This time we’ve spent in lockdown and working from home has seen an increase in demands for at home treatments, options for pampering and ways to increase the efficiency of our skincare routines. Makeup artist and Beauty Expert Nadira V. Persaud gives us some tips – you can find more techniques from her in her recent book ‘Press here! – Face Workouts for beginners’ – on how to create an at home Facial routine to get the most out of your skincare during this time (or at any time, really).
“Ramp up your routine by adding face exercises during cleansing. This not only encourages a deeper cleanse, these pressure techniques stimulate blood flow which leads to improved clarity and refinement. A quick way to modify your daily cleanse is to apply your cleanser all over your face, slowly circulate finger pads using slight pressure (avoid eye area) then press index fingers beside the nasal passage, thumbs under the chin, then glide index fingers to the outer part of the face, repeat this 5 times and incorporate into morning and evening routine as part of your self-care.”
A gorgeous cleanser to use is the The Organic Pharmacy Rose Diamond Exfoliating Cleanser (RRP £55.00, available at the Organic Pharmacy).
This vegan friendly formula is suitable for all skin types and it combines the finest Rose Water and Diamond Powder with Shea Butter and Coconut Oil to help improve skin’s radiance and hydration levels and Probiotic enzymes to enhance the skin’s natural process of cell renewal. When used in the mornings this cleanser is like a perfect wake-up “flash facial” as it most definitely delivers brighter, fresher skin in an instant. Just massage 2 pumps into dry skin for at least 30 seconds and rinse-off with a soaked warm muslin cloth. If you’re doing a night-time cleanse, we recommend starting with MONAT Makeup Vanishing Balm (RRP £60.00, available at http://www.monatglobal.com/uk) to remove all traces of makeup and doing a double cleanse.
“In between each step of your skincare routine gently pinch your skin all over with fingertips, avoiding the eye area, to ensure skin is activated and absorbs all the nutrients from your skincare.”
After cleansing and before moisturising we recommend you apply an hydrating toner to help replenish your skin from moisture lost during the cleansing process. The Beauty Pie Jeju Daily Rehydration Mist + (RRP £30.00 – £10.60 for members – available at beautypie.com) is a super antioxidant, energizing and hydrating mist, and an absolute must to help rehydrate the skin!
Just a couple of pumps after cleansing will make your skin appear supple and glowing. And it smells lush too! Packed with hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, energizing Jeju Jori (from Bamboo Grass), antioxidants Jeju Yoshino Cherry Blossom, Scutellaria Root and Koyamaki (derived from Japanese Umbrella Pine) it’s an absolute must (the Jeju Island in South Korean is known for its volcanic ash soil as well as the mineral-rich, geothermic natural spring water. Together with its subtropical climate, it is an oasis of high-quality, mineral rich, natural skincare ingredients). Although they describe it as a “micro-fine mist”, I do find the mist isn’t quite as fine as it should be, so it does need to be sprayed from quite a distance so as not to get soaked, or you can spray it onto a cotton pad and then apply it. But it absolutely does the trick, and leaves skin feeling amazing! Hold the spray bottle 8 – 10 inches from your face, close your eyes, and spritz all over. Use after cleansing for a moisture surge, or regularly throughout the day to protect, hydrate and visibly plump your skin.
Follow that with your regular, skin-concern appropriate serum, or if you’re looking for a top up of hydration, we recommend Tropic Skincare Rainforest Dew (RRP £42.00, available at tropicskincare.com).
This gorgeous, vegan friendly, super-hydrating serum is lightweight, quickly absorbed, soothing and leaves you with beautifully bouncy, dewy skin in no time. Clinically proven to increase skin hydration by 46%, boost moisture levels and skin repair rate by 17% and improve evenness of skin tone by 22% (in only 7 days of consecutive use, based on an independent study carried out in 2019) – and we can attest her at Boyfriend that it truly does the trick – , this serum is jam-packed with forest rich plant extracts like Evergreen Fern and Matcha Tea Extract to help soothe skin and reduce redness, Plant Peptides to encourage cell renewal and improve elasticity and multi-molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid to help replenish skin’s hydration levels through-out the day. The different molecule sizes mean that the moisture can penetrate deep into the skin for longer-lasting hydration. Just pat 3-6 drops onto freshly cleansed and toned skin once or twice a day.
Or you can opt for the Slow Ageing Essential Facial Essence (RRP £56.00 for 20ml, available at slowageing.co.uk) for an all-in-one radiance booster.
This gorgeous, super-luxe oil is an absolute antioxidant powerhouse, effectively fighting skin damaging free radicals and increasing the potency of any skincare you apply after using it. Delicately balancing 4 multi-active, luminosity-inducing essential oils like Anthemis Nobilis, Ylang-Ylang, Rosemary and Lemon Verbena with an elasticity-stimulating pure plant oil like Hazelnut Seed and Vitamin E to create an incredibly smooth, silky texture that sinks in like a dream. This pure plant oil is your “secret agent” in a bottle that will hydrate to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and give skin some serious bounce. Slow Ageing also offers you a unique ‘skin’ergy application technique’ to help boost lymphatic and blood flow and release blocked energy pathways, to help bring you calm, relaxation and peace as well as brighter, healthier, more stress free skin.
“End your skincare regime with moisturiser and fully engage in a face workout to ease tension and stimulate muscles using ‘knuckling’ technique to boost blood flow. Use knuckles of index fingers to alternate up the forehead from brows to hairline, using the brows as a guide to work along till you’ve covered the entire forehead. Then press thumbs into the groove under the jaw, travelling slowly up to the ears and repeat up to 5 times. Follow by releasing cheekbones; press knuckles beside each nostril, then slowly and firmly glide under cheekbones, which will promote sculpting effect, repeat 5 times. Finish by gently tapping under eyes using fingers pads to awaken the delicate skin of the orbital area.”
One of our favourite moisturisers for the warmer Summer months is Skyn ICELAND the ANTIDOTE Cooling Daily Lotion (RRP £38.00 available at feelunique.com, Marks & Spencer and select retailers)
This lightweight daily moisturising lotion is ideal for chronically stressed skin as it delivers a burst of coolness to help decongest, detoxify and stabilise your complexion. Vegan and free from nasties, it is infused with soothing White Willow Bark, Mint Derivatives and Icelandic Kelp extracts to actively cool the skin, reduce redness, improve microcirculation and deliver long-lasting moisture and their unique Icelandic Complex, with Icelandic Glacial Water, Arctic Cloudberry and Cranberry Seed oils and Pure Molecular Oxygen, to replenish stress depleted skin nutrients, hydrate, detoxify, fight free radicals and energise the skin. Ideal for when skin needs a cooling burst, this lotion keeps skin blemish-free and looking luminous, without skimping on moisture. Because it has mint extract, be careful to avoid the eye area, as the really awesome cooling sensation will be not so awesome and more of a stinging pain in the eye.
For drier or overly sensitised skins, we highly recommend the Skyn ICELAND Pure Cloud Cream (RRP £48.00, available at Marks & Spencer, feelunique.com and select retailers)
Another way you can increase the efficacy of your skincare and add a little massage into your routine is to use a device like the Jillian Dempsey Sculpting Gold Bar, (RRP £185.00 available at cultbeauty.co.uk)
This gorgeous little device instantly makes your skin feel and appear more toned, contours feel tighter and more lifted. Ideal for both men and women, it uses a Japanese vibration technology that mimics the effects of a massage, instantly relaxing facial muscles to help release tension. It feels fantastic! Because the intense massage effect stimulates circulation, areas of puffiness, especially around the eyes and jawline, are quickly diminished and skin will look radiant. And because 24-carat gold is antibacterial, it is also beneficial to your skin, and it will not tarnish when in contact with your skincare. Ideally you should use every day for 3 minutes, on cleansed or moisturised skin, in gentle sweeping upwards motions across the areas you wish to address, such as the jawline, chin, neck and cheekbones. The device is charged with a single AA battery which will last for 3 months if used for 3 minutes a day.
Twice a day-
‘As we continue to increase screen time its imperative eyes get a rest and stay hydrated to avoid lines. Motivate yourself to take time out to apply a soothing eye cream or gel twice a day to your orbital bone, then sit or lay down with hands cupped over eyes with pressure on the bones, not directly onto eyes and circulate up to 15 times. This eye massage will reawaken tired eyes as well as offer enough activation to gently keep puffiness at bay.’
We recommend something like the Skyn ICELAND Icelandic Relief Eye Cream (RRP £40.00, available at feelunique.com, Marks & Spencer and select retailers) and a couple of times a week, boost it up with Skyn ICELAND Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels (RRP £25.00 for a pack of 8, available at Marks & Spencer, feelunique.com and select retailers)
These under-eye saviours are the ultimate Summer skin essential. Use them after a long night in front of your computer to depuff, brighten and rejuvenate tired eyes, or to cool off in the Summer heat with their unique Icelandic Complex. These gels are perfect for masking the tell-tale signs of a high-octane lifestyle or dehydration in the heat. Replenish, cool, soothe and depuff in just 10 mins with Gingko Biloba, Hydrolyzed Elastin and Coenzyme Q10. They truly work a treat on tired, congested under eyes.
Once or twice a week we also recommend you add an exfoliating and masking moment into your routine, to help tackle any particular skin issues, this will act as a booster to get rid of dead skin cells and impurities, increase glow, improve skin texture or replenish moisture levels. You can multi-mask or alternate which masks you use depending on your skin needs.
This cruelty-free and vegan friendly 2-in-1 exfoliator mask gently buffs and removes dead skin cells with the help of natural fruit acids (AHAs), naturally exfoliating granulated sugar extracts and a blend of Glycolic Acid, Citric Acid and Lactic Acid. Antioxidant-rich Cranberry Seed works together with REJUVENIQE S™ (their unique complex that blends 13+ Natural Plant and Essential Oils rich in omega fatty acids, antioxidants and nutrients) and nourishing botanicals like Bay Berry Wax and Murumuru Butter for even-toned, fresh-faced, glowing skin. Also, it smells fab! To use, remove a small amount from the jar with the spatula provided, then apply it on freshly cleansed, damp skin and massage over face, neck, and décolletage using gentle circular motions. For an extra treat, leave on skin as a mask for 5 mins. If your skin is prone to sensitivity, you may want to start with a shorter time period and work your way up to the 5 minutes mark. Rinse off with warm water or with a wet, soft cloth and follow with a hydrating mask or your regular skincare.
This soothing and refreshing mask is actually very versatile. Men can use it as an after-shaving day cream, it can be mixed with Dr. Hauschka Clarifying Day Oil, to create a perfect daytime product for sensitive, blemished skin, or it can be used to help regulate and cool sensitised skin that is prone to couperose or after sun exposure. The soothing effect of this mask is instantly noticeable. It leaves skin feeling instantly refreshed and soothed, complexion looks more even and it leaves your face, neck and décolletage feeling toned and refined. Ideal for problematic skin, it helps diminish the appearance of redness and blemishes, refine pores and even skin tone. A blend of Quince Seed, Anthyllis and Chamomile extracts rapidly support the skin’s renewal process, help maintain moisture, visibly minimise pores and calm the appearance of redness and irritation. And nurturing Jojoba, Apricot Kernel and Wheat Germ oils clarify and smooth skin. Skin visibly glows with a healthy radiance.
The Kyushi Facial oils (RRP £39.00 each, available at kyushi.co.uk ) are also an excellent addition to your facial routine, as the Kyushi ritual is just as important as the products themselves.
Pause for a few moments twice daily, place three drops of your chosen Kyushi oil into the palm of your hand, gently rub hands together and cup hands over nose and mouth. Close the eyes and take three long deep breaths, feeling the stomach rise and fall, the lungs ﬁlling then emptying completely as you breathe deep to oxygenate the body. Finally apply the oil to face, neck and chest to experience the topical and aromatherapy benefits in unison.
Choose between Kyushi Orange & Neroli, a daily, energising facial oil that nourishes the skin with organic jojoba and squalane oil and uplifts the mood with essential oils of Orange and Neroli, Kyushi Jasmine, Lavender & Cedarwood, a calming evening oil that deeply moisturises with organic jojoba and squalane oil, whilst essential oils of jasmine, lavender and cedarwood induce a state of deep relaxation, Kyushi Chamomile & Helichrysum, a soothing, reparative facial oil to hydrate with balancing meadowfoam oil and reduce inflammation and ease irritation from skin flare ups like acne, rosacea and eczema with essential oils of Chamomile & Helichrysum or Kyushi The Power of Ten, a powerhouse of ten, nutrient-dense, plant-based oils including hemp, seabuckthorn, argan and prickly pear oil, that make this an ultimate healthy skin ‘booster’, to nourish, strengthen, balance, protect, soothe and regenerate skin.
And let’s not forget our lips – as we often do when doing our facial routine – , using the SO…? Sorry Not Sorry Say No More Lip Pout (RRP £3.99, exclusively available from www.superdrug.com), cruelty free gentle exfoliating lip scrub which is enriched with Jojoba Seed Oil, once or twice a week will leave you with softer and smoother lips. So pucker up!
‘Inject a DIY facial once a month, to maintain skin whilst spas and salons remain closed by doing a safe gentle steam. When seated with eyes closed, faced over a bowl of water with a towel over your head, sit for 10 minutes, no more, making sure your face is not close to the steam as you are merely opening pores from the vapours. Then use a face cloth to gently pinch the skin all over, paying a little more attention around the nose, forehead and chin, avoiding the eye area. This is by no means extraction, leave that to the pro, but in the meantime will tend to surface congestion and fully oxygenate the skin whilst offering that post facial glow.’
Of course, you can never go wrong with some Saint Iris Adriatica Every Body Purity Paste 3-minute mask to brighten and re-texturise dull skin, suitable for face and body, (RRP £48.00 for 250ml, available at siadriatica.com and selected retailers)
Have we talked about Saint Iris Adriatica lately? Because this earthy, naturally warming express mask gently exfoliates and lifts impurities, improving texture and leaving skin rejuvenated, purified and positively glowing. Mediterranean Cedar micro-dust together Willow Bark Extract work to gently exfoliate and detoxify skin and enhance absorption of active skincare ingredients and blend with omega-rich Olive, Seaberry, Seaweed Protein and 20+ Wildplant oils including Borage and Rosehip, which are naturally rich in retinol, essential fatty acids and vitamins C, D and E to help revitalise and nourish skin as well as reinforce the skin’s natural moisture barrier and Cherry kernel oil, high in antioxidants, plus vitamin A help skin feel soft, smooth and supple. Best way to use is to smooth onto dry skin, all over the face, body or targeted areas (hands, feet, elbows, neck or décolletage). Leave on for 3 minutes, then rinse off thoroughly. Recommendation from beauty guru and brand creator Sanela Lazic ‘Feel the fjaka (adriatic for mindfulness in action or simply a state of bliss): Take the smooth, healthy glow to hands and feet between manicures and pedicures. Use the three minutes to stimulate joints and muscles by flexing and rotating your wrists and ankles. Finish with a refreshing whoosh of Every Body Vitality Spritz.
This sustainable, cruelty free, vegan, organic mask is perfect to rejuvenate dry, dull skin. An instant skin pick-me-up. The amino acids and antioxidants in this deeply replenishing and nourishing mask will help enhance microcirculation, stimulate cellular regeneration, improve complexion and skin tone, firm and tone skin, boost collagen and build elastin with Pentapeptides for a youthful glow. Enriched with Shea Butter which is rich in essential fatty acids to protect against dehydration and Honey for its anti-bacterial and healing properties. It will instantly enhance your skin’s radiance. Apply a thick layer onto cleansed skin of face and neck. Leave for 15 to 20 mins and rinse off with warm water. If you have sensitive and reactive skin, you might want to leave it for a shorter period of time, as the active stimulation of microcirculation will temporarily increase skin redness.
Another device you can add to your routine to enhance your skincare is the Foreo UFO 2 Smart Mask Treatment Device (RRP £249.00, available at Foreo, cultbeauty.co.uk and selected retailers)
The UFO 2 boasts an amazing 8 LED (light emitting diode) light therapy colours (the full wavelengths’ spectrum) together with thermo and cryo functions, precision sonic pulsations, hydro-masking technology and a smart app to help you make the most of the device. Together they will help with collagen production, breakouts, skin tone, texture, soothing sunburnt and irritated skin, minimise imperfections, fine lines and wrinkles and even fight dark circles. Of course, you have compatible FOREO masks that are designed to be used with the device for ultimate results.
Using a ‘power-masking’ device like the UFO 2 will not only condense a usually 20 min long session into 90 secs, but it will relax you and enhance your mood (we know how stress can lead to aggravated skin!) but it’s thermo therapy (a newly optimised warming function that reaches up to 45 degrees) softens and preps the skin as well as opens the pores to help skin more efficiently absorb the mask’s nutrients. Follow with the Cryo function to help tighten, tone and reduce puffiness while lifting and firming. The T-Sonic Pulsations will aid facial massage and relax facial tension.
Possibly our favourite for those spa days is the House of Hopstock X Skin Alchemists ISLAND DREAMS Tropical Holiday Beauty Bundle (RRP £85.00, available from 1st July online at House of Hopstock and Skin Alchemists)
Aase and Theresa from House of Hopstock and Skin Alchemists have teamed up to create the most sumptuous tropical beauty bundles so we can create our own tropical spa holiday at home. Available in three sizes, in a choice of 5 gorgeously vibrant tropical prints (courtesy of House of Hopstock) which are all variations on their Shangri La palm print and come in Ruby (reds/pinks), Harvest (teals/greens/pinks), Jungle (greens/blues), Dawn (pastels) and Shangri La (oranges/greens/pinks) all designed and made in the UK, these fabulous goody bags are here to uplift, soothe, and indulge.
We all deserve a touch of beauty, nurture and luxury on this staycation. And what delicious luxury it is! The ISLAND DREAMS Bundle includes 3 House of Hopstock items: a tropical print makeup bag with waterproof lining, a tropical print brush bag, a tropical print velvet/cotton eye mask filled with lavender hand picked in the Cotswolds for that extra relaxing, calming, soothing effect, and 5 Skin Alchemists products: the ‘Wild Atlantic’ hand made soap slice with yarrow, spirulina and shea butter, which is uplifting, soothing, refreshing and moisturising; a 5ml ‘Humble Warrior’ facial cleansing oil with hemp and styrian pumpkin seed oil, to deeply cleanse and detoxify skin, increase circulation and lymphatic flow, lift hard to remove makeup, clean pore debris, and relax the mind with its calming scent; a 5ml ‘Sesenne’ face or body oil elixir with vitamin A rich cacay oil that they like to call ‘rainforest in a bottle’. It’s natural perfume encourages a deep breath, connecting with the heart chakra. It is a sophisticated vitamin cocktail which repairs, nourishes and rejuvenates skin, whilst calming sensitivity and revealing a lifted, brightened and glowing complexion; a 180g ‘Chocolate Cove’ body scrub with raw cacao rich in antioxidants, vitamins and omega 6 it promotes cell repair and rejuvenation, aided even more by the addition of unrefined cocoa butter.
The cocoa is ceremonial grade and sourced directly from a female farmer in St Lucia, coconut shell powder, and Himalayan pink salt for added scrub, which helps soothe dry and itchy skin with its 70 different minerals and scents of chocolate, deep citrus and sweet spices of nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger which also bring antibacterial properties together with their aromatherapy benefits. This truly indulgent product is basically so delicious you will want to eat it.; and 1 x ‘Midnight Serenade’ candle / oil treatment with night blooming jasmine. This intensive skin treatment candle is a great two in one product. Light it as a candle when you have a bath or are meditating, then either pour some of the beautiful melted oil into your bath, or use it as a nourishing body balm once you step out of your bath. It is meant to really soothe both body and mind, to help you relax, with scents of a sweet floral garden and muscle soothing botanicals. An intensive skin treatment that calms and nourishes. And you can of course use the empty vessel later to either make your own candle, or as a jug!