Life is a juggle. Fact.
I’m 45. I work full time running my own business, I have two children. Like me, so many of you will be head down getting through each week focused on achieving the demands of our roles as parents and professionals, while also being a good partner, friend, family member. Each week we will lament the speed at which time is passing and comment regularly on how did it roll round to Friday again and why the weekend is so short.
That’s modern life. We live at break-neck speed and as working parents, we juggle like no generation before.
Add a global pandemic and home schooling into the mix and, well, it starts to show. We are overstretched.
I am sure there has been a time where you will have suddenly caught a glimpse of yourself and taken a moment to reflect on when those lines became a little more defined, when the skin tone started to lose some bounce and vitality.
Where did our glow go?
The quest for radiance and recapturing the bounce and glow of youthful skin is always the holy grail of skincare. Studies have shown that we judge perceived age on the basis of evenness of skin tone and firmness, much less about the wrinkles and fine lines, or ‘life lines’ as I like to refer to them. Therefore radiance, luminosity and even pigmentation – the glow we all seek – is arguably the key to looking your best you.
Before we delve into some products to help, let’s breakdown and understand why skin can appear dull and lacklustre:
Dead skin cells
A build up of surface debris can start to occur more as we age. The trigger for this is our bodies produce fewer oils to lubricate the surface layers of the skin, this then leads to a build-up clings to the complexion and causes texture and tone variation.
A lack of sufficient water levels in the skin can lead to shadowing around the eyes, loss of tone, suppleness and overall dulling.
Lack of sleep
Poor sleep habits show readily in the complexion with dark circles, puffiness and dull skin tone. The body needs specific hours of sleep in order to enter its dormant reparative phase. Read more about why sufficient sleep and good skin are not mutually exclusive.
Not new news, poor diet, alcohol and smoking all lead to dull skin tone, enlarged pores and the appearance of more pronounced expression lines.
UV rays affect the natural barrier protection of the skin. Once damaged, this can allow more harmful free radicals to be triggered within the skin, breaking down key structural proteins – collagen and elastin, that give skin its bounce.
Poor skincare choices
Whether you are using the wrong products for your skin needs, over exfoliating, not exfoliating sufficiently or failing to adapt to your changing needs with age, season and so on, our skincare wardrobe is best to be reviewed regularly to ensure it is reflective of our specific needs and augmented where lacking.
Elastin and Collagen breakdown
These support fibres within the body allow skin to ‘snap’ or ‘bounce’ back. Think of elastin as the springs in a mattress and collagen the stuffing between. When damage occurs, tone is lost, sagging begins to become evident with loss of contour definition to the facial features.
Most of these factors, we can do something positive about – but we cannot stop time. What we can do is support our bodies in their natural repair processes, building in resilience through good skin care choices.
So how do we set about achieving this glow, putting back in some of what has been zapped by modern ‘super-humaning’?
We have handpicked and assembled three products that are united in promising glow, energy and resilience to the skin. I’ve tried them and here are my honest thoughts.
(Spoiler alert: you cannot go wrong with these products.)
Clarins Extra-Firming Energy Day Cream
So, let me start by saying that I love this product. I mean really love it.
I can’t find a thing not to love about it having tried it.
Clarins have targeted super-active, go-getting and over-stretched women full of energy, but seeing the challenge of their lifestyle reflected in their complexion. (That would be me and perhaps you too!)
I could not help but delight in the gorgeous peach tone of this pot of sunshine for my face; with a luxurious texture that is rich, buttery even, and smells delicious! There is a light reflective pearl to the cream that captures natural light and reflects back on the skin, to give a glow of instant gratification on application.
As you come to expect from Clarins there is a natural extract complex to bring radiance to the skin. ‘Glow-Plex’ comprises of four fruit extracts: Goji Berry, Paprika, Apricot Oil and Acerola Seed for energy, glow, protection, radiance and nourishment.
As a spa based brand, Clarins support their products well with lifestyle and practical guidance. There are massage techniques that support the firming of facial contours, recipes for radiance boosting and lifestyle guidance on minimising glow-zapping nasties.
This cream simply glides on. I immediately see the difference in my skin; it’s more even, toned and glows with the pearl, without being shimmery in any way. It is truly a real find for me and one that I would happily pay for. I think Clarins have hit the language and positioning perfectly with a simple, targeted approach.
See, I told you I liked it! Head to the Clarins counter in-store to grab a pot for yourself.
Now, this is what we call an investment product but it is an utter delight to apply.
It is mouth-wateringly airy, light and delicious. An innovative gel-cream texture in a soft pink tone that smells of elegant herbaceous rose; it simply melts into skin effortlessly.
A decadent complex of ingredients from precious Black Baccara rose oils, to algae extracts, alpine flowers and Chinese lantern or Alkekengi calyx extract help to return plumpness and definition to the skin, soothe, smooth and hydrate, restoring luminosity and strength to the skin from within the upper skin layers.
I love this product. Again, it is a delight to use and feels so comforting on the skin. I definitely felt the hydrating power of this formulation, my complexion felt much more bouncy and ‘fresh’ and it was such a dream to apply.
There is no doubt this packs a punch in hydration and makes the skin feel super soft and plump, but I would caveat this with my personal perception that there will be some amongst us that will find conflict with the concept of rich nourishment coming from such a air-light cream. Indeed, if your skin is drier you may wish to add the Black Rose Precious Facial Oil to amplify the nourishing feeling post application.
I like a dewy finish to my complexion after skincare ready to apply makeup; this is so effective at absorption that it did not leave my skin dewy – perfectly moisturised but not dewy. So, I added the dewy finish to my makeup and the application on top of the Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream for makeup was beautiful. No ‘balling up’ as often happens with gel-cream formulations.
So, if like me you are used to a dewy finish, do not be fooled by the skin finish. This is ultimate hydration and maximum absorption, phyto-cosmetology innovation at its finest in achieving skin softness, plumpness and comfort.
Perhaps it’s time to adjust our perceptions? Shop Sisley Paris online. Discover the Sisley Paris Black Rose collection on-counter in-store.
Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Radiance Emulsion
Another launch for Spring 2021 and oh my goodness...
The essence of natural beauty, lit from within skin has been at the heart of Bobbi Brown since day one. The brand understands that if your skin’s health and vitality is optimised, it behaves as the perfect canvas for that ‘you, but better’ makeup look that is the iconic trademark of Bobbi Brown.
Creating the perfect energising complex to achieve skin that glows with vitality, is a unique complex of antioxidants, botanical extracts, hydrators and the power of the ‘SHROOM’.
What is the ‘shroom I hear you say?
Well, this potent extract of the Cordycep fungi delivers antioxidant protection to safeguard skin from free radical damage that threatens the structural integrity of skin. Cordycep works to help recharge skin cellular energy and kick-start cell mobility to function at optimal levels within the skin.
Added to this potent protection and energising system, a powerful trilogy of hydration comprising Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin and Trehalose to help lock in moisture, plumping and smoothing the skin from within.
The texture is just heavenly. It is silky, bouncy, rich and glossy yet glides over skin and leaves it instantly appearing more even toned and luminous, I would say from initial application.
This luxurious emulsion protects and nourishes the skin, helping deliver radiance through energising skin cells and protecting from damaging free radicals.
The light, cushioned texture of this layers beautifully under or over other products and, I have to say, I used this layered under a day cream as a serum-style extra layer of nourishment which worked really well and delivered a gorgeous canvas for makeup.
Be sure to pop over to the Bobbi Brown counter when you are next in the Beauty Hall to check out this radiance inducing superhero.
BEAUTY INSIDER TIP:
Radiance, firmness and skin vitality come from within. They are a reflection of a healthy skin barrier function and the structural resilience beneath the surface. Topical products can only work so hard to repair what we have perhaps neglected. We have to build healthy habits, take restorative measures and future proof our skin care choices.
Help prevent further degradation of skin firmness by protecting yourself from UV light damage.
Use an SPF, reapply throughout the day.
Right, I’m off to scoop out the last of my Clarins cream…