for 15ml
I hope this is just the start of more to come from LixirSkin because I have been loving everything since they arrived. Colette has got it completely right with these products and she clearly knows exactly what it takes to make great skincare. She has managed to make uncomplicated yet effective products that are a pleasure to use and have the added bonus of looking good on Instagram as well as in a bathroom cabinet. This is serious skincare with style and substance and I cannot wait to see what Colette comes up with next.