review medik8 encapsulated forest

And the award for “Most Beautiful Holiday Skincare Gift Set” goes to…


Medik8 Encapsulated Forest! From afar, it looks like a children’s pop-up fairytale book, nudging you in with promises of mystery, love and a happy ending.

What it delivers is youthful, brighter skin – a happy ending indeed for your complexion. But seriously, who wouldn’t love to find this beauty under the Christmas tree? The goodies inside are just a plus. 🙂

What’s In Medik8 Encapsulated Forest Gift Set?

Medik8 Encapsulated Forest Gift Set features everything you need to repair your skin at night, so that it looks its best during the day:

  • Cream Cleanse (40ml): A creamy cleanser that removes every trace of makeup to kickstart your evening skincare routine.
  • Retinol Eye TR (7ml): A powerful retinol serum to slowly fade away crow’s feet and prevent new ones from forming.
  • Retinol 3TR+ Intense (15ml): A powerful retinol serum for your face to help you keep wrinkles at bay and brighten the complexion.
  • Advanced Night Restore Cream (15ml): A soothing cream to deeply moisturize skin and finish off your anti-aging skincare routine.

Let’s take a closer look at each one of them, shall we?

medik8 cream cleanse

Medik8 Cream Cleanse

Medik8 Cream Cleanse is an exfoliating cleanser that removes makeup, dead cells, and other impurities in one go. Or so it promises…

The creamy texture glides smoothly on the skin. I pour a small dollop on a cotton pad, massage it onto my skin, and rinse it off with a damp washcloth.

When I’m done, my skin is left softer and perfectly clean. Thank Cocoa butter and Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (a non-comedogenic derivative of coconut oil) for that.

These moisturizing ingredients double up as cleansing agents. They melt away all traces of oil and dirt on your face, rinsing them away down the drain.

What about its exfoliating property? Medik8 Cream Cleanse has a small amount of Mandelic Acid, an AHA that dissolves the glue that holds skin cells together… when left on the skin.

In a cleanser, it doesn’t have the time to do much before you rinse it off. But it’s not completely useless. For sensitive skin, this may be all the exfoliation you can take.

Related: AHAs VS BHA: Which One Should You Use?

medik8 retinol eye TR

Medik8 Retinol Eye TR

Medik8 Retinol Eye TR is an oil-based retinol serum for your eyes. Use it sparingly because it takes a couple of minutes for the oil to sink in.

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A, the only thing (so far!) scientifically proven to reduce wrinkles and crow’s feet. The catch? It’s irritating. As a rule, start with a low concentration and work your way up slowly.

Medik8 Retinol Eye TR contains 0.1% retinol. I know 0.1% seems insignificant, but it’s pretty powerful. To make it even gentler on the skin, Medik8 uses a Time Release technology. That’s a fancy way of saying it releases retinol over a period of several hours instead than hitting skin all at once.

As retinol targets your wrinkles, the safflower oil base moisturises your skin, leaving it softer and smoother all night long.

Does it work? Yes. Retinol can make a difference in your wrinkles…. Slowly. Consistency is key here. You need to use it for a few months before you see results.

Related: The Complete Guide To Retinol: What It Is, What It Does, And How To Use It

medik8 retinol 3RT+ intense

Medik8 Retinol 3TR+ Intense

Medik8 Retinol 3TR+ Intense reminds me of The Ordinary 0.2% Retinol In Squalane. They both have an oily, squalene-based texture that deeply moisturises skin while retinol does its antiaging job.

But Medik8 Retinol 3TR+ Intense differs from The Ordinary Serum in two ways:

  • Higher concentration: Medik8 Retinol 3TR+ Intense has 0.3% retinol, making it a little bit more powerful.
  • Time-Release Technology: It releases retinol over a period of several hours instead than all at once. It’s still as effective, but gentler on the skin.

So, what does retinol do for your skin, exactly? It has three jobs:

  • It fights free radicals before they can wreak their damage on your skin and give you wrinkles and dark spots.
  • It speeds up cellular turnover (i.e. the skin’s exfoliating process) to brighten the complexion, treat acne, and fade away dark spots.
  • It boosts collagen production to keep skin firm and elastic for as long as possible.

Medik8 Retinol 3TR+ Intense takes a few minutes to absorb into the skin (thank the oil base for that). When it does, your skin feels so soft and smooth.

With regular use, it helps to even out the texture of your skin, shrink large pores, and fade away discolourations. It helps with wrinkles and firmness, but it takes a while to see results. Hang in there, it’s worth it!

Related: What Strength Of Retinol Should You Use?

medik8 advanced night restore cream

Medik8 Advaced Night Restore Cream

There’s a reason why Medik8 Advanced Night Restore Cream made it into the Encapsulated Forest gift set. It’s the perfect complement to retinol.

Remember when I mentioned retinol can be irritating, especially if you’ve never used it before. A good moisturizer can soothe the dryness and irritation away… if it has the right actives.

Medik8 Advanced Night Restore Cream uses a blend of squalane and ceramides to do the job. Both are natural components of your skin’s protective barrier, so can help strengthen it.

It works like this: your skin’s protective barrier is your first line of defense against harsh weather, irritating pollutants, and everything else that’s trying to harm it.

If these skin enemies break down your skin’s barrier, all hell breaks loose. Skin becomes drier. Loses its glow. Gets all red and irritated.

Squalane and ceramides patch up the holes in your barrier, so that moisture stay in and germs and other irritants stay out. Now that your barrier’s intact, retinol won’t irritate your skin as much.

I wouldn’t say this cream is lightweight, but it’s definitely not thick. It absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving it softer and smoother for hours. The best part? It didn’t make me breakout.

The only thing I’m not too fond of? The earthy citrus scent. It’s lovely but can be irritating for sensitive skin types. Luckily, my skin doesn’t have a problem with it.

Related: How To Strengthen The Skin’s Protective Barrier (And Why It Matters)

Price & Availability

£60.00 at Medik8

What do you think of Medik8 Encapsulated Forest Gift Set? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearic Acid, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Glycerin, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Cetearyl Alcohol, Mandelic Acid, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Triethanolamine, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Laureth-7, Limonene. 

Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Retinol, Lecithin, BHT. 

Squalane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Dimethicone, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Climbazole, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinol, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Oil, Decylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Lecithin, BHT.

Aqua (Water), Squalane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Phytosterols, Stearic Acid, Propylene Glycol, C12-16 Alcohols, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceramide NP, Ceramide 3, Palmitic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Ceramide EOP, Ceramide EOS, Ceramide NS, Ceramide AP, Cholesterol, Hylocereus Undatus (Dragon Fruit) Fruit Extract, Acetyl Glucosamine, Amelanchier Alnifolia (Saskatoon Berry) Fruit Extract, Ferric Hexapeptide-35, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Neroli) Flower Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cetearyl Olivate, Caprooyl Phytosphingosine, Caprooyl Sphingosine, Phytosphingosine, Sorbitan Olivate, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Sorbitol, Tremella Fuciformis (Snow Mushroom) Extract, Dehydroacetic Acid, Behenyl Alcohol, Tocopherol, Vetiveria Zizanoides (Vetiver) Root Oil, Behenic Acid, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Herb Oil, Carbomer, Ceteareth-25, Cetyl Alcohol, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Oil, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Limonene, Linalool.