Layering Skincare – The Inkey List Edition

Layering skincare has become so popular in the last number of years. Truth is, I have been doing it for years. My teens and early 20’s was spent fighting acne which in hindsight, has thought me a lot about what the skin needs and how to combine ingredients to really make a difference to the skin. Today I am hoping to do two things. Firstly, introduce you all to the basics of skincare layering while also showcasing some of the products from the new skincare brand on the block. The Inkey List.

The Inkey List is a no fuss, simple ingredient brand that delivers cruelty free, vegan (apart from 2 products), inexpensive, highly effective products.

The prices I mention below are from the Roches Pharmacy Website which is where I buy my products. Remember for 15% off and free shipping use the code Adorn1 at checkout. This is not an affiliate link.

All products are 30ml unless I mention otherwise.

Layering skincare can be so much fun. Getting to custom make a skincare routine to suit your own skin needs is brilliant but of course it can be very daunting. Hopefully I can help!!

Let’s start with the basics. Of course this is not always gospel and I know people and brands who break these ‘rules’ but because we are all new to this I will keep it simple to avoid any complications with the skin.

  1. Apply from the most liquid product and work up to the thicker products like your creams and oils. Above from left to right, Hyaluronic Acid, Q10 and Vitamin C.
  2. Start from the clearest product and work your way to the more opaque
  3. If you really want to tackle a skin concern apply the product that is going to treat this problem straight after toning. More on this later…
  4. Don’t mix acids and retinols together at the same time . Use them on alternative nights or use acids in the morning and the retinols at night.

Now that is out of the way we can talk about routines

Morning Skincare Routine:

Cleanse and Tone as normal. My preference at all times is to keep the cleansing as simple as possible. Allow the products that are going to remain on your skin to do the work instead of a cleanser that won’t remain on the skin for too long. I can do a post on my favourite cleanser if that will help, just let me know below.

Hydrating Non Active Serums (Clear in colour)

I will always put a hydrating serum on first. This will ensure the skin has enough hydration which will make it look plumper and depending on the product can provide anti-oxidants.

My favourites from The Inkey List are below. You only need to choose one of these but if you want to layer you would use Hyaluronic acid first in the case of The Inkey List as it is more watery than Q10 (see above photo to see for yourself)

Hyaluronic Acid (€5.99)

  • 2% Hyaluronic Acid
  • Humectant which means it holds up to 1000 times it’s weight in water while decreasing further loss of water
  • Contains Matrixyl 3000 which is great to plump the skin
  • Non Sticky
  • Used when dehydration is an issue
  • Great for all skin types
  • Can also be used at night

Q10 (€7.99)

  • High in antioxidants
  • Age Defence
  • Environmental Defence
  • Q10 is naturally found in the skin and depletes with age
  • Hydrating
  • Silky Texture
  • Can be used from early 20’s when age defence is the concern

Treatment Products

Next I love to use a Vitamin C (€11.50) product either over the entire face or to spot treat areas of pigmentation. This has a thicker formulation than the two above serums hence the reason for applying second. If you are using a more fluid Vitamin C and you apply it directly after cleansing but just be aware that it may cause some sensitivity issues.

  • This can be quite tingling on the skin. If the skin is highly sensitive skip this step but if it is only slight irritating you can mix 2 drops of the Hyaluronic Acid to this product until your tolerance builds
  • Great for increasing brightness of skin
  • Lightens pigmentation over time
  • Light Texture
  • Doesn’t pill
  • Contains 30% L-Ascorbic Acid
  • Silicone Based
  • Can be slightly grainy in texture
  • Massage into the skin until grain disappears
  • Overall a very high quality product

If you choose to leave out Vitamin C I would simply use Hyaluronic Acid and Q10 as your treatment product.

Eye Creams

After this I would always apply my eye cream and I am loving the Caffeine Serum (€11.99) from The Inkey List. This is such a great product.

  • De-puffing eye serum
  • Anti Inflammatory
  • Lovely Texture
  • Soaks into the skin
  • Age defence
  • Not drying
  • Also includes Matrixyl 3000 to plump the skin
  • Very refreshing and even more so when left in the fridge

If you want you can add oils in at this point. However I tend to opt for oils at night. You can also apply oil after cream. I tend to apply before as I am not a fan of the texture of oils. If you are using a lightweight oil use before a cream and vice versa.

Here are the oils available from The Inkey List

Squalane (€11.50)

  • Lightweight
  • I classify this as the oil version of hyaluronic acid
  • Hydrating
  • Plumps skin
  • Sugar cane derived Squalane
  • Generally good for all skin types

Rose Hip (€9.99)

  • Organic
  • Cold Pressed
  • Age Defence
  • Vitamin A
  • Antioxidant
  • Great for drier, more sensitive skins


Next is moisturiser. You can choose to use a moisturiser and separate SPF or you can use a combined product. The Inkey List have them separate just like lots of other brands so I will work this way. Just remember you can easily use a combined moisturiser and SPF.

Turmeric (€5.99)

  • Lightly Hydrating – I don’t feel this is hydrating enough for dry skins so I tend to mix oil with it
  • Anti Inflammatory
  • Anti Oxidant
  • Brightening
  • Hydrating
  • Strong Turmeric Scent from this
  • Vitamin E
  • Good for most skin types – except very dry

Hemp Oil (€11.50)

  • Very similar to Turmeric
  • Slightly more lightweight in texture
  • Green tea extract
  • Antioxidant
  • Hydrating
  • Refreshing

To be honest, I think this is the area where I am least impressed. The moisturisers for me are only OK. They don’t do enough for my skin so I tend to not be too interested in them. I concentrate mainly on the serums and treatments as I think that is where the good stuff is in this brand.

Sun Protection

I cannot say this enough. Use a good sunscreen during the day, every day!! The Zinc Oxide (€9.99) from The Inkey List is a product I was struggling to get my head around but it seems to be working well for me so far.

  • SPF 50 (UVA&UVB protection)
  • Physical block
  • Lightweight
  • Soaks into skin
  • No white cast
  • Contain 1% Hyaluronic Acid so it feels hydrating

So that is all for the AM routine… Now for the night time.

Night Time Routine

This tends to be a lot more simple than the AM routine.

I rotate between Acids and Retinol. I use both Acids and Retinols 3 times a week each and then use a simple serum and oil on the other evening.

However, if you are new to using Acids and Retinols I would start with one at a time for a week, then gently add in more as you feel your skin is becoming accustomed to it. These products are powerful and can cause reactions if used incorrectly. However, I do think we are lucky with The Inkey List product as they are so comfortable and non irritating. But to be sure, still use with caution.


Acids are brilliant for gentle exfoliation, they leave the skin clean and clear and are amazing for anti aging.

I tend to use acids directly after my cleanse as a toner step. Here are some of the options from The Inkey List

Lactic Acid (€9.99)

  • 10% Lactic Acid which is a high percentage considering lots of high end serums only contain 5%. However, this formulation is very gentle
  • Hydrating
  • Plumps skin
  • Not vegan friendly
  • Brightens
  • Helps even skin
  • Helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles
  • Great for dry, sensitive skins

Glycolic Acid  (€9.99 for 100ml)

  • 10% Glycolic Acid
  • 5% Witch Hazel
  • Targets Large pores
  • Reduces pore size
  • Brightens skin
  • Great for combination to oily skin

Alpha Hydroxy Acid (€5.99)

  • A good place to start if you are unsure of what acid to try
  • Targets rough skin
  • Increases cell renewal
  • Reduces brown spots.
  • Smooths skin texture
  • More gentle than Glycolic
  • Doesn’t penetrate as deep as other acids

Remember, this is as a replacement for Acids and not for use together. In simple terms Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A. It will help increase cell turnover/skin renewal and promote collagen production. Overall, an absolute key ingredient for age defence. It is only amazing for clearing pores and helping with acne. So what about The Inkey List Retinol (€11.99)

  • Build up tolerance to this. Start with once per week
  • Very gentle
  • Great for newbies to retinol
  • Great for sensitive skins
  • Hydrating
  • Lovely texture (non sticky)
  • Fuss free and easy to use
  • 1% Slow release retinol compound. . Sounds like a high % however it is delivered to the skin in a more gentle way than other more aggressive formulations
  • Use only at night time

Next I would apply a

  • Non active serum like the Hyaluronic Acid. You can apply this before collagen and acids to ease the intensity of the treatment
  • Then I apply an eye cream
  • Oil/Cream
  • Cream/Oil depending on your preference.

You can also leave out the oil and cream particularly when using the retinol as it feels very hydrating.

So there we have it. A detailed insight into how I layer my skincare while also giving an overview of The Inkey List products.

I think The Inkey List is a super brand. It gives us great versatility in our skincare routine without causing too much fuss or confusion. Plus it is so reasonably priced.

Below is my AM and PM routine just to make it easy for you. My main concern is dehydration and pigmentation. My skin type is Normal to Dry. Excluding Cleanse and Tone my skincare routine costs €86.93 or 73.89 with the 15% off. We all know, that could easily be the cost one one single high end, less effective product!

AM Routine:

  • Cleanse
  • Tone
  • Q10
  • Vitamin C
  • Caffeine Eye Serum
  • Turmeric
  • Zinc Oxide

PM Routine:

  • Lactic Acid or Retinol
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Caffeine eeye serum
  • Squalane
  • Turmeric

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found this post helpful. It took me sooo long to write it (LOL).

Until next time..

Anita xx


  • Reply
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    June 19, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    […] So, tell me, what acids do you use? Are you a regular acid user or only new to these ingredients? I find them hugely beneficial in my skincare routine and know so many of my followers do too. Let me know your experiences of them below. For more information on how to incorporate acids into your skincare and how to combine them with other ingredients check out my recent post on layering skincare. […]

  • Reply
    New From The Inkey List - - Irish Nail and Beauty Blog
    December 13, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    […] guys really seemed to enjoy my last ‘Inkey List’ post where I helped you understand not only how to layer products but also how to get the most from […]

  • Reply
    June 23, 2020 at 4:47 am

    Thank you so much…
    Bless your heart

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