Back in the old days, my morning skincare routine involved putting my face under the shower whilst washing my hair, patting it dry and giving it the once over with my Nivea Daily Essentials Light Moisturising Day Cream. Pretty slap dash I know. After reaching a certain age, I started to notice changes to my skin (oiliness, frequent outbreaks and fine lines and wrinkles!) and that’s when it hit me that I had no routine when it comes to skincare and I really needed to get my butt into gear before I can no longer rely on genetics to keep me looking youthful. Nowadays I have a proper full on routine; one for the mornings and one for night time. After doing some research, I discovered the skincare brand REN and since then, I’ve not looked back. In this post I will discuss all of the REN product I have used and loved.
This is a lovely gentle clay cleanser which I often use to wash my face first thing in the morning after a good few hours of rolling around in my own sweat whilst I’m sleeping (TMI, I know, but it happens to the best of us). The clay formulation is very creamy so if you’re expecting it to be dry and stripping, you’re wrong. I apply it to my face with damp hands and give myself a good ol’ massage for 1 (if I’m pushed for time) to 2 (when I have the time to get ready at a more leisurely pace) minutes before rinsing off with warm water. The french clay does a good job of absorbing excess oils so great for those with combination to oily skin, and also buffs away at the dead layer of skin and in turn killing off any bacteria which can of course lead to breakouts. The best thing about it is that it comes in a whopping 200ml bottle for just £18.00. With one pump for each use, the bottle has lasted me for absolutely ages!
As a weekly treat or whenever I feel like my skin needs an instant boost, I like to do a mask. Now Ren do two masks (that I’ve tried) that are different in terms of formulation and application but give somewhat similar results. The first one I used from Ren was their Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask. This contains glycolactic acid and as some of you may know, glycolactic acid is a form of Alpha Hydroxy Acid which is otherwise known as AHA’s. AHA’s typically help to eat away and therefore exfoliate the dead layer of skin whilst also stimulating the production of collagen (as you age, the loss and breakdown of collagen in the skin causes it to lose it’s firmness and elasticity). As a result, skin should appear less dull and lifeless and more radiant and renewed, whilst also minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The formula of Ren’s Glycolatic Radiance Renewal Mask is reminiscent to orange marmalade (sounds strange but feels cooling on the skin and smells delicious). Leave on the face (and neck if desired) for 10 minutes before removing it with a damp flannel followed by rinsing the face with warm water. You can expect to feel a slight tingle which is the norm when it comes to exfoliating acids. The result for me was instantaneous. Everytime I use this my skin always looks fresh, plump and pretty damned flawless.
The other mask I use is the Ren Clarimatte Invisible Pores Detox Mask which is different to the Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask in appearance, texture and usage but the results are somewhat similar, and by similar I mean it’s pretty darn good. The Clarimatte Invisible Pores Detox Mask is a clay mask and is not too dissimilar in appearance to the ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser. It’s creamy in texture but once left on the skin after a few minutes, it dries up and you do get that tight sensation (don’t worry, it won’t feel like this when you remove it). To remove the mask, you simply rub it off with wet fingertips and that’s when the product begins to ball up and literally falls away (so make sure you do this whilst over the sink or in the shower). As always, rinse thoroughly with warm water as the last step to ensure no product is left on the skin. The french clay works to draw out impurities whilst also reducing the appearance of large pores and blackheads. It also works to mop up excess oil that can clog the skin so is ideal for those that have combination skin and even better for those who have oily skin. The result should be blemish free, purified and flawless looking skin. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my face look so clean and smooth.
Before I slap on my moisturiser day and night, I like to use an oil or serum for that extra boost of moisture and anti-ageing goodness. In the mornings I prefer something quite light as I don’t want to walk around with a greasy mess on my face plus I really don’t want it to interfere with my makeup. Ren’s Omega 3 Optimum Skin Oil is perfect for this. Although it is an oil, it’s a very light texture and feels more like a serum. As a result, the product absorbs relatively quickly without any grease or tackiness. It’s key ingredients are Omega 3, 6 and 9, and Vitamin A and E which all work together to restore moisture, rebuild collagen, repair sun damage, and protect your skin from those pesky free radicals that like to get about.
A recent discovery in the treatment department is the Ren Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate. Now this is definitely an oil and not a serum and is the Omega 3 Optimum Skin Oil but amplified (hence the name ‘concentrate’). It’s a luxurious, golden formulation and one that I definitely like to reserve for the evenings before getting into bed. One of the key ingrediants in this is Vitamin A and is key if you’re looking for a product will combat and reverse the signs of ageing. Just how does Vitamin A reverse the signs of ageing I hear you ask? Well it helps to rebuild collagen (a naturally occuring protein in the skin) which is a process that naturally slows down as you get older. We like collagen because it makes our skin plump, supple and therefore youthful. The production of collagen slows down as you age and as a result, wrinkles and sagging occurs. Vitamin A also works to repair any damage to the skin that has been caused by the sun. I’ll stop with the school teacher lecture now as I’m sure you get the gist. Now I’ve not been using this long enough to notice any differences because you’re certainly not going to get rid of any wrinkles overnight but I’m liking the product so far and have even invested in the full size.
To compliment the Ren Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate, I also bought the Ren Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Cream. This is also another product that is reserved for the evenings although it’s not that heavy that you couldn’t use it in the morning pre makeup particularly if you suffer from dry skin. I love the texture of this moitsuriser as it feels rich and luxurious without being to thick and heavy. Instead, it absorbs into the skin quite nicely without leaving behind a greasy trail.
If you are looking for something lighter particularly to use during the day then may I suggest the Clarimatte T Zone Balancing Gel Cream. The Clairmatte range is designed for those who sit on the oilier side of the fence. The gel cream is super lightweight, very thin in texture and literally melts into the skin leaving behind a hydrated but oil free base. For that reason, there’s no waiting around for it to settle/dry off making it the perfect base for makeup. I used this religiously whilst away on a recent holiday where the temperature reached up to 30C. The last thing you want in the heat is a product that is going to add to the sweat and oils that you are already struggling to deal with.
For times when you need something a bit more ‘scrubby’ as opposed to an acid toner, then the Ren Micro Polish Cleanser might just be up your street. After realising just how harsh the more traditional beady face scrubs can be on your skin, I’ve transitioned myself to the more gentle exfoliating acid toners. Every now and again though, when your skin is feeling and looking a bit more clogged up than usual (always seems to happen around my nose), you just need something that bit more intense you help loosen and free all of the yucky, stubborn impurities. The Micro Polish cleanser cotains both Amber mircobeads which provides the scrubbing element and Glycolactic acid which removes the dead skin cells. You’ll definitely notice clearer looking skin after just one use.
This is my most recent Ren discovery and was a freebie with a recent edition of InStyle magazine. It comes with a muslin cloth and the idea is to place the hot and well wrung out cloth over your face (after you have applied the cleanser to dry skin) then gently ‘polish’ off the cleanser before rinsing off with cool water. The hot cloth is supposed to’ open’ up your pores whilst the cool water supposedly has the opposite effect. Now I’m no professional when it comes to skin care but I have been lead to believe (from a trusted and reputable source A.K.A Caroline Hirons) that pores don’t open or close but are just present and may appear enlarged or shrunken depending what’s happening with your skin at the time. Gimmicks aside, this is quite a pleasant and gentle cleanser. I use this once I’ve removed my makeup rather than using it to remove the actual makeup. I let the makeup remover do the job of taking my makeup off whilst the cleansers to clean my face afterwards. I find that I actually prefer to use a flannel rather than a muslin cloth but I think that’s down to personal preference.
One of my handbag staples is some sort of lip balm and theres a few I like to use. One of those is the Ren Vita Mineral Lip Balm which comes in a handy tube (plus points for hygiene). This is a thick balmy texture but unlike some it doesn’t feel like you’ve smothered grease all over your lips.
I think you can tell from the above that there is much love for the Ren brand. They also do a range for men and a hair and body care range which I’ve yet to try but I’ve heard lots of good things about their Moroccan Rose Otto products. Have you tried any of the products/ranges from Ren?