I Hated Hotel Skincare Until I Stayed At Soho House

·5 min read

Normally when you stay at a hotel, even a nice one, the bathroom sink leaves much to be desired when it comes to complimentary skincare. I mean, the amount of times I’ve had to use a plastic-wrapped bar soap to wash the airplane germs off my face because I forgot to pack makeup wipes and the front desk wants to charge me for a cleanser.

At home, I keep random skin-care samples around, so at least I have the essentials for an overnight. But, at a recent two-night stay at the Soho House Nashville, I didn’t need anything I packed. Because instead of the norm — a skinny plastic vial of mouthwash beside the faucet — this white-marble bathroom vanity was stocked with a full display of facial skin-care products that I actually wanted to use. Then, under the sink I found a drawstring bag with a Dyson hair straightener inside and I thought, okay, this place gets it.

During my stay at the Nashville club, I learn all about Soho Skin, the brand’s new take on “actually efficacious” hotel skincare. “You’re used to getting a bland product in a hotel room — and this is a really, really good skincare,” Aalish Yorke-Long Managing Director of Soho House Retail explains to me over tea and avocado on the terrace.

“You’re used to getting a bland product in a hotel room — and this is a really, really good skincare.”

The Soho Skin collection looks like bar-cart decor — weighted amber glass bottles — and I feel confident in its effectiveness when I learn that the 150,000 Soho House members collaborated to create it.

Though I’m not a Soho House member, sadly, I know many people who are. They’re a specific type (and have specific taste): managing director, brand founder, Barry’s trainer by day and model on the side, a socialite I follow on Instagram and secretly wonder where they got their money. Yorke-Long gives me the skinny on the global member profile. “We’re pretty much 50/50 male to female split,” she says. “The median age is 41 and that definitely impacts the feedback we received — it comes from a slightly more informed audience who really know their skin.”

While not necessarily beauty-industry people (though some are), Soho House members have a POV on quality product. “The Soho House members are defined as leads in their fields, creatives, entrepreneurs,” NYC publicist and founder of Studio Beauty Bex Meredith chimes in. “It’s cool to see this brand co-created by people who are top of their game.” They know what they want too, Yorke-Long adds: “Everyone is vocal.”

We talk a lot about how lifestyle factors impact the skin. Traveling, drinking alcohol, eating out, not sleeping nearly enough — it’s all hard on our bodies and often, that shows up in a breakout or puffiness. With Soho Skin, the members’ aim was to create a skin-care products that “energize” the skin, specifically for those who burn the candle from both ends (and probably have a disrupted skin barrier because of it).

“The Soho House members are defined as leads in their fields, creatives, entrepreneurs. It’s cool to see this brand co-created by people who are top of their game.”

Soho Skin Chief Scientist Daniel Whitby worked with a team of biochemists to develop this is “high energy” concentrate that works to activate mitochondria to product ATP for cellular energy. The concentrate spans throughout the product line and uses ingredients known to accelerate the skin’s natural renewal process. There’s lactic acid, glycogen (which maintains skin’s moisture balance to prevent over exfoliation), pistacia lentiscus gum (helps produce skin’s structural proteins, including collagen), and lactococcus ferment lysate (said to balance skin’s microbiome).

The Soho Skin range exists as a well-rounded routine (again, I needed for nothing in my hotel room). There’s a cleanser, exfoliating treatment, serum, face cream, lip balm, eye cream, toner, overnight cream, and shave gel.

After flying from New York to Nashville, I knew my skin could use some good, gentle sloughing, and I grabbed the 24/7 Treatment, which Yorke-Long tells me is the hero of the collection. “We call it ‘game face’ — when you need to get your game face on, it’s a good little pick me up,” she says, adding, “it’s a good complement to tequila.”

I use it as a late-night treatment, applying it over just-washed skin (the cleanser is soft and gentle, pretty much the opposite of bar soap). It stays on for ten minutes and then I wash it off, pat dry, and apply the Soho Skin Overnight Cream over the top. I don’t notice a difference in my skin until the next morning when I head down to the terrace for breakfast. It’s 6 a.m. and I’m feeling like it’s too early to be up but my skin shows no signs of fatigue, it’s glowing and I go ahead and skip foundation and just use sunscreen. It’s my own, though, according to Yorke-Long, a Soho Skin SPF is “in the pipeline.”

While most Soho House amenities are exclusive to those who pay the $3,000+ membership fee, Soho Skin collection is available to to all via the brand’s website. After testing everything, I’d highly recommend the 24/7 treatment, which proved a very-effective and very-gentle exfoliant, plus the cream-to-foam cleanser and lip balm — early favorites among the Soho House members who’ve been vocal on Instagram. The Shave Gel also looks chic. Another option: You could order the Discovery Kit for upcoming travel, knowing full well that your VRBO could never.

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