Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Lockdown 3.0 Skincare Picks



Here in the UK we are in the midst of our third lockdown. You read that right, THIRD! While lockdown is necessary and vital and really important, it's also fucking hard. It is. The novelty wore off some time ago. Now we're all just collectively finding things to get us through the never ending days. Is it 4pm on Monday 11 January or 5am on Friday 5th February? Who knows? Time is no longer a concept I subscribe to. Nor is non-elasticated waist bands... what even are jeans? So that's where I'm at mentally, slap bang in the middle of an existential crisis. 


My original point - before things got just that bit too dark for comfort, that's Lockdown Lauren for you - was that anything that makes lockdown feel just that bit more bearable has to be a good thing, right? Regardless of what it is. For me it's The Masked Singer, the Cadbury orange bunnies and also my skincare routine.  


In the before times, some 76 years ago, skincare was something I loved and did everyday but only enjoyed sometimes. I'd regret it if I didn't do it but more often than not it felt like a mission. Especially at night time. I mean how bad is falling asleep with winged liner on really? It turns out its pretty bad, don't do it. 


However in these current Corona-times, my skincare routine has become a source of daily joy. It gives me some structure to my day and makes me feel like I'm doing something to take care of myself. Even if that something is slapping some very expensive moisturiser into my parched chops. Dryness has been a big issue for me this winter, but I'll get to that. 


Experimenting with my skincare in lockdown 3.0 has also given me the chance to shop my skincare stash and come up with some real gems that would've otherwise stayed forgotten in the back of my beauty drawers. Here are some of my picks from the past couple of months. 




Aromatherapy Associates Anti-Ageing Overnight Repair Mask - Described as a 'deeply nourishing anti-ageing face mask', this AA mask is a leave-on treatment that acts as an overnight facial. Its formulated with rose and frankincense essential oils to rejuvenate tired skin, while strawberry seed extracts restore moisture levels and leave the skin with a plump, healthy appearance. Millet seed and rice germ oils, to nourish and protect the skin from external aggressors and environmental damage, complete the lineup.  

It offers a rich, hydrating texture that feels really lovely on dry skin, while the essential oils make it smell incredible!  

I've been using it a couple of times a week since Christmas and it has made such a difference to my parched skin. My skin is softer, more hydrated and just looks so much better. In my experience the mask is particularly good when paired with a facial oil, I've been using it over the Elemis Superfood Facial Oil and I just love the combination. 


The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid -  The Inkey List is a brand I've been dying to try for sometime now.  Like The Ordinary, which it has been compared to many times, The Inkey List aims to deliver straightforward and effective skin care at a low price point and without all the beauty jargon. 


I decided to start off with the Hyaluronic Acid Serum because, like I said, dryness has been an issue for me recently, and it is insanely good. Truthfully, I've never experienced a product that has made such an immediate difference to my skin. 

Formulated with 2% hyaluronic acid, this wonder serum is capable of holding more than 1000 times its weight in water and works as a 'moisture magnet' drawing water particles from the atmosphere into the skin. In my experience it works best when applied to still damp skin to lock in moisture. It has worked an absolute miracle on my parched chops. Thanks to this serum my skin is noticeably softer and smoother, plump looking and oh so hydrated. I've even found that it's increased the efficacy of my other products, which is really impressive.


Tata Harper Hyaluronic Gel Moisturiser* -  Now I'm not the kind of person who saves things for best, especially when it comes to skincare because I just don't see the point. I never have. But I was saving this. It just felt too fancy for little ol' me to be using everyday. Then a global pandemic happened and put an awful lot of things into perspective. And now my feelings are simply this: If I'm going to be stuck indoors for another year I'm going to use the fancy shit, damnit! 


This innovative gel moisturiser is designed to boost hydration for combination, oily and uneven skin types. It features Gel Water Technology, which offers multiple hydration and anti-oxidant sources in its formula. Key ingredients include: tremella mushroom, marsh samphire and chia seed water. 


Offering 'ultra-light' hydration, it boasts a lightweight gel texture that feels so good on the skin, and leaves it feeling fresh, hydrated and comfortable. I've been using it sparingly, because it's super expensive and I don't just have £104 to spend on moisturiser, but it is lovely and I'm a really big fan. 


The cherry on top of this delicious moisturiser is the packaging, which is sustainable, completely recyclable and also completely gorgeous.


Comfort Zone Remedy Serum* - Fun fact this was the first beauty product I was ever gifted, way back in 2017 when I first started working as a beauty journalist. I'd never quite got round to using it, even though I finished - and loved -  it's sister product Comfort Zone Remedy Defense Cream many moons ago. Wasn't that fact fun? Anyway...


The Remedy Serum is a fast-absorbing and fast-acting serum designed to soothe and protect sensitive and reactive skin. It contains 93% naturally-derived ingredients, including Marvel of Peru and Mexican hyssop flowers to leave the skin calm and comfortable. While Alpha Glucan Oligosaccharide, a prebiotic extracted from natural sugar, protects from external aggressors and free radicals. 


I've been using this product for a couple of weeks now and I like it. Its really soothing and feels really comforting and light on the skin.  My skin isn't particularly reactive but it does let me know when I used something it doesn't agree with and, so far, it's responded really well to this. 


Garnier Ambre Solaria Sensitive Advanced Face UV Face Fluid SPF 50+ - And of course I had to mention a sunscreen, I am the Sunscreen Queen after all, or was it SPF Fiend? Anyway the point still stands, I love sunscreen. It's been a while since I've tried a new SPF having been pretty committed to the Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense SPF 30* for quite some time now. But then I ran out. Because you'd better believe that, even with no place to go, I've still been slapping on the SPF like there's no tomorrow. And it's 2021, there might not be!   


Enter Garnier's new(ish) and much talked of UV Face Fluid, an ultra-light weight SPF containing hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to provide skincare benefits as well as sun and broad spectrum protection. If you're worried about photo-ageing then you definitely want this bad boy in your corner. 


A nifty little multi-tasker, this hard working SPF also offers protection from pollution and oxidative stress AND it's factor 50! It literally can't get better. Oh wait it can! It's non-comedogenic meaning it doesn't clog pores or break you out. It's also fast absorbing, doesn't leave a greasy residue or white cast on the skin AND it makes a great base for makeup.  Add to that a FANTASTIC price point, it's £8, and you have a damn near perfect product. I LOVE it! 


What are your lockdown skincare picks? 







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