Saturday 24 March 2018

About face - a New Year skincare resolution

The simplest New Year's resolution of all, says Sarah Caden, could be to clean up your skincare act

Pictured, from left, Trilogy Active Enzyme Cleansing Cream; Reform Skincare Glycolic Acid Foaming Cleanser; Avene Eau Thermale Cleansing Foam; Image Skincare Ageless Total Facial Cleanser; Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Milk
Pictured, from left, Trilogy Active Enzyme Cleansing Cream; Reform Skincare Glycolic Acid Foaming Cleanser; Avene Eau Thermale Cleansing Foam; Image Skincare Ageless Total Facial Cleanser; Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Milk

Sarah Caden

One important rule when it comes to New Year's resolutions is to keep them realistic. Set yourself a 5k running goal before you sign up for a marathon. Aim to lose a few pounds before hoping for the whole stone. Make a few tweaks in your skincare regime before booking in for a facelift to fix your post-Christmas face.

It's really quite terrifying the toll that just a few weeks of overindulgence can take on one's appearance. Not to mention the fact that, during the party season, many of us forget our golden rule of always, but always, removing our make-up before bed. Cleansing seems to become optional when Christmas arrives, and that shows in January, with dull skin that needs a restoration resolution. So, just as the lack of cleansing can wreak havoc on the complexion, resolving to buck up your cleansing routine can prove remarkably restorative. Small steps and little changes are far more achievable than plans for a massive overhaul, after all.

Our top tips when it comes to cleansing is to avoid anything that foams, and avoid hot water on your face. Both can be irritating, but we concede that some of you don't feel clean without them. Try, though, that's all we ask.

Best Overall

Trilogy Active Enzyme Cleansing Cream, €29.95, Debenhams; Arnotts; Boots; selected pharmacies nationwide

A little bit of mild exfoliation built into your cleanser will go a long way to keeping your skin smooth and making it extra receptive to serums and creams. Long gone are the days of harsh scrubs, however; many new cleansers incorporate gentle, acid-based exfoliants. This is a great example of the type, with dead-cell-eating papaya and pineapple extracts, as well as moisturising properties. It's gentle and creamy, but the smoothing bonus sets it apart. "I like that you can either wipe it off or wash it off," said a panellist. "It's great for make-up or an in-shower

wake-up wash."

Best Fine time

Reform Skincare Glycolic Acid Foaming Cleanser, €28.99, see

If you're trying to wean yourself off suds, then this is a good starting point. It pumps out as a mousse-like foam, but it doesn't bubble up any further on your face. The glycolic acid provides a bit of an exfoliation, but you may have to leave it on your face for a minute to get results. "A lovely in-shower cleanse that leaves my skin really smooth - and not quite squeaky-clean, but satisfyingly clean," one panellist said

Best matt mate

Avene Eau Thermale Cleansing Foam, €16, selected pharmacies nationwide

If your skin is oily or combination, you will know that it's hard to find cleansers that don't strip or irritate. Avene excels at minimising irritation, so while this cleanser is mattifying and oil-busting, it's also very skin-kind. Glutamic acid rebalances sebum, while the Avene thermal water brings moisturising minerals to the mix. "I really believe that this did the promised job of tightening my pores and soaking up the oil," said a panellist, "but all without giving me that claw-your-face-off feeling of tightness."

Best age appeal

Image Skincare Ageless Total Facial Cleanser, €33.50, for stockists, see

This foams and if that's what you want, then this is a great one to try. It's creamy but not too rich, and while it has a bit of exfoliating glycolic acid, it's suitable for everyday use. They're selling it as a three-part product, as it operates as cleanser, exfoliant and toner. It's part of a skin-refining line that is worth checking out for the new year. "I love the squeaky-clean feeling and I don't care," one panellist said. "But this is so gentle that my skin doesn't feel tight after it."

Best quiet moment

Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Milk, €41, House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Brown Thomas; Arnotts

Obviously, you can wash it off if you really want to, but this is your classic, wipe-off cleanser that is creamy, gentle, and suitable for eye make-up. With a selection of natural oils - including chia seed, which is rich in omegas - it's moisturising but not pore-clogging. The jasmine flower content helps to soothe redness, apparently. It has a pleasantly light and liquid texture that distinguishes it from a cleansing cream. "The light lavender scent is lovely," a panellist said, "and elevates it to an evening, take-the-day-off favourite."


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