This week the beauty desk are championing six skin-rescuers that'll help your skin recover from the excesses of Easter...
To the right of my laptop a giant chocolate Lindt bunny has been savagely decapitated and half devoured. To the left of it lies an inordinately large skincare stash, all of which will make it onto my face in the next few hours in an attempt to counteract some of the negative effects of a sugar rush on my complexion.
I’m quite used to this see-saw, you see – my skin hates sugar in the traditional ‘eat a bar of chocolate and sprout a spot’ sense, but even if yours stays as clear as a summer’s day after a lot of chocolate, it still hates sugar and consuming a lot of the stuff will result in dullness while contributing to premature ageing.
The science behind this is simple: a binge kickstarts a pernicious process called glycation, whereby sugar in your bloodstream grabs onto proteins, distorting them and eventually leading to the deterioration of collagen and elastin, which are jointly responsible for keeping your skin springy and plump.
So while one major sugary weekend isn’t going to do a world of damage, if you’re going to go hammer and tongs at the sweet stuff, it may be worth stepping your skincare up a notch. Which is where these skin saviours come in…
THE ONE FOR ALL MASK: Eminence Citrus & Kale Potent C & E Masque, £49
You may remember that I was in Budapest last week. While there, I explored the Hungarian heritage of harnessing natural actives to bolster skin. Award-winning Eminence does this very well, fusing plant extracts with solid research. This one’s a cracker if you’ve only got time for one mask in your life and will hydrate, soothe and infuse with antioxidants.
THE CLEANSER: REN No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm, £24
Consider this yet another bang of the cleansing drum: without cleaning skin properly and, most vitally, gently, there’s no point in applying any expensive serums or creams to your face. This very reasonably-priced balm makes it onto my shelf again and again thanks to it’s calming and balancing properties.
THE TONER: Trilogy Hydra-Tone Softening Lotion, £19.50
Think a toner doesn’t do all that much? So did I, until I recently discovered a wealth of them containing skincare ingredients to refresh and nourish skin in one watery whammy. Trilogy’s take on the trend is an all-natural toner containing hyaluronic acid to bind water, marshmallow to soothe and ylang ylang to balance.
THE SERUM: Anne Semonin Youth Radiance Elixir, £250
A Harrods exclusive with a price tag to match, the eye-watering expense of this serum is kind of justified by the unique delivery system – the pearls that sit looking mightily pretty suspended in the clear fluid to keep them preserved are crushed when you press the pump, releasing the plant actives such as rose leaf cells and apricot kernel oil so they can be instantly absorbed by your skin.
THE TAN/SKINCARE HYBRID: James Read Gradual Self Tan Face SPF 15, £22
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve slathered myself in a supposedly foolproof fake tan before bed only to find most of it has developed on my forearm come the morning, so a tan that doubles up as an SPF and offers skincare to boot designed to use during the day was always going to pique my interest. After a test, I can assure you that this one develops to a lovely golden shade and made my skin feel moist and healthy throughout the day. As a light tan is the easiest way to look a little healthier, I’ll be using this to make my skin look perkier going forward.
THE OIL: Oskia Restoration Oil, £60
Oskia have yet to make a lotion or potion that doesn’t knock it out the park. This one contains a huge number of skin-boosting ingredients including sea fennel, turmeric, starflower, rose hip seed, evening primrose, sunflower oil, rice bran oil and much more besides to really hydrate, nourish and imbue with a glow. Oh – and there’s no useless mineral oil in the mix. Yet another stellar product Oskia.