The Panel: Fresh start
The desire for a good clear out and a clean slate is not exclusive to springtime.
As the season changes from so-called summer to full-on autumn, we find ourselves feeling keen to face into the colder months with a clear complexion.
This feeling is fed, however, by the fact that as the weather changes, our skin begins to behave a little differently. It’s a bit drier and more reactive, it can start to look a little dull and sluggish and, if we’ve been exposed to summer sun, many begin to see a bit of blotchiness or dark patches.
It’s the time of year for a bit of facial fire-fighting and we have five problem solvers for you.
Thirtysomethings can suffer hormonal outbreaks and under-30s can suffer the dark-spot effects of careless sun exposure, so beware of dismissing certain treatments as strictly for your daughter or your mother. It’s time for a thorough clear out, so take a good look at yourself in the mirror and assess what you need to autumn clean.
Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Stay-Matte Hydrator, €43.50, Clinique counters nationwide Possibly the most elusive quality in our complexions is balance; this is an issue across all ages. This product promises balance, in that it soaks up oil, but it also has oil-free moisturisers and helps with enlarged pores, which are an issue for all ages. “I hate an oily T-zone but a lot of products mattify the skin and then, an hour later, the matt area is flaky,” said a panellist. “Not with this stuff. I had soft skin with a fine texture all day. Lovely.”
BEST MAKE-UP MAGIC YSL
Top Secrets Flash Radiance Skincare Brush, €53, YSL counters nationwide Combining skincare technology with a make-up primer, this is a brush of magic for skin that is jaded, dull or rough. It’s a gel-like product that you paint on using the brush at one end of the tube; the cool, wet texture dries to a smooth, matt finish and skin is more even-looking immediately and gets a boost of hydration, too. “This would rival their Touche Eclat in my affections,” said one panellist. “A real face saver, particularly if you’re permanently over-tired and short of time to do masks and whatnot.”
BEST SPOT SLAYER
Benefit Boo Boo Zap!, €20.50, Brown Thomas and Debenhams nationwide; Clerys; Arnotts; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16 The key ingredients in this spot treatment, salicylic and glycolic acids, work in tandem to dry out blemishes without causing irritation. It’s a liquid, toner-like solution, which you apply several times a day. “This is drying,” said one spot-prone panellist, “but that’s what a spot needs. Loads of products do that, but they tend to drive your skin crazy, too. This strikes a good balance and it beat a serious blemish.”
BEST PORE PERFECTOR
Sisley Global Perfect Pore Minimizer, €142, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork As always with this skincare line, this product comes with a hefty price tag, but the dogged loyalty of the brand’s customers would suggest there is something to their formulations. This is an impressive product for enlarged pores, which are not specifically a young person’s problem as pores become bigger and looser as we age. “I used this under my moisturiser for two weeks,” said a panellist, “I saw a difference in my skin’s texture and my foundation didn’t settle in my pores anymore.”
BEST BLOTCH BUSTER
Shiseido Intensive Anti-Spot Serum, €80, Shiseido counters nationwide This newly launched serum tackles radiance, the loss of which, most wise women report, is far more ageing than wrinkles. In this brand’s own studies, those who trialled it said they would give tone-tackling laser treatments a miss in favour of this serum, which tackles the blotchy concentration of melanin in the skin. “My skin certainly seemed to have a less rough texture and appearance after regular use,” said a panellist. “And I like that this serum doesn’t promise a facelift, just realistic radiance.”