There's no reason why a good, general overhaul should be limited to spring. Every seasonal shift should call for a reassessment and, typically, what you'll see in the mirror at this time of year is a big dose of dehydration. The reasons are simple. Summer holidays take a serious toll, thanks to sun exposure, as well as sand, sea and swimming pools. Also, we all tend to throw the skincare regime out the window when we're out of our routine. You can feel bad about this, as you assess the signs of dehydration - a shiny tightness and fine lines when you gently pull at your skin - or you can write it off as evidence of a good-time summer. And then you can do something to make it right.
Happily, dehydrated skin is easily mended. It should not be confused with dry skin, which is a skin condition, and affects the deep layers of the skin. Dehydration is all on the surface, and can be fixed fast. Look for skincare products specifically aimed at thirsty skin. Seek hyaluronic acid, humectants, and, no surprise, watery products. And drink more water. No yawning or eye-rolling, please. We know it's a little bit boring, but you've had your fun.
Lancome Visionnaire Nuit, €74, Lancome counters nationwide
You may well be very attached to your lovely creamy moisturiser. You may find gel-creams a bit icky. You need to think again. They're calling the texture of this a 'gel-in-oil', and it melts in beautifully, with a terrific ability to quench Saharan skin. We're not sure about its claims to increase happiness, though a dried-out face can put you in a bad mood, so any improvement might cheer you up. "It's all about the texture with this product," said one panellist. "It's utterly unlike your standard night cream, in that it's light, but super-effective."
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Awakening Eye Balm, €18.50, available nationwide
All Vichy products contain their thermal water, the mineral make-up of which is said to help with rehydration. This new eye product also has water-attracting and water-binding ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and seaweed extracts, as well as caffeine, which soothes puffiness and inflammation. "The 'awakening' bit in the name suggests you look more alive, and I found it was a pretty good perking-up product," said a panellist.
Fuschia D20 Hydrating Spritz, €25, see fuschia.ie
Obviously, one way to get water on the skin is to, well, get water on the skin. In warm or air-conditioned environments, however, to spray water on your face is to invite evaporation, and that can desiccate the complexion even further. What you want is water with bonuses, such as, in this case, coconut and cucumber oils, which help the water bind to the skin. Keep it on your desk and use it like a drink for your face. "I use this as an occasional spritz and as a make-up reviver," a panellist said. "It definitely feels reviving, and I think my skin looks less thirsty."
Chanel Le Lift Concentre Yeux, €80, Chanel counters nationwide
The regular Le Lift serum has proved such a hit that Chanel have now launched an eye-area cousin to it, which promises to restore exhausted skin around your eyes. As if it needs explaining, the texture of this serum is super-light, as the skin around your eyes is very thin and can become puffy and congested if you use heavy, rich products on it. The serum has moisture-boosting marine extracts, as well as very complicated science behind it. "The best friend of tired eyes," one panellist said. "Fresh feeling; fresh effect."
Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Hydration Mask, €16.25, available nationwide
Designed for dry or very dry skin, we suggest that this mask works well on all skin types that need a hydration boost. The intensity of the effect - according to how dry your skin is, on top of being dehydrated - will depend on how long you leave it on. Three minutes is enough for standard thirsty skin, while those with underlying dryness will benefit from 10 minutes, or even overnight. "This is creamy, but with a fresh-feeling, cool-water effect, too," said a panellist. "It's a quick fix before a night out, or nice as a deep treatment on an at-home evening."
Sunday Indo Life Magazine