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The Inkey List

Snow Mushroom Moisturizer

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 9.99
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Brand Overview

The Inkey List’s Snow Mushroom Moisturizer is the type of product that isn’t bad for skin by any means – it’s formula’s just a little too bare bones to get too excited about.

Housed in an opaque squeeze tube that protects its ingredients from light and air, this gel moisturizer is best for those with normal, slightly dry, or combination skin. Its texture feels refreshing and lightly hydrating, and it works well both over and under other skin care products.

The main selling point of this fragrance-free moisturizer is the namesake snow mushroom (Tremella fuciformis) extract. This type of mushroom is a good ingredient with antioxidant properties, and it does have a refreshing (the brand calls it “cooling”) feel. The moisturizing factor here comes from an ingredient called Prodew P-Ds-12 (sodium caproyl prolinate), and while it does hydrate, it’s not “super” hydrating as claimed, meaning those seeking this benefit will end up disappointed. As mentioned above, this is lightly hydrating. The other star ingredient is madecassoside, a component of the Centella asiatica plant that has antioxidant properties plus research showing it can help calm redness.

Aside from that, there’s not much else going on here. This product – and your skin – would be much better served with added beneficial ingredients, including a greater complement of antioxidants and barrier-replenishing hydrators. In the end, it’s best to select one of the superior products on our list of best moisturizers instead.

  • Contains antioxidant snow mushroom extract.
  • Includes some madecassoside, which can help calm redness and has antioxidant benefits.
  • Packaged to protect its light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
  • Fragrance free.
  • Doesn’t offer skin much more than basic hydration (it’s not super hydrating as claimed).
  • Formula would be more impressive with additional beneficial ingredients.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

A super hydrating gel textured moisturizer that works to soothe the skin and reduce the appearance of redness.

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Caproyl Prolinate, Lecithin, Tremella Fuciformis (Mushroom) Extract, Carbomer, Madecassoside, Sodium Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate.

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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