You may have noticed that in my piece about exfoliation I kept returning to the notion of a good daily skincare regime. Just as the diet you eat on a day-to-day basis is vital if you want to stay healthy, using good products routinely is the only way to impact skin positively through skincare.
One of the main things we all rightly focus on in our routine is moisture. This is backed by the experts, who claim that many of us are dehydrated on a cellular level thanks to pollution, stress, processed food, alcohol and just not consuming enough water-bearing vegetables and fruit in our diets. This dryness leads to dull, easily-irritated skin prone to flare ups of acne/eczema/redness.
As with all things skin, an internal approach is hugely effective in tackling dehydration – Dr. Murad often tells his patients to ‘eat water’, i.e. replace a glass of the recommended eight a day with the equivalent in raw fruit and vegetables. Tackling dry skin through diet (and perhaps with the help of omega supplements, too) is always most effective and if you’re eating an extremely poor diet, not sleeping enough and drinking enormous quantities of wine, your skin is never going to look good, even if you hit it with the very best moisturiser on the market.
However, if you are already relatively healthy and wanted to upgrade your skincare products or try something new, below are some moisture-infusing products that I’ve tried and loved in recent months. I’ve put them into two routines – one lighter, one richer – as the key to binding in moisture is to layer it and never strip the skin – use cleansers that aren’t harsh, toners that don’t contain drying alcohol and serums that will penetrate deeply into your skin. By that point, it hardly matters which moisturiser you put on top of the lot to lock it all in (though I’ve got some crackers below in case you’re in the market for one).
The Lightweight Routine (ideal for younger skin/those that aren’t extremely dehydrated or like a slightly more liquid or gel texture):
Cleanser: Weleda Gentle Cleansing Milk, £9.95 here. A water-based cleansing milk that is softening and removes make-up gently. It also contains sesame and jojoba seed oil to cosset easily-aggravated skin.
Toner: Karmameju KISS Calming Hydra Mist 02 at here. This spritz contains anti-inflammatory ingredients as well as calming camomile, rice milk, oat kernel and hyaluronic acid. On another note, the nozzle of this dispenses the finest spray I’ve ever used to lightly mist the face without any waste.
Serum: Radical Youth Infusion Serum, £110 here. When you consider that serum is the only product with any shot in hell at penetrating your skin at a deep enough level to impact new cells, buying a good ‘un seems logical. This one is among the very best – rich with antioxidants, reparative ingredients and hyaluronic acid all contained in bi-lipid membranes that ensure the ingredients have maximum efficacy.
Eye Cream: Clinique All About Eyes De-Puffing Eye Massage, £22 here. If you don’t like your eye cream to feel heavy, switch to a serum instead. This one delivers antioxidants and caffeine to brighten the under eye area, while the cooling rollerball action helps to work puffiness out. Ideal when you’ve been out late.
Moisturiser: Sisley Sisleyouth, £118 here, or QMS Medicosmetics Liquide Proteins, £110 here. If you’ve coveted Sisley since your teens like me (okay, that may have just been young skincare-obsessed me, but it is nonetheless a very covetable range), you’ll be delighted that they’ve turned their meticulous eye to the younger market. This plant-based cream is rich with active ingredients that help reduce oxidative stress while improving the skin’s tone with peptides. I also am a little in love with Liquide Proteins, an extremely lightweight fluid that strengthens the skin and helps it to retain youthful elasticity.
Oil: Jurlique Balancing Face Oil, £38 here. If your skin is playing up, it is likely down to a compromised barrier coupled with dehydration. This oil targets both. Also, the bottles. They are a joy to have on your shelf.
Mask: Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Mask, £19.99 here. These individually-wrapped face sheets are infused with hyaluronic to replenish dry skin. Pop them on while you’re in the bath before going out to plump up your skin.
The Richer Routine (for older or more dehydrated skin):
Cleanser: Astalift Cleansing Oil, £9.50 here. Removing make-up and daily debris with an oil is the least skin-stripping method. Work this into your skin properly before emulsifying with water to clean your face quickly without leaving it dry.
Toner: Su-Man Rehydrating Toning Essence, £37 here. This beautiful hydrating gel contains hyaluronic acid and rose petal essence to moisturise and refresh. Make like Su-man and apply your toner in an upward motion to enhance the skin’s circulation and absorption of the products applied subsequently.
Serum: Institut Esthederm Intensif Hyaluronic Serum, £49.50 here or Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate, £40.50 here. If you need a big, fat whammy of moisture, apply the Institut Esthederm serum, which contains three kinds of water-binding hyaluronic acid, and follow with the Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate. Leave on overnight to banish parched skin.
Eye Cream: Laboratoires Novexpert Expert Anti-Ageing Eye Contour, £32 here. While wary of any product that claims to ‘anti-age’, I can’t deny the efficacy of this deeply moisturising, quickly absorbed eye cream.
Moisturiser: Omorovicza Intensive Hydra-Lift Cream, £130 here. This rich cream packs a moisture punch while melting into the skin. Once on, the ingredients within will go to work to neutralise free radicals, lift, firm and plump in one. This is really what I’ve come to love Omorovicza for – very moisturising, very pleasant to use, very conclusive.
Oil: Balance Me Rose Otto Oil, £32 here. A relative newcomer to the hugely popular Balance Me Rose Otto family, this blend of three rose oils with a host of other powerhouse ingredients such as arctic cloudberry and cucumber will fortify and calm, while rebalancing moisture levels. It’s also pretty good value for money, given that three little drops will cover your entire face and neck.
Mask: Dr. Hauschka Moisturising Mask, £36.95 here. Dr. Hauschka’s moisturising range is second to none. This mask contains almond, avocado and jojoba oil, quince seed, rose wax and organic shea butter to deeply replenish.