If the mir­ror tells you the sum­mer has left you look­ing jaded, says Sarah Caden, we can smooth things out for you

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - THE PANEL -

Look­ing rough? It’s funny how we all have this idea that sum­mer makes us look bet­ter and then, when Septem­ber rolls around, we sud­denly look in the mir­ror and re­alise that we look all rough. It’s not just a gen­eral rough; it’s spe­cific. It’s the rough that comes with be­ing a bit lax and let­ting the skin­care rou­tine slip while on hol­i­days, or hav­ing week­ends away, or just be­ing lazy. Then, there’s the rough that comes from too much sun. At this time of year, there’s a strong chance that a bit rough is ac­com­pa­nied by pesky lit­tle sun-dam­age spots, too.

Well, as luck would have it, we have five prod­ucts this week to get you through the rough. Go­ing at your face with a scrub full of ker­nels is a thing of the past, and for­get the prod­ucts with lit­tle mi­crobeads of scrub­bi­ness, too, as those tiny plas­tic balls are ru­in­ing the oceans. These days, gly­colic, lac­tic and fruit acids are all your friends when it comes to smooth­ing the skin’s sur­face. These are gen­tle acids that nib­ble away im­per­cep­ti­bly at dead skin cells, ex­pos­ing new cells that are ready and wait­ing to be plumped up with mois­ture from what­ever serum or unguent you’re hav­ing your­self. It’s not tough, you see, to get rid of the rough.

BEST OVER­ALL Im­age Skin­care Vi­tal C Hy­drat­ing Fa­cial Cleanser, €35, se­lected sa­lons na­tion­wide, or see re­nais­sance-skin­

We can’t say enough good things about this cleanser. It’s a rinse-off af­fair that you can use in the shower, with a skin-smooth­ing vi­ta­min-C con­tent that is kept sta­ble by the opaque pack­ag­ing and the pump ac­tion. The vi­ta­min C helps with pig­men­ta­tion, while the cleanser’s creami­ness lends mois­ture, so it’s ideally suited to ev­ery­day use. “If you still han­ker af­ter a squeaky-clean feel­ing, even though you know it’s wrong, this is as close as you’ll get to it, with­out any tight­ness or ir­ri­ta­tion,” a pan­el­list said.

BEST EYE RE­LIEF Nuxe Splendieuse Anti-Dark Spot Anti-Dark Cir­cle Eye Con­tour Cream, €30, se­lected phar­ma­cies na­tion­wide

A lightly creamy eye prod­uct, this prom­ises a pick-me-up for the area that is of­ten the first to show dark spots and de­hy­dra­tion lines. It has vi­ta­min C to work on pig­men­ta­tion, and pep­tides, which claim to pro­mote col­la­gen pro­duc­tion. It also has the bonus of light-re­flect­ing par­ti­cles to cre­ate the il­lu­sion of a youth­ful glow. “My skin had a springi­ness that had been lamentably ab­sent,” said one pan­el­list. “This is a nice cream that ac­tu­ally has an ef­fect.”

BEST BODY BAL­ANCE No7 In­ten­sive Ra­di­ance Body Scrub, €20, Boots na­tion­wide

We know that a lot of you are non­scrub­bers be­cause you don’t want to rub away any bit of tan you’ve ac­quired. That said, though, isn’t the tan look­ing a lit­tle piebald by now? Well, it’s not go­ing to get any bet­ter, and if you want it to con­tinue look­ing even and smooth, you need to scrub. This is a thick paste with plenty of scrubby el­e­ments — but no mi­crobeads — to slough away dead skin. “A lit­tle goes a long way,” said one pan­el­list. “My body lo­tion worked bet­ter, my skin looked smoother and was less itchy.”

BEST SLEEP WELL Ren Wake Won­der­ful Night-Time Fa­cial, €40, Marks and Spencer beauty halls; se­lected phar­ma­cies na­tion­wide, or see

Once, face masks were muddy af­fairs that dried to a hard crust and took a chisel to re­move. Lat­terly, the trend is for ease of use and, in par­tic­u­lar, masks that work while you sleep. This is one of the best of that kind, and it has AHA and gly­colic acids to nib­ble away dead skin, and sodium lac­tate to re­plen­ish hy­dra­tion — the prom­ise is smoother, plumped-out skin. “I got the promised re­freshed look,” said a pan­el­list. “And what a dod­dle this is to use.”

BEST PER­FECT PEEL Skini­cian Pro-Ra­di­ance En­zyme Peel, €31.50, se­lected sa­lons na­tion­wide, or see skini­

In terms of how this works, it’s not dis­sim­i­lar to the Ren Gly­co­lac­tic Ra­di­ance Re­newal Mask, though it’s less thick and jam-like to ap­ply, which might swing it for some peo­ple. It works in much the same way, though, with al­pha-hy­droxy acids and fruit acids that rid the skin of rough, dead skin cells, with­out the need for scrub­bing. “Smoother skin and a more even tone: this peel is just what the doc­tor or­dered,” said one pan­el­list.

Pic­tured, from left, Im­age Skin­care Vi­tal C Hy­drat­ing Fa­cial Cleanser; Nuxe Splendieuse Anti-Dark Spot Anti-Dark Cir­cle Eye Con­tour Cream; No7 In­ten­sive Ra­di­ance Body Scrub; Ren Wake Won­der­ful Night-Time Fa­cial; Skini­cian Pro-Ra­di­ance En­zyme Peel

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