Seduced by the parade of posh potions lining the beauty aisles, but not sure if you're buying into a gimmick? While there’s no golden rule to live by, so to speak, your best bet is to stick with the “gold standards” of skincare – starting with the following “famous five” quintet of skincare superheroes that are the quite literally the cream of the crop:
Coveting a complexion that’s bouncy and buoyant like a firm fishball? Hyaluronic acid is where it’s at, hun. These “miracle” moisture magnets – found in just about every product these days – work by wicking water deep into your dermis and plumping up fine lines for surpassingly soft skin.
What to try, what to buy? If you’re hankering for hydration, hone in on moisture that boast timed-release hyaluronic acid spheres, which dole out micro-doses of thirst-quenching treatment throughout the day for a dewy, perfectly polished finish. This boost of moisture will also imbue your mien with a subtle inner sheen that’s the secret to the beguilingly bare dewiness so coveted in today’s K-Obsessed world.
ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS
These heavy-duty hard workers (think lactic, glycolic and fruit acids in at-home scrubs or peels) are perfect for a pronounced brightening boost – and that means more or less everyone these days, I suppose.
These enzymatic exfoliators work by purging your pores of dulling dirt and debris, and can be quite an “extreme” experience, so always spot test on the nook of your elbow for any untoward reactions. Cautionary caveat aside, AHA peels are awesome for rejuvenating skin rendered lacklustre from one too many all-nighters – at a post-peel get-together, my group of girlfriends actually asked me point blank if I had treated myself to a little nip and tuck. (I hadn't.)
Puffy of face and bleary of spirit? De-stuff, de-puff and detoxify your way to a slim, V-shaped visage – by “feeding” your face with a jolt of java. When applied topically, caffeine’s ability to constrict blood vessels helps to placate puffiness, making the stimulant superb for re-energising saggy skin and draining it of excess fluid. Want proof? Look out for caffeine on the labels of your depuffing eye creams; it’ll be there. Bottoms up!
A retinol-based targeted treatment is a savvy skin investment well worth making. Why retinol? Any beauty junkie worth her bathing salts will know that this near-miraculous multi-tasker is one of a select handful of ingredients boasting a scientific stamp of approval for alleviating acne, freckles, wrinkles and such.
How does retinol work? Essentially, this “cell-communicating” compound “instructs” your skin to speed up its cellular turnover for a quite literally “fresher” face. Top application advice: Because retinol packs such a potent punch, you run the very real risk of peeling, dryness or worse, so always top up with a thicker-textured moisturiser.
Have yourself a heaping helping of coconut oil – but make it virgin, please. This “pure” panacea is a multitasking marvel that can be slapped onto just about anywhere – from your mien to your mane. Simply massage a generous dollop of coconut oil into rough and raised patches on your face and body as a last step in your night regime, and awaken to a complexion that’s calm, cool and collected.
The highly hydrating nature of this targeted treatment also means it doubles up as a tress tamer, so feel free to rake it through the ends of your hair for a titillating photoshoot-ready sheen. Or consider spreading the wealth by rubbing it into nooks and crannies of your elbows and knees. Smooth skin from top to toe!