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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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