From the niche new beauty brands doing something different, to the industry’s evergreen icons, Sophie Bew opens up AnOther’s dream vanity. Up this week – a comprehensive, super-active skincare regime designed by Soho House
- Who should use it? There’s something in this range for everyone
- How long until I love it? An overnight stay with this collection will make a firm friend in you
- How planet-/people-friendly is it? Every ingredient is non-eco toxic while all the packaging (and componentry) is widely recyclable
- How do I use it? As you would your usual masks, cleansers, creams, serums – there are no surprises here
Tiny hotel toiletries have long entranced the holidaying public – allusions to filling one’s suitcase with miniatures permeate much of pop culture; a study by Hotels.com shows that 21 percent of travellers look at the complementaries first (17 per cent assess the Adult TV channel offering). But it’s possible that those carefully uncluttered sink-sides have never lived up to expectations (why is there combined shampoo/shower gel (ick) but no conditioner? Why always aloe vera?). Even the most exquisite five-star hotels employ the pongiest products from uber-fragranced, OTT luxury brands – and it’s almost impossible to find full-sized bottles or a big enough handful of bath salts for one dip. And while you might feel comfortable leaving behind your shower gel – you’d never dare put the freebies on your face.
Soho House was keenly aware of this latter truth, having accrued a loyal following for its Cowshed body care ranges that have long-filled outposts of the global franchise and shed light on the gaping hole of overnight-stay skincare. So, taking into account reams of feedback from its member base, the team set out to create the barrier-protecting Soho Skin Concentrate, which formed the foundation of a product range designed to be reliable enough that guests could safely leave behind their own regimes. Enter Soho Skin – its name is wrought in a chubby, 1970s font on thick brown glass bottles with hefty lids – a collection so varied that both quickfire party-prep and morning-after rejuvenation are catered for by a host of high-quality actives that one would expect from their daily favourites.
The staples are all there, and clearly labelled: Cream Cleanser, Lip Balm, Face Cream, Eye Cream, Exfoliating Liquid and Shave Gel. While each is low-key in its texture and very subtle, slightly earthy scent – key to pleasing as many of its users as possible – each is also highly effective in hydration, soothing, smoothing and supporting skin structure with ingredients like prebiotics and hyaluronic acid-boosting xylitol in the cleanser, or glycogen, niacinamide and squalane in the face cream to support cell turnover, while natural carotenoids work to protect the skin from UV light and pollution.
Then there are plenty of party pieces containing the concentrate: Renewal Serum, 24/7 Treatment, Overnight Cream, Detox Mask. Renewal Serum is the perfect pre-make-up quick-fix, brightening and lifting instantly, while 24/7 is for longer preparation: used either as a ten-minute mask or for overnight application, lactic acid exfoliates and a natural ferment acts to lift and smooth, while magnesium detoxifies. The purifying, decongesting Detox Mask is great after a long dinner, lots of wine and layers of make-up. OK, so if you’re a retinol addict, you’d need to bring your own. And a reusable sheet mask and SPFs for face (SPF50) and body (SPF30) are in the works, so the set is by no means complete, but with a pretty comprehensive balance of both essentials and extra-special items, I’d be tempted to leave my toiletries at home.
While each hotel room is kitted out with a discovery set, you can purchase the full-size versions from Space NK.