The Ordinary, and the collective of woke, frank beauty brands that followed – The Inkey List, Garden Of Wisdom and Beauty Pie, are shining examples – work on a premise of delivering proven, scientifically established ingredients at fair, have-a-go prices. No enormous mark-up, no smoke and mirrors marketing, just simple, practical solutions.
We may earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
Few brands have shaken up the beauty industry quite as much as The Ordinary. Ushering in a new generation of straightforward, transparent skincare, it established that ultra effective formulas needn’t cost a ton.
Now, new kid on the block, Q+A, has taken this approach one step further. Produced and made in small batches by a family-run business in Norfolk, this new skincare brand is 98% natural, free from artificial fragrances, cruelty-free and mostly vegan. The ingredients all come from COSMOS approved suppliers, the packaging is 100% recyclable, they have a tree replantation scheme to offset their eco impact and, they say what they do on the box – quite literally.
As the name, Q+A, suggests, the main imperative is to educate customers and answer any questions they may have around each product. How does it help? Will it work for my skin type? How and when to use it? Each of these questions is handily answered in black and white on the front of each product sold to provide clarification.
Take Niacinamide for example, if your knowledge of this ingredient is sketchy, not to worry. “Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) helps regulate sebum, calm breakouts and de-clog pores,” reads the outer cardboard packaging. There’s extra information on the back. “Niacinamide helps to even skin tone and minimise the appearance of enlarged pores, while providing soothing redness-reducing properties,” it says. There’s even a checklist down the side of how it can help. Anti-age gets a tick, as does anti-inflammation, pore-minimising and hydration. All skin types are ticked too, meaning this one’s suitable for everyone. The Activated Charcoal Face Mask on the other hand, is marked as being particularly well-suited to oily, stressed, normal and combination types.
As for the textures, the brand has opted against using silicones, instead preferring to suspend their formulas in water-based systems. It means products glide on beautifully, with no stickiness and sink in quick.
Currently, the brand has 13 products available from FeelUnique, all priced between £6.50 and £12.50. All the usuals are there – hyaluronic hydrating serum, caffeine eye cream, squalane face oil and zinc spot serum – but there’s a couple of whizzy, scientific-sounding options such as the HTP face cream, targeted toward firming.
Granted, there are no frills – no weighty packaging, gilded lids or marble pots. But this is a brand that literally does what it says on the tin, which in an age of wonder serums and promise-the-world face creams, is refreshingly reassuring.