I’ve often admired the flawless, glowing skin of British women, and I’ve flippantly attributed their radiance to the fact that the sun rarely shines on that great (but bleak!) colonizing island. Foggy weather and long walks across misty heaths must have a beneficial moisturizing effect that keep a lady looking young.  Recently, though, I discovered Simple – a line of skin care products newly imported from the United Kingdom that offers Canadian women the health and freshness of an English rose.

Established in the UK in 1960, Simple boasts a line of products perfect for sensitive skin because they omit artificial perfumes, dyes and harsh irritants, including instead pure ingredients with added vitamins, like pro-vitamin B12 and vitamin E, which are nourishing for the skin. Simple products are dermatologist tested, noncomedogenic (they don’t block pores, and are therefore great for acne-prone skin), and hypoallergenic. Products include a variety of facial washes, wipes, moisturizing creams, and eye-care creations, now all available across Canada in pharmacies and department stores.

For over a month, I’ve sampled one of each of these products and am happy with the results. The Moisturizing Facial Wash cleansed my skin of make-up and impurities without leaving it dry. Normally after I wash off a day’s make-up and all the dirt one picks up walking around a bustling metropolis, my skin feels taut and thirsty for moisturizing lotion. But with this hydrating product, I sometimes forgot to apply cream to my face! The Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes are equally purifying for the skin, and their re-sealable package makes it a perfect product to toss in your purse or gym bag to freshen up throughout the day or before a workout.  There is no alcohol in Simple wipes so that skin feels nourished and moist instead of dry, yet they’re effective enough to remove waterproof mascara. The Revitalizing Eye Roll-On includes cucumber extract and pro-vitamin B5 to hydrate under the eyes and to reduce puffiness. This number certainly wakes up tired eyes, just as it claims – I experienced a pleasant tingling sensation when applying this wand underneath my weary peepers.

My favourite product, though, is the Vital Vitamin Moisturizing Day Cream with SPF 15. I appreciate the creamy but non-greasy texture of this moisturizer, and its effects on my skin left nothing to be desired: my face feels soft, moist, and has a dewy glow to it after applying this cream. What I really loved about this cream was its simple smell. Since there are no artificial perfumes in the Vital Vitamin moisturizer, the only fragrance is that of the sunscreen (which is a MUST in any day cream). Each time I apply this fabulous concoction, the smell makes me imagine preparing for a day at the beach instead of a day at work. It’s a nice bonus! 

Praiseworthy as these Simple products are, their cleansers do include parabens in their list of ingredients, something I normally aim to avoid. Moreover, dedicated lovers of furry creatures might note that there are no claims about animal testing; one can only hope these shortcomings will be addressed over the next years as the brand expands in a new North American market. Nevertheless, in a year of extravagant Royal weddings and opulent Jubilees, I am happy the UK is offering we Canadians a simple answer to skin care!


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