Moisturiser Recommendation: REN Skincare’s V-Cense

ren moisturiser frankincense review

For the past four months, on and off, I have been testing out the V-Cense creams from REN skincare; the Youth Vitality Day Cream and the Revitalising Night Cream. I say “on and off” because the longest period of uninterrupted use was probably about three weeks; for the rest of the time it has been a bit of a scattergun approach. An odd day here, a random night there. But do you know what? These creams worked very, very well for me. I have absolutely no complaints, despite the fact that initially I thought that they would be too rich, and I was a little taken aback by the scent (churchy), which I can deal with when it’s a cleanser (ie the frankincense cleanser from Neal’s Yard Remedies) but not when it’s something that has to stay on my face for long periods of time. The smell of frankincense is incredibly relaxing, yes – probably much more so than lavender, even – but it’s a potent little bugger and I sometimes feel a bit claustrophobic when beauty products have a very strong fragrance. Especially, weirdly, when it’s a scent from essential oils and not a synthetic one. Synthetic scents don’t seem to overpower me, but dose me up with too many essential oils and I wake up sweating in the night thinking that the ceiling is made of cheese straws.

More skincare reviews…

I digress. And actually, the REN products aren’t overpowering in the slightest, it’s just that the faintly churchy smell is a bit of a surprise when the packaging is so white and clean. But the creams worked well on my skin – a plumptious, nourishing feel and no breakouts or issues with richness. They take a little longer to sink in than some moisturisers, but I don’t mind that so much, especially with the night cream, and after a minute or so there’s absolutely no residue at all. No heaviness to the finish, no grease, but my skin felt properly taken care of in the moisture department.  It’s actually the night cream I like best – it reminded me so much of a cream I used to use years ago. And it turns out, after some Googling, that the cream I used to use years ago was actually REN’s Frankincense Night Cream, which I think is an older version of the V-Cense!

Anyway – nice. Good go-to face creams if you fancy an all-rounder that helps to smooth the skin and keep it moisturised – the scent is calming rather than stifling, the pump-action bottles are very practical and the price is incredibly fair. £32 from Space NK or with free delivery from UPDATE: it’s £27 at!

Order online here

skincare anti-ageing moisturiser review

Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Frankincense Intense is next on my list to try. I feel as though I’ve found a frankincense theme and now I need to see it through. (Incidentally, please give me your own suggestions for more products to try in the comments below.) I’ve seen rave reviews on this “age-defying” cream but have also had a few reports back from friends who loved the original face cream in this line but haven’t fared so well with subsequent additions. Perhaps this cream is far richer – I’d hazard a guess that it is, seeing as though it’s the Intense version. I’ll be back with some feedback once I’ve found the bloody pot – I have a feeling my Mum may have nicked it as she house-sat when I was off on holiday. It wouldn’t be the first time that things on my “to test” shelf have disappeared…

More moisturiser reviews…

NYR’s cream is a fair bit dearer than the REN; £55. Heavier packaging, but that’s not necessarily a boon if you travel frequently. The ingredients list shows that it’s jam-packed with great oils, including argan and macadamia, as well as frankincense, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E and various essential oils. Sounds gorgeous, if only I could find the bloody thing.

You can buy Frankincense Intense online here – take a look also at the Argan Oil and Frankincense Refining Cleanser, both total STARS.

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. September 25, 2014 / 9:11 am

    Frankincense is my most favourite smell in skincare….I love an old church, so ‘churchy’ smells are right up my alley (or should that be pew?!) Thankfully the memories of forcible Benediction attendance as a kid at convent school didn’t put me off for life! But I do feel cheated though….as a ginormous fan of the straws de fromage, I would LOVE to dream of ceilings made of them….nom nom. *slathers on the NYR cream* xx

  2. eva
    September 25, 2014 / 9:29 am

    Hi Ruth, great to see you’ve been exploring frankincense! I only tried the NYR Frankincense Intense in a sample and it’s far lighter in texture than their regular Frankincense moisturiser which is lovely but not necessarily perfect for combination or oily skin (I have combination skin, had a pot of it and loved it in winter but rather on the drier parts of my face).
    It would be FANTASTIC if you could do a review of their Rejuvenating Frankincense Facial Serum:

  3. eva
    September 25, 2014 / 9:37 am

    oh! And Neal’s Yard has a 20% off today, it only happens once every 3 months I think so worth having a look :)

  4. Evelyn
    September 25, 2014 / 9:42 am

    Please keep us apprised on the Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Frankincense Intense mystery. I’m anxious to see if you locate it on a shelf somewhere or if your Mum “finds” it for you! (I think it’s sweet that you “share” your skincare goodies with your Mum. ;-) If that’s the case, perhaps she’ll join you in a review video and we can get two perspectives?) I keep loving your sense of humor and appreciate your insight and reviews.

  5. Annie Z
    September 25, 2014 / 10:09 am

    Really pleased to see this review as just the other day I bought the Ren 1-minute facial rinse thingy on a real impulse buy (although had read good things about it) and was partly spurred on by the fact that there was a GWP of the v-cense vitality cream and night cream! Now I look forward to using my little creams as much as the rinse!

  6. September 25, 2014 / 10:58 am

    “plumptious” is my new favourite word!

  7. syd
    September 25, 2014 / 12:04 pm

    Hi Ruth. How does the V sense youth vitality day cream compare to Ren’s evercalm global day cream. I use it daily and Im noticing lately that its not doing much for me. Any more recommendations for day creams? Ive combination skin if that helps.

  8. Liz
    September 25, 2014 / 2:22 pm

    Good morning Ruth!
    I’m a fan of REN products but haven’t tried this one yet. Have you tried the REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Aging concentrate? It’s very nice, absorbs well and gives my skin a beautiful glow. The retinol comes from rose hips oil, with other natural ingredients such as Bidens Pilosa Extract, a natural anti inflammatory and SeaBuckthorn extract (anti-oxidant) it’s got loads of good vitamins for the skin. Do try it if you get the chance!

  9. Cris Rajic
    September 25, 2014 / 4:19 pm

    Hi Ruth! Which night serum do you usually under REN´s cream? AHA´S?

    • September 25, 2014 / 10:45 pm

      I was using Genefique under it for some of the time, also Aurelia’s serum. But quite often just the moisturiser on a “gentle” day! x

      • Cris Rajic
        September 27, 2014 / 6:45 pm


  10. Laura
    September 26, 2014 / 4:13 pm

    First of all, Ruth, can I say your blog is my absolute favourite! I wondered if you have tried the Soap and Glory 6-in-1 moisturiser? I have read good things about it, and am trying to follow your advice of splurging on serums but not moisturisers (to that end, I’ve just purchased the Nude Progenius oil/serum). Also, I’ve just seen that Pai have launched some new serums – have you tried either? And finally, any other moisturiser recommendations? I once tried the REN one and remember finding the Frankincense slightly irritating for my v sensitive skin, but maybe I should give it another go.

    And – thanks for writing!

    • September 26, 2014 / 5:27 pm

      Pro genius is GORGEOUS! Haven’t tried the Pai but will update as soon as… Will get hold of some Soap & Glory! xx

  11. September 26, 2014 / 6:27 pm

    I’m trying out tons of REN skincare right now and loving it, don’t have the Youth Vitality Cream, though. It will have to go on the list.

  12. September 26, 2014 / 7:09 pm

    Great choice Ruth! Love those 2 brands because they really choose the right ingredients for the skin!

  13. September 27, 2014 / 4:28 am

    I used to use the old Ren version too. I stopped because they started putting a coconut oil derivative in that made my skin crazy. I’ll have to check out the reformulated version!

  14. EHPIUM
    September 29, 2014 / 8:06 pm

    Hi Ruth, if you did an updated top 10 favorite skincare, would they be different to your old ones?

    • September 29, 2014 / 8:11 pm

      Hmm. Maybe!! I should do that shouldn’t I? x

  15. Anna B
    October 2, 2014 / 3:16 pm

    Hi Ruth, thank you so much for the review. Here are some suggestions for products containing Frankincense:
    – Oxygenating Balancing Aroma Face Oil, Delarom
    – Revitalising Face Oil, Aromatherapy Associates
    – Fine Lines Face Oil, Aromatherapy Associates
    – Overnight Repair mask, Aromatherapy Associates (although you already reviewed this one)

  16. Florence
    March 22, 2016 / 11:59 am

    I cannot recommend the REN V-Cence range enough.. I always find the REN products brilliant but this is fab! I always buy my REN fix on

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