Every so often a shiny new skincare brand comes along and makes beauty editors, influencers and skincare lovers sit up and take note. Recently, Versed and Starface made it on to our radar. This month, that beauty brand is Q+A Natural Skincare.
You might have spotted the colourful packaging on Instagram and been intrigued. Available directly from the Q+A site, as well as Holland & Barrett, the brand shines a light on natural and plant-based ingredients but it's the focus on science and efficacy (thanks to buzzy skincare must-haves like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and zinc) which is earning it the most points. In fact, some skincare lovers have touted Q+A as the natural version of The Ordinary, as the prices don't exceed the £10 mark.
So is Q+A Natural Skincare worth the hype? Intrigued, I tried a handful of products. Here's how I got on.
The best Q+A Skincare product for 'normal' skin: Ginger Root Daily Moisturiser, £8.50.
Research suggests that ginger root is an effective antioxidant ingredient, so it can protect skin against things like pollution and other environmental factors which might lead to dullness and hyperpigmentation. Team this moisturiser with a vitamin C serum for bolstered results. It's velvety but absorbs in seconds, leaving skin moisturised and matte. The ginger scent isn't too overpowering but it is zingy.
The best Q+A Natural Skincare product for oily skin: Niacinamide Daily Toner, £8.
Unlike some facial toners, which can be astringent, this is incredibly moisturising thanks to glycerin. But the real star ingredient is niacinamide (otherwise known as vitamin B3). It helps reduce excess oil production, minimises the appearance of pores and brings down inflammation. Apply just after cleansing and before your serum or moisturiser both in the morning and evening. Just be sure to close the lid properly, as flip tops have the potential to leak.
The best Q+A Natural Skincare product for combination skin: Peppermint Daily Cleanser, £7.50.
This makes skin feel squeaky clean thanks to ultra refreshing peppermint. If your skin is on the drier side of combination, a gel cleanser could potentially dry it out further. In that case, opt for a gentle, cream-based product instead, such as PCA Skin Creamy Cleanser, £31.50.
The best Q+A Natural Skincare product for dry skin: Squalane Facial Oil, £8.
From Biossance to The Ordinary, lots of beauty brands are now formulating their skincare with plant-based oil squalane. The ingredient is an emollient so it sits on the surface of the skin and prevents water from escaping. Just a couple of drops applied before moisturiser works wonders to smooth over dry patches. Skin feels supple and bouncy. You can also use it on your hair to keep frizzy bits locked down.
The best Q+A Natural Skincare product for acne-prone skin: Zinc PCA Facial Serum, £9.
Skin experts often recommend products which contain zinc for acne-prone skin as it lowers inflammation (helping to reduce raised, red spots) and controls oil production. This serum also contains betaine, which is similar to exfoliating, pore-unclogging salicylic acid. It may feel much lighter than other serums but it really does help prevent skin becoming overly oily during the day. Layer it on after cleansing and follow with SPF for best results.
The best Q+A Natural Skincare product for dehydrated and sensitive skin: Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum, £6.50.
Hyaluronic acid can sometimes feel sticky, but this has a more fluid consistency and absorbs quickly. If your face feels tight and uncomfortable after cleansing, or you want to plump out fine lines, a couple of drops before cleansing and after moisturiser from AM to PM could make all the difference.
The best Q+A Natural Skincare product for eyes: Caffeine Eye Serum, £6.50.
At first this feels more like an oil than a serum but it sinks in fast. While it won't minimise dark circles or eye 'bags', the caffeine does appear to blur faint lines, if only temporarily. What it does best is provide a non-budge base for concealer.
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