Best and Worst Products From The Inkey List

Here are The Inkey List’s hits and misses! We’ll discuss the products that are absolutely wonderful and the products that Cassandra feels are overpriced from The Inkey List. As a medical esthetician who has struggled with acne, Cassandra is very particular about the products she uses. Especially when she’s using them on other people, she wants to make sure she’s using products that have potent actives. 

Cleansers from The Inkey List

If the Inkey List does one thing right, it is cleansers.

HIT: Salicylic Acid Cleanser -$11.99

Cassandra believes thatthis is one of the absolute best from The Inkey List. Salicylic acid is an ingredient medically proven to help with skin inflammation, acne, blackheads, and bacteria. Especially if you have oily, acne-prone skin, salicylic acid works so well. So, for anyone who deals with acne, whiteheads, blackheads, or sebaceous filaments, this is an absolute must. On top of that, you get a lot for the price!

HIT: Oat Cleansing Balm -$11.99


For some people, this is an absolute miss. Some people say this product separates in the bottle,  but Cassandra loves this product, and she just mixes it back up in her hand. This is actually one of The Inkey Lists’ best sellers. Cassandra uses this as a first cleanse because it breaks down makeup and sunscreen so well. So, this is a hit for Cassandra.

MIDDLE TIER: Fulvic Acid Brightening Cleanser -$11.99 

Cassandra wouldn’t call this one a hit or miss though. She would say it’s in the middle tier. 

HIT: Hyaluronic Acid Cleanser -$10.99  


This cleanser is new, and it’s an absolute hit! If you have oily combo or acne-prone skin, this inexpensive cleanser is absolutely amazing! This truly gets the job done, and it helps to hydrate the skin. And if you have combo to dry skin, you can use this to double cleanse with The Inkey List Oat Cleanser. The two are such a wonderful combination! However, Cassandra doesn’t normally use this cleanser during the summer, but she’s going to start incorporating it into her winter routine. 

Serums and Toners from The Inkey List

HIT: Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum - $9.99


This is one of The Inkey List’s Top Sellers. You can use this by itself to give your skin a boost of hydration, or you can mix it with a moisturizer. Cassandra mixes this serum with the Ole Henriksen Strength Trainer Peptide Boost Moisturizer. This moisturizer has vegan peptides, and it mixes so well with The Inkey List’s hyaluronic serum. At the same time though, this hyaluronic acid serum is very moisturizing by itself. 

HA is a glycosaminoglycan, and it is also an amazing molecule that our body makes naturally.   Glycosaminoglycans regulate cell growth, proliferation, promotion of cell adhesion, anticoagulation, and wound repair. More simply, they can help the skin be more supple by working with skin cells.

Hyaluronic acid is also a humectant, meaning it holds onto moisture. But, if you don’t have moisture inside of another product or you don’t use an occlusive product, hyaluronic acid can dry out your skin. Fortunately, this product does not dry out the skin the way a lot of other inexpensive hyaluronic acids do. This is not the best of the best. But, for the price, it is a good one. And because you can mix it into so many other things, it’s so versatile. 

Even though this works for her oily skin,it's not a slam dunk. But if you are looking for a hydrating component for your winter routine or something hydrating under a moisturizer, this is it. And plus, it's very inexpensive because Cassandra doesn’t think you should be spending tons of money on HA.  If it’s more than $30 or $40 for just a hyaluronic acid serum, Cassandra says it’s probably overpriced.

MISS: SuperSolutions 20% Niacinamide Serum -$17.99 

The Inkey List just launched this, and Cassandra feels like it’s a miss. And even though the Inkey List is one of Cassandra’s favorite brands. This product goes on smoothly. But then,  it gets pasty, gums up, and peels up underneath Cassandra’s other products. It doesn’t mix well with other products, and it leaves behind a white, paste. Again, niacinamide as well as azelaic acid are very hard to formulate because they can get chalky. So with that being said, who needs a product with 20% niacinamide? This would have been better if they at least made it water-soluble or mixed it with vitamin C. Basically, Cassandra does not recommend this.

HIT: Glycolic Acid Toner -$12.99  



If The Ordinary’s glycolic acid toner is too much for you, this one is more gentle. Compared to The Ordinary’s, this one is very non-irritating, and it’s also very hydrating and nourishing to the skin. This also has a very low molecular weight, meaning the molecule is very and it can penetrate the skin deeply. So, if your skin is struggling with turnover, needs more glow, or improvement with acne or acne marks, this stuff is so good!

Plus, this is an AHA molecule, so it benefits dry skin by holding onto water and helping with moisturization. 

HIT: Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA) Gentle Exfoliating Toner -$12.99 

if your skin is very sensitive and even The Inkey Lists’ glycolic acid is too much, that’s when the PHA (polyhydroxy acid) comes in. Poly means mini, and PHAs are big molecules. They sit on top of the skin and hold onto water. But because of how big PHA molecules are, they don’t penetrate the skin, but they gently exfoliate the top layer of the skin. It’s like glycolic acid for hypersensitive skin. Furthermore, if you’re someone who gets hyperpigmentation or post-blemish marks (PIH), this is amazing. This product is an absolute hit!

Moisturizers from The Inkey List

After we tone or use a serum, we normally use a serum or a moisturizer. But unfortunately, the Inkey List has a moisturizer that is an absolute miss for Cassandra. 

MISS: Symbright Moisturizer -$13.99 

Cassandra wanted to love this, but she ended up being disappointed. They put glitter in it, and if Cassandra wanted her skin to be glittery she would just put on a glitter primer.  Cassandra also feels like this doesn’t moisturize the skin that much even with her having oily to combo skin. So,  if this isn’t even moisturizing enough for Cassandra, this is a miss. 

MISS: Brighten-i Eye Cream - $12.99 

This was a disaster for Cassandra. She thought she would like this, but to Cassandra, this was just a glitter product for the underneath the eyes. It puts glitter on your under-eye bags, but why would one want to do that? Not to mention, it irritates the eye area a little. 

In general, The Inkey List eye creams are not the best although they're inexpensive, but Cassandra doesn't like eye creams that much to begin with.

HIT: Omega Water Cream - $10.99 

Although it’s not the best, this is an excellent moisturizer. But, for the price, it is a good one.


Spot treatments

One thing the Inkey List does very well is spot treatments. The Inkey List creates two of Cassandra’s favorite spot treatments: the succinic and mandelic acid treatments.

Succinic Acid Acne Treatment -$9.99

If you get big red pimples or whiteheads like Cassandra, this is amazing. Succinic acid seems to disrupt how acne bacteria reproduce inside your skin, and it stops the cycle.However, there needs to be more research on this, and it has not been medically proven to do so. Nevertheless, this succinic acid from The Inkey List annihilates breakouts. Sometimes Cassandra uses this product as a serum all over her, and it blends in so well. And because it’s green, it can even help people with redness and inflammation color correct. 

It’s also a great spot treatment for pigmentation, and Cassandra says it’s wonderful for oily to combo skin. However, some people dislike the product because of the way it smells.

Mandelic Acid Treatment - $11.99 


This is a beginner-friendly spot treatment. And given that it’s an AHA combined with glycerin, it works phenomenally for dry skin. This also works wonderfully for blackheads and whiteheads. It’s good, gentle, and very effective for dark spots. 

Scar, Mark, and Wrinkle Solution with 1% Retinol Serum - $24.99 

This is really good as a beginner retinol. But, Cassandra doesn’t know if she would call it hit though. She likes The Inkey Lists’ super solution retinoid a little more. We’ve listed this one under spot treatments because it’s helpful to gradually increase your use of retinol.

Overall, wiith the exception of some products, most of the things on the Inkey List’s best-seller list are things Cassandra likes. Moreover, don’t forget to wear an SPF with your spot treatments, exfoliating acids, and retinoids/retinols!

Photocred: Student beans