Everything Under $9! Our Honest Review On This Drugstore Skincare Brand
It’s not every day that a PHARMACY drops a skincare collection… But that’s what the brainiacs at Boots, a UK-based drugstore, have done. As skincare retailers, they knew the market lacked affordable formulas that focused on hero ingredients and set out to rectify the sitch with Boots Ingredients, their first-ever vegan skincare line. We know, we know; they’ve been on the shelves for a while, but we recently tried four of their itty-bitty bottles – and added seven to our shopping carts – so here are our honest thoughts.
1. The Exfoliating Serum: Boots Ingredients Alpha Hydroxy Acid Serum, $9
What it is: An AHA-fueled exfoliating serum that buffs away dead skin cells for a brighter, firmer complexion.
How it works: This water-based serum uses an exfoliating combo of glycolic and lactic acid to dissolve dirt and debris for smoother, brighter skin. The vegan formula is also enriched with glycerin and grape seed extract that supports moisture levels and plumps the skin.
What we thought: First, be wary when applying this AHA serum – if you apply more than one pump, you may experience a slight tingle. DW, we made this slip-up initially, but it was easily soothed with a rich, hydrating moisturizer. Once we nailed the one-pump application, our skin felt smoother, brighter, and softer within a week.
2. The Do-It-All Retinol: Boots Ingredients Retinol Serum, $9
What it is: A water-based serum fueled with retinol that improves skin elasticity, tone, and texture.
How it works: This retinol serum penetrates into the skin’s deepest layers to stimulate collagen production, minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In the meantime, soothing aloe and sunflower seed oil keep the skin hydrated and healthy.
What we thought: Real talk: she transformed our skin’s texture and left it bouncy AF after three-ish weeks of consistent use. She’s also super lightweight, absorbs instantly, and a little goes a long way, so you don’t need to constantly restock. We can’t wait to see the difference she makes six months from now.
Pro tip: Retinol is a potent skincare sister, so be wary when adding her to your routine. At first, limit usage to twice a week, depending on your skin type, then increase usage over time. Read our retinol guide for the full 101.
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3. The Brightening Serum: Boots Ingredients Vitamin C Serum, $9
What it is: A brightening serum that protects and evens skin tone with antioxidant-rich vitamin C.
How it works: She’s an antioxidant powerhouse that brightens and keeps dark spots in check as aloe hydrates and castor oil locks in moisture.
What we thought: This fragrance-free serum has a thin, clear texture that feels so. damn. good. on our skin and absorbs with a dewy finish. Our skin feels energized – never irritated – post-use, and we can confirm it helped to even hyperpigmentation around our mouth and hairline after one month of use in combo with these other beauties. #Love.
4. The Hydrating Sleep Mask: Boots Ingredients Hyaluronic Acid Sleep Mask, $6
What it is: A plant-powered sleep mask with hyaluronic acid that moisturizes and hydrates.
How it works: This water-based hunny is drenched in glycerin and plant-based hyaluronic acid, which draw in moisture as you catch your nightly ZZZs. If that wasn’t enough, castor oil plumps and replenishes, so your skin wakes up super refreshed.
What we thought: We wouldn’t ditch this nourishing sleep mask if you paid us. Its nourishing formula is a nighttime treat and is great to use alongside any potent formula (like the ones above). It’s gentle, reliable, and leaves our skin feeling oh-so-soft in the morning.
The Final Review
It’s standard practice to fangirl over affordable skincare brands, but Boots Ingredients gets bonus points for its pharmacy roots. We’re seriously impressed by the formulas we’ve tried so far, especially the vitamin C serum and nighttime mask, so we can’t wait to test the rest of their skincare line. Talk about a drugstore winner…
Speaking of affordable brands, have you read our review of The Ordinary’s hyperpigmentation bundle?