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The Inkey List

Peptide Moisturizer

1.70 fl. oz. for $ 14.99
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Brand Overview

The Inkey List’s Peptide Moisturizer wins points for its ability to keep skin hydrated without a greasy feel, but if you’re looking to see if these peptides can really firm skin, this disappoints.

Housed in an airless jar that’s easy to use, Peptide Moisturizer’s lightweight cream texture is best for normal to dry or combination skin. It glides over skin, absorbs quickly, and the packaging keeps delicate ingredients stable during use.

Such delicate ingredients include the two peptides in this formula, acetyl hexapeptide-37 and pentapeptide-48. The former is said to help facilitate the transport of water though channels in skin known as aquaporins; the latter said to mimic the glow-reviving effects of animal-derived ingredient royal jelly, which has really fallen out of favor because it never proved to be the skin miracle some companies asserted it was.

Interestingly, neither peptide is known to firm skin, yet that’s the claim The Inkey List is making. Things that make you go “hmmm….”!

On the upside, it doesn’t take much of both of these peptides to deliver visible results; however, we’d still like to see them given more prominence on the ingredient list. The same goes for the other beneficial ingredients present, including shea butter, vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate), hydrating sodium gluconate, and lecithin. It ends up being more lackluster than exciting.

Peptide Moisturizer also contains a fragrance ingredient (phenethyl alcohol) that is present in a very low amount, as no scent is detectable. We doubt this poses a risk of irritation except for those who have extra-sensitive skin.

See our list of best face moisturizers for more enticing options, including some at this one’s lower price point.

  • Lightweight cream spreads easily, absorbs quickly.
  • Leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated, not greasy.
  • Airless jar packaging helps keep the peptides and natural ingredients stable.
  • An overall lackluster formula for aging skin.
  • The peptides in this formula aren’t proven to firm skin (but do deliver other benefits).
Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: No

This moisturizer is formulated with peptides, which are small but mighty amino acid chains that support the firming, hydrating proteins for your skin. With continued use, these peptides help support natural collagen, leaving skin looking youthful and feeling comfortable.

Aqua (Water/Eau), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Betaine, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Sodium Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Gluconate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Phenethyl Alcohol, Acetyl Hexapeptide-37, Maltodextrin, Pentapeptide-48.

The Inkey List is the creation of Colette Newberry and Mark Curry, respectively the former branding and product developers of the widespread UK-based drugstore chain Boots, which has its own namesake skin care line. As with a number of up-and-coming “indie” brands, the media coverage centers on their inexpensive products with minimalist formulas that tend to focus on a single star ingredient, such as hyaluronic acid, squalane, or retinol.

If you’re wondering about the inspiration for the name, it’s the pronunciation of the acronym “INCI,” which stands for the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, an agreed-upon, regulated list of how cosmetics ingredients should be identified on product labels. Each product has its chief ingredient listed on the packaging with dictionary-style writing underneath showing how the name is phoneticized, a clever and slightly erudite touch.

Though the formulas are somewhat basic, The Inkey List gets its packaging spot-on – all products are in opaque containers, with no jars or clear containers to be found. Fragrance isn’t on this brand’s radar, either--at least not in terms of adding it to their products (which will make your skin very happy).

We’d like to see more complex formulas, but then again such formulas cost more to make, and The Inkey List is mostly a bargain brand. We wrote “mostly” because in some cases, on an ounce-per-ounce basis, The Inkey List costs just as much as some other brands offering the same type of products (like leave-on exfoliants) in larger sizes.

Even with the predominantly one-note ingredient theme, the brand typically includes beneficial ingredients in efficacious amounts and skips irritants, with the exception of a couple a products that contain witch hazel water and drying denatured alcohol.

That aside, the brand offers a good selection of effective products, something we’re always glad to see. The Inkey List is sold exclusively in the U.S. at Sephora; you can learn more about the brand here:

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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