Launched this month is a new skincare brand, which is right up my street (and, no doubt, yours, too). In fact, more accurately, this is a relaunch of a skincare brand which has been around for a while but has remained under the radar… unit now, that is.
S5 has been specifically designed to combat against the effects of modern, urban living – think: pollution, stress, poor sleep and poor nutrition – which not only affect our minds, but also our complexions, causing inflammation, premature ageing and skin problems.
The organic skincare brand uses bio-actives (sourced from plants which thrive in the most extreme ecosystems on earth) coupled with advanced technology to target five different health concerns: blemishes, sensitive skin, ageing, hyper-pigmentation and dryness. Central to the range are five serums, which use the most highly concentrated formulas possible, and which work as the foundation to counteract the problems you may face. It’s easy to use – you select your skincare concern, and can then choose a serum, moisturiser and cleanser which all work in conjunction with each other to give the most effective results.
The Illuminate Serum, £52, for example, is from the ‘Pigmentation’ range. It uses a blend of seven Alpine herbs combined with High Altitude Maca extract and Vitamin C to boost luminosity and skin radiance. Meanwhile, Papaya Enzymes gently exfoliate to reveal fresher skin. Hyper-pigmentation is created when melanin is over-produced in certain areas of the skin, caused by environmental damage, hormonal changes or inflammation.
I’m prone to this condition and so I have been using this every morning, on clean skin, and, while nobody can expect immediate results for pigmentation (improving its appearance with cosmetic products takes longer than other skin concerns as pigmentation forms within the skin rather than at the surface level), I have found that my skin tone is more even and radiant and darker spots have faded.
For those with dry skins, the Replenish Serum, £52, is an oil-based formula. It works to nourish dry and flaky patches as well as targeting redness-prone skin. Arctic Sea Buckthorn improves skin elasticity, while High Altitude Rosehip Oil promotes cellular renewal. It also contains Biomimetic Lipids to help restore the skin barrier and lock in moisture.
Overall, the serum sinks in like a dream – leaving no oiliness – leaving the complexion feeling supple and renewed throughout the day. This is great for when you’ve had a late night or are feeling tired – it’s like a boost for the skin, and gives an injection of goodness to kick-start its renewal again.
For those with sensitive skin or complexions prone to redness, the Calm Serum, £52, will work miracles. It contains Northern Truffle to reduce irritation, Desert Glycoproteins, which reduces the appearance of red, rough patches and Low Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid, which hydrates, soothes and plumps up the appearance of wrinkles. It feels ‘clean’ and pure with the natural ingredients meaning there is nothing nasty inside to cause any flare-ups. Press it onto skin and it feels like a velvety ‘cloak’ for the face.
Each category also has moisturisers to envelope the skin in hydration. The Balance Fluid, £46, for instance, targets combination skin and is a light, anti-ageing moisturiser which reduces pores and oil production. This is a great all-rounder and I have found that it is especially good for combination skin when travelling – it has an advanced cocktail of ingredients to defend against pollution, ageing and wrinkles. Skin looks refreshed and plump after using. This will be my go-to to reset my skin after some long-haul travel that I have on the horizon (the small size also means it is easily portable).
The Serenity Cream, £46, meanwhile, has been designed to calm and hydrate sensitive skin. Containing Prickly Pear Cactus Extract and Low Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid, the effects mean you are left with super-hydrated skin which looks plump and revitalised.
I’m loving the simple, pared-back system that S5 works on – many brands these days have such a multitude of products that it is hard to know where to start. Combined with this is the cocktail of premium plant-based ingredients, which are kind to the skin. What’s more, the brand is also British – another big tick – originally created in 2012 by Laura Rudoe, with all the products made by hand in small batches in the company’s Hertfordshire studio.
“I created S5 with the mission to transform people’s skin and improve lives,” she says. “I struggled with acne for many years and I remember vividly how I felt when my skin was bad, and how it affected my confidence. S5 is designed to solve skin issues. I have devoted years of research to harnessing the most effective bioactives found in nature. My aim is to support people in their journey towards better skin and to share what I have learned about a healthy diet and lifestyle.”
Prices from £24. Available from S5skincare.com
*This review is based on press samples