One recent evening after a particularly hectic day, I decided to break open my latest Sephora purchase: The Fab 4 Kit by REN. A collection of travel-sized products that would benefit most skin types, this sampler contains all of the necessities for an indulgent at-home facial. It also provided a useful introduction to an eco-luxe brand I've always wanted to explore; at $35 for $54 of products, it's a great deal for anyone interested in testing out REN skincare before investing in the full-size products. I currently use REN's Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream, and after trialling the products in The Fab 4 Kit, I know which REN products are going on my next wish list.
REN products come in sleek, hygienic packaging. I'm a fan of the full-size pump bottles, which are vacuum filled so no fingers or air can ever come in contact with the product. Here are my initial impressions on the four products + one freebie in the kit.
MICRO POLISH CLEANSER ($30 for 3.3 oz)
This foaming mousse cleanser combines physical exfoliants (amber microbeads) and chemical ones (glycolic and lactic acids, plus papaya enzyme) that gently polish and renew your skin. I know that some people avoid physical exfoliants, but I like using them every now and then for a deeper cleanse. It smells strongly of citrus because it contains quite a few citrus oils, so I'd be careful with it if you have sensitive skin. I'll use this once in a while, but I probably won't purchase the full-size.
GLYCOL LACTIC RADIANCE RENEWAL MASK ($55 for 1.7 oz)
This is one of REN's most hyped-up products, and I already understand why. Glycol Lactic exfoliates your skin using a four-fruit acid complex (lactic, glycolic, tartaric and citric) and papaya enzyme. It is recommended for congested skin, post-acne scarring, blemishes, black-heads and hyperpigmentation. After slathering this honey-like gel onto my face and leaving it for ten minutes, my skin was incredibly soft. Although REN suggests that sensitive skin types use this product with caution, I didn't experience any tingling or redness. I'll definitely pinch my pennies for the full-size version.
BIO RETINOID ANTI-AGEING CONCENTRATE ($60 for 1.02 oz)
This product combines vitamin A, pro-vitamin A and retinoid analogue to combat signs of ageing. These ingredients are packed inside a cocktail of oils (rose, soybean and cottonseed, to name a few). Obviously, I can't comment on any longterm benefits, but I did notice that it doesn't irritate my skin the way that most topical retinoids do.
HYDRA-CALM GLOBAL PROTECTION DAY CREAM ($55 for 1.7 oz)
I wrote my thoughts on this product here, and I continue to love it, so I'm happy to have a little travel-sized tube to bring around with me. It's antioxidant-packed, very emollient and long-lasting. I recommend it to anyone looking for a more intensive moisturizer for the cooler months.
NO. 1 PURITY CLEANSING BALM + MUSLIN CLOTH ($48 for 5.1 oz)
Isn't the mini tube cute?! This was the bonus product included in the kit. I've been using micellar water to remove my sunscreen and makeup before cleansing; I go through one bottle far too quickly and when I think of how many I've purchased over the past several months, I'm slightly horrified. I promised myself that I'd look into a cleansing oil or balm, which might be more expensive initially but would prove a more cost-effective makeup remover over time. Just slightly more than a pea-sized amount of this cleansing balm removes all of my makeup (including eye makeup). It does leave a residue on my skin afterwards, so I always cleanse a second time with a non-oil-based cleanser. If rose-scented things are up your street, you'll love the smell of it too. This (or the ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser) will probably be the next REN product I purchase.
Have you tried REN skincare?