Apparently, Rehab London is the skincare range of choice for Simon Cowell, whose pores undoubtedly take a thrashing on a daily basis. It's hard work crushing naïve dreams underfoot and that kind of stress can wreck havoc on your complexion.
On first impressions, the products spark a clash of reactions. The pared-down black-and-white packaging is undeniably sexy, with a sense of self-assurance that immediately inspires confidence - only to be punctured slightly by the smug tone of accompanying text - one of the products is called 'Morning Glory'. It's decidedly tricky to pull of this kind of mate-y tone (cf: Innocent smoothies), and Rehab's voice recalls a misguided geography teacher who's followed his students to the local pub: well-intentioned, but slightly embarrassing.
Still, if you're the kind of person who cares about this stuff ('ingredient junkies', according to Rehab) then you'll likely be pleased with the exotic components on offer: Hawaiian water algae, bamboo spiny medulla granules, argan oil and African pepper, along with more familiar staples like cocoa seed butter.
Of course, this is all just window dressing. Do the assorted scrubs and gels produce the desired effect? Well, I've been using a quartet of Rehab products - exfoliant (£9.95), moisturiser (£14.95), shaving gel (£8.95) and balm (£14.95) - for just over a fortnight now, and my face certainly seems a lot happier as a result. We're talking a subtle change here, rather than a Sistine Chapel-style restoration of my fizzog, but my skin feels clean and clear and generally in good health.
As a general rule my morning routine consists of falling out of bed, skipping breakfast and then cheerfully missing a bus. This being the case, you could argue that I've merely been enjoying the benefits of actually having a daily skincare regime in the first place, rather than the specific perks of using Rehab's wares. That may be true, but even to my untrained eye there are identifiable ways in which this range surpasses its cheaper competitors.
The moisturiser does its thing without leaving an oily afterglow. The daily scrub is abrasive enough to feel forceful, but doesn’t leave you feeling like you've been frotting a cheese grater. The shaving gel didn't feel particularly revolutionary (can shaving gel ever feel revolutionary?), but the after balm leaves you with a pleasant, energising tingle.
Beauty products are a lot like clothes, in that the way they make you feel is arguably as important as the way they make you look. Rehab's cosmetics certainly aren't cheap, but they're not prohibitively expensive either, and if you do stump up the cash you'll probably like the eventual results… which is more than can be said for Simon Cowell's auditionees.