From The Ordinary to The Inkey List, we're spoilt for choice when it comes to breakthrough skincare brands. Instagram-worthy and with a focus on proven, dermatologist-loved ingredients that actually work, they're changing the game for consumers worldwide, making building an effective skincare routine a much less daunting experience.
But it looks as though there is another smart brand vying for our attention. Enter: Tandem. Launched just last month, its tagline is something most of us can get on board with when putting together an AM to PM regime: "Skincare that does more with less."
The minimalist collection (which is also pretty Instagrammable thanks to the recyclable dropper bottles and black and white tubes) consists of a handful of products, from a light and rich moisturiser depending on your skin's needs, to brightening boosters, an exfoliator and a cleanser. The concept? Simply take what you need for your skin, whether you're dealing with breakouts, excess oil, pigmentation, moisture loss or something else. This is the reason why products aren't marketed by skin type, because for most of us, skin requirements change almost daily depending on the weather, stress or hormones, to name a few factors.
"We believe it should be super clear how your products work," said a spokesperson for the brand that shines a spotlight on streamlined skincare which can slot easily into your current routine. "Our goal is for people to buy less products, know how to use them and get results they're happy with. This maximises the chances of every drop being used up, therefore reducing wastage."
As well as a full ingredients list, the label on the back of each bottle tells you what the product does and how to use it, and also highlights hero ingredients inside. Packaging used is minimal and recyclable as far as possible.
While the natural ingredients are certified organic, the products cut through all the BS in the skincare industry and the brand does not market itself as 'clean' or free from 'toxins' or 'nasties'. Much like The Ordinary, the focus is on clinical, professional-grade active ingredients, such as niacinamide for oil control, vitamin C to protect skin against dulling pollution and lactic acid to exfoliate. Being entirely cruelty-free is a given for brands in 2019, but Tandem is also certified vegan by the Vegan Society.
So which products are worth your money? The Back on Track Booster, £22 for 30ml, contains 10% niacinamide, a dermatologist-approved ingredient which helps balance oil production and minimise the appearance of pores, and hyaluronic acid for a hit of hydration. Mix this with your moisturiser or use it alone as a serum.
Those with acne-prone skin might find they respond best to the Easy Exfoliator, £18, a liquid exfoliator which employs AHA lactic acid with BHA salicylic acid to exfoliate on the surface and at a deeper level for less congested, brighter and smoother-textured skin. After cleansing, drench a cotton pad and smooth over your face, avoiding the eye area. Then follow with a light moisturiser.
If you're looking to incorporate something a little more luxe into your routine, opt for Cleansing Hero, £18. In a recyclable glass bottle, it combines a number of oils (which smell amazing) to lift away heavy makeup, dirt and grime. It transforms into a silky moisturising milk on contact with water and so is a great option for those with skin on the dry side, compared to a foaming cleanser.
While the pared-back, science-based concept is very similar to The Ordinary and The Inkey List, prices are a little higher, although nothing exceeds the £25 mark. To avoid retail markups, the brand has made the decision to only sell online at tandemskincare.co.uk.
Finally, you don't have to buy absolutely everything in the range, nor is there the pressure to. Each product, from the exfoliator to the boosters, can easily slot into an existing routine. It all depends on what your skin is calling out for.