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By Diane Small
REN, meaning ‘clean’ in Swedish, is a label that began in 2000 when the wife of one of its founders started breaking out in rashes from her skincare products. After trying only natural ones, she found that her reactions subsided…but she wasn’t pleased with the results of what she was using.
Her husband, Brand Marketer Antony Buck, came to the rescue, and along with the help of a fellow brand specialist, Rob Calcraft, and a chemist, REN was born. The range is free of most dangerous chemicals, but as it contains musk, it is not vegan, and there is no information about whether the ‘fragrance’ in the products in natural or not.
REN’s Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash and Bath Oil, as well as its Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask have become cult favourites, and have received plenty of press already.
For that reason, we decided to try three light products in the REN range for summer: Rose Centifolia Cleansing Gel, Vita Mineral Day Cream and Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream.
The gel cleanser requires massaging onto the face, then rinsing off, much as you would do with a liquid soap, but without the dry, tight feeling afterwards. This is a hydrating product, but there were still some traces of makeup left that I saw when I applied a toner afterwards. I liked the light texture and fresh, rosy smell, but still prefer to use a cream or oil based remover to make sure all traces of pollution and makeup are completely off.
At night, the Frankincense cream is medium thick, quickly absorbed, and has a nice, woody scent. Apparently, Frankincense has cell renewal qualities that make it a perfect anti-ageing product.
During the day, I did like the gentleness of the Vita-Mineral Day Cream, and it did absorb easily, but I would never normally wear a day cream that wasn’t infused with some SPF factor. Still, I may actually use this for summer nights, when a heavy moisturiser isn’t really necessary.
All in all, REN makes highly effective products in clean, pretty packages. Of the three I tested, I’d say the Frankincense cream will be a regular on my bathroom shelf for some time to come.