I always love discovering new skincare products, partly because I never want to age and partly because I love the ritual of preening my face. There’s nothing better than seeing a visible difference between your slightly parched skin to a face plumped by a powerful serum.
I’ve tried some great products over the past few months and they’ve all been products that I’ve used until the very last drop. (If a product isn’t doing it for me after the first few days, I won’t put my skin through a month of ‘testing’. When you know, you know.)
The first two are from Fresh skincare. I tried the Sugar Face Polish about a year ago, thinking it was a scrub. The fact that it had sugar in the name was instantly off putting and I kind of convinced myself I didn’t like it before I’d given it a chance, or read the instructions. A couple of months ago, as my supplies were dwindling and I was in desperate need of a face scrub, I decided to give it a go. I actually read the instructions this time and it turned out that it wasn’t really a scrub at all, and more of an exfoliating mask. I duly left the sugary formula on my skin for the allocated 10 minutes and washed it off to find a supremely glowing complexion. This is no exaggeration, this stuff is good.
However I was still in need of a scrub. My pal Lucy and I were wandering through Covent Garden one afternoon in the name of research and stumbled across the Fresh store (which is a day trip in itself, as it is truly gorgeous.)
I was recommended a number of things, but decided to try the Rose Face Mask and the Soy Face Exfoliant.
The Rose Face Mask comes in a sophisticated porcelain type tub with a luxurious weight to it. Upon opening it you are confronted with a gloopy brown formula filled with real rose petals. For the feel good factor alone, this is worth investing in (I say invest because it’s not cheap, but what good cabinet worthy skincare is?)
I slathered my skin in the luxurious liquid jelly, which was surprisingly cooling- and waited. To be honest, when I washed it off I was expecting the same glow, which sadly I didn’t get, but it is very good for calming skin and smoothing its surface. If your face is decidedly puffy and you want to be transported to a Moroccan spa then this is definitely worth a try.
Still on the hunt for that perfect exfoliating scrub, it was time to try the Soy. This is another one of Fresh’s bestsellers and I completely understand why. It’s basically my favourite thing ever and I use it sparingly, because I love it so.
The Soy Exfoliant isn’t as luxe in packaging but it still looks pretty good. Housed in a tall white squeezy tube, it sits pretty in my bathroom cabinet. It’s not the easiest thing to squeeze, but every time it slithers out I’m excited for my skin. Creamy in texture and thick like a mud mask, the Soy Exfoliant is to be rubbed onto slightly damp skin, and massaged in for up to 3 minutes. It’s at this point that you start to feel the micro granules getting to work and doing their thing. Once you wash off, your skin is noticeably softer, smoother and clearer; this sounds like a L’Oreal Ad but it’s true. I absolutely love this exfoliator and it manages to leave my skin squeaky clean without feeling like I’ve lost a layer or two; it’s basically the answer to all of my prayers.
Next up is the Clarins HydraQuenchCream. I’m a bit of a Clarins freak and feel they can do no wrong, mainly because they never do. Positioned at the swanky end of clarins, the HydraQuench Cream comes in a light blue frosted glass jar with white lid, that instantly implies moisture. Inside is a reassuringly thick cream that doesn’t actually feel heavy and sinks in within seconds. Where many creams fail, in terms of keeping my skin hydrated all day, this triumphs. It, like everything Clarins, is awesome and one of those products you can rely on whatever the weather, or whatever crazy mood your skin decides it’s in.
I was fortunate enough to be gifted a lot of La Roche Posay, after being left disappointed at their recent tinted moisturiser launch. In an attempt to ease the pain I was given most of the Effaclar range to try. Most of it is out of this world and some of it isn’t (mainly the spot clearing cream, which sadly did nothing during any of my breakouts). The Effaclar Duo and Effaclar K+ however, are both fantastic and I shed many a tear when they ran out. The Duo is a serum and cream combo that I use as a post serum, pre cream, serum cream (what can I say my skin is thirsty). It is very good. Lightweight easily absorbed and generally pretty spectacular.
What really got my epidermis going however was the Effaclar K+, a pre cream serum that comes in a metallic tube and looks very medicinal. It is outstanding, (particularly for those with oil-combination skin) and for the four weeks it lasted, my skin was top notch. Every time I applied it my skin was instantly brighter and more radiant. It really is one of those products that I will buy again and again.
Last but not least are the serums. Serums are tricky to get right. It’s hard to find one that’s truly amazing and when you do there’s always the chance your skin will get bored and rebel. The La Roche K+ is definitely my hero serum, but two others I’ve tried recently have helped me mix things up.
First up is the Reti Age from Sesderma, a skincare company that is huge in Spain and is firmly finding it’s feet over here. Even though this is an anti aging serum don’t be alarmed, you’re not going to look old when you stop using it, (which is always my fear when I see anything with the anti aging label.) Sesderma make a lot of serums and sadly the C-Vit serum that I recently tried is in nowhere near the same league as this. The Reti Age is a creamy serum that looks kind of milky and feels like the most lightweight moisturiser on earth. It’s pretty spectacular and definitely one to consider for the brutal winter I’m sure we’ll have. It is hydrating, sinks in in seconds and left my skin looking more even, healthy and generally awesome. Love.
Another newbie which in truth I haven’t finished, as I’ve only been using it for a fortnight, is the Bare Minerals Skin Longevity. One of the things I love about this serum is its size. It is huge and for that I am eternally grateful. You really get your money’s worth with this bad boy. I’m always a little hesitant to try products that brands don’t specialise in, my dad already says if you’re going to a Chinese restaurant eat Chinese, if you’re going to an Italian, eat Italian. In the same vein, If you’re going to a mineral makeup company, use their makeup. The good thing about random rules is that they’re meant to be broken and the Bare Minerals serum is proof of that. The only thing I would say, is that if you’ve got sensitive or dry skin, this isn’t for you. This is great for an instant skin boost, or shot of radiance, but I wouldn’t use it day and night, due to my skin’s sensitivity. For a mild but skin altering it’s La Roche all the way.