Ruth Griffin's Beauty hot 100... skincare sensations
In the final week of Ruth Griffin's definitive list of the 100 make-up and skincare products that are a cut above the rest, Weekend's beauty guru brings you her skincare sensations
Of all the beauty lotions and potions that we can buy - and there is a huge array to pick from nowadays - the one area that I would gently encourage both men and women to invest in is looking after their skin. That's why, for this final week of my Beauty Hot 100, I'm concentrating on skincare.
Over the past month, I've shared my list of the very best base, lip, eye and haircare products - all of which I have road-tested as Weekend's beauty writer. So far, we've covered 80 products that stand out from the crowd, and today I'm adding - in no particular order - my 20 skincare favourites that complete the Hot 100. While I encourage you to "invest" in your skincare, from feet to face, that doesn't necessarily mean you have to spend a fortune - in fact, some of the products listed here are priced at under €10. What I do mean is that you need to figure out what your skin needs and attend to it on a consistent basis, morning and night. So many of us overlook minding our skin properly, and it's only when something goes wrong with it (like adult acne) that we begin to truly appreciate all it does for us!
While this is a list of skin-boosting products, I'm a huge believer in an inside-out approach to skincare: we mind our skin best when we eat tonnes of fruit and veg and drink plenty of water. If there's one wonder product everyone needs, however, it's sunscreen. Recent studies have proven beyond doubt that using sunscreen all year round is the single most effective way to keep the wrinkles at bay.
Nourishing eye cream
This eye cream is a deeply nourishing, calming balm perfect for anyone with sensitive eyes in need of an injection of plumpness to the laughter line area. This Irish brand is wholly organic so you're guaranteed that there are zero junk ingredients (e.g. parabens, petroleum products) in it. Ría Organics Restorative Eye Cream, €34, from health stores nationwide and riaorganics.ie
La Roche-Posay has become an industry leader in sunscreen over the past few years. You're guaranteed to find a sunscreen that's specifically targeted to every sun intolerance - they have one for sensitive eyes, for skin prone to heat rash, and mature skins already damaged by sunspots. They also have a brilliant mineral (i.e. non-chemical) sunscreen. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF50, €19.99, from pharmacies nationwide.
If you're fed up with all the different lotions and potions rattling around your bathroom cabinet, and want a multi-functional moisturiser the whole family can use (that's free from chemical nasties for the little ones), then check out Aveeno Active Naturals Skin Relief 24Hr Moisturizing Lotion, €5.99. This is a calming, soothing, fragrance-free skin saviour perfect for all the family and available from pharmacies nationwide.
How to find a fake tan that has no orange tint, doesn't streak or look grimy, and smells tolerable? It's harder than you'd think. One fake tan product that has never let me down is James Read Overnight Tan Sleep Mask, €30 - it goes on like a dream (only a tiny amount is needed) and gives a natural glow rather than a deep tinge. For a darker colour, just apply over two nights. Gorgeous. From pharmacies nationwide.
DIY face peel
There seems to be a never-ending array of names for lotions that smooth the skin - peels, clarifiers, deep exfoliators, skin smoothers, skin resurfacers... These products use acids to penetrate the skin and nibble away at dead cells to encourage new skin to the surface (as opposed to everyday exfoliators, which use rough-textured items to clear only dead surface skin). The best one I've tried this year is Dermalogica Rapid Reveal Peel, €90, a DIY peel you use at home that gives salon-level results. (Note: This will make your skin more photosensitive so SPF is a must!) From Dermalogica salons nationwide, dermalogica.ie and millies.ie
Budget face mask
Beauty guru Alex Steinherr has done the most amazing skincare collaboration with Penneys. Wow! Alex is a skincare expert who focuses on excellent ingredients and this line, which she has created over the last two years, is a must-have if you love a beauty bargain. The Alex Steinherr Sleep Spa Sleeping Face Mask, €6, is an overnight treat that gives plumped-up, juicier-looking skin when you wake, available from Penneys.
CeraVe is a bestselling US skincare brand that arrived in Ireland this year and really wowed beauty insiders. It's the kind of no-nonsense, zero-bells-and-whistles, does-what-it-says-on-the-tin product that I find brilliant! A perfect unisex skincare line, it has excellent ingredients at a good price, with no fancy packaging. A hard-working skincare hero that I think you'll love. CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion, €14, from pharmacies nationwide.
Sheet masks are having a beauty moment the last few years, and for good reason - they work a treat! I find sheet masks particularly good for dry skin. If you fancy a shot of deep hydration quickly, they're a godsend. They can be a bit messy but are totally worth the effort! A go-to mask option for me is Seoulista Beauty Instant Facial Masks, €8.95, from Dunnes Stores and pharmacies nationwide.
Are you totally muddled by skincare terminology? At a loss as to how to create your own beauty regime? There is so much information out there, it can all be a bit confusing! Skincare guru Jennifer Rock has launched a book that may steer you in the right direction. The Skin Nerd, €25, is a straight-talking, easy-to-follow, streamlined set of tips and tricks on how to navigate your way to better skin. From bookstores nationwide, or €17.99 from dubraybooks.ie