Skincare

Pretty Damn Good: the acid-packed serum this beauty influencer relies on to treat dark spots

Welcome to Stylist’s Pretty Damn Good, a weekly series in which different women share the one product – across hair care, skincare, make-up, body and fragrance – that remains a forever staple in their beauty routines.

If there’s one thing we’ve come to learn about shopping for skincare products, it’s the importance of looking at the ingredients and how they work for your skin type.

For beauty influencer Lesley Buckle, this is what drew her to one product that has now become a permanent fixture in her skincare routine – and her opinion is one we trust, too.

In August 2010, Buckle started spending more time caring for her hair. A little while after, she began a blog, named Fresh Lengths, to document her hair journey. From there, Buckle’s corner of the internet has only grown. Her Instagram account is filled with gorgeous, editorial-esque imagery for her 110,000+ followers and she has a YouTube channel, covering a wide range of topics from how to cover scarring and pigmentation with make-up to DIY knotless box braids.

Buckle also works as an ASOS Insider, a role which sees her share her top fashion and beauty picks from the retailer on a dedicated Instagram account.

So for somebody whose career revolves around trialling new products and recommending them, Buckle knows what to look for when shopping. Here, she tells us about that the ingredient-packed serum that she relies on for treating dark spots.

lesley buckle fresh lengths skincare
Lesley Buckle runs the blog Fresh Lengths and works as an ASOS Insider.

“I discovered Allies of Skin in April last year. I’ve flipped back and forth between different skincare brands during that time and the Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum, £89, is a product I always go back to.

“I had a virtual consultation with medical facialist Renee Lapino. She’s been amazing with helping me with skin issues I’ve had in the past and I’ve seen her a few times for resurfacing treatments prior to the pandemic which were always amazing at completely transforming my skin. In lieu of these appointments, I was looking for something that could give me even fresh-faced skin at home and this was one of the products she recommended.

Allies of Skin Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum review
Pretty Damn Good: Lesley Buckle is a fan of Allies of Skin's Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum.

“I always get dark marks and it’s something I can’t avoid unfortunately, so I’m always open to products that can help. A lot of acid-based or retinol serums can be quite harsh for my skin and I’ve had a few severe reactions in the past to some products with these ingredients. I was cautious when trying this serum but intrigued that it uses a combination of mandelic, lactic and salicylic acids and bakuchiol (a plant-based alternative to retinol) as well as ingredients to hydrate and soothe.

“It actually works. I think I’m too used to products promising the earth and never quite delivering on the claims or solving the issue of dark marks whilst simultaneously creating another problem (like dryness and irritation). This does what is says and I’m now on my second bottle.

“It’s really easy to incorporate into my nightly routine. After cleansing and toning, I massage in a very small amount to any areas of discolouration. Then, I apply my usual serums and moisturiser for the rest of my skin.

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“I’ve had mine for a while and luckily it does last for a long time as barely any product is needed. They’ve now switched to reusable glass for this product and I like that it’s still easy to pump out just the right amount.

“You can use it all over your face as it helps with enlarged pores and breakouts too, but because it’s a spend-y product, I stick to using it on my dark marks or areas where I’m likely to breakout only to make it last. 

“I can get quite self-conscious about my dark spots, usually because they can be very dark, difficult to cover and take a while to fade so it’s always satisfying when my beauty routine actually works at solving any skincare concerns I have.”

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Main image: Lesley buckle/courtesy of brand