It’s all too easy to let the skincare routine slide at this time of year and slip into a party-slump-party cycle, where anything requiring too much effort feels like a no-no. Whether you’ve been neglecting your skin amid festivities, have a special occasion coming up, or want to undo post-party damage, these are the products I turn to for skin solace.
As a self-confessed skincare junkie, these options may be more than you’re looking for, so if you only take away one element of all this, let it be the 3 key steps: deep cleanse, (re)hydrate and nourish.
I’ve been kicking off with a weekly late night double mask session. I start by deep cleansing with Clayspray Pore Refining White Clay mask (currently on offer at Feel Unique), which acts as an exfoliant while drawing deeply embedded impurities to the surface (nice!). Despite the name, this is more ‘clay pump or squirt’ than spray - you basically squirt it into your palm, spread a layer over the face and rinse off with a warm flannel when dry - genius and really quick and easy.
I then go in with a deep hydrating mask like Avene Soothing Moisture Mask (currently 20% off at Escentual). I’ve been adding an extra layer of moisture under my regular moisturiser with either Hydraluron - aka hyaluronic acid (serious moisture) in a tube, or Murad Pore & Line Minimizing Hydrator - a deliciously light textured hyaluronic acid packed hydrator that minimises pores, treats minor breakouts and generally makes my thirsty face swoon!
Several times a week I’ll top this up with one of my favourite discoveries of the year, Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil. A few drops of this massaged into my skin produces double take in the mirror results next morning, every time - softer, smoother, more plumped and rested skin - this is definitely one of the best facial oils I’ve used, at half the price of most.
Daily Cleanse & Hydrate
A quicky late night cleanse is fine once in a while, but your skin will thank you for regular thorough cleansing and other products will perform even better. There’s no need to use anything too harsh - I’ve been cleansing with Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser for a couple of months now and find it particularly soothing when my skin is playing up. It’s packed with skin-kind ingredients that nourish without irritating and the creamy texture is easy to remove with a warm, damp flannel, leaving no residue.
Pixi Glow Tonic is the most gentle exfoliating toner I’ve come across, yet still tackles those pesky under skin bumps and blocked pores. One quick swipe with a few pumps on a cotton pad is all it takes - I get mine directly from the Carnaby St store in London, where it’s available to purchase by phone. I picked up La Roche Posay Serozinc in France last year and now save it for when my skin needs an extra boost of soothing hydration. I lean back and spritz this so that the mist falls down onto my face and not a drop is wasted. Please LRP, bring this to the UK! If you don’t have this, I rate the facial spritzes by Avene or Balance Me for an extra layer of hydration before applying moisturiser.
Skin prep is key to how your make-up performs and this super-lux trio creates the perfect balance for me. I begin with a layer of A-lister favourite, BeautyLab London Black Diamond Energizing Serum, containing actual black diamond and multiple peptides to plump, smooth and add luminosity. This gives my skin a great pre make-up glow without tacky residue, available at Harvey Nichols here.
I follow this with a hyaluronic acid packed duo of DELAROM Objectif Jeunesse Lifting Cream and Eye Contour Lifting Serum. The creation of Christine Benet - product developer for Darphin and Decleor for 20 years - this new paraben-free range is packed with ingredients to help revitalize, detoxify and balance the skin - tick, tick, tick! Its sleekly packed, skin plumping, velvety texture is devine and an absolute pleasure to use. My skin is loving it and I’m excited by this range made with simple, yet highly effective ingredients. Five collections address individual skin needs and are exclusive to Urban Retreat Beautique.
If this sounds like a whole lotta skincare, just remember the 3 key steps: deep cleanse, hydrate and nourish. Some of these products were sent for review and may be outside the average skincare budget, so please feel free to leave a comment below or email me if you’re looking for lower cost alternatives.