I have been feeling like the blogging muse has left me. When I mentioned this to my friend Undina, she encouraged me to try a post about skincare, especially as she enjoys reading them. As you will see from this post, Undina is unlikely to be reading frivolous blog posts at the moment, but I wanted to write this for her. Even if she doesn’t read it right now, the thought is there.
As it happens, I have had the chance to try a range of high-end products over the last few months thanks to a Caroline Hirons Hall of Fame kit and the SpaceNK Beauty Advent Calendar. Below are my thoughts on some of them.
Votary Rose Geranium & Apricot Cleansing Oil
This is a top quality product and smelled pleasantly of earthy geranium. However, I’ve decided cleansing oils just aren’t for me. It was nice to use during winter mornings because it felt nourishing but I didn’t particularly enjoy the feeling of it on my skin and I prefer something that feels more cleansing in the evening.
Japanfusion Pure Transforming Cleanser, Beauty Pie
I’d heard a lot of hype about this cleanser so when subscription service Beauty Pie did a month’s free trial it was top of my list. I must say it has a lovely creamy texture and feels very soft on the skin. It is the furthest thing from a harsh, stripping cleanser. It’s nice but I didn’t feel the love I expected. The scent is a bit too subtle for my taste. OSKIA Renaissance Cleansing Gel is still my favourite.
NMF Lactic Toner, Pestle & Mortar
Last summer when I was taking a break from tretinoin, I would use this exfoliating acid toner after cleansing. I love the dispenser which means you just have to press down your cotton wood pad on the top to saturate it. It left my skin increasingly glowy with regular use and did not irritate. Lactic acid is more hydrating than glycolic or salicylic acid. I’ll continue with this or the MediK8 Press and Glow Daily Exfoliating PHA Tonic each summer or whenever I have a stubborn dry patch of skin.
Hydrating Accelerator, Josh Rosebrook
Caroline Hirons calls this ‘Jesus Juice’ and it’s far and away the best mist I’ve tried. Nobody needs a facial spritz in their routine but I like them and tret dries out my skin. I use one every morning after cleansing but I particularly like using them after an acid (like the one above) as a kind of neutraliser. This has an aloe vera juice base infused with a range of vitamins and nutrients. It is hard to find a facial mist which isn’t like a fire hose but Hydrating Accelerator dispenses the finest mist I’ve come across. It also has a lovely vanillic natural fragrance. It’s expensive (£35) but I will repurchase when I run out and can get a discount.
Hyaluronic Serum, Dr Barbara Sturm
Talking of Caroline, if there is a brand that is likely to make her blood boil it’s the one by celebrity dermatologist Dr Barbara Sturm. I can see why. Charging £235 for a 35ml bottle of hyaluronic acid is eyebrow raising to say the least as HA is not a super expensive ingredient. I always apply a hyaluronic acid after my spritz to rehydrate the skin after cleansing. This one worked well and a little went a long way, but I would not dream of spending that much on a hydrating step. I’ll stick with Hada Labo.
CEO Glow Vitamin C and Tumeric Facial Oil, Sunday Riley
Once my hyaluronic acid has sunk in, I use a vitamin C serum. My holy grail is the CEO 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum by Sunday Riley but I got the oil version in the calendar. I think it’s a good option for sensitive, dull skin but I’ve come to the conclusion I’m just not a fan of facial oils generally.
The Rich Cream, Augustinus Bader
Another super spendy brand, the 15ml mini I got of this moisturiser was worth £69. I hate to say it, but it’s good. It’s not the overly heavy cream I expected it to be. It has a substantial texture but didn’t feel heavy on the skin and sank in pretty much straight away. I wouldn’t blame anyone who had the money for buying this, but it’s still ‘just’ a really nice moisturiser. I prefer to put most of my money into my actives. My current moisturiser of choice is Drunk Elephant’s Protini Polypeptide Cream.
The Blue Cocoon, May Lindstrom
Now this is my kind of luxury skincare product. Completely organic and made by hand, its quality and ethical production is unquestionable. What I love about it though is the sensorial experience. I adore the glorious blue colour, the chocolatey smell and the way it melts into a oil as I massage it into my skin. I use it on weekends when I take two nights off from tret and it’s a real treat. I’ve heard it can be a game-changer for all sorts of skin conditions but luckily I don’t currently have any those concerns. It gives me a nice glow in the morning but I can get that from an acid. If money were no object, I’d never be without a jar for the pure joy of it.
Have you tried any of these or found something new to add to your skincare routine? Please let us know in the comment.