After testing the 4.5.6 Skin All Star Set skincare for six weeks, this is what Vicky Gayle has to say about the beauty range, created specifically for melanin-rich skin.

4.5.6 Skin

I was always reading about skin because of years battling acne and irritating hyperpigmentation and getting nowhere. Once upon a time, I wanted to be a dermatologist because of it. Key pieces of skincare knowledge stuck into adulthood and helped guide my shopping choices whilst the rest was tuned out for not being specific enough.

This is why 4.5.6 Skin is to be celebrated; a brand designed exclusively for the needs of melanin-rich skin phototypes 4, 5 and 6.

I won’t pretend I was hugely enthusiastic about the opportunity to try it out, despite being intrigued after seeing the brand a lot on Instagram. It was nothing personal. I’ve become resistant to switching brands and have adopted a minimalistic approach to skincare, buying only for the concerns I have.

That being said, how could I resist products custom-made for my complexion and which arrived in the most thoughtful and quirky packaging I’ve seen?

“You’re never going to be able to reverse a wrinkle that’s already there, but you can help the skin get there a lot later.”

After filling in a detailed skin survey online, an algorithm will create a personalised formulation for each customer, so that what you receive is freshly made and uniquely yours. This level of flexibility means 4.5.6 Skin can distance itself from the typical product categorisations we’ve become accustomed to that also encourage us to shop based on age, such as for mature skin. If fine lines are a concern for you though, this is something you can mention during the consultation.

During an interview with 4.5.6 Skin founder, Noelly Michoux, she said: “Segmentation for age, a lot of it has to do with marketing and trying to fit people into boxes so we can better market products to them. A brand should be able to make a product that’s fit for all ages.”

“If you look at the way we’re addressing anti-ageing today, you can laugh about it because the best anti-ageing formulation is one that has great moisture, antioxidants to protect the skin from free radicals, anti-inflammatory and soothing ingredients — that’s the best way to tackle anti-ageing.

“You’re never going to be able to reverse a wrinkle that’s already there, but you can help the skin get there a lot later.”

After undergoing a simplified consultation (I was asked to send in my skin concerns, skin type and skin goals), I received the All-Star Set (RRP ££273) and spent the next six weeks testing the products.

The only product I haven’t yet tried is the Day Hack Matte Moisturiser, so if you have, let Melan know what you think.

Here’s what happened…


Come Clean Cleansing Oil, £28

With Arctic weather and central heating drying out our skin, I thought it’d be best to start with the Come Clean Cleansing Oil because I haven’t been using many products to take off at night like SPF lotion. #LockdownLife.

Compared to another oil cleanser I’ve used in the past, this one feels indulgent. I love the slightly thicker texture because it feels like it’s doing something when I massage it in. And I really massage it in. I don’t rinse it off until the water runs clear as instructed — I add more water to my face, massage more, then use my bamboo cloth to wash it off before patting my face dry.

If you’re a ‘double cleansing’ woman, or you’re still leaving the house to have a reason to wear makeup, then the cleansing oil and gel are an obvious match made in heaven.

4.5.6 Skin

Green Bae Cleansing Gel, £25

Everything about 4.5.6 Skin has been designed to preserve the delicacy of our skin, so the Green Bae Cleansing Gel provides a deep clean, but with a gentle touch. I wasn’t sure if it was for me initially because I haven’t got oily skin or a huge issue with the texture of my skin, but I’ve actually used it more than the cleansing oil.

Considering it’s quite watery, once you apply it onto your face with water, it foams up just enough that you can keep rubbing it around for some time with your fingertips, and I enjoy that process. My skin is fresh afterwards and whilst your face is still dewy is the best time to layer up with the Tonic Oh! Treatment Lotion. 

However, although I appreciate the lightness and cool colour of Green Bae, I don’t know if it does enough for me as a cleanser despite acne being listed as one of the skin complaints it’s helpful for. I do understand that acne-prone skin needs a light touch, but I’m still on the fence with this one.

4.5.6 Skin

Tonic Oh! Treatment Lotion, £48

A few times I’ve squirted pumps of the cleansing oil into my palm when I meant to grab the Tonic Oh! Treatment Lotion because they’re both so vibrantly coloured. Of all the products, I’ve used this the most. There are some days I’ll just tap in my treatment lotion and head downstairs.

This liquidy vitamin shot goes on like water, but then you finish by tapping the tackiness into your face. That’s the hyaluronic acid and plant extracts ‘working their magic’ — and I couldn’t agree more. The first time I used it, it was the smell that I tried to inhale. Again, I love the freshness of what I suspect are the plant extracts and zesty juices.

For anyone whose skin needs a hydrating pick-me-up, this is one to consider. I enjoy using it night and day, and I believe it has counteracted the dryness after cleansing that my skin was feeling before.

“…For anyone whose skin needs a hydrating pick-me-up, this is one to consider.”

To Be Clear Exfoliant Mask, £52

There’s a reason you’re advised to gradually increase the number of times you use this powerful exfoliating mask — even as someone who’s used to acids, the tingle took me by surprise. The first time I slathered it on my face, it tingled so much I thought I was having an allergic reaction. I washed it off almost immediately and hoped I still had skin left.

Noelly explained the tingle was normal and a result of the glycolic and salicylic acid duo. She also assured me the sensation usually subsides after a few uses. It did. The tingle lasted for such a short time after that that I ignored the advice to leave the mask on for just three minutes and left it on for closer to 20. (I don’t recommend you do this.)

The clarity and softness of my skin after using To Be Clear is what I adore about it, but I’m happy to savour it for a weekly rather than several-times weekly treat.

4.5.6 Skin
Vicky Gayle

Sevenly Delight Brightening Concentrated Serum, £65

I wasn’t expecting the Sevenly Delight Brightening Concentrated Serum to shift my dark marks in just six weeks, but I did ditch my usual salicylic acid treatment (for the most part) to give it a good shot.

It’s the smallest product of the range, but a little genuinely does go a long way. I still have plenty of it left, and unsurprisingly, I do still have hyperpigmentation, but given that it can take up to two months for the skin to renew itself in your 30s, I need to give the serum more time.

“I do still have hyperpigmentation, but given that it can take up to two months for the skin to renew itself in your 30s, I need to give the serum more time.”

What I do appreciate is how many active ingredients you get in a 30ml bottle. Rather than have one higher concentration hero ingredient, the serum allows for synergy between all these ingredients in a lower amount, which will give much better results in the end, Noelly told me.

She said: “This principle is very common in the pharma world. For example, it’s much more effective to take two anti-diabetic or anti-hypertensive molecules at a low dosage than to only take one at a high level, with the risk to have more side effects when you use high amounts. With this method we can have the brightening effect without any harm or disruption of the normal physiological function of the skin.”

The dark marks at the front of my chin have definitely faded and my skin has a healthy glow that gains compliments, so I’ll be finishing off my samples of everything. My purse won’t allow me to shop 4.5.6 just yet, but products based on skin phototype should be added to your beauty staples.

Try 4.5.6 Skin for yourself here.

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