Is the French minimalist Typology Skincare worth the hype? An honest review

Skincare brand typology products, peppermint hydrate, azelaic acid serum, niacinamide toner, zinc moisturizer, jojoba oil, SPF30 sunscreen

Perhaps you know or seen Typology Skincare from one of their beautiful pins adorned all over on Pinterest? If you haven’t heard of them yet, you’ve come to the right place to find out. This unique, cult-favourite French minimalist brand focuses on selling premium products with the highest quality ingredients at an affordable price. 

Now that it’s gone global, I’m able to give you an honest review on a handful of their skincare products. Continue reading to discover some of my favourite, and not so favourite, Typology skincare products.

What is Typology’s mission?

Ning Li, the Typology founder, believes in simplicity and transparency. They don’t formulate their products with any specific ingredients in mind to make them stand out. Instead, they pare products slightly and distill them to achieve the best essential and natural active ingredients. 

They also pride themselves on their French heritage! All products are formulated in France. 

Have you noticed their unique packaging yet? Typology uses recycled materials to create their packaging and do so to facilitate sustainable transport, hence the flat shape of the containers. Glass is used for their smaller packages and recycled plastic for their larger ones. 

Even though this brand is vegan and cruelty-free, the products do contain fragrance.

Typology skincare products rated from best to worst

Purifying moisturizer 4% Zinc PCA + bamboo extract – 19,50EUR

Typology zinc pca moisturizer placed with three beetroots

I can’t express my love for this moisturizer. This Typology product is formulated for oily skin to reduce excess sebum and prevent breakouts. The matte-like finish is perfect since this is the second-last step in your skincare routine. You worry less how your sunscreen will look on top of this moisturizer. It has a subtle rosemary scent (ingredient: rosemary leaf oil), but the smell dissipates within a few minutes.

Zinc PCA is an ingredient that derives from beetroots and is known for normalizing sebum production and reducing acne-causing bacteria. The bamboo extract (Phyllostachys Bambusoides Extract) is sourced from Indian forests to help reduce shine and visible oiliness.

I also love the packaging due to its simplicity and the ease at which it can be recycled.

Unifying Toner 7% Niacinamide – 17,90EUR

Typology niacinamide toner solution 7% with rose petals

Niacinamide isn’t for everyone. For some, the Ordinary Niacinamide 10% serum pills and may be an overkill in achieving its benefits. Using a lesser concentration of 7%, this niacinamide toner is the perfect solution to prevent pilling and irritation. To get an overview of the benefits of niacinamide, a great antioxidant, click here

Thanks to the rose extract, it doesn’t only soothe the skin but it also elicits a calming fragrance that instantly puts you into zen-mode. Ready to take a bath yet full of rose scented soap and petals? You also may notice lactic acid on the ingredient list – ideal for exfoliation on the top layer of the skin.

Mattifying Serum 10% Azelaic Acid – 11,80EUR

Flat lay Typology azelaic acid 10% solution serum

Paula’s Choice isn’t the only brand where you can find 10% azelaic acid! This is an excellent versatile ingredient that’s antibacterial, skin cell regulating, anti-inflammatory and provides skin-lightening properties. The product is also formulated with zinc PCA and bamboo extract.

It’s ideal for those who suffer from any person’s worst (skin) nightmare: ACNE! Thankfully, this serum comes to the rescue! It mattifies your skin all while regulating your excess sebum production. I use 1-3 drops which is ample for my entire face without leaving behind a sticky residue. You can use this serum both in the mornings as well as the evenings.

I only have one issue with this product: the volume is way too small. It comes in a 15ml bottle when the standard size for a like product is usually 30ml. It makes it too expensive for its size. Given the brand’s simplicity, the price pales in comparison to similar offerings from competitors i.e  The Ordinary. 

Botanical Oil Organic Jojoba – 9,90EUR

In my opinion, this is a great oil because it exhibits the greatest similarities to actual human sebum and is extremely stable. Some believe that jojoba oil might have skin balancing properties for oily skin because it can ‘trick’ the skin into believing that it produced enough sebum. However, this is remains to be an unproven theory.

Ultimately, I just don’t find myself reaching for this product often enough during my evening routine. Again, this could be a personal preference thing! If you enjoy different types of oils, this one could be well suited for you. It only contains Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (jojoba) which is both fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. You can read more about jojoba oil here.

Hydrolate organic peppermint – 8,50EUR

Typology peppermint toner placed with mint leafs

This is definitely a scented product – however, if you’re expecting a fresh and minty fragrance, I regret to inform you are in for a disappointment. Personally, I find the scent to be rather unpleasant. It smells like the mint leaves that’s been sitting in hot water for hours. The goal of this product is to minimize the appearance of pores and is ideal for acne and oily prone skin. 

In my experience, I do find that this product made my skin oilier throughout the day – likely due to the fact that my skin thinks it needs to produce more sebum. Unfortunately, this product is not meant for my face, and thus, it will be used on my body instead!

SPF30 face sunscreen with aloe vera – 24,90EUR

Typology aloe vera sunscreen placed beside an aloe vera plant

How do I put this mildly –  I strongly dislike this sunscreen! Why you ask? The second you warm up the sunscreen in your hands and apply it to your face it instantaneously pills. I tried all the methods: patting it on the skin, layering it on slowly, using it with the Typology moisturizer…nothing works. 

Unfortunately, it’s to the point where this sunscreen is rendered useless even on my neck or body. It’s a shame because Typology has the resources to develop a great sunscreen. Perhaps there’s a chance that I received a bad batch – I will look to all of you to validate my claim. In the end, though, I had an awful experience with this product and it will take a lot for me to change my mind, that’s for sure.

Overall, I think Typology develops amazing skincare products at an affordable price. I would love to see fragrance-free options and a much-needed upgrade to their 15ml serum sizes to the standard 30ml. Lastly, they HAVE to improve their sunscreen game or they will sadly be left in the dust by their competition. For me, given its absolute necessity in my skincare, wearing sunscreen has to be an enjoyable experience.

Have you tried any of the Typology products, or any others you love for that matter?  As always, please share your experiences with me!

Until next time!


  • Natalie Richardson says:

    Great post Fleur – thank you for sharing this information!

  • Dutchie says:

    Thanks for publishing such informative article, Fleur. In Europe we adore the sun and using SPF is not a very common thing. Also, I remember that in the early days, SPF didn’t go higher than 30 and we only used it while on the beach. And when someone got a sun burn, we just laughed and put slices of cucumber on it to cool it down. You are absolutely right, we need to include SPF in our daily skin routine. Now one more challenge to go: introduce this to my husband.

    • Fleur Boomsma says:

      Thank you for sharing this little story! If we can normalize the use of sunscreen a lot of skin cancer could be prevented! Luckily the skincare companies are getting more innovative with their formulas to make sunscreen attractive for everyone of all skin colors/conditions/types!

  • Eva B says:

    So informative! Thank you for the sunscreen recommendations xx

  • Jennifer says:

    Sunscreen can save your life!!

  • Sue says:

    Your hair looks lovely. I want to try this now.

  • Celine says:

    Hello! I want to ask, after using the innisfree super volcanic mask, you rinse it off and then do you apply your skincare after that? or do you just leave your bare face after rinsing the clay mask off?

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