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  • Writer's pictureVingt Sept

The SKIN CLUB Journey Through Skincare and Wellness


Beauty

In an industry where image is everything, skincare isn't just a routine—it's a necessity. But with a myriad of products promising miracles in a bottle, how do you know which ones actually deliver?


After 15 years of working in the fashion and beauty industry with a background in public health, I began noticing frequent inquiries from industry friends seeking advice, so I decided to take action. Inspired by a chance conversation overheard at a press event, hosted by innovative London clinic All Points North, and with the help of an expert team from store for the royals John Bell and Croyden, we decided to create something revolutionary—the SKIN CLUB.


About Skin Club

At SKIN CLUB, we're not your average beauty enthusiasts. Comprised of eight women from diverse backgrounds and within the publishing and creative industry, we're a unique collective with a singular mission: to provide you, our readers, with an unparalleled breakdown of skincare products based on real-life experiences.


Our members are a dynamic group of busy women, ranging from music industry managers to Editor-in-Chiefs of leading magazines, and even a teacher, photographer, and celebrity hair and makeup artist. Each one of us represents a different facet of the industry, bringing with us a spectrum of skin concerns and expertise.



Despite our varied backgrounds, we share a common goal: to put products to the test and deliver to you, our readers, an expert-approved breakdown of its efficacy. From battling breakouts to combating dryness, we're here to provide honest, unbiased reviews that you can trust.


This session we focused on the theme WELLNESS, with a key goal of getting through the winter, combating seasonal affective disorder as well as addressing our skin and hair concerns. 


Let's meet our panellists:

  • Emily: A powerhouse music industry manager with a hectic schedule touring the globe, is on a mission to improve skin texture—she seeks firmer, brighter, smoother skin, enhanced hydration, and, of course, a reduction in fine lines, among other things.

  • Im: An Editor-in-Chief of a renowned fashion magazine, expertly juggling a high-pressure job while embarking on a mission to control breakouts, minimise visible pores, strengthen her hair, and revitalise her energy levels.

  • Marcia: A celebrity hair artist for A-list clientele, juggling the demands of her profession while managing combination/normal skin and battling hyperpigmentation. She's also on a mission to improve her insomnia and concentration, likely affected by her frequent jet-setting across multiple time zones.

  • Jheanelle: Editor-in-Chief of Vingt Sept, amidst hectic deadlines and stress, she grapples with hormonal acne (after discontinuing contraception) and manages endometriosis. Her mission? Conquer cystic breakouts, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation, while leading the charge in the fashion world.




  • Claudine: A talented industry makeup artist, committed to maintaining her youthful radiance despite fine lines and sensitive skin. With a sensitivity to sunlight and some beauty product ingredients, she carefully manages her skincare routine to ensure her complexion remains flawless while working with celebrities.

  • Arabella: A modern day muse, working as a boss fashion and art photographer she’s also a mother of one. Arabella's mission? To combat fine lines, boost skin hydration, and address hair loss and volume concerns—common issues for many women post-childbirth or when adopting a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle.

  • Karolina: A dynamic and active teacher with combination skin, determined to trade botox for effective skincare products that complement her complexion. Karolina's goals include addressing deficiencies, combating hair loss and achieving longer tresses, as well as reducing fine lines and enhancing skin texture.

  • Cecilie: Editor-in-Chief of a fashion magazine and K-Beauty fan, grappling with normal/dry/ageing skin and early menopause symptoms—something increasingly observed in younger women. Cecilie's skincare goals include boosting hydration and tackling uneven texture to achieve a radiant complexion.


A SKIN CLUB needs a venue and a holistic approach, so we partnered with All Points North clinic (in London’s trendy Wimpole Street) and had a beautiful session on affirmations by Reiki Master Adrian Rambla.



Embarking on a journey that intertwines mind, body, soul, and health, All Points North has brought their acclaimed clinic from the USA to London, offering a holistic range of services. Renowned for their top-tier treatment centres, they stand in the top 5%, yet it's their focus on wellness and integrative services that truly sets them apart. Here, you're not just greeted by world-class physicians and therapists; you're immersed in cutting-edge, innovative treatments that redefine the future of healthcare.


With a dedicated global team and endorsements from athletes, All Points North exemplifies excellence. Upon arrival for our inaugural SKIN CLUB session, it became clear: this is the epitome of health innovation. The clinic's flawlessly designed spaces, evoke a glimpse into the future, along with a stunning Moroccan riad-inspired room, whisk you away from the bustle of London to a serene oasis.


Our session began with a transformative self-love session led by Adrian Rambla, the founder of Raembla. Adrian, a healer, non conventional therapist, Reiki master, and energy coach, introduced us to holistic therapies that struck a chord with each of us. As we were in the thick of those shorter, darker days of winter, we delved deeply into the significance of consciousness, exploring how to do something ever so popular - manifestation.



Through empowering practices like self-love affirmations and simple techniques to shift our thoughts towards positivity, we understood that this will in turn manifest our wants and desires.  Adrian shed a light on the 5 pillars of manifestation, and how verbalising positive thoughts can indeed increase a positive connection to our true selves, changing the eyes filters for a more fulfilling existence. Other cool recommendations included mirror high-fives to becoming observers of our own minds. We discovered that cultivating positivity within ourselves can manifest boundless positivity in our lives.


For more information on All Points North (APN) visit HERE

For more information on RAEMBLA visit HERE



Products

Now, let's delve into the products and their outcomes. Over the course of 8 weeks, each of us rigorously tested unique products, allowing for thorough assessment at day 28 (the duration of a skin cycle) and beyond. Throughout this period, we continuously shared our thoughts and experiences to provide thorough feedback on the efficacy of these products.


MZ Skin Hydra-Lift Gold Face Mask

The creators of the renowned Gold LED mask have unveiled a gem: the MZ Skin Hydra-Lift Gold Face Mask. Infused with luxurious gold particles, this sheet mask promises to work wonders for ageing skin—lifting, plumping, and firming while erasing fine lines and wrinkles, leaving behind a radiant glow. With its rich blend of gold nanoparticles, Niacinamide, Vitamin C, and Collagen, we couldn't wait to see if this elegantly packaged product could breathe life into our dull, lacklustre skin.


Overall, everyone was quite pleased with this gentle sheet mask. It felt luxurious, provided ample hydration, and left plenty of product for moisturising into the skin. Arabella used it after her birthday party, resulting in a fantastic glow to her skin. One minor recommendation, though: it's best to lie down while using it to prevent slipping. Initially, this may be a bit irritating, but upon reflection, the mask encourages one to pause, unwind, and relax, which is ultimately what we all need to do.


Rating: 4 Stars 


Revive Active Zest

When I spoke to the John, Bell and Croyden nutritionist and expert, there was one aim for the ladies: find a supplement that ticks all the boxes. We wanted something to supercharge our brain power, make those chilly mornings a breeze, and give us all the essential nutrients tailored for women's needs in one dose.



Revive Active Zest Active is your ultimate go-to for a natural energy boost, brain power, and overall well being. Tailored specifically for women, it's packed with functional ingredients to keep you feeling sharp and energised throughout the day—no more midday slumps! Simply mix it with water, and you're good to go. Marcia loved its energising kick and tasty orange flavour, Karolina swore by its immunity-boosting magic, and Claudine even packed it for a wild Vegas trip—hangover, be gone! With Cecilie already reordering, it's clear: the majority of us felt the benefits—more energy, better focus, and fewer winter colds. 


Rating 4.6 Stars


Verdilab Discovery Kits 

We are all no stranger to travelling and when we have those quick 48 hour trips for fashion week and beyond it’s always a struggle to debate which liquids to take and which to leave behind, as after all we can’t fit everything in our hand luggage. 


Enter Verdilab Discovery Kits—a game-changer for travellers facing the age-old dilemma of what skincare essentials to pack for those quick 48-hour adventures. 

 


Founded by Victoria Neymann, a third-generation Medical Doctor, Verdilab is a 100% natural, clean Swiss skincare brand rooted in 50 years of scientific research. With a mission to revolutionise skincare and enhance lives, Verdilab harnesses the power of patent-pending ImmunatuRNA® to support skin's immunity. Our group split into two, with one testing the Natural Glow Discovery Kit for hyperpigmentation and dullness (Group A), and the other trying the Supreme Anti-Ageing Discovery Kit for tighter, firmer skin (Group B).


Group A - Natural Glow Discovery Kit



Opinions were somewhat mixed regarding the kit, but let's start with the positives. Everyone unanimously agreed that the kit was excellent for travel and indeed instantly provided a youthful glow. Additionally, 80% of participants enjoyed the scrub. The cream was found to be hydrating, although some felt it would have been beneficial for it to come with an applicator, especially for those with long nails, as it could lead to product wastage. We were impressed with the abundance of non-toxic ingredients, and all participants reported that their skin was left glowing.


However, there were a couple of downsides noted. Some found the salt scrub to be a bit harsh for sensitive skin, so caution is advised. Additionally, the mask was described as slightly sticky, making it less than ideal for use as an overnight solution on fresh bed sheets.


Rating 4.2 stars


Group B - Supreme Anti-Ageing Discovery Kit 



Again as agreed with Group A, the travel size is convenient. There were mixed reviews, Cecile felt the rose extract and rose oil had caused breakouts so she discontinued use shortly after beginning. Everyone appreciated the consistency of the products, particularly the cream.


On a more positive note, the majority of the group thoroughly enjoyed using this kit. The scrub stood out as a favourite, leaving skin feeling lovely afterward with a beautiful glow. The cream was also delightful, and Marcia expressed interest in using it again in the future.

Despite the setback from Cecilie’s experience, everyone else noted that the products did provide them with a beautiful glow, and they observed a more youthful appearance to their skin.


Rating 3.7 stars


Intuisse Active NAD+ Essential Cream  



You’ve probably heard of NAD+ but for those estranged to the treatment it garnered attention in drip form from advocates such as supermodels Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber, however it’s only available in it’s usual administration route (intravenously); this is until a science-led skin health company called Intuisse discovered a patented way to deliver this formula topically. 


Developed over five years by Swiss scientists, the NAD+ topical range promises to reduce fine lines, enhance metabolism, and improve mental clarity and overall energy. Exclusively available at John Bell and Croyden, this cream, reminiscent of the youth serum from the film 'Death Becomes Her', comes in a vial with an applicator and is stored in the fridge for maximum efficacy.


Our anticipation was high as we tried this exclusive product, appreciating its exquisite packaging and travel-friendly applicator. It's worth noting that storing it in the fridge maintains potency. However, 40% of users with combination, acne-prone skin experienced purging, complicating the assessment of results. Arabella found the cream too greasy for daytime use, while Cecilie appreciated its packaging but noted issues with pilling and its short shelf life, though we explained it lasts longer in the fridge post-review. Claudine loved the product, reporting soft, hydrated skin but no improvement in hyperpigmentation. Emily praised its effectiveness in improving skin clarity and reducing neck wrinkles. Im and Jheanelle experienced purging during hormonal breakouts and introduced retinol into their routine to calm this. Karolina hailed its ability to reduce fine lines and wrinkles while providing intense hydration, while Marcia was impressed by the quality, noting visible improvements despite sensitivity.


Overall, opinions on the Intuisse Active NAD+ Essential Cream varied, with some experiencing drawbacks such as greasiness and purging, while others praised its effectiveness. However it appears that the purging can be controlled with a retinol, and there was an evident reduction in lines, wrinkles and improvement in firmness, so perhaps this is the botox in the bottle everyone needs. 


Rating 4.1


SHLEEP Merino Wool Mask 



SHLEEP are on a mission to usher us into a peaceful slumber, recognising the challenges of insomnia. At the heart of the brand is the Merino Wool Mask, a pinnacle of luxury and comfort.


Crafted from naturally breathable non-mulesed Australian Merino wool, this mask serves not only as a protective cloth but also as a conduit to restful sleep. Our entire group unanimously lauded its lightweight, incredibly soft, and breathable design, making it ideal for a tranquil night's rest. While 30% of testers found it slightly oversized and suggested further adjustability, its unmatched natural temperature and moisture-regulating properties, coupled with its ability to block out light, were widely acknowledged. Moreover, its exquisite packaging, design, and concept were celebrated as truly stunning in every aspect.


Arabella expressed her adoration, labelling it the best sleep mask she's ever used, praising its softness, perfect fit, and efficacy. Cecilie, while noting its size and slight itchiness, appreciated the brand's philosophy. Jheanelle and Claudine found it very soft but too large for their heads, leading to occasional slipping during the night. Emily, however, found it perfect for a long-haul flight, providing exceptional comfort and facilitating sleep. Im, though not a regular mask wearer, enjoyed its non-intrusive feel and light-blocking properties, albeit finding it slightly oversized. Karolina highlighted its exquisite craftsmanship and excellent velcro fastening for improved adjustability. Marcia, typically averse to sleep masks (as she is always jet setting with clients), was pleasantly surprised by its comfort, lack of pressure on her eyes, and overall unobtrusiveness, preferring it over the Slip Silk Contour sleep mask by a landslide. 


Rating 4.2 Stars


Monpure



If you haven’t heard of Monpure you have likely been living under the rock. Founded by entrepreneur Natanel Bigger, Monpure emerged in response to a growing demand for hair loss and scalp care solutions in both European and Asian markets. Recognising a gap in the sustainable luxury sector, Monpure sets itself apart by prioritising scalp health as the foundation for healthy hair. Their innovative range of products bridges the gap between skin and hair care, harnessing the expertise of a collective of scientists, dermatologists, and beauty experts. Through the power of natural, non-toxic ingredients, Monpure is dedicated to nurturing and nourishing the scalp for optimal hair growth.


Monpure is no stranger to Vingt Sept HQ; we've already fallen in love with the brand. Naturally, we were eager to hear the opinions of others. We divided our group into two: Group A, focusing on hair loss, particularly post-childbirth, stress, and early menopause concerns, while Group B sought stronger, healthier hair overall.


Monpure Great Lengths Hair Growth Group A (Jheanelle, Cecilie, Arabella, Karolina)

The majority of this group sought solutions to reduce hair loss and promote hair growth. Arabella and Karolina noticed thinning hair following childbirth, while Cecilie and Jheanelle identified changes due to hormonal reasons unrelated to childbirth.



Group A received a comprehensive 4-step regime tailored to target the scalp and hair follicles. This included a strengthening protein shampoo, a nourishing conditioner enriched with B5 vitamins and argan oil, a Clarifying Scalp Scrub to decongest follicles and prime the scalp, and a Follicle Boost serum to stimulate the scalp, promote cell renewal, and maximise hair growth. Notably, the kit innovatively combats fallout by blocking the production of DHT, resulting in thicker and fuller hair.


Feedback revealed that while Arabella found the shampoo and conditioner slightly drying, the brand asserts that it doesn't leave hair greasy or weighed down, which might be expected. Cecilie, on the other hand, found the conditioner to be a standout and loved its scent. A remarkable 80% of the group praised the scalp scrub’s efficacy which gives a cooling sensation, but the ultimate winner was the follicle boost serum, heralded for its results in promoting hair growth.


Monpure Healthier and Stronger Hair Group B (Claudine, Marcia, Im, Emily)

Group B embarked on a journey to achieve healthier and stronger hair, armed with the Hair Strength and Density Kit and some additional treats. With a professional hair stylist in the group, meticulous scrutiny was guaranteed for any hair product put to the test.




The kit, mirroring Group A's contents, included the essential shampoo, conditioner, and follicle boost serum. Group B, however, received additional treats: Monpure's hydrate and soothe scalp serum—an anti-inflammatory solution aimed at calming scalp irritation, redness, and dryness—intensely nourishing and repairing the scalp skin and scalp-skin barrier. Additionally, they were introduced to the latest addition to the brand's lineup: the Ultralight Healthy Hair Oil. This hair oil is said to be a lightweight, fast-absorbing formula, delivering hydration, locking in moisture, minimising frizz, and enhancing shine without weighing hair down.


Feedback on the shampoo and conditioner was once again varied. While half of the group favoured it, Claudine and Marcia found it to be drying. The standout products, however, were the follicle boost serum and scalp serum, with Marcia going as far as using them on her own clients, who were equally impressed. Im observed a significant improvement in her long hair's split ends with the help of the oil, highlighting its nourishing properties, while Emily became a devotee of the conditioner, finding it deeply moisturising, and the hair oil quickly became her favourite product.



Overall Feedback

Overall, it became evident that individuals with curly or afro/mixed hair felt that using the shampoo and conditioner alone would result in excessive dryness. However, it's speculated that pairing these products with the hair oil may have altered this feedback. Notably, the scalp products emerged as the clear winners within the Monpure range, with many members of SKIN CLUB expressing intentions to repurchase. Thus, Monpure proves to be an exceptional hair care brand with a diverse range of products catering to various hair types and needs.


Shampoo and Conditioner - 3.8/5

Masks, Serums and Hair Oil - 4.8/5


Ilāpothecary

Ilāpothecary is a beloved brand of Vingt Sept and perfectly aligned with our wellness theme. The brand is renowned for infusing powerful remedial ingredients into their product range. From live stem cells to silk, gemstones, vitamins, aromatherapy oils, and homeopathic ingredients, Ilāpothecary aims to evoke mindfulness and combat various urban stressors, including environmental and digital pollution, mental stress, hormonal imbalance, and body fatigue.




With those darker mornings, earlier evenings, colder weather, and the spectre of seasonal affective disorder, we recognised the importance of self-care for the group, and what better way to disconnect than with a luxurious soak in the tub?


Ilāpothecary's magnesium and mineral-rich bath soak is specifically designed to relax muscles, ease nervous tension, and promote deep sleep. Combining these essential elements with powerfully reparative and relaxing oils and gems, from Amber to Juniper Berry, Benzoin, Petitgrain, and Amethyst, this blend is said to create a supportive and peaceful bathing experience, leaving you feeling rejuvenated and tranquil.


Not only does this product enhance the aesthetic of any bathroom, but it also boasts a divine scent. Remarkably, every member of the group found the product to be luxurious, prompting even those who typically only shower to indulge in regular bath time soaks. The fragrance was universally enjoyed, and the incorporation of spiritual elements like precious stones (amber and amethyst) as ingredients proved to be a clever touch, with Marcia even experiencing relief from flu-like symptoms, including reducing her fever, shaking, and aches.

This nourishing and calming bath soak doesn’t just enhance the ambiance of the bathroom; it also stimulates serotonin production. We can confidently say that every member of the group found that the product encouraged frequent bath time soaks and evoked relaxation. The group appreciated the fragrance and the spiritual connection provided by the amber and amethyst, with Marcia's experience serving as a testament to its effectiveness in alleviating flu-like symptoms.


Rating 5 Stars



Words by Jheanelle Feanny

Special thanks to John Bell & Croyden, APN Clinic London & Raembla







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