After trialling some great skincare launches in recent months, I've put together an overview of my top picks. I've tried to keep this brief, so please shout if you'd like a more in depth review of a particular product. For reference, my skin is quite dry, dehydrated, sensitive and rosacea-prone, so I'm always drawn towards products that address at least one of these issues.
I'm a fan of everything I've tried from Dublin-based brand, Pestle & Mortar and Superstar Retinol Night Oil is no exception. The first retinol product I dipped my toes (cheeks?) into, Superstar is a non-irritating, retinol night oil to repair skin damage while increasing collagen and elastin levels. It has a beautiful light texture, caused me no irritation despite daily use and has helped reduce some stubborn pigmentation. (Keep an eye out for Cyber Monday/Black Friday offers for Pestle & Mortar subscribers).
I first heard about Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil from local salon owner, Michelle of Bliss Dromore, who raved about the results she'd seen from it. Phyto Replenish is a feather light oil with plant-based active ingredients to restore moisture levels and leave skin glowing. Unlike most oils, this is designed for morning use and I only need a few drops for super dewy skin. It doesn't disturb makeup and is particularly lovely for Winter months - big fan of this one.
Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Masque is designed to calm and soothe temporarily red or irritated skin. It contains highly concentrated botanical extracts, calming dipeptide and hyaluronic acid to cool and hydrate on contact. I absolutely love this when I have a rosaceous flare up or my skin is feeling a little sensitive... the cooling gel texture feels deliciously soothing. Also great for post-workout, sun exposure or - let's face it, more likely - windburn.
Bioderma's Hydrabio range is a personal favourite of mine and the new Bioderma Hydrabio Rich Creme moisturiser is a great new addition to the line. Available in two formulas: a rich cream for normal to dry skin or Light Moisturising Gel for oily/combination, it has a sumptuous texture and leaves my skin feeling immediately nourished. Salicylic acid and Vitamin E help smooth the skin's texture and a little goes a long way with this - don't overdo it (as I did first time) to avoid pilling.
I don't often use a physical exfoliator and struggle to find one that's gentle enough for my sensitive skin, for which Caudalie Gentle Buffing Cream comes up trumps. Rich and creamy with super fine jojoba oil microbeads (the good kind!), it has a gentle fresh scent and leaves my skin feeling strokably soft.
Eucerin's Hyaluron-Filler range is packed with actives including high molecular Hyaluronic Acid to smooth skin over time while instantly plumping for a wide awake, juicy complexion. My personal favourites are the Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Concentrate serum, worn under moisturiser to smooth the appearance of fine lines, Hyaluron Filler Eye treatment and the Day Cream. NB some of these products are quite fragranced, which I didn't find irritating, but just to give you a heads up.
Aveda Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Treatment Lotion with nutrient-rich algae instantly quenches, hydrates and preps skin for serum and moisturiser. I'm a huge fan of this essence-style product, especially in colder weather and just press this watery lotion into my skin with my palms. Rose, German chamomile and eucalyptus add a refreshing scent that doubles up as a gentle wake up call.
I've already raved about Deciem's Ordinary skincare line in an ode of its own (here) and am happy to report that these little bottles are now much depleted and remain in my daily routine. Out of all of the above launches, these remain the biggest standouts for me in terms of no frills, great active ingredients at incredible prices, closely followed by the two oils and Bioderma Hydrabio.
Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples. See my full disclaimer here.