When I attended a press event for the launch of Evolve’s new Radiant Glow Mask, one of the first things that caught my eye – apart from Deliciously Ella’s amazing breakfast spread – was an elegant, understated collection of black skincare bottles. I was introduced to Evolve’s sister brand S5, a range of organic and vegan skincare designed to fight the effects of modern living based around 5 core serums. As a multitasking city dweller the concept resonated with me: pollution, chemicals, stress, poor sleep and poor nutrition are concerns that have all played on my mind at some point over the last few years, with my top two being pollution and stress. Can a tailored skincare routine really tackle these concerns? Well it won’t sort out London’s pollution levels or force you to go to bed early, but it can address the effect it has on our skin, namely inflammation, premature ageing and blemishes. The S5 range is compact, concise and colour coded according to your skin’s needs (sensitivity, blemishes, pigmentation, premature ageing, dryness), and with the website providing clear direction on which three products to choose according to your needs, this could be one of the easiest skincare ranges I’ve come across. I went for the 3-step skincare routine to tackle blemishes which promises to balance skin flora, reduce excess oil and prevent skin congestion.

Three black pump dispensers from the S5 skincare range

Neutralise Cleanser

Developed for oily and combination skin but gentle enough to use on sensitive skin too, the Neutralise Cleanser is 99% natural and 41.5% organic, containing African Moringa Peptides which protect against pollution. I’ve learned over the years to cut back on excessive cleansing and scrubbing, as all this does is strip the skin of its protective barrier and encourage it to produce more oil. A bit of a vicious circle really. So this lightweight, oil-free gentle cleanser sounds right up my street. What I find surprising is that you’re supposed to apply it to dry skin and it doesn’t foam. Years of mousse, foam and gel cleansers have given me the impression that the more it froths, the better it is at removing dirt from your face. Apparently not. The pump dispenses quite a small amount of formula so I go for 3 pumps and spread it over my dry face, with dry hands. It feels like it’s just sunk right into skin so I use a wet muslin cloth to ensure no residue is left on my face. My skin feels clean but not tight, with pores looking clearer, so overall a good outcome. I just need to get used to the dry application. 100ml RRP £24.00

Bottle of serum and box on green leaves

Image courtesy of Good Ventures Limited (all rights reserved)

Purity Serum

This is the key step in this skincare routine, the product around which the S5 range has been designed: the serum. Each serum treats one skin issue, and combined with the cleanser and moisturiser suited to your skin type, you have a simple 3 step regime adapted to your skin’s needs. The Purity Serum targets blemishes and open pores thanks to salicylic acid from willow bark extract, ideal for congested skin as its exfoliating properties help to loosen dead skin and unblock pores. As with the cleanser I went for 3 pumps to cover my face and neck, although with this serum costing a considerable £48 you could probably get away with 2 pumps. Nearly 100% natural and 86.7% organic, this anti-acne serum contains antibacterial ingredients Andiroba and Copaiba to help balance oil production. The natural ingredients are protected from deterioration thanks to the black glass bottles which block UV rays and stop them from altering the potency of the ingredients inside. Apparently you can keep tomatoes in those bottles for months and they’ll come looking like they were freshly picked from the garden, not a hint of decomposition in site. Something which my skin seemed to appreciate as it felt refreshed after application but with a matte finish and the sebum kept in check. 30ml RRP 48.00

Three skincare products and boxes on a black background

Balance Fluid

It’s no secret that hormonal imbalances can wreak havoc with your skin, one of the culprits being high levels of testosterone, which can encourage skin to produce excess oil. One way to tackle this issue is to address the result (i.e. excess oil) with a mattifying moisturiser. But S5’s Balance Fluid gets one step closer to the root cause by reducing the activity of the enzyme responsible for the excess oil thanks to an Alpine herb. So by using the lightweight moisturiser you help to balance and protect oily skin. I love the concept but my skin wasn’t quite so receptive. Whilst the fluid seemed perfectly adapted to the needs of my T-zone (light hydration, mattifying result), my cheeks developed dry patches which I had to quench with Fushi’s BioVedic™ Radiance Face Oil. My skin is no longer that of a spotty teenager’s so it does need something a little richer on cheeks, hence my obsession with oils. 50ml RRP £46.00

S5 sounds like a noughties pop band, the love child of S Club 7 and 5ive, but this is far from a gimmicky brand: every formula is built on well thought out ingredients and backed by scientific claims. The total cost of this 3-step skincare routine amounts to £118 which seems a little steep, however I can see that with organic ingredients, low production runs and specialist packaging the prices are no doubt justified. I still have a soft spot for S5’s little sister Evolve Organic Beauty which delivers fantastic natural and organic products that smell good enough to eat. What is your current skincare routine? Leave a comment below to let me know.

Features gifted products.


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