I recently did a few Instagram stories outlining the difference between a serum & a moisturiser. I was astounded at the feedback – most of my followers & readers thought they were basically the same thing, which they are not!

A moisturiser sits on the surface of the skin and holds moisture in. The molecule is large, so it can’t absorb.

A serum, on the other hand, is designed with a much smaller molecule that can penetrate deep into the skin. Serums contain a host of active ingredients that once absorbed, can deliver visible results. The important thing to remember when choosing a serum, is to select one that’s designed to address your skins specific concerns like hydration, acne, dehydration, pigmentation etc.

I was excited to hear that Dr Alek Nikolic – a very well-known aesthetic practitioner from Cape Town – recently formulated a highly effective range of serums called sk.in (short for skin ingredients). In the range are 5 power packed serums that can be seamlessly integrated into any existing skincare routine.

Dr Nikolic says that most people, even those who take ‘good’ care of their skin, usually have a degree of impairment of the outer skin barrier. “If the skin barrier is not working optimally, even the best quality ingredients cannot reach their full potential and effect.” As a result, every sk.in serum is formulated to help protect and repair the outer layer as well as target and help prevent specific concerns: acne, ageing, texture, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles.

For me, the beauty of the sk.in line is that the serums are formulated to easily slot into any basic skincare regime. Each serum provides a powerful dose of ingredients that will target specific skin concerns, strengthen and repair the skin barrier, visibly improve texture and tone and, ultimately, give you the confidence that comes from a healthy skin. I love that the range is Vegan and there is no fragrance or colour used in the products.

I was fortunate enough to be sent 3 variations to try out & spent most of January & February putting them to the test. To say I’m impressed is an understatement!

Without further ado, let me introduce you to the sk.in lineup:

sk.in pure / medi shot (R700 for 100ml) – BUY

This is a fantastic treatment for anyone struggling with acne and blackheads. It’s formulated with Salicylic acid, an ingredient that is gentle, yet super effective at cleaning out pores, calming inflamed skin and helping keep breakouts under control. Also included are pineapple & papaya extract – both wonderful to gently exfoliate. Nicinamide has also been thrown into the mix to improve the appearance of enlarged pores, lines & wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and dullness. Lastly, there’s zinc, which aids in healing the skin & prevents acne by regulating the skins oil production. All in all, this is a beautifully formulated product that not only keep breakouts at bay but also has an exfoliating action, fades pigmentation marks and hydrates the skin.

The sk.in pure medi shot should be used at night-time only.

If acne is a concern, simply moisten a cotton pad with the sk.in pure solution and apply to the solution to the affected area/s every 3rd night for the first two weeks, then every second evening after that. ALWAYS use an SPF in the day when using this product.

sk.in marvel / hydro shot (R1050 for a 30ml OR R1900 for a dual pack) – BUY

The sk.in marvel / hydro shot is just the serum to counteract dehydrated skin, improve skin barrier health, reduce signs of ageing all while protecting against environmental damage. The formula is made up of ceramides (excellent for moisture), high strength hyaluronic acid that works to draw water from the air into the skin, lipid-soluble Vitamin C & E – both powerful antioxidant that protect the skin from free radical damage while stimulating collagen production & reducing hyper-pigmentation.

To use, apply to clean, dry skin morning and evening AFTER applying other serums (like sk.in flash, sk.in gloss, sk.in bounce & sk.in pure). Use two small pumps to cover entire face and neck.

sk.in gloss / radiant shot (R1300 for a 30ml) – BUY

sk.in gloss / radiant shot is one of my favourites. It delivers a powerful shot of antioxidants that counteract environmental damage, including hyper-pigmentation and general skin ageing. It contains high levels of Vitamin C & E and Ferulic acid ester – one of the most effective, yet gentle antioxidants. D-Panthenol & hyaluronic acid boost hydration while Niacinamide improves skin elasticity. Essentially, this serum works to stimulate collagen production, reduce pigmentation and improves the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

To use, apply 2 small pumps in the morning onto clean, dry skin before any other serums. Allow to absorb before applying before applying any other treatments. Always wear an SPF 30 or higher when using this serum.

sk.in flash (1,2 and 3) / repair shot (R88O per shot) – BUY

sk.in flash (1,2 and 3) / repair shot is the anti-ageing cocktail that includes Retinoate (the least irritating form of Vitamin A), Vitamins C & E, Ceramides and hyaluronic acid. It works to counteract the signs of UV damage and improve the look of fine lines & wrinkles. Powerful antioxidants protect the skin while hydrating ingredients boost hydration.

sk.in flash comes in three formulations. First time users of retinol should start by using sk.in flash 1, then progress to sk.in flash 2, and then to sk.in flash 3.

To use, apply to clean, dry skin at night before any other moisturiser or serum. Two small pumps are all that’s needed to cover face & neck. Always wear an SPF 30 or higher when using this serum.

sk.in bounce / combo shot (R1800 for a 30ml) – BUY

sk.in bounce / combo shot combines the most powerful active ingredients in the sk.in range for maximum benefit from a single product. It’s designed for those who want and prefer a single serum.

Formulated with high strength retinoate, lipid-soluble vitamin C, vitamin E, ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Not only does this serum counteract the signs of UV sun damage and ageing, it radically improves texture and hydration, reduces pore size, stimulates collagen production and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

Apply to cleansed dry skin at night before any other serums and allow to absorb completely. Use two small pumps to cover face & neck. Always wear an SPF 30 or higher when using this serum.

When used correctly once a day, a 30ml bottle of sk.in should last 2 to 3 months.

My sk.in regime

I put the gloss / radiant shot, the bounce / combo shot and the marvel / hydro shot through their paces and was super impressed at the results.

My regime looked like this:

Morning: gloss / radiant shot – 2 small pumps onto clean, dry skin followed by two small pumps of the marvel / hydro shot. I’d then apply my sunscreen, which is quite nourishing, eliminating the need for a moisturiser.

Evening: bounce / combo shot – 2 small pumps onto face, neck & décolletage, followed by marvel / hydro shot. I’d then apply my very basic, unscented moisturiser.

I really like that these serums are formulated to be used around the eyes, thus eliminating the need for an additional eye cream.

Less than two weeks into my sk.in regime I noticed a marked improvement in my skins hydration levels. While I don’t really have very deep wrinkles, any fine, dehydration lines were gone. The texture of my skin looked better and there was less redness on my cheeks (something that’s becoming a bit of an issue as I get older).

The spreadability of the serums is great, and I’d describe the texture as a gel/cream. The formulas absorbs very quickly, and there is no product pilling when layering. I didn’t experience any reactions whatsoever and my skin seemed to really like the formulas.

Also, 10 out of 10 for the super cool, simple packaging.

Happy, healthy, glowing skin.

I couldn’t miss the opportunity to ask Dr. Alek a few pressing, beauty related questions:

Q: It’s essential to use a good sunscreen daily. Since you haven’t developed one (yet) for sk.in, which would you recommend for: Dry skin, oily / acne skin; normal skin?

A: A good SPF is vital and should be applied several times daily for high UV exposure. I recommend a SPF 30 or higher, that contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. There are a number of great brands, of which my go-to are Heliocare, SkinCeuticals, Alpha-H, Dermaceutic and Mesoestetic. Each of these brands cater for dry, normal/combination, and acne/oily skins. The most important thing is to find out your skin type and only use products – including SPF – that are specific to your skin.

Q: There is an ongoing conversation in the beauty industry around eye creams and whether they are really necessary. Many dermatologists (both locally & internationally) say you simply don’t need them, and that your serum should & can be used around the eye area instead. Are you in agreement with this?

A: The case for whether or not eye creams are necessary is not cut and dried. In most cases serums are fine to use around the eye area. However, some people have very sensitive eyes and should consider a specific eye cream or serum to minimise spread or sensitivity, as some serums spread too easily and could irritate the eyes.

Q: Can your sk.in serums be used around the eye area?

A: Absolutely, sk.in serums are formulated to be used around the eye area. We recommend applying sk.in to the upper and lower eyelids as this is the thinnest skin in the body and needs as much stimulation by active ingredients as possible. It’s important to introduce serums slowly to this area. I recommend every 4th or 5th day for 2 weeks, then every 3rd or 4th day for 2 weeks and so on until daily use is tolerated. Personally, I have worked up to applying sk.in gloss and sk.in flash 3 every day to the upper and lower eyelids.

Q: If your foundation has an SPF of 20 or more, do you still need to use a sunscreen under your makeup? If yes, why? Can we really ‘layer’ our protection?

A: My recommendation is to always apply a dedicated sunscreen before an SPF based makeup. This is to ensure adequate protection to UV and visible light. You can’t really ‘layer’ a SPF – you get the SPF protection of whichever product has the highest SPF. For example, if your sunscreen is SPF 50 and your makeup is SPF 20 you have SPF 50 protection.

Q: Which are you better off spending your money on: A facial at a salon, or a skincare treatment like DermaPen, peel or laser at a dermatologist / aesthetic practitioner? Often times, elaborate facials at a spa come in at a similar price to a treatment at a derm – sometimes they are even more expensive!

A: In general, a treatment such as Dermapen, with an aesthetic doctor or dermatologist, will far outweigh the skin benefits that can be achieved with a facial. However, facials are great to hydrate and clean the skin and can be very relaxing and beneficial for emotional and mental well-being, which impacts on natural healing and energy levels.

All sk.in products are Vegan and free of Parabens, Sulphates, Gluten, Soy & nuts.

The sk.in line is available from selected salons and aesthetic practices around South Africa. It can also be purchased on www.skiningredients.com, following an online assessment.

For more details visit www.skiningredients.com or email info@skiningredients.com or call 021 797 0960.


I have a sk.in hamper valued at R2350 up for grabs. 

To enter, follow these steps:

1. Follow @supersk.in on Instagram HERE & on Facebook HERE 

2. Tell me which of the sk.in shots appeal the most to you & why.

3. You’ll also need to tell me your age & skin concern so if you win, Dr Alek is be able to send you the serums / shots that suit YOUR PARTICULAR CONCERN. Please don’t forget to add your email address (only I can see it).  

I’ll announce the winners name on In My Bag’s Facebook page (FOLLOW HERE) next week Wednesday 3 April 2019.

Good Luck!

*This blog post is sponsored by sk.in*