The Inkey List 1% Retinol Serum – Scar, Mark and Wrinkle Solution | Doctors Review



When launching their Supersolutions, a product line called “highly specialized and clinically proven skincare for people who have a persistent, stubborn skincare challenge”, they also came out with The Inkey List Scar, Mark and Wrinkle Solution, a 1% Retinol serum.


A tube of The Inkey List Scar, Mark and Wrinkle Solution standing in front of a dark background with white flowers
The Inkey List Scar, Mark and Wrinkle Solution


I find the naming a little confusing – I never know if I should call it Scar, mark and Wrinkle Solution, which is kind of long, or 1% Retinol Serum, which is what is printed in fat on the tube, but sounds very similar to their first Retinoid, The Inkey List Retinol Serum that I reviewed back in 2019. Both are quite different though, so confusing names aside, let’s take a look at the newest release.



What The Inkey List Scar, Mark and Wrinkle Solution claims

A unique serum containing our highest % of Retinol at 1% to reduce the appearance of marks, post-acne scar size, depth and discolouration and to help smooth out wrinkles.


Facts about The Inkey List 1% Scar, Mark and Wrinkle Solution

Prize and size

One tube in the classic black and white The Inkey List design contains 30 ml and is available for 23 € on the website here. It is vegan and fragrance free. (More info: Is fragrance in your skincare products dangerous?)


Texture and smell

The first thing you’ll notice is probably the yellowish color of the product, the next thing the texture. Despite being called a serum, it looks and feels like a lotion. There is a faint scent I can’t really describe, but that is similar among many retinol products I have tried.


A close up of The Inkey List 1% Retinol Serum. yellow and with a lotioney texture, on a mirrored surface
It is yellow and feels like a lotion


How to use The Inkey List Scar, Mark and Wrinkle Solution

As Retinol is light sensitive, the product should be used in your evening skincare routine. This is a common advice that has been challenged recently by many as retinol in a formulation will be more stable than the single ingredient in the lab and you are most likely wearing sunscreen on top and allowing it time to absorb before you bake in the sun anyway, but for me it fits best in my evening routine anyway, so I didn’t feel the need to take any chances here.

On their website, they recommend introducing it slowly and increasing the frequency over time, and I think that is a very sensible approach, especially if you are new to retinoids. I have been using Tretinoin on my face for many years now, so I tested in on my neck and decollate, both of which don’t tolerate prescription strength, and I found it to be much stronger than the original Retinol Serum. (More info: How to introduce retinoids with minimal irritation)

If you follow The Inkey Lists routine builder suggestions, this goes into the treat step and is followed up with a moisturizer, but due to the lotiony texture for me it worked very well on its own without anything put on top.


Ingredients of The Inkey List Scar, Mark and Wrinkle Solution

Hover the mouse over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.06

The reason the Scar, Mark and Wrinkle Solution is stronger compared to the Retinol Serum is the form of retinoid used. Retinol is often used as umbrella term for a class of ingredients with different strength and characteristics, and the one used here is true retinol in the highest concentration available over the counter, while the original uses retinol in an encapsulated form, meaning a slow release form, at 1%. The 1% in the old version refer to the whole encapsulated molecule, so the concentration of true retinol that is being released is lower than that – so you get slow release over time as well as a lower concentration. (More info: The different forms of Retinol explained)

Other than the Retinol you will find Glycerin as humectant and then a bunch of different oils like Avocado, Apricot and Squalane as emollients and to counteract drying effects the Retinol might have. There are also phospholipids, a type of lipids that is present in the skin barrier and is often used to facilitate ingredient absorption and to help repair the skin barrier.

More info: How to read the ingredient list in your skincare.


Does it live up to its claims?


But only as they are quite vague as in “help with” and “reduce the appearance”. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is able to have a positive effect on both hyperpigmentation and wrinkles, but acne scars are an umbrella term encompassing more than just redness and pigmentation, and no topical product will give relevant results when it comes to ice pick or rolling scars acne is able to leave behind.


How does it compare to…




The Inkey List Retinol Serum

I touched on that during the review already, so here just a short summary: The Scar, Mark and Wrinkle Solution is stronger and uses a different form, so if you are not used to retinoids, introduce it slowly.

You can read my full review of The Inkey List Retinol Serum here.


pixi Retinol Jasmine Lotion
pixi Retinol Jasmine Lotion


pixi Retinol Jasmine Lotion

I mainly mention this one because it will show you that names do deceive, as the pixi Retinol Lotion doesn’t contain any retinol. It does contain a retinoid, but a very weak one, Retinylpalmitate, so I wouldn’t count it as retinol.

You can read my full review of the pixi Retinol Jasmine Lotion here.


Geek and Gorgeous A Game 10 Review
Geek and Gorgeous A Game 10


Geek and Gorgeous A-Game 10

Another strong drugstore retinoid, this one containing Retinaldehyde or Retinal, the strongest version available without prescription. Which one out of the two is actually stronger in direct comparison, given that they have different concentrations would be guessing at my part, but the Geek and Gorgeous version is a firm favorite of my husband. (More info: My husbands minimalist skincare routine)

You can read my full review of the Geek and Gorgeous A-Game 10 here. 

Would I repurchase and which skin types do I recommend The Inkey List Scar, Mark and Wrinkle Solution to?

The Inkey List Scar, Mark and Wrinkle Solution 1% Retinol Serum is a strong over the counter retinol product that should be introduced slowly by those not yet used to retinoids. I like the lotion-like texture as it means I don’t need to wear something on top. Regarding the effectiveness I can see it giving good results on post inflammatory or other forms of hyperpigmentation and wrinkles, regarding the acne scars claims I would limit that to a certain type of scars – there are some that need invasive treatment to really improve, so if that is your main concern, see a dermatologist to discuss best treatment options if your skin is dry or sensitive, introduce it slowly as it has some irritation potential for sure.


The Inkey List Scar, Mark and Wrinkle Solution Review
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