itk Skincare Review: Affordable Anti-Aging?

itk Skincare Review: Affordable Anti-Aging?


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itk Skincare is an affordable online skincare brand launched by influencers Brooklyn and Bailey who have a popular YouTube channel with over 7 million subscribers. The brand is only sold on Walmart, and the products are advertised as “straightforward and simple” and free of harmful ingredients.

But does itk Skincare contain research-backed ingredients for hydrating skin and reducing visible signs of aging? Do the products contain any questionable additive ingredients? Did the brand get copied by Kylie Cosmetics? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of itk Skincare?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in two of itk Skincare’s most popular products (Prebiotic Gel Moisturizer and Nightly Clarifying Serum) based on medical studies to give our take on whether they’re likely to be effective or if they’re a waste of money.

We’ll also share a popular YouTube video alleging that Kylie Cosmetics copied itk, and feature real, unsponsored itk Skincare user reviews.

Prebiotic Gel Moisturizer Ingredient Analysis

itk Skincare Prebiotic Moisturizer Gel ingredients

The ingredients in itk Skincare Prebiotic Gel Moisturizer are shown above.

This product does contain a number of research-backed moisturizing ingredients.

Niacinamide has been shown to smooth out wrinkles and moisturize the skin in a medical review published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

Aloe vera leaf juice is clinically shown to increase skin hydration, and is considered as one of the most effective botanical moisturizers.

Squalane is one of the most potent skin moisturizers, as we documented in our review of another skincare brand featuring this ingredient called Biossance.

Glycerin was shown to increase skin moisture content by around 15% when applied topically in a 2001 clinical trial.

While the Prebiotic Moisturizer Gel has some effective active ingredients, it also has some questionable additive ingredients.

Sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate and phenoxyethanol are preservatives, the last of which was shown to be toxic to human cells in a 2020 clinical trial. This was an in vitro (test tube) trial which makes the results weaker than a human trial, but we still believe it’s worth noting.

Overall we consider Prebiotic Gel Moisturizer likely to be effective for moisturizing skin, and we’re impressed by the potency of this formulation especially considering the price (under $15).

We don’t currently recommend this product due to the three preservative ingredients.

But is Nightly Clarifying Serum better-formulated? We’ll review in the next ingredient analysis section, but first we’ll highlight a YouTube video suggesting that Kylie Cosmetics stole from itk’s founders:

Did Kylie Cosmetics Copy itk?

A popular YouTube channel called “Drama Investigator” shares some allegations about Kylie Cosmetics copying itk skincare:

itk Skincare Nightly Clarifying Serum Ingredient Analysis

itk Skincare Nightly Clarifying Serum ingredients

The ingredients in itk Skincare Nightly Clarifying Serum are shown above.

This product is used to clarify skin and provide anti-aging support, and like the previous product, it contains a number of research-backed ingredients.

Jojoba seed oil has a number of dermatological applications according to a 2013 medical review. The study authors documented that jojoba seed oil has skin-moisturizing effects and propose that it may have anti-aging effects as well.

Bakuchiol is a chemical compound derived from the babchi plant native to India. As we documented in our review of Paula’s Choice Exfoliant, it’s been clinically shown to reduce wrinkles. It's also a less irritating alternative to retinoids with similar properties according to a medical review.

Palmitoyl tripeptide-1 and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 are members of a class of compounds called peptides, and topical application of peptides has been clinically shown to reduce wrinkles by 6-13%.

Sodium hyaluronate is one of the most well-studied anti-aging ingredients and another effective ingredient choice.

This formulation only contains two synthetic preservatives (phenoxyethanol and sodium benzoate) so we consider it better than the previous itk Skincare product in that regard.

Overall, we consider itk Skincare Nightly Clarifying Serum to be likely to not only provide the clarifying effect that the brand claims it will, but also reduce wrinkles and visible signs of aging.

We’re highly impressed again by the potency of this formulation for its price, however we don’t currently recommend it two to the two preservative ingredients.

But how do real users rate and describe the effects of itk Skincare products? We’ll review in the next section.

Real, Unsponsored itk Skincare User Reviews

A YouTube creator named “SunFloraa” reviewed various itk Skincare products and included before-and-after images:

A TikTok creator named Jordyn Asplin shares her thoughts after using itk Skincare for 31 days:

@jordyn.asplin ITK SKINCARE UPDATE DAY 31!!! #itk #skincare #skincaretips #nighttimeroutine ♬ original sound - Jordyn Asplin

Hear From itk’s Founders

itk’s founders Brooklyn and Bailey have a video on their YouTube page with over 280,000 views where they explain the launch of their brand and describe the benefits of the different products:

Our Clean Skincare Picks

There are skincare products containing ingredients shown in clinical trials to be effective for reducing wrinkles and improving skin quality.

Annie Mak Vitamin C Serum is our top anti-aging serum.

It contains hyaluronic acid which was described as a "skin-rejuvenating biomedicine" in a medical review due to its ability to reduce wrinkles and signs of facial aging.

HYDRAGLOW by CLEARSTEM is our top moisturizer pick.

It features bakuchiol as an active ingredient which was described in a 2014 clinical trial as "clinically proven to have anti-aging effects." 

Bulletproof Collagen Powder is our top skin supplement.

Collagen supplementation was shown in a medical review published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology to reduce visible signs of skin aging as well as improve skin elasticity and skin hydration.

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy or unsafe.

Pros and Cons of itk Skincare

Here are the pros and cons of itk Skincare as a brand in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Many research-backed ingredients
  • Great potency for the price
  • No seriously questionable additives like fragrance
  • Very favorable customer reviews
  • Available at Walmart

Cons:

  • Products contain synthetic preservatives 
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

We consider itk Skincare to be one of the best, if not the best, affordable skincare lines in regard to efficacy. Their formulations contain multiple research-backed ingredients and from a potency perspective are similar to products 3-5x the cost that we’ve reviewed on Illuminate Health.

We don’t currently recommend any itk Skincare products due to the inclusion of several questionable preservative ingredients (in particular phenoxyethanol), but there are no seriously questionable additives like fragrance or artificial dyes.

Overall we consider itk Skincare to be a top affordable skincare brand but we don’t believe it competes with luxury skincare lines when considering both efficacy and purity of formulation (freedom from questionable preservatives and inactive ingredients).

Most customer reviews we watched on this brand were highly favorable, and we expect both of the products reviewed in this article to perform as intended.

One YouTube creator even suggests that Kylie Cosmetics stole ideas from itk Skincare.