I feel as though my skin has been a little worse for wear since the beginning of the year: breakouts, dry patches, redness… you name it, I’ve been battling it. The seasonal changes as we moved into Autumn didn’t help matters, but my skin seems to have calmed down a bit – at least for now! There are a few new skincare additions that I’ve been using that have definitely helped, and it comes as no surprise that they all contain lovely, wholesome natural ingredients.
First up is Naturals Beauty The Essential Collection Milk Cleanser (R80), a deliciously nourishing cream cleanser that dissolves makeup and gets rid of any impurities on the surface of your skin, without drying or stripping your skin. It smells lovely and fresh, and is so comforting to use. (For days when I’ve worn heavy or waterproof eye makeup, I like to remove any traces of that using my trusty Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water first to ensure that every last trace of makeup is removed).
I think exfoliating has got to be my favourite step in my skincare routine – I seriously have to talk myself out of scrubbing every night, that’s how much I love it! Although I have many facial scrubs and exfoliators on rotation at any given moment, Esse Cocoa Exfoliator is my go-to scrub at the moment… mainly because of it’s delicious, chocolatey scent and the fact that you can determine how gritty you’d like your scrub to be; simply add more – or less – water, until you’ve reached your desired consistency and grit. Also, have I mentioned that it smells sooooo good?! (Not to mention the fact that 99% of the ingredients used are of natural origin, with 13% being from organic farming and 8% are fair-trade).
A tip that I picked up during my years as a beauty editor is to follow every facial scrub or exfoliation with a face mask (I used to scrub one night, use a face mask the next, and so on… until a skincare therapist suggested that I do both steps on the same night to ensure maximum benefits). One of my favourite face masks that I’ve been using on and off for the past two (maybe three?) years is the Naturals Beauty The Essential Collection Hydrating Masque (R72), which has the loveliest texture that simply melts into your skin, leaving it feeling soft and well-nourished in a flash. It also purifies and detoxes your skin, while soothing and calming any redness – exactly what the doctor ordered for my stressed out, blemish-prone – yet still somehow as dry as the Kalahari – skin. Seriously, my skin is moody, y’all! (I also love that the Naturals Beauty range is free from petrochemicals, parabens, synthetic fragrances and other nasties, as well as being bunny-friendly and proudly South African to boot!)
Next up is a product that I recently dug out from behind an assortment of lotions and potions in my bathroom cabinet – the only reason why I can fathom that it’s been relegated to the back of the bathroom cabinet is the fact that I first got my mitts on it during summer, when my skin simply wasn’t in need of such a heavy dose of hydration. Come the chilly months, and it’s a whole different ball game and my thirsty skin has been drinking up the heavenly L’Occitane Immortelle Divine Youth Oil. This lightweight oil contains seven plant oils, including Evening Primrose, Apricot, Borage, Cameline, Sea Buckthorn, Echium and RoseHip Oil (which is great for treating breakouts, just by the way) – all of which are renowned for their soothing properties, while protecting your skin’s barrier function at the same time. You’re supposed to apply this product daily before your moisturiser or once a week as an ‘intensive booster’ (apply a couple of drops to your face, hold a warm – clean! – face cloth over your face for 10 minutes, then wipe away), but I’ve been using this every evening before bed, over my usual moisturiser. My reasoning? I once read that oils – be it for your face or body- should be applied over your moisturiser to lock in moisture. Makes sense to me, so that’s what I’ve been doing and I only have positive things to report: My skin is plumper and has a bit of a glow to it, and my breakouts have been few and far between – surprising to most, as you’d think that using a facial oil would only result in more blemishes, right?