Aesop Launches Its First and Only Skincare Product for 2020

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Photograph courtesy of Aesop

Introducing Sublime Replenishing Night Masque.

Earlier this week, Australian skincare brand Aesop released its first skincare innovation in four years – the Sublime Replenishing Night Masque ($165). Five years in the making, the product is also the only skincare launch for 2020 from the brand.

The new masque is made with vitamin F for the first time, and has been designed to help rehydrate and enliven dry and dehydrated skin. In yet another first, it is also the brand’s first overnight masque. Curious to learn more about the new product, we spoke with Dr. Kate Forbes, the brand’s innovation director, to get the lowdown on the extensive R&D phase, as well as the benefits the new product promises.

This product has been 5 years in the making –  tell us a little about the process and how the product evolved in that time?

We have been interested in developing a vitamin-rich hydrating masque for some time although conversations took on more serious intent following the successful launch of Blue Chamomile Facial Hydrating Masque in 2015. Based on our experience in developing our first hydrating masque, we understood that texture and skin-feel would be of utmost importance, and therefore sought to deliver a product with a level of hydration and emollience belied by a light, refined and elegant skin feel. This was not without challenge, given that Vitamin C is renowned for its ability to destabilize emulsions and serums if not formulated with thoughtful care and diligence. The result is a gel-cream of exceptional hydrating ability offering numerous benefits for the skin, with a unique after-feel.

The Masque uses Vitamin F for the first time – what are the benefits of this ingredient?

This is the first time we have included Vitamin F in a skin care formulation, but we have used this to great effect in our nourishing hair oil shine. Sublime Replenishing Night Masque contains a blend of essential fatty acids—Linoleic Acid and Linolenic Acid—to deliver Vitamin F. Essential Fatty Acids are substances that the body cannot produce itself and must be obtained through dietary sources. Topical application offers additional benefits and when incorporated in skin care formulations, Vitamin F offers exceptional nourishment, helping to support the skin’s barrier integrity, relieve dryness and maintain balance.

With all the talk of clean beauty recently, what is Aesop’s philosophy on this? Is there a place for synthetic ingredients in skincare?

Aesop employs both botanical and laboratory-made ingredients of the highest-quality to perform particular functions in our product range. We are meticulous in our selection and sourcing of ingredients, ensuring each ingredient is carefully chosen with primary consideration given to the health and safety of our customers, and the environment. Sublime Replenishing Night Masque exemplifies this approach and contains a wide-palette of vitamins, of natural and synthetic origin, to deliver specific benefits for the skin. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Panthenol (Provitamin B5) and Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C) are all synthetic ingredients while the Linolenic and Linoleic acids (Vitamin F) used in this formulation are derived from Safflower Oil. All Aesop products contain botanical ingredients and while we are renowned for the wonderful aromas they bring, each ingredient is selected primarily for the remarkable benefit it offers for the skin, hair and body. It’s also worth noting that no animal-derived ingredients are used in Aesop products.

Photograph courtesy of Aesop

How does the masque improve the integrity of the skin barrier? What else can consumers expect from the product?

Sublime Replenishing Night Masque has been formulated to provide sustained benefits and utilizes a combination of emollient, humectant and film-forming ingredients to support the skin barrier, helping to regulate moisture loss and improve overall hydration levels. Humectant ingredients such as Sodium Carrageenan and Saccharide Isomerate have been utilized for their well-known ability to boost hydration and promote water retention within the skin. Nourishing emollients, including Squalane and Tocopherol (Vitamin E), bolster the lipid environment of the stratum corneum (the skin’s outermost layer) to further reduce trans-epidermal water loss. Independent testing of skin hydration has shown proven efficacy with increased moisture in the skin for more than eight hours after the product has been removed. Alongside its impressive hydrating properties, Sublime Replenishing Night Masque contains skin-nurturing vitamins to help even and brighten the appearance of dull, patchy or fatigued skin. These benefits are delivered in a light yet deceptively rich and nourishing gel-cream, with a soft, non-greasy finish.

It delivers the benefits of a sheet masque without the physical sheet – how did the brand come to the decision to make the masque in a formula versus a sheet masque?

As a company founded on steadfast ethics, our purpose has always been to tread as lightly as we can. Since the inception of Aesop 33 years ago, products have been packaged in the most simplistic form in order to minimise waste. Numerous packaging options were explored during development, and we determined that a recyclable glass jar would be the ideal vessel to house this formulation. This format provides a more sustainable packaging solution than traditional sheet masks and contains adequate product for multiple applications.

What’s the ideal way to use the product?

Apply a generous amount of Sublime Replenishing Night Masque—approximately one teaspoon—to freshly cleansed and toned skin. For best results, leave on the skin overnight and rinse in the morning during routine cleansing. The product will offer sustained hydration irrespective of how long it is left on the skin (we recommend leaving for at least 30 minutes) and is therefore not limited to overnight use however, longer exposure times simply increase and optimize the benefits of this vitamin-rich formulation.

Get yours here.