We are all in this together
First of all - if you are reading this, I hope you, your family, pets and loved ones are safe and sound. Although my mind runs a million miles per hour, I want to distract myself and all of you guys from what is happening around the World. Now more than ever, we all need to find a moment for ourselves and in today's article I am going to share five of my favorite skincare products that help me get back to my "zen" roots. Curious to know more? Then please keep on scrolling!
My Skin: dry, sensitive
Back when I was little, every spring/summer my mom would make her own fruit jams. You can imagine my childhood infatuation with so many delicious aromas filling up our home. That beautiful, sweet berry scent that boosts my endorphins even today.
Fresh Sugar Strawberry Exfoliating Face Wash (33 USD; Made in France) smells and looks exactly like a delicious strawberry preserve (thanks to Strawberry and Blackcurrant Fruit Extracts). Plot twist - it feels amazing on the skin too. Although it is labeled as "scrub", instead of your traditional exfoliating beads made of [say] finely milled seeds, here you are working with actual white sugar crystals. I find them to be quite fine and soft to the touch, which means they exfoliate well but are not abrasive in the slightest; they practically melt into nothing as you gently massage and scrub your face.
Texture of the cleanser is a little bit on a thicker, even stickier side. I do recommend applying it over a damp skin, so that it glides better. This wash rinses off easily revealing refreshed, smooth and radiant complexion. Use it as part of your AM or PM skincare routine at least one-two times a week. One thing is for sure - you will get addicted to it!
Face toners and mists are considered to be not a "total necessity" as far as skincare goes, but I have to disagree. Personally, I see a massive difference in my skin when I stop using a toner (it gets drier and even a touch lackluster).
Caudalie Beauty Elixir (49 USD; Made in France) is an iconic product for all the right reasons. It has been loved by women (and men) all over the World for a decade; I have been using it as part of my skincare regimen for at least 6-7 years and can't imagine not having it around. While some makeup artists consider it to be a perfect setting spray, there is definitely more to this toning mist than meets the eye.
For starters - it is a clean beauty product made of plant based ingredients like Rose Extract, Rosemary Essential Oil, Orange Flower Water, Grape Fruit Extract and Balm Mint Essential Oil. The latter gives you an instant cooling sensation, which feels uber refreshing, while Rosemary adds a very relaxing note to this product's therapeutic, spa-esque scent. I always carry a mini bottle of Beauty Elixir in my handbag whenever I have a long-haul flight - it calms me down and rejuvenates my skin in one go.
Dark circles and puffiness are both a dead giveaway that we are tired or stressed out. Now, I was born a human panda and if your dark circles are hereditary too - please know that there is no potion or lotion that can get rid of them. Getting enough sleep, staying hydrated and using a nourishing eye cream can help a lot though.
This is why lately I have been having an affair with this little Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream (32 USD; Made in USA). Some of the key ingredients here are: Coffee Beans, Ginseng, Magnolia Extract, Shea Butter, Olive Oil, Green Tea, Apple Extract. And a secret little agent called "natural optic brightener" aka hardly noticeable glowing powder that adds that instant, well-rested touch. I normally stay away from eye creams that are either tinted or have some kind of makeup-y aspect to them, but! This one is an exception and here is why.
As part of the AM skincare routine, it is fabulous. It wakes you up, feels refreshing upon application, adds instant hydration and is ideal for all skin types as it is neither too thin or too thick. While it is not a miracle-worker, it adds subtle brightness and now that I do not wear any makeup at home, I have been enjoying this eye cream a lot. However, if you deal with extreme puffiness or under eye dryness, you might want to look at other, more nourishing options like Caudalie VineActiv Vitamin C Energizing Eye Cream instead (I swear by this one and have previously reviewed it here).
Speaking of dehydration and tired skin - sometimes you need a little bit more than a gallon of water a day. Hyaluronic Acid is known (and loved) by all of the skincare enthusiasts for its [super]power of retaining water, which further helps to keep everything juicy and plump.
While it can be found in your body (connective tissue and eyes for example), it is a good idea to use it in a form of a serum, especially if you find that your skin could use extra hydration. It is also a good idea to use more of it as we get older (and more fabulous).
Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum (6 USD; Made in Korea) is a fantastic and probably the most affordable product of its kind on the market. If you have never used a serum like this, then it is important to mention that Hyaluronic Acid has a clear, watery consistency that gets absorbed in a matter of seconds. Usually it can feel a bit tacky to the touch, which is thankfully not the case with Good Molecules. To get the best out of your serum, always follow up with your usual moisturizer, facial oil or night cream (otherwise you won't achieve desired results). I find that I get the most out of my serum when I apply it over damp skin, which is why I often layer this product right after spritzing my face with Caudalie Grape Water. This combination of products works like a charm every single time and helps me keep my skin nice and hydrated all day long.
What feels more spa-appropriate than a luxurious facial oil? Whether you are dry or oily (or anything in between), facial oils are here to save the day. Even better if you go for one that is packed with antioxidants to deeply nurture your skin.
I have tried a number of oils, but my number one "go-to" still is Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil (40-70 USD; Made in USA). And let's address an actual elephant in the room - this brand is pricey and while I had a so-so experience with some of their other products in the past, this oil (in my not-so-humble opinion) is worth every penny. I usually go for the 15 ml/ .5 fl oz bottle that costs 40 USD and it lasts me a year.
While I do not use it on a daily basis, whenever I get a feeling that my skin feels extremely dry or looks stressed out and dull - I immediately reach out for this magical oil. It has a clear, serum-like consistency and no scent at all. Some oils can clog pores, whereas this one doesn't. It feels a bit balmy, practically giving your face a big, loving hug that lasts all night long. In the morning you wake up to a well-rested, revived skin that looks healthy and radiant. I have yet to find an oil that is just as effective as Marula, which is why I will happily repurchase this gem over and over again.
What are your favorite "zen" skincare products? Let's chat some more in the comments!
More online: sephora.com
Purchased products and PR samples; full disclaimer here