Online-only skincare tested: can it match the personal advice of the beauty counter pros?

Buying our beauty products online is all very well and convenient, but if you want to change your skincare to suit your changing needs that doesn’t give you the personal advice you can get from in-store beauty professionals.

However, for all of us who love nothing more of a lunchtime that a flutter around a beauty hall (preferably Liberty, where you exit more fragrant and gorgeous just by osmosis), there are as many women who are are intimidated by them.

Facetheory, a British digital brand that launched in April, believes it has a solution: personalised skincare, selected for you by means of an online questionnaire that you complete in order to be sent the right products for your skin’s requirements.

The range includes cleansers, toning mist, exfoliator, and moisturisers for all skin types including day and night creams. They are paraben-free, not tested on animals, and you can choose fragrance-free options.

They contain many of the key ingredients for older skin, such as hyaluronic acid and collagen in the anti-ageing Regenerating Moisturiser, and hyaluronic acid, vitamins C and E and argan oil in the Regenerating Night Cream.

You can also, based on the results from your questionnaire, buy a trial pack of 10ml samples before you commit to the full-size products, with 20 per cent off if you do then buy them.

Facetheory’s goal is nothing less than to “change the skincare world”. A lofty ambition, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. So we asked three High50 readers, all from 50+ blog Country Wives, to put it to the test. Here’s how they got on.

Country Wives bloggers
The Country Wives ladies, who tested the Facetheory skincare

Ellie, 51, blogger and restaurateur, Cheltenham

I wanted to find products that would help with my skin’s signs of ageing, specifically fine lines around my eyes and loss of skin tone. Based on my answers to the very simple Facetheory questionnaire, I was sent the Gentle Cream Cleanser C2, for combination and oily skin, Witch Hazel Skin Toner T2, for sensitive, oily and combination skin, and Regenerating Moisturiser M4, the anti-ageing formula, containing retinol, collagen, argan oil and hyaluronic acid.

The products felt good to use, and I liked the smell and consistency. I’ve been using the cleanser, toner and anti-ageing moisturiser for three weeks and my skin is softer, but so far that’s the only slight difference I’ve noticed.

However, I do think the products sent to me were good choices and appropriate for my skin, and I would be happy to carry on using them to see if the results get even better.

Grace, 63, blogger, Billingshurst

Dry skin was the issue I wanted the products to deal with, so I particularly liked the Regenerating Night Cream M10, with hyaluronic acid, vitamins C and E and argan oil, as it was very moisturising.

The day and night cream both absorbed well into the skin but I didn’t like the day cream, Regenerating Moisturiser M4, because it had a sort of plastic-y fragrance. I liked the cleanser, Gentle Cream Cleanser C1, with apricot, avocado, coconut and silk, and used it with an electrical face brush and muslin cloth.

They probably were the right products for my skin, but I wouldn’t use them again because after three weeks there is no noticeable improvement in my skin. There are other products that I much prefer, such as Elizabeth Arden Eight-Hour Intensive Daily Moisturiser.

Susan, blogger, West Sussex

I didn’t have any particular skin issue I wanted the Facetheory products to solve, but I liked the scent of the day cream, Regenerating Moisturiser M4, and it felt refreshing on my skin in the morning. I liked the brand’s packaging and its  prices are competitive.

But I didn’t get on with the cleanser, Gentle Cream Cleanser C1 for dry and combination skin. I didn’t like having to wet my face before applying it and then washing it off, and it didn’t remove my eye make-up like my usual cleanser does.

I didn’t like the night cream either. Despite answering the online questions, the product that I was sent (Regenerating Night Cream M10) was too rich. It also it gave me a couple of spots, and I found the lavender scent rather stale smelling.