The TikTok-Famous British Skin-Care Brand You Need To Know

Photo Courtesy of Face Theory/Design by Refinery29.
There is a handful of cult skin-care brands you're likely to spot when scouring #shelfies belonging to beauty influencers, dermatologists, and makeup artists. The painstakingly curated list often includes Glossier (almost always the Milky Jelly Cleanser), The Inkey List (everyone is going wild for the new Omega Water Cream), and Decree (a luxe label founded by expert Anita Sturnham, MD). Nestled among them, you might notice a more under-the-radar brand named Facetheory, with many of its products now available on Amazon.

Set to become the next big thing in skin care, Facetheory touts itself as a "natural" and "clean" brand, but while those words may mean lots of things to different people (or, perhaps, not much at all), that's not the real selling point. Much like adored brand The Ordinary, it's the high-performing ingredients and affordable price tag (products start at $12 and nothing exceeds $32) that are most revered. Whatever your skin concern, there's probably a Facetheory product you'll be interested in adding to your repertoire. Blackheads and breakouts? Try the salicylic acid serum. Uneven skin tone? There are moisturizers, cleansers, and targeted treatments that feature exfoliating acids and brightening vitamin C.
On TikTok, the hashtag #facetheory has 62.9 million views and counting, but it isn't just the internet's skin-care enthusiasts who are impressed — experts are, too. On Instagram, aesthetician Alicia Lartey often shares snapshots from her bathroom cabinet in which you'll always catch a glimpse of Facetheory (specifically the Mandelibright, Exaglow, and Lumizela serums). "They are so good and very underrated," she responded to a follower who was intrigued by the brand's hype. Adding to social media's collective interest are the pretty incredible before-and-after videos (especially on TikTok, where users say the products have cleared up their skin), not to mention Reddit threads in which beauty lovers break down their skin-care routines and share hidden Facetheory gems.

So which buys, if any, are worth your hard-earned money? I'm a skin care-obsessed beauty editor and I tried $150 worth of Facetheory products. Here are my honest thoughts.

The best Facetheory product for under-eyes: Ocuwake Eye Cream EYE1.

This product is $28 for a 1-ounce tube, making it the largest and most affordable eye cream in my bathroom cabinet. In other words, it's surprisingly cheap for the amount you get — but don't let that put you off. While most dermatologists want you to be wary of eye cream's big claims (no, it can't get rid of under-eye bags), there are a handful of ingredients that are recommended to minimize the appearance of dark circles over time, such as vitamin C, which is the star component in this product. It sits alongside antioxidant ferulic acid (which improves firmness and brightens skin) and highly moisturizing vitamin E. Considering the very delicate skin around your eyes is the first to feel the effects of the cold weather, this is a welcome addition. I've been using this for weeks and haven't made a dent in the tube. The once tight and uncomfortable skin around my eyes now feels softer and plumper. It makes a brilliant lip balm, too.
The best Facetheory product for breakouts and blackheads: Clarifying Cleanser C2.
A little word of warning: This tingles! Recommended for combination and oily skin, it fuses exfoliators like glycolic acid (4%) and salicylic acid (2%), which chip away at old skin to make it appear brighter and smoother in texture over time. It's luxuriously creamy and smells lovely (like freshly squeezed oranges), but I wouldn't use it to remove makeup, like the label suggests. Why? If you're using it to double cleanse, the acids could cause irritation, especially in reactive skin types. Instead, I like remove makeup with a micellar water, then go in with this cleanser — you only need a little scoop. My skin doesn't take too kindly to acids, but this is a rinse-off product (not a leave-on like most acid exfoliators) so it hasn't caused me any issues. I'll use this to the last drop.
The best Facetheory product for acne & hyperpigmentation: Lumizela Azelaic Acid Serum A10.
Aesthetician and skin expert Alicia Lartey says that azelaic acid "is one of the most slept-on multipurpose ingredients in the skin-care world." As it's antibacterial, it's a go-to ingredient for those with acne and can treat those pesky red, pink or purple skin stains left behind by spots. Consultant dermatologist Dr. Anjali Mahto is also a fan of azelaic acid for brightening skin. This serum calmed down a couple of very angry, red jawline spots, but I used it sparingly — just twice a week at night, as 15% is very strong and can cause uncomfortable tingling. The countless five-star reviews speak for themselves, though. "Been using this for 4 months now and have seen a big reduction in hyperpigmentation. Skin is the most even it's ever been," wrote one user. If you're using any acid-based products, it's important to wear sunscreen during the daytime, as they can make skin sensitive to sunlight.
The best Facetheory product for uneven skin tone and texture: Regenacalm Serum S1 Pro.

I started using this nighttime 3% retinoid as a substitute for prescription-strength Differin to treat small breakouts and skin staining left behind by spots. I was wary that the combination of retinoid and vitamin C (two very potent ingredients) would irritate my skin, making it dry and sensitive, but I'm getting on really well with it. I can safely say that it has helped to stave off new spots (thanks to the retinoid), and I love the gorgeous glow it gives (that'll be the vitamin C). It's hydrating enough to be used on its own, too. My only gripe is the smoky smell, which other reviewers have commented on as well, though it does fade after a short while.
The best Facetheory product for dry skin: Relaxing Night Cream M10.
This is a great, heavy-duty moisturizer for dry skin or what experts refer to as "normal" skin (without any concerns). Though it's much too thick for my acne-prone complexion, the combination of moisturizing shea butter, glycerin, and argan oil lends it a soft, pillowy texture that makes skin feel silky and plump. It's not a product I'd continue using, but a tiny amount goes a long way, so this is good value for $20.79 (on sale from $26).
The best Facetheory product for all skin types: Amil-C Whip M5.
Let me introduce you to my new favorite daily moisturizer. First off, the texture: it's substantial enough to moisturize even dry skin but not so thick that it feels suffocating or slippery. It's an excellent all-rounder, too. Vitamin C works to shield skin against damaging UV rays (they're around even when it's cold and cloudy) as well as dulling, pore-clogging pollution. Thanks to the addition of niacinamide, it's a great option for those with excessively oily skin. While my face got a little greasy towards the end of the day, I didn't break out into shine half as quickly, and my skin looked and felt matte for longer. If you're into minimal skin care, this is the only product you need in the morning after cleansing.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. 

More from Skin Care

R29 Original Series