I Tried £80 Worth Of Sali Hughes x Revolution Skincare & Here’s My Verdict

Designed by Dionne Pajarillaga.
If I had money for every time a shiny new skincare line was unveiled, I'd be lying on a beach somewhere scorching right now. While plenty end up falling flat, others assume cult status. Take the beloved Q+A Skincare, Skin Proud and Trinny London, for instance.
If you have a social media account, you've no doubt heard that beauty writer and skincare influencer Sali Hughes has joined forces with affordable beauty brand Revolution. Together they have lifted the lid on a capsule skincare collection, which boasts staples like cleanser and moisturiser as well as a handful of extras, such as exfoliators and serums. The range hit the shops only a day ago but the hype is already real, with Google search shooting up by 200% this week.
If you're a fan of Sali's you'll know that she's something of a skincare guru — and her opinion is highly valued. It makes sense, then, that her namesake collection would be chock-full of dermatologist-loved ingredients that actually make a difference. There's niacinamide (which reduces oil and minimises the appearance of pores), ceramides (they nourish dry skin and protect its barrier), hyaluronic acid (to hydrate and plump out dehydration lines) and a team of chemical exfoliators including glycolic, salicylic and lactic acid. "It's great skincare, made simple," said Sali in a press release, "but this is not a brand that demands your monogamy. Each product can stand on its own two feet or be slotted alongside any existing favourites."
Revolution is known for its affordability so nothing in the shelfie-worthy collection exceeds the £15 mark. TikTokers are already talking about the pretty pastel packaging and the brand is on course to become a cult favourite. But what's really worth your hard-earned money? As a beauty editor who is obsessed with trying new skincare, I had to give everything a go — and as you might've expected, there are a couple of serious gems.
Most of my favourite cleansing balms are a little on the pricy side so I was keen to see how this would compare. Much like Clinique's Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, £28, it's solid but transforms into a milkier texture on contact with water. It also has a really soothing smell, similar to Elemis' Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, £44. I tried this on a day where I was wearing lots of foundation topped with SPF, as well as mascara and matte red lipstick — the latter of which sticks around even after a thorough scrub.
Miraculously it dissolved every last scrap of my makeup in a few moments and didn't make my face feel like it might crack afterwards (that'll be the moisturising squalane and glycerin). If you have sensitive eyes, I'd recommend avoiding them while using this as it made mine sting a bit. Instead, use a micellar water to remove mascara or eyeliner. At £15, the price is at the higher end of the range. I'd like a little more in the tub.
I think this might be my new favourite morning cleanser. It isn't foaming but the gel-cream texture glides over skin and makes for a really gentle, non-stripping face wash when your skin isn't exactly grimy but needs a freshen up. I'd liken it to CeraVe's Hydrating Cleanser, £7.50. It's not powerful enough to remove makeup in one fell swoop so I'd suggest keeping it to your AM routine, like the label suggests.
This is the only product in the range that I'd shelve but that's because it's not suited to my combination skin. Formulated with dry types in mind, it boasts a moisturising dream team of ceramides, glycerin and squalane but with the addition of grapeseed oil and shea butter I found it much too thick. It left behind a greasy, slippery residue that I had to blot away with a tissue. That said, I imagine parched faces would lap this up and it could make for an excellent makeup primer if your skin is prone to flaky patches. Those who dislike fragrance in skincare might want to rethink this, too, as it's scented.
If your skin is oily or combination, try the Quench Anytime Moisturiser for Balanced-Combination Skins, £14, instead. This product is ever so slightly delayed to market but it occupies a space between a fast-absorbing gel and a more substantial, creamy moisturiser. It's filled to the brim with oil-minimising niacinamide, hydrating hyaluronic acid and polypeptides (essentially skin-repairing proteins).
There are five acids in this exfoliating toner. Lactic acid (6%), glycolic acid (2%) and malic acid (2%) provide exfoliation. Then there's salicylic acid (0.5%) for unclogging pores and tranexamic acid (0.5%), which tackles pigmentation and dark spots. That's quite a lot of acids.
I incorporate some acids into my skincare routine but I wouldn't use them every day, although that's just my personal preference. Lately, skin experts have called daily exfoliation into question, particularly aesthetician Alicia Lartey. In a recent Instagram story, she revealed that some daily exfoliators are a bit too strong to be used in this way. If you haven't used acids before, or your skin is reactive or sensitive, I'd suggest starting slow — perhaps two or three times a week on alternate evenings so that you can build up a tolerance.
Happily, the product didn't sting or irritate my skin at all and my complexion felt smoother after just a couple of goes. My only gripe is the sour smell but that's a given for most acid products. There's no SPF in this collection but I'd advise applying SPF 50 every morning, as acids can make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
If you're a Refinery29 regular, you'll know that I bang on about ascorbyl glucoside: a gentle, non-irritating but super effective version of vitamin C. It defends against pollution, tackles hyperpigmentation, boosts collagen and makes dull skin glow. Since using it I've noticed an amazing difference. As luck would have it, ascorbyl glucoside is the main ingredient in Sali's Must-C. This serum is so nice and hydrating, absorbs without feeling sticky and layers well under makeup and foundation thanks to the dewy finish. I also love that it's in an airtight bottle to protect the ingredient from air, which can diminish its many brilliant benefits.
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