Beauty Without Fuss

Friday 25 September 2015

Ren Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial

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, plz.

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

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  1. I tried this a while back and loved it. Shame it wasn't really for you. Great honest review though.

    1. Almost everyone I know who has used it has loved it, and I can tell why! That first 20 minutes was fabulous. stupid skin. It's a real shame, as I would love to be able to use it more often.

  2. Thank you for your review. I really appreciate it! I was thinking about this for a long time, because Ren does look very simplistic. I've heard mixed reviews.

    1. Some Ren products I do actually adore, but they're mainly the bathing products. No one does rose bathing oil like Ren! It's the skincare that gets me confused, for some reason. They're a good brand, but I just don't connect.

  3. Not just you! I can't use Ren, much as I would like to for the reasons you mentioned. I've tried a few of their products and had the same reaction you had - the glycolactic mask was the worst. Such a shame as I like their look and philosophy.


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