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Meet the ‘Soho House’ of skincare

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Our editor puts an exclusive skincare membership to the test.

‘Glowing skin. Reduced bloating. Sounder sleep. One simple routine.’ Formulated by a world-class science team, You’re Looking Well is the four-step skincare brand promising big results. But there’s just one catch — it’s not available to everyone, and if you were thinking of picking up the brand on your next trip to Boots, think again.

See, this isn’t your average skincare brand. It’s ‘exclusive’. So exclusive, in fact, that you’ll need a membership in order to experience the products for yourself. And when you sign up to become a member, you’ll have to provide an outline of your health goals, main skin concerns, age bracket, gender and, if possible, a referral contact.

You could even go as far as to call it the Soho House of skincare. But with prices as steep as £150 for a one-time purchase of two different supplements and two different moisturisers, or £98 per month for a quarterly membership, is it worth it? We spoke to Joe Bloomfield, co-founder of the brand, to find out.

Read more: are celebrity skincare brands really worth buying?

 

You’re Looking Well’s ethos is centred around the gut-health connection. The team believe the gut and skin are intrinsically linked, and that common skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea can be outward signs of gut issues. They also believe that, when the gut experiences irritation or imbalance, your skin can be the first canvas to display these symptoms.

“The research into the gut and the impact it has across the whole body has accelerated this year,” says Joe. “A combination of the progression in research, as well as platforms such as Zoe , which do a great job of simplifying gut health, has caused increased interest in the topic.”

The rise in interest is evident across social media platforms such as TikTok, where the hashtags #guttok and #guthealth have gained 1.1 billion and 5.8 billion views respectively [at the time of writing].

“There’s also more of an understanding about wellness in general, and how interconnected all our systems are, compared to how we felt about health a decade ago,” continues Joe. For example, these days, Gen Z might be more hesitant to eat fast food or indulge in a weekend of drinking because they’re aware of how this can impact the skin — in fact, a study by Berenberg Research showed that Gen Z drink 20% less per capita than millennials, stating mental and physical health as a common reason of why they prefer not to drink.

“There are several factors that can lead to acne, including skincare choices, hormones, stress, diet and gut health, to name a few,” explains Joe. “The You’re Looking Well regime has been designed to help both heal the gut and protect the skin microbiome.”

If you’re lucky enough to be accepted into the You’re Looking Well club, your 30- or 90-day package will consist of a day and night moisturiser, and a day and night supplement.

“Rather than creating products that act upon the skin alone, You’re Looking Well has developed a unique skincare and supplement routine that supports your gut and skin as one integrated system. The products work in tandem to create a radiance that truly comes from the inside out,” says Joe. “Plus, not only does the regime support glowing and nourished skin, but it also aids enhanced digestion, boosted energy levels, enriched sleep and improved cognitive function.”

After just a little research, it’s easy to see that You’re Looking Well’s products contain various gut-loving ingredients. The Day Cream, for example, contains lactococcus ferment lysate, a postbiotic skincare ingredient that works to protect the skin’s surface from visible signs of ageing, as well as intybus cichorium, an antioxidant that protects against oxidative stress.

Likewise, the Day Pill contains a probiotic complex of lactobacillus paracasei and bifidobacterium lactis, both of which are said to deliver skin, gut and mental health benefits. It’s worth flagging, however, that the Day Pill does include a range of B vitamins, including B12, which can trigger acne in some people.

“The probiotics in our supplements can take up to three months to work properly before optimal health and skin benefits are seen,” explains Joe. “Furthermore, forming a community through our subscription-based model allows us to provide subscribers with additional value over and above that of just the products.”

You’re Looking Well frequently holds events and discounts for members that, according to its website, include a free skin consultation, access to a digital community and free treatments and exercise classes (though there’s no mention of how often these are held and, for the price, you’d hope they’d be on a fairly frequent basis.)

After using the regime for 30 days, I can confidently say my skin does look better. It looks dewier, and at the time of the month where I’m usually suffering from an influx of hormonal breakouts, my skin is significantly calmer and less sore. Whether this is down to You’re Looking Well’s products or the fact that it’s January and I’ve been making an effort to eat healthier and do more exercise, who knows?

Until my products run out, I’ll keep using my You’re Looking Well regime, but spending £98 a month on skincare is a little steep for me. My usual routine is the Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm (£12, uk.theinkeylist.com), La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel (£22, cultbeauty.co.uk), CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum (£21, cultbeauty.co.uk) and the Aveeno Oat Gel Moisturiser (£11.59, boots.com) — that adds up to £66.59 for four products that I have to replace roughly every two to three months.

For those who know that their acne or skin concerns are gut-related, the You’re Looking Well regime might be a worthwhile investment. But could the same results be achieved with a stripped back skincare routine and the implementation of probiotics into your daily routine? Probably — so if you aren’t accepted into the club straight away, it might be best to try that first.

Read more: 10 of the best ‘peach fuzz’ beauty buys

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