The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine

Beauty brains

Streamline your skincare, with Annabel Jones

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According to a new study of 4,000 women by Avon, ‘skinimalis­m’ is a growing trend. This makes a change from where we were five years ago, when 12-step Korean skincare rituals were all the rage. And it’s a nobrainer: time is a precious commodity, especially post-lockdown. Like many of you, when commuting wasn’t part of my daily schedule I relished the opportunit­y to experiment more with skincare. But since transition­ing from working from home to commuting to the office, I’ve been inclined to streamline my skin routine – and apparently you have too.

Avon’s research found that only 10 per cent of women now use more than five skincare products daily. But if you are still facing a bathroom cabinet full of half-used products and haven’t a clue where to start culling, I can help.

To use a fashion analogy, one wellcut blazer and a flattering pair of jeans will keep on giving long after this season is over, and the same is true for certain beauty products. Invest in a couple of well-formulated serums with proven ingredient­s over and above multiple faddy products and your face will thank you for it.

Begin with a good cleanser that properly (and gently) prepares the skin’s surface for your next step. I like a sulphate-free foaming formulatio­n as it captures dirt and pollution particles like no other. Next, if you have specific concerns, then a serum with targeted ingredient­s is needed. Mandelic acid is a good end-of-summer option for gently exfoliatin­g skin and improving its texture, while encapsulat­ed retinol is, in most cases, a solid bet for night-time. You’ll need a hydrating serum to keep skin supple and you can’t go wrong with ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

Remember that creams are generally there to seal in hydration and keep pollutants out, so a simple barrier cream to finish will suffice. Or, mix a facial oil with water or a facial spritz, which enables you to adjust the level of moisture you need on any given day.

To make things even simpler, you could zero in on one succinct skincare brand. I’m enamoured of the clean Japanese brand Waphyto, which harnesses powerful plant-based ingredient­s with sophistica­ted science. The unfussy, tightly edited lineup of products (free from parabens, ethanols, synthetic colours, fragrance and petroleum-based surfactant­s) is the brainchild of award-winning plant scientist and phytothera­pist Atsuko Morita, who was inspired by Japanese ‘wa culture’. Based on achieving peace and harmony, it’s a philosophy not dissimilar to Lagom, the Swedish mantra of ‘not too little, not too much’.

I genuinely rate all six products in the skincare range, which comprises two cleansers (one oil for removing makeup, one foaming to rid you of deep-down dirt), two creams (one light, one rich), one facial oil and a clever gelbased toner. But, if pressed to highlight just one, I’d recommend the Regena Facial Milk, made with pure squalane and full of mood-lifting essential oils. Or why not give the trial pack of six a whirl and see how your skin fares? Mine is softer, brighter and clearer after a full month’s use. Otherwise, choose from the rest of my road-tested essentials, specially selected for this time of year.

 ??  ?? Damascan Rose Facial Treatment, £55, Aesop (aesop.com)
Damascan Rose Facial Treatment, £55, Aesop (aesop.com)
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