The truth is when it comes to self-maintenance consistency is key. No matter how much you spend, or how sophisticated the products you are using, building a regular routine is your best bet when it comes to maintaining your best-looking self.
Dark Circles Vitamin C can do wonders, but you have to be patient. The full benefits are realised over time (up to 12 weeks to work on dark spots and up to a year to work on wrinkles). Start using Superfacialist’s fabulous eye cream in January and have the confidence to know that over the next few months your skin will be protected against pollutants and will start looking visibly brighter.
£14 now stocked at hollandandbarrett.com
Turkey Neck Like the late, great Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck. However, I have been religious in rollering it with Neck Glory, new from Nadaya. With less fatty tissue, collagen and oil glands, our necks can look ‘turkey’ even if our faces look peachy. This cream serum contains a penetrating panoply of ceramides and other actives dispensed through an inbuilt steel roller which you sweep upwards until the product is fully absorbed. The process encourages lymphatic drainage and the product instantly firms. Four weeks of use has had noticeable effect.
Dried Out Body Proud’s new Body Cleansers pack a lot into each bottle. The mild fragrance has been designed to lift your mood (very welcome on a dark January morning) and the non-drying formula is stuffed with natural hydrators and exfoliants. Lather it up and let it sit on the skin for a few minutes. It’s a wash-off, sure, but one that has been created with instant impact in mind to help optimise time in the shower.
Thinning Hair There are many reasons why our hair can thin; hormonal changes, genetics, nutrition and environment can all play a part. And, of course, stress. The bugger is, the more you stress about hair thinning, the worse it can get. It’s not unusual (50% of women are likely to experience it) and seeking medical advice should be your first port of call. There are a lot of topical remedies out there, none of which can guarantee results, but I’ve been really impressed by Super Roots Hair Oil from BIA. Devised by founder Imane who was motivated by her own experience, it uses natural ingredients which have been proven to stimulate growth. In addition to the oil, the Derma Roller prickles across the scalp to jumpstart natural collagen production.
Oil £29.99, Roller £20 thereisbia.com
Itchy Scalp Australia’s best-selling scalp care brand has just launched into the UK and I’m most excited by the Crown Fix Scalp Serum which nourishes the microbiome and strengthens the skin barrier. I like the fact you can apply it throughout the day (on wet or dry hair) rather than having to find 20 minutes in the morning between washing hair and getting dressed. It doesn’t leave tacky residue and is great at combatting seasonal scalp itch, caused by increased hat wearing and moving between the cold outdoors and the dry central-heating inside.
Lizard hands Like the neck, hands have less sebaceous glands, meaning skin loses its cushiony bounce and dries out more rapidly. BioEffect’s range includes the EFG Hand Serum which uses their barley-derived epidermal growth factor (EFG) complex along with other serious skincare ingredients. It will instantly smooth and hydrate and, over time, enhances moisture retention. Massage in through the day as needed and also at bed time to help the benefits accumulate.
Dull Skin If your complexion is lacklustre, you’re possibly not exfoliating regularly. There are plenty of options available but for sheer convenience, Skin Cycle’s Toner Renewal Pads are highly recommended. Infused with the holy trinity of gentle acids (AHAs, BHAs and PHAs) and a generous amount of anti-inflammatory Willow Bark extract, these are suitable for all skin types and will address texture, tone and blemishes and also minimise potential contaminants. Keep the pot in easy reach and you’re more likely to swipe daily (mine is by the kettle).
Breakouts Despite best efforts, some of us require more than good daily skincare and so a weekly detox mask is great at helping to keep breakouts at bay. Bubble skincare is affordable, plant-based, science-backed and I’ve gotta admit it, I love the cheerful, tactile packaging. As a clay-based mask, this draws out impurities but the added extracts and acids means it does so without leaving my face feeling tighter than two coats of paint.
Daily Protection Dr David Jack is an aesthetic doctor who was urged by his clientele to develop a skincare range. Launched in 2018 with a serum, a moisturiser and a night cream, he has recently added a cleansing gel to rave reviews. Designed to work together, each has its own hero ingredients but I particularly like the multi-award-winning moisturiser which boasts SPF 50: “Having a good SPF as part of your daily skincare is perhaps the only mandatory step …I created my All Day Long moisturiser to make this part of your daily routine as easy as possible”. The sheer cream acts as an invisible shield, protecting the wearer from both UVA and UVB rays as well as blue light and inflammation-causing pollutants.
Overnight I’ve come across very few creams or potions specifically designed for overnight use created for the body, but why should be much vaulted benefits of beauty sleep not apply when it comes to replenishing all over? Containing a hefty dose of retinol (making it unsuitable to use during daylight hours) as well as niacinamide to even out pigment, peptides to stimulate the extracellular matrix (the breakdown of which contributes to the formation of stretch marks), and caffeine to boost circulation and self-repair. Massage this in where needed and let it work its magic while you sleep.
Commit to a Fresh Start
A glowing bride – or groom – might be a cliché but you want to look amazing on the day, right? Not least because the photos will last a lifetime. If you have concerns about your skin or just want to enjoy indulging yourself in the run-up to your wedding, think ahead about your best skin prep.
All the best new launches to soothe, condition, paint, shine, gloss, colour and give some love to your lips...
I’m a bit embarrassed that Hada Labo haven’t frequented the pages of this magazine as much as they deserve. After all, they are Japan’s No 1 skincare brand, and their products are so reasonably priced.