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The making of a skincare range with Jennifer Rock, creator of Skingredients

by Holly O'Neill
17th Jun 2019

Jennifer Rock has brought the insights from her 10,000 clients in her online skincare consultancy to Skingredients, a curated capsule of effective essentials that work for all, numbered in the order you use them. Here, she breaks down the process of creating a range in the most educated period in skincare’s history and explains each product in the range.

“No matter your skin type, we all need the same key nutrients inside,” says Jennifer. “I really believe that’s what’s missing in the skin industry. People are obsessed with sheet masks, micellar waters and cleansers but they’re not really getting the basics right. When I started looking at all the clients that come to us, I realised everyone came with concern but nobody was looking for their skin to be healthy.

“We looked at what a healthy skin cell actually is and without going too much into it, realistically the top layer of your skin should have natural bacteria, your oil should flow nicely, you should have even texture, there shouldn’t be too many lumps or bumps and your redness shouldn’t be prominent, you shouldn’t have freckles in clusters.

“I started looking at the main generic skincare issues people have and the ingredients that would combat that and that’s where Skingredients came from.”

Skingredients: The idea

“From working with our clients at the Nerd Network, I know that when I ask people what products they’re using they say, “the blue one!” so that’s why the products are coloured individually. I wanted the names to be pretty explanatory too because on Ireland AM every Friday I forget the full name of a product and I have to physically hold it to read it, so with ‘Skin Veg’, ‘Skin Protein’ and ‘Skin Shield’, they do what they say on the tin.”

Related: Can we talk about… Pestle & Mortar’s new glycolic acid, Exfoliate

“A common question we get is the order in which to apply your products so with The Core Four, they’re numbered one to four, so you apply in that order, use that night and day, apart from the SPF at night. With the mix and match products, you can sprinkle in the key ingredients you need.

“It happens to be that all of these ingredients happen to be on trend for 2019 which is brilliant for the brand but almost offends my heart because they are the key ingredients I would have wanted regardless of them being sexy right now. It is amazing though because five years ago nobody really understood about. There are so many deadly brands out there now but because there are more brands than ever, people are more confused than ever.

“Price point was a huge point for me, I wanted to bridge the market. At the moment you can get high-end cosmeceuticals that cost you €70 or €80 and they really are phenomenal, or you can get products that are €6 or €7 but only have one ingredient in it. In pharmacies, there is nothing in the middle or really that potent or active but we wanted to sit into that market. We’ve chosen 170 doors to go into and everyone has two people trained minimum so it’s still led by education and even the packaging explains exactly how to use it.”

The core four

01 PreProbiotic Cleanser, €25

The PreProbiotic Cleanser was a really hard one to make. It is a probiotic but it has the pre which feeds it, it’s really lightweight and hydrating. I have oily skin so I wanted an all-round cleanser. You feel like it removes your make-up, it’s a fantastic eye make-up remover but you’re not left stripped.

02 Skin Veg, €42

Skin Veg is the one that I need you to fall in love with. There really is genuinely nothing else on the market like Skin Veg. It was a really hard one to formulate. It took forever to stabilize it. What I wanted to create was vegetables for your face. This is anti-inflammatory, hydrating, and has hyaluronic acid and vegetables in it. It helps to brighten your skin too. It has a clinical ingredient in there that helps decrease lines and wrinkles by 28% within 90 days, so it’s really anti-ageing. For me, what I like is that you feel hydrated right now but long term it’s having a benefit.

03 Skin Protein, €42

To not have vitamin A in my routine would have been like, “is this even your brand Jen?” I’ve always loved the fat form of vitamin A and not the retinol form as much so it’s like an introductory vitamin A. If you’ve never used vitamin A before, this is ideal for you. Unlike retinol, where you can’t wear that or use it in the sun or every morning and night, you can use this all the time. It doesn’t make your skin sensitive to light.

Related: Beauty School: Jennifer Rock’s guide to lactic acid

It’s not just vitamin A, C and E though – there are good fats in there as well, it’s packed full of antioxidants and it has clinical ingredients with peptides and it helps stimulate collagen and elastin. It’s the most reparative, anti-ageing, results-driven product that we have.

04 Skin Shield, €42

Creating this range was like planning a wedding. I was going to create Skin Protein because I had to have a vitamin A, but I can’t have a vitamin A and not have an SPF, and then, how are you going to clean your face? So it ended up being like a wedding where I had to ask everyone to it.

That’s why I call it your capsule skincare range; it has the key elements you need. Skin Shield was the hardest one to create because to create an SPF, you wouldn’t believe the amount of rigamarole you go through. This was the first product I started and it’s the last product that will land in Ireland. Most of them are being made in America, in what I feel to be the best cosmetics chemists in America that specialise in it.

It’s all minerals, there are no chemicals in it, so you can use it from a baby all the way to up. It doesn’t make your eyes water and it has a little peachy tint to it and it protects against computer light.

It’s really lightweight and gives a dewy glow to the skin. There is niacinamide and vitamin E in it as well and when you put your make-up on, it also sits a lot better so it’s also a fab primer. 

Mix and match

These products don’t have numbers, they have this logo at the top right-hand side to indicate they’re for mixing and matching. This is hopefully where the brand will extend in the future. The tagline is, “what’s your recipe?” because everyone needs The Core Four but then you might need good fats, you might need AHA, so you can play with these alongside your Core Four.

A-HA Cleanse, €25

AHA is an alpha hydroxy acid. I love lactic acid because it has the ability to exfoliate without irritating. We’re obsessed with glycolic at the moment but I find a lot of our clients are irritated within an inch of their life. The way I would suggest to use it, is to use your PreProbiotic Cleanser to take your make-up off and use this as your treatment cleanser at night. I use it every night, it’s stunning to use on your body when you’re getting ready for tan, it makes tan last so much longer. There’s only 2.5% lactic so it’s really gentle.

Related: Beauty School: what is squalane?

Sally Cleanse, €25

Sally Cleanse is a 2% salicylic acid cleanser, spot-zapper and micro-mask. Sally Cleanse is my favourite. It’s definitely the most active salicylic acid cleanser on the market simply because a lot of other salicylic cleansers would have other ingredients to counteract it somewhat but I decided not to put anything else into it to dilute it because when I have spots, I just want salicylic.

This one does just take from the skin, which is why your PreProbiotic Cleanser is important to use beforehand. So you hydrate it, nourish it, give it good bacteria, then you use your salicylic cleanser to take. I find it really good for the back of the arms because I get a little bit of keratosis pilaris.

This is one you should really only use every second to third night max because it is so potent.

Skin Good Fats, €42

Skin Good Fats is what it says on the tin. I don’t believe in moisturisers but if you do, when you apply this at night after your Skin Protein or Skin Veg, if you’re lipid-dry, it is really nourishing. So rather than creating a moisturiser just for the sake of it, I put back in ceramides that we naturally have and there’s a clinical ingredient in there that has anti-inch properties.

We are all usually a bit sensitive in Ireland and if you’re using acids aggressively like so many are, this really calms the skin.

Skingredients is available from pharmacies and department stores nationwide now. Find your nearest stockist at skingredients.com.

Photography by Skingredients. 

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