Vitamin B, C and E Moisturizer
The Inkey List’s Vitamin B, C, and E Moisturizer contains each namesake vitamin, but not in particularly exciting amounts. It provides lightweight, smoothing moisture but is a fairly basic, fragrance-free formula that makes some exaggerated claims and skimps on the good stuff.
This opaque, squeeze tube-packaged facial moisturizer blends classic glycerin with standard fatty alcohol thickeners, triglycerides, and emollient coconut oil. It’s a serviceable mix for normal to slightly dry or the dry areas of combination skin.
Turning to this moisturizer’s name, vitamin B is represented by both panthenol (vitamin B5) and niacinamide (vitamin B3). The latter is one of the best ingredients for skin, but sadly, preservative phenoxyethanol is present in a greater concentration than both B vitamins. Because phenoxyethanol is used in cosmetic products in concentrations of 1% or lower, we know that all the ingredients listed after it are at (or under) 1%. Most of the skin research (including supplier studies) up to this point focuses on 2% concentrations of niacinamide or higher, so we would’ve loved to see a bit more included in this formula.
In addition to the aforementioned B vitamins, there are also two forms of vitamin C that do provide benefits in lower concentrations: water-soluble sodium ascorbyl phosphate, which has research supporting its use in 1-5% concentrations (although lower amounts likely retain antioxidant benefit), and oil-soluble ascorbyl palmitate, which can show visible improvements in skin in as little as 0.01-0.2%.
The vitamin E is also in two forms, tocopherol (whole vitamin E) and derivative tocopheryl acetate. Both are great antioxidants but neither these nor the other vitamins can support oil production as claimed. Niacinamide can improve the composition of oil but doesn’t make skin produce more or less of it. Instead , it helps to create higher quality oil, meaning its fatty acid composition is more balanced for healthier skin.
Overall, this isn’t a bad option, but if your skin care budget extends a bit, you’ll find numerous superior options on our list of best moisturizers.
- Hydrates without an occlusive feel.
- Packaged to keep its antioxidants stable during use.
- Fragrance free.
- Contains low amounts of vitamins B and E.
- None of the vitamins can alter oil production as claimed.
- Claim of this being “the ultimate, do-it-all cream” is exaggerated.
Regardless of skin type, your skin wants niacinamide, vitamin C, and irritation-soothing vitamin E. This antioxidant-rich combination conditions and supports oil production for visibly healthy, hydrated skin in one step. Just what you need, nothing extra—it’s the ultimate do-it-all cream.
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: https://www.sephora.com/brand/the-inkey-list.
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.