Does anyone else feel a bit blergh beauty-wise after summer? Apart from the whole post holiday comedown and back-to-work emotional trauma we experience, our skin and hair has taken a real beating, too. After months of chlorine and salt water abuse and - let’s be honest - a few skipped salon appointments, straw-like strands are hardly surprising.
When it comes to skincare in summer I have to admit lately I have had an embarrassingly laissez-faire attitude – a cursory smear of tinted moisturiser (with SPF, of course) and a brief “she’ll be right” slop of facial oil at night time. When I’m having real serious fun, I’m lucky if I even make time to cleanse. I know. SO bad. But – the good news is, stressed hair and skin can be salvaged. You just need to put in a little TLC to reap the rewards of spun silk strands and sumptuous skin in time for the seasonal change.
The magic oil
I know I harp on about it a lot but rosehip oil is one of nature’s wonders. It contains deeply hydrating essential fatty acids and lycopene (also found in tomatoes), which is a powerful antioxidant that will help prevent cell damage. I swear it has faded some pigment and blemish scars I had. I really like Trilogy, Kosmea and Kora Organics.
The hair mask
Ask any hairstylist or surfer and they’ll wax lyrical on the benefits of hair masks. Just like your limbs and your complexion, your hair needs a deep shot of hydration. One of my new favourites is Oribe Signature Moisture Mask – the brand from top New York hair stylist, Oribe, has recently landed in Australia. Love the luxe texture and packaging.
The colour refresh
Everyone’s colour looks a little lacklustre after summer. It’s unavoidable. If you don’t have time to put a new semi put through or front to the salon there is a stop gap solution. Wella Color Recharge is an in-shower shampoo and conditioner with colour depositing technology which will add a bit more oomph to fading colour, help blend greys and add a huge shot of shine to the hair.
The luxe cream
Yes they’re expensive, but top shelf creams really are the sports cars of the skincare world. They are high performance objects of beauty. Years in the making in labs give way to finely-tuned textures and fragrances that are as indulgent as they are delicate. One way I justify it? Splurging on a luxe cream is on par with buying a new pair of shoes - and I think your face certainly deserves as much love (if not more!) as your feet. If you’re in the market for this kind of decadence, look no further than one of the holy trinity: Crème de La Mer, La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream and Chanel Sublimage.
I first discovered Jo Malone Vitamin E Body Scrub on a trip with Jo Malone to London several years ago. I was all flaky and lizard-like after a long-haul flight and the chilly UK weather and this turned my skin around in one shower session. It’s like a hydrating balm with little granules that you apply on dry skin before a shower or bath, taking time to really massage it into hands, feet and elbows. It smells drop-dead amazing and once you rinse it off it leaves your skin supple, smooth and so hydrated you can even skip the moisturiser.
The tan extender
I love a good tanning mousse as much as the next girl, but sometimes your skin just craves something more sumptuous and hydrating. Enter the tan extender or gradual tanner. I recently discovered Kiri Organics – a brand from New Zealand. it gives a lot of colour, so go easy around hands and feet, but it’s super hydrating and full of avocado and macadamia nut oils. I love that it doesn’t contain any nasties either.
The body butter
I’m an avid collector of body butters – particularly those of the coconut/honey/chocolate scented persuasion. From the unctuously rich Coconut Revolution Charming Body Cream to the classic tubs from The Body Shop (in yes, you guessed it, coconut) to L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Honey Whipped Body Cream, they leave you quenched and smelling like dessert. What’s not to love?
The pigment destroyer
Intense Pulsed Light treatments (IPL) are the most effective way to blitz pigment. The last time I had a course of treatments at Clear Complexions in Balmain I was seriously impressed. After my freckles darkened and flaked off, my skin took on a luminosity and plumpness I haven’t seen for months. Founder of Clear Complexions, Suzie Hoitink recommends between 4 – 6 treatments and reminds us of the importance of sun protection afterwards, as pesky pigment has a habit of coming back.
Story by Sigourney. Layout by Nicola Donovan. Sigourney's dress by Zimmerman.