A good soaking - the best skin rehydrating products
The fun times at this time of year take a toll on the skin, says our beauty expert, but rehydrating help is at hand
Have you ever noticed that you rarely look your best in the photos taken at Christmas and over the New Year celebrations? Somehow, despite all your intentions to the contrary, there's often a red-faced glow to your visage by the time the big days arrive, and this can be attributed to two things. First up is central heating, which plays havoc with the skin, and is a great one to pin the blame on. The second is that you've been taking the words 'party season' as an instruction to overdo it. Which is why you are dehydrated, high-coloured and glowing - by which, we mean more Rudolph than radiant - by the end of December.
Of course, we could advise that you should lay off the late nights, but that's not our job here. Our best advice is to internally top up your general hydration level by drinking plenty of water, and then do some external good work with skin-nourishing oils and rehydrating masks. When it comes to the masks, if the skin is really dry, don't bother removing them after the recommended short period. Put them on overnight, and sleep in them. Do the same with the body products, which can also be used as a pre-night-out pep for rarely exposed and sadly neglected limbs.
SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque, €60, for stockists, see skinceuticals.co.uk
This is a skin-cooling mask and a good friend of skin that has been overheated and dehydrated. It's recommended post-cosmetic procedures, too, in case you're thinking of fitting one in at the last minute. It has cucumber, thyme and olive extracts; a dipeptide that claims to cool the skin; and good old hyaluronic acid, which draws in moisture. A top tip is to use it from the fridge. "No two ways about it; overnight use gives really obvious results," said one panellist. "I am a big fan of their B5 mask, but this is even better. My skin seems smoother, plumper, more dewy."
Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, €30, Arnotts; Debenhams; selected Boots
This is limited edition, so get your skates on. This tube of moisturising magic contains avocado and apricot kernel
oils, and Japanese seaweed, to soak the skin with goodness. The instructions are to slap it on and sleep in it, and that's how you see the best effects for a plumped-out, refreshed complexion. "I adore the mango scent, which sort of refreshes the senses, while the product revives your skin," one panellist said. "A staple all year round, but I'd be tempted to use it nightly over the next month."
Best Artistic Body
Kiehl's Creme de Corps, €31.50, Arnotts; Kiehl's shops, 35 Wicklow St, D2, Dundrum Town Centre, D16, and Debenhams, Cork
Annually, Kiehl's team up with a different artist to decorate their limited-edition Christmas bottles. The goods remain the same, but the packaging has been pimped up by the likes of Jeff Koons, Haze and, this year, Brooklyn-based Jeremyville. His cartoonish drawings breathe life into your bottle of Creme de Corps, which remains one of the very best for dry bodies. "You can't beat this," said one panellist. "It leaves skin soft, with a lovely sheen."
Best Luxe Oil
Chanel No5 The Body Oil, €80, Chanel counters nationwide
Move fast if you were a fan of the No5 body oil that came in a plastic bottle and was discontinued about five years ago. This is a limited-edition spray of dry oil, and it's more a true incarnation of the classic fragrance than the body oil was, and not heavy or dulled as you might fear from an oil. Truly luxurious, it absorbs quickly into the skin, and leaves a sort of veil of fragrance. "I might be self-gifting this one," said a panellist. "It's amazing after a shower before going out, but it's also a really decadent treat after a night-in bath."
Best Head start
Shu Uemura Urban Moisture Hydro-Nourishing Treatment, €52, selected salons nationwide
We can reassure you that a little of this mask goes a long way. It's aimed at perennially dry hair. The key ingredients in this mask are an extract of the moringa tree, which claims to pack a huge antioxidant punch, and red micro-algae, which is rich in vitamins and minerals. The line also has a shampoo (€32) and conditioner (€42), as well as a serum (€42). "My hair gets eaten alive by heated tools at this time of year," a panellist said. "This made my frizz lie down and look glossy."
Sunday Indo Life Magazine