A happy medium? Peppering your established routine with a little well-selected newness, to satisfy your desire for some novelty, all while remaining, broadly speaking, consistent. Here are some products I’ve been loving lately, that I’m confident will win you over too.
Cleansing is obviously fundamental to good skin, but arguably it’s the step of your routine that requires the least loyalty and where new products can most easily be subbed in.
Fenty’s Total Cleans’R Remove-It-All Cleanser has the satisfying feel of a foam without the uncomfortably stripped feeling that foaming products tend to impart (it also contains no SLS). Its totally convenient twist packaging means no fussing with lids, which is especially appreciated mid-cleanse.
Cosmetic Society’s Active Cleanser, developed by Perth-based dermal clinician Bonnie Marwick, contains glycolic and lactic acids, plus pomegranate enzyme, to cleanse and gently exfoliate in one step – I like to use it on mornings my skin is looking particularly lacklustre. If your skin is on the more sensitive side, this might be all the exfoliation you need.
Skincare doesn’t often yield overnight results (as mentioned above), but when it occasionally can and does, it’s immensely satisfying. Exfoliating acids are particularly good for this, leaving you looking glowier instantaneously. Two I’m using on rotation at the moment are Sunday Riley’s Good Genes and Alpha-H’s Liquid Gold Midnight Reboot Serum: they’re actually hybrid serums that exfoliate and treat at the same time, handily combining two steps in one. Good Genes utilises lactic acid, whose larger molecular size makes it gentler and better suited to sensitive skins. Alpha-H has glycolic acid (like its cult namesake), paired with 1% granactive retinoid in a unique two-in-one formulation. Both give skin a lit from within radiance by morning.
If you’re looking to invest in a highly effective dedicated vitamin A serum, Dermalist Age Defying MultiComplex would be a wise choice. It contains a broad spectrum of active ingredients renowned for boosting skin health: encapsulated retinol and peptides, along with vitamin C, niacinamide, and more.
Sunscreen should be a daily non-negotiable anyway, but even more so after using highly active products.
Paula’s Choice’s Niacinamide 20% treatment boasts a remarkably high concentration of its eponymous ingredient, which is also known as vitamin B3. It helps refine skin texture and regulate oil production, so it’s particularly good for acneic types, but anyone could appreciate its glow-boosting and skin-tone evening properties.
Typically, serums would be your first port of call for targeting particular skin concerns, but I’d make an exception for Peter Thomas Roth’s Potent-C Bright & Plump Moisturiser. Its formulation (with 10% THD ascorbate, a stable form of vitamin C) is more active than your average face cream – so much so that you can comfortably go straight from cleansing to moisturising without sacrificing results.
Nowadays hyaluronic acid serums abound, but finding a good one – one that layers well with other products while boosting hydration – can prove tricky. Vanessa Megan’s Collagen Boosting Gel Hyaluronic Acid Serum performs beautifully while never piling, which is particularly wrath-inducing when you’re rushing to leave the house in the morning (although truth be told, I also use this at night – I love it that much).
If your skin feels incurably sensitised or tight, chances are that adding in some ceramides (the lipids that compose the skin’s barrier) will help. Sunday Riley’s ICE Ceramide Moisturising Cream is, as the name suggest, rich in ceramides, and it leaves skin comforted without the greasiness usually associated with products for sensitive skins. It has a subtle maripzan-y scent (that I love), thanks to sweet almond extract.
Embryolisse’s Lait-Crème Concentré is the stuff of beauty legend, consistently cited as a must-have by makeup artists, and since getting stocked in Chemist Warehouse stores, it’s become a lot easier to get a hold of it in Australia. Neither too rich nor too light, it works equally well to round out your evening routine as when worn under makeup. It’s cult for good reason.
Givenchy’s Ressource Velvet Moisturising Cream is the best suited to oilier skins of these three: a lightweight gel that absorbs seamlessly and quickly. An elegant formulation for hydration sans shine.
Story by Tess de Vivie de Régie. Holding shot of Lauren Hutton by Francesco Scavullo.