If there’s one area to invest in when it comes to beauty kits, it’s skincare. Like premium wardrobe staples, high-performing products form the foundations of your routine by protecting, nourishing and enhancing your complexion. We also believe in the wellbeing benefits of a luxe ritual that can be enjoyed every morning and night. With the above in mind, this category is dedicated to the products that truly deliver on their promises and leave you with the very best version of your skin.
Best For Sensitive Skin
La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane range for sensitive skin has earned industry acclaim, and this moisturiser has really impressed us. The stripped-back formula contains glycerine, ceramides and vitamin B3 to repair and protect the skin’s barrier and deliver a nourishing hydration boost. It also contains La Roche-Posay’s signature antioxidant-packed spring water. It’s dermatologically tested and has Allergy UK’s Seal of Approval. In other words, if you have sensitive skin, this is an essential.
Best Eye Cream
This duo really makes a difference. The day formula uses a host of organically sourced actives to work on lifting, smoothing and reducing puffiness and dark circles. Meanwhile, the night formula concentrates on cell regeneration and circulation. We particularly love the cooling applicator, which provides an enjoyable way to gently massage the delicate area and boost lymphatic drainage for brighter, tighter, wide-awake eyes.
Seed to Skin
Best Eye Treatment
You won’t find anything better than Rodial’s patches for a pre-event, eye-brightening fix. Each patch is infused with a blend of botanical leaf extracts and glycerine to rapidly take down puffiness, smooth the look of fine lines and plump skin. They also have a cooling effect, which both soothes and tightens tired eyes. We were won over by how quick and easy they are to use. Simply stick under each eye, leave for 20 minutes, et voilà!
Best All-Round Cleanser
For an effective cleanser that caters to all skin types, Kora comes out on top. The organic formula contains glow-boosting turmeric and aloe vera and transforms from a gel to a silky lather, which gently removes oil and dirt, leaving skin refreshed and clean. It also maintains the skin’s PH level to avoid any dryness or tightness. We find the zingy menthol scent particularly reviving first thing in the morning.
Best Face Mask
Those with dry, congested or dull complexions will love this face mask. It uses mineral-rich kaolin clay to purify, heather flower to protect, yarrow leaf to regenerate and organic hemp and plum seed oils to nourish. It also contains honey produced on the Rhug Estate in North Wales to heal and boost collagen. We love the ethos of this brand – luxurious skincare made from organic, sustainable ingredients – and this is our hero product.
Rhug Estate Wild Beauty
Best Sheet Mask
Every kit needs a fast-acting sheet mask and they don’t come more effective than those from Meder. From extreme hydration to taking down redness in a flash, the range treats every skincare concern imaginable to leave you with a beautiful complexion in a matter of minutes. The perfect pick-me-up for big events or post-work dinners.
Best Brightening Peel
Talk about a powerhouse in a pot. This mask gives skin a total overhaul by detoxifying, clarifying and hydrating. While powerful fruit enzymes and amino acids exfoliate, two types of collagen work to improve firmness and elasticity. Bakuchiol (a plant-derived retinol alternative) helps even skin tone and lessen the look of lines and pores. Used two to three times a week, we noticed our complexions appeared smoother and more luminous. A winter-skin must.
Best Vitamin C
Even sensitive skin can benefit from this vitamin C serum, which is potent yet gentle enough for daily use. The powerful concentration brightens skin, helps boost collagen production and evens out blemishes and pigmentation, for a fresh and smooth-looking complexion. The formula also contains three types of mushroom extracts to calm and moisturise. We love that this was easy to incorporate into our morning and nighttime routines. Simply massage in a few drops after cleansing.
Fans of physical exfoliants will fall in love with this skin polish. The luxe cream formula is dotted with tiny aluminium-oxide crystals (the same particles used in professional microdermabrasion), which remove dead cells and dry patches, buffing the skin until refined and smooth. Green tea and shea butter calm and nourish. Used once a week, we found it made our complexions noticeably fresher looking. Plus, it perfectly preps skin for your weekly mask.
Best For Acne-Prone Skin
This cream cleanser is perfect for skin with a tendency to break out. It’s specifically designed to give a deep clean without stripping the skin and causing irritation. This is done with 1.5% salicylic acid and apple fruit extract, which exfoliate dead cells and remove daily dirt and oil build-up, giving a clearer and brighter complexion. The formula also includes blue tansy, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant to keep skin calm and comforted.
Best For Stressed Skin
Consider this an SOS response for dry skin in desperate need of some TLC. The cult moisturiser contains long-chain hyaluronic acid, which can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin to deliver a super-charged hydration hit that lasts all day. There’s also calming purified oat extract, moisturising shea butter, rejuvenating peptides and replenishing avocado, grapeseed and argan oils. Plus, U Beauty’s Hydra-Siren Capsule neutralises damaging free radicals. Hydration and protection in one easy step.
What impressed us most about this serum is that it’s high-performing yet gentle, so you see results without the fear of any irritation. A potent blend of liposome-encapsulated retinol firms the skin, while alpha-hydroxy acids exfoliate and smooth and prebiotic oat kernel rebalances and protects. What’s more, the formula delivers a long-lasting hydration boost, leaving complexions looking plumped and glowing.
111Skin is industry-renowned for products that deliver on their promises and this serum is where it all began. The first formula created by brand founder Dr Yannis Alexandrides, it is widely regarded as a hero product and one we can’t recommend enough. Rich in amino acids, it boosts collagen production, supports cell regeneration and improves skin’s elasticity. It also helps calm, heal and soothe while deeply hydrating.
Best Night Treatment
A comfort blanket for your skin, this balm works overnight to nourish your complexion and restore glow. It’s formulated with a blend of green mandarin, grapefruit, lemon and sweet orange essential oils to replenish moisture, while beeswax and and carnauba wax soften the skin. Not only does it leave you hydrated and soothed, the balm is a pleasure to use. Melt it into your skin before bed and wake up feeling – and looking – fresh.
Didn’t think you needed toner? This one will change your mind. The dermatologist-developed, clean formula is rich in aloe and bamboo, which soothes, calms and hydrates irritated, dry complexions. We love how it settles skin that has been upset by cold weather and harsh heating during the winter months. It also helps boost the efficacy of your serum and moisturiser. After cleansing, gently press into your face and neck using your palms or a cotton pad.
Best Face Oil
It’s the blend of nine seed and fruit oils that makes this product so skin-loving. Rich in antioxidants, they calm, nourish and hydrate the skin, as well as strengthening its barrier and targeting signs of environmental stressors. Omega fatty acids plump and soothe. We were impressed with the luxe texture that absorbs quickly, leaving skin feeling cocooned and healthy. Massage in a few drops before moisturising to supercharge your routine.
Best For Hyperpigmentation
This pigment-correcting cream really blew us away. The lightweight gel moisturiser is formulated specifically to lessen the look of pigmentation by using biomimetic peptides to inhibit melatonin – the root cause. It also helps protect skin from further pigmentation by shielding it from environmental aggressors. The result? An even and refined skin tone that feels hydrated.
Best DIY Face Tool
We are devotees of facial massage and this sleek face tool makes it incredibly easy to do at home. The gold-plated bar gently vibrates, stimulating muscles to tone and firm, as well as releasing tension in pressure points such as the jaw and forehead. It also helps products penetrate deep into your skin, so is best used after applying serum or moisturiser. Move the tool across the face in upward motions.
If you were to have just one product in your kit, it would have to be this. A true all-rounder, this repairing balm can be used all over the face to soothe chapped skin, heal cracks, hydrate dry patches and even reduce scarring after injury. It’s also gentle enough for all skin types and all the family – so certainly one to take on holidays and weekends away. Apply it all over the skin or to targeted areas where needed.
Best Micellar Water
If micellar water is your chosen cleansing method, then try Avène’s asap. The cult French pharmacy brand is masterful in simple products that work and this is a case in point. It contains only a handful of ingredients, alongside naturally active spring water, to cleanse and purify skin (it even removes make-up) and regulate sebum production. It’s refreshing to use and leaves your skin feeling clean and balanced.
Best Make-Up Remover
This is a make-up remover with added pizzazz. As well as effectively washing away cosmetics, the gentle formula is full of skincare ingredients that enhance your complexion. Think oat ceramides to soothe, vitamin B5 to help restore the skin’s barrier, balancing probiotics and plenty of hydrators. It also contains Oskia’s signature MSM, a natural form of organic sulphur that boosts collagen production, promotes circulation and helps decrease inflammation.
Best Brow Product
Those with sparse brows will be wowed by this growth-boosting serum. It uses stem cell technology from bamboo, thyme and lentils to extend hair’s growth phase and reduce loss, making brows fuller and thicker within six weeks. We love the all-natural formula and ease of application. Brush it through your brows twice a day using the wand and wait for the results.
We’re so excited by Stella McCartney’s foray into skincare, which, like her fashion offering, is vegan and cruelty-free. Each product is formulated with more than 99% natural-origin ingredients and focuses on nourishing and restoring the skin. This discovery set is the perfect introduction to the line and contains the Reset Cleanser, Alter-Care Serum and Restore Cream.
Best Daily SPF
We love the comprehensive protection this sun serum provides. Not only does it shield against UVA and UVB, it protects again blue light and contains antioxidants and vitamin C to fight the damage of free radicals. The lightweight formula melts in, giving a healthy glow. It also provides a dewy base for make-up. As an added bonus, it has a gentle rose scent, too. A daily essential.
Vaishaly Patel’s The Mesotherapy Experience isn’t just your average facial. The non-surgical treatment works to generate fresh skin cells, leaving you with a firmer, more toned, uplifted and radiant complexion. Using the signature ‘nappage’ tapping technique, a powerful bespoke blend of hyaluronic acid, vitamins, amino acids and minerals is delivered to the skin, while Vaishaly’s cranial-sacral work relieves tension and puts you in a calm and centred mindset. After an hour-long session you will feel transformed.
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