Ren is one of those brands I like, that I’m glad exists, that do nice products, but for some reason, I don’t really
love them. I can’t put my finger on why I don’t love them, but they
lack a certain … USP for me.
That they’re “clean” products is something
I appreciate – their ingredient lists are on the small side, which is always a bonus – but
they’re rather faceless to me, and I admit that I find their range a little
bewildering as a result. It’s a large offering, and I never know which products are meant to go together, or where to start looking for my particular skin concerns.
I occasionally find
myself reading Ren labels and thinking; “Ooh, that sounds all sciencey and
stuff, but I wonder, what does it actually do?” A body cream of theirs a few years ago, boasting of
biosaccharides on the label, might be responsible for this mindset. I
remember thinking when I picked it up: “Surely that’s just sugar? Is that … good …
in a body cream I’ve bought because it smells of roses?” There was
no explanation of why it the sugar was even thought mentionable, never mind mentioning what a sugary body might be good for (and if you’re not thinking that my mind has just headed straight into the gutter now, then you’ve not really been paying attention to the blog over the years, frankly). Sometimes, simple packaging can be too simple. If you name a product after an ingredient (especially when
it’s a common ingredient and you’re just using the scientific name for it),
then jolly well tell me why it’s so important for you to have done so,
Anyhoo, don’t worry, there’s a product review coming, I haven’t forgotten: Ren Flash Rinse One Minute Facial.
It’s not a rinse, so why call it one? It’s also not that easy to rinse,
so doubly confusing. You do get to the rinse stage quickly, I guess,
but surely “Flash Facial” or “One Minute Facial” would be better. One Minute Facial is
a nice, soft textured, grainy aqua-shaded balm, which, when used as a mask, promises to leave
you revitalised and rejuvenated. You simply apply it to cleansed skin, dampen it down to activate the Vitamin C in the formula, leave it for a minute and
then rinse it off and revel in your new lovely soft skin. In theory, it sounds amazing, and so it could well be, but
this product turned out to be just a little too revitalising and rejevenating in my case. It burnt my face! It’s my fault, actually, I knew it probably wouldn’t
suit my (actually much less than it used to be) sensitive skin just from reading the label, but I
went and used it anyway. Buffoon, thy name is Lippie.
The product is a coconut oil balm base with added sugars for both chemical
and physical exfoliation (it’s a bit scratchy), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), frankincense and
some plant-seed oils. I’d read a few reviews mentioning the smell, but I
didn’t find it unpleasant at all, I suspect most of the other users are
reacting to the carrot-seed oil (which can smell a bit ferrous or
earthy if you’re not expecting it), in my case, I thought it was rather light and apple-y, rather pleasant, actually. It was
easy to use, though I used a spray to activate the ascorbic acid, rather
than my damp fingers as directed, because I didn’t want to move a sugar-scrub around my face
too much – sugar can really be an irritatant to redness-prone skin – then rinsed as I would any
other physical exfoliator (ie very carefully).
And, boy! Was I impressed with the results? Yes, I flipping was!
My skin was smooth, even textured and not red in the slightest. Beautiful. My pores
appeared to have disappeared (that’s an odd sentence construction, but
I’m sure you know what I mean), and my skin, indeed, felt like velvet, I couldn’t stop stroking it after, it was such a stonking result. I
thought that by following it with a dab of May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon
Balm, knowing Flash Rinse to be a highly active product, all would be well.
But it wasn’t. My lovely new, velvety and evenly textured, poreless beauty lasted around
20 minutes, when I began to think I was having a hot flash. I was red. Very, very, very red. So red I had to break out the Dermablend to cover
up how red I was. I was redder than David Cameron being presented with a Danepak gift basket for services to bacon marketing. Just perfect before a lunch-date with my beloved, no? The red
eventually died down after an hour or two (thank you, May
Lindstrom), but worse was to come. The following day, raised red spots
on my cheeks followed, alongside intense itching, meaning I had to completely
swap out my skincare to my emergency kit, which is essential oil-free,
fragrance-free and bland, bland, bland. It has subsided after a few days, but I won’t be using this again for a while, if ever, tbh.
I want to make it clear that this was not the fault of the product. It does say, quite clearly on the packaging that it’s not suitable for the “most sensitive” of skins, but it has literally been years
since I had a inflammation this bad. I’ve spent years acclimatising my face to AHAs, BHAs, Malic- Glycolic- and Lactic acids, not to even mention
even retinol, so these days I wouldn’t even dream of thinking of my face as
anything even slightly approaching the “most” sensitive any more. Still, every day is a school day, and you live and learn, and a bunch of other cliches re making a silk purse out of a sows ear and that. My skin is still sensitive, it’s just not as reactive as it used to be. Not a bad lesson to learn, but a very sore one, admittedly.
Ren Flash Rinse One Minute Facial is widely available and usually costs around £32. If you have sensitive skin however, avoid it like the plague. I tried it with a bunch of other people, and was the only one to have an adverse reaction. It really wasn’t the product, it was me 😉
The Fine Print: PR Sample