Here's How The Inkey List Creates Affordable Yet Effective Skincare

Less is more, in more ways than one

While we love going through the multiple steps of our skincare routine, there's something to be said about the "less is more" approach. Really knowing what each product does for your skin is key to an effective skincare regimen. Nobody knows this more than Colette Newberry, the CEO and co-founder of UK-based skincare brand The Inkey List. With her co-founder Mark Curry, she's built a global skincare company that embodies this belief.

The Inkey List co-founders Colette Newberry and Mark Curry

The Inkey List Skincare co-founders Colette Newberry and Mark Curry (Photo courtesy of Sephora Singapore)

Their simple formulas, contained in signature black-and-white packaging, has helped skinthusiasts and beginners alike to understand the individual benefits of different ingredients within each skincare step. But how do they keep these high-calibre products at an affordable price? Colette divulges the ins, outs, and all-around of how they create effective, wallet- and beginner-friendly skincare products that thousands of people have fallen in love with.

The Inkey List has set itself apart with its simplified approach to skincare. How did you arrive at this philosophy?

"We saw that there was a gap in the market for helping people to understand ingredients and how to use them. We wanted to create a brand for people who wanted to get into skincare but weren’t sure how or where to start. With [the] explosion for the demand of ingredient-led skincare, we thought there was a real space for someone to come in and help the world understand skincare a lot better and have products that are easier to use."

Despite the high-quality ingredients you use, your products are still very affordable. Why did you go into this direction and how did you manage this incredible feat?

"Everyone should have access to affordable skincare. A huge part of our product formulation is working directly with raw material suppliers to get the best-grade ingredients at the best price so that we can pass that saving onto our customers. Add a dollop of cheekiness in negotiating and a whole heap of belief in ensuring the consumer will never overpay and you have the recipe for the ultimate high-quality ingredients that EVERYONE on the planet can access."

From packaging to the formulation, minimalist skincare is the new It thing in beauty. How did you decide on the black-and-white packaging as the final look for The Inkey List?

"Our black and white packaging really relates to who we are as a brand. Simple, easy-to-use products that educate and clearly show the consumer how to use the product in their skincare recipe. We also want it to be for EVERYONE — our products can stand on any bathroom shelf — any gender, any age."

With best-sellers such as the Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol, can you walk us through your process of developing your products?

"We always start with the 'superstar' ingredient and get the best possible grade. We then look at what 'support actors' we want to add — it may be something to help avoid irritation or something to boost the results even more. We then strip everything else back, to create powerful yet simple and clean formulas."

With the skincare market constantly growing globally, new innovations are always popping up here and there. What does The Inkey List have cooking up in the lab right now?

"We have a few very exciting products being developed at the moment! Without giving too much away keep your eyes peeled for some new cleansers and moisturisers with a big focus on bright and radiant skin!"

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. The Inkey List is available in Singapore through Sephora stores and on the Sephora website.

(Cover photos from: @theinkeylist and Sephora Singapore)

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