BRIGHT & BEAUTIFUL
Choose plant-powered products to cultivate a fresh-faced glow
Choose plantpowered products to cultivate a fresh-faced glow
With spring on its way, we all want a complexion that looks as radiant as the season. Unfortunately, a winter of cold weather and drying central heating is more likely to have left us with lacklustre skin, which can make us look tired and washed out.
“The main culprits for dull complexions are dead skin cells, dehydration and uneven skin tone – all of which can affect us at any age,” says Georgie Cleeve, founder of natural skincare brand Oskia (oskiaskincare.com). It’s this grey pallor, not wrinkles, that is the real ager, it seems, so the latest products contain a raft of plant-based ingredients that work to reinstate a youthful radiance. Gentle masks and exfoliators remove dead cells without irritating skin that has been made sensitive by winter elements, while nourishing moisturisers and serums even out complexions, and illuminating creams help return that spring-like glow.
REMOVE WINTER LAYERS
As we age, the speed of skin-cell renewal slows down and can lead to a dull, rough and unevenly toned complexion. “A build-up of dead surface cells makes it harder for creams and lotions to reach the fresh layer below, resulting in that familiar wintry grey cast and loss of youthful plumpness,” explains Sarah Brown, founder of Pai Skincare (paiskincare.com). “Great exfoliating ingredients, such as natural jojoba wax beads and gentle AHA fruit acids, help to break down the ‘glue’ between dead cells, revealing fresh ones without causing irritation.”
Pai Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator (£24, paiskincare.com) lifts away impurities on even the most sensitive skins. Oilier or blemish-prone complexions are more suited to Antipodes Juliet Skin-brightening Gel Cleanser (£24.99, antipodesnature.com). It contains exfoliating extracts of kiwi and hibiscus, as well as soothing Manuka honey.
Janjira Marine Radiant White Exfoliating Scrub (£26, janjira.co.uk) uses finely ground walnut shells to freshen the skin, and also contains algae to help brighten it – use once or twice a week. For something more powerful, REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask (£32, renskincare.com) has a combination of fruit acids to exfoliate and decongest. Apply no more than once a week – it’s not suitable for sensitive skin, but it will reveal a brighter, clearer complexion seemingly instantly.
To get back that bloom, you need to nourish and soften skin, while also improving tone and evenness. “Look for products with hyaluronic acid and light facial oils that will add a natural sheen while deeply hydrating and plumping,” Georgie explains. “Even skin tone becomes increasingly difficult to achieve over the years due to sun damage and hormonal changes, but vitamin C can help.” Oskia Renaissance Brightlight Serum (£85, oskiaskincare.com) contains two types of vitamin C and is an intensive treatment that helps to brighten skin tone. In a small trial of 30 women, 90 per cent
said that their complexion appeared more luminous after using it twice daily for a month.
Wild rose oil is particularly high in vitamin C, and Korres Wild Rose Advanced Brightening & Nourishing Face Oil (£30, korres.com) combines it with apricot and sunflower oil to soften and soothe irritated skin.
When you massage Darphin Lumière Essentielle Illuminating Oil Gel-cream (£45, darphin.co.uk) into the face, the soft gel transforms into a light oil. Hyaluronic acid plumps, while a combination of seven essential oils work to brighten. Very sensitive skin types may want to try Aurelia Revitalise & Glow Serum (£57, aureliaskincare.com), which includes omega-rich baobab oil.
GET THE GLOW
A new raft of creams and balms adds instant radiance to skin using light-reflecting particles, while working to restore vitality under the surface. “Finely milled topical highlighters bring back luminosity,” Georgie says. “They’re perfect for enhancing your glow, but can also help you fake one after a long night or early start.”
Switch your morning moisturiser for This Works Energy Bank Skin Glow (£30, thisworks. com). A serum and luminiser in one, it has vitamin C and red algae extract to rejuvenate, with golden mineral particles for subtle sheen. Alternatively, Lancôme Energie de Vie Pearly Wake-up Lotion (£28, lancome.co.uk) adds a little zing to tired-looking skin with goji berries, lemon balm and gentian for nourishment and a translucent pearl effect for a fresh complexion.
New Erborian Glow Crème (£37, erborian. co.uk) is a silky, iridescent cream, enriched with liquorice extract to brighten skin. Wear it under make-up or as a highlighter on cheekbones for a dewy look. Similarly, Chanel Hydra Beauty Flash (£43, chanel.com) can be used first thing as a complexion pick-me-up or even applied sparingly during the day for a quick radiance boost. Super-hydrating camellia helps the skin appear soft and smooth, while pearlescent particles instantly illuminate.