How to maintain that summer glow, all year long by Stevi Hopkins
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Yes, even in winter!
The words ‘glowy skin’ spark excitement in all of us. But if you find yourself aimlessly roaming cosmetics stores wondering what the point of a serum versus a moisturiser is, you’re not alone. With so many product options on the market, how do you wade through them all to find the best fit for your skin?
There truly is nothing like an in-store shopping experience when looking into new skincare. After all, being led around beautiful stores sampling products with experts is one of the best ways to discover what may work for you!
Before you go investing money in new products, it’s important to learn the basics of your skin so that you’re informed to make the best decisions.
Skin is made up of three layers that encompass what I like to call our ‘scaffolding’:
The Epidermis – The outer layer
The Dermis – The tougher layer beneath the outer layer, containing connective tissue, and a vital part of what keeps our skin strong.
The Hypodermis – The deepest layer containing mostly fat and connective tissue.
Here’s where the ‘scaffolding’ analogy comes into play. Builders’ scaffolding is developed to support what lies beneath it. It’s the same with our skin; as we age, collagen, elastin and nutrients begin to deteriorate, which over time eventually creates sagging, drooping and dull looking skin. When we introduce products and ingredients such as the ones I’ve suggested below, they begin acting as our skin’s replacement scaffolding. Each product works differently and at the deeper layers of our skin, working hard to reinforce, strengthen and even encourage the growth of new collagen and elastin.
Serums are the powerhouse products that actively work to target from deep within the skin. Serums tend to be thinner in consistency, mainly due to being made up of smaller molecules, allowing the products to penetrate the deeper layers of our skin and work from the bottom up. This is what makes them so imperative to our skin’s restoration.
Oils are mostly made up of essential fatty acids, which feed and nourish our skin – making them a crucial part of maintaining our skins moisture barrier.
Moisturiser - now think of this as like the icing on a cake. If the cake is stale, it doesn’t matter how fancy we make the icing, it’s still a stale cake! It’s what lies beneath the icing that counts. You must target beneath the outer layer in order for the outer layer to be appealing. Hello serums; hello scaffolding.
Technical stuff aside, fortunately Westfield Kotara now carries some of the best brands in beauty, spanning locally made products, brand new concept stores, exclusive brands and some trusty old favourites.
Just to sweeten the deal, Kotara is also now home of one of only four new MECCA concept stores in NSW – if you haven’t yet, go and check it out. It’s so luxe.
I have put together a selection of some of my favourite products to create glowing, creamy, hydrated skin that will deliver hydration and results both immediately AND over time. No matter the season!
I hope you find something in this article that becomes your new favourite product.
Eve Lom – Cleansing Balm
Available at MECCA - $109-168
I wasn’t going to include any cleansers in this article, but this product is no regular cleanser. As the name suggests, it both cleanses and due to its balm like texture, softens. Charged with detoxifying essential oils of clove, eucalyptus and soothing chamomile, this cocoa butter-based wonder balm literally melts away makeup or debris on your skin while deeply conditioning it, leaving you glowing after just a cleanse.
This product also comes with a small muslin cleansing cloth, and I encourage you to use it and indulge yourself with a little one minute at home spa experience.
- Step 1: Soak the muslin cloth in clean warm water and wring out.
- Step 2: Apply a thin layer of the cleansing balm to a damp face.
- Step 3: Lay the muslin cloth over your face and breathe in the beautiful essential oils.
- Step 4: After a minute or so, simply wipe away the balm with the cloth, gently exfoliating as you go, and you are left with clean, nourished skin.
Go-To – Face Hero
Available at MECCA – $45
Face Hero, in all its golden oily glory, is such a welcome change in the beauty world with a colloquially written ingredient label that just about anyone can read and understand. What’s even more exciting is that this product is 100% natural and powered by plant extracts.
Face Hero is a product that anyone can use, safe in the knowledge that there is nothing in the ingredient list besides naturally-derived fatty acids and essential nutrients.
The careful selection and blend of oils make this face oil one that is so quickly absorbed that you could sleep on a silk pillowcase and there would be absolutely no residue. (How?!)
Beautiful at night on freshly washed (and warm) skin, or through the day, even under makeup. Plus, it smells delicious.
This little peach bottle really is a hero in its own right.
Available at MECCA - Luminous Dewy Mist- $73 - Dewy Skin Cream – $104
Luminous Dewy Mist
This mist is like no other mist on the market. So delicately designed, from the way the bottle feels in your hand, to the mist atomizer, to the carefully selected Japanese inspired ingredients. It is jam packed full of skin softening botanicals and hyaluronic acid; a moisture binding molecule that is essential for skin’s hydration and can hold over 1000x its weight in water.
It essentially acts like a sponge for the skin, holding on to excess moisture – making it very difficult for your skin to ever be thirsty again.
This spray even has a trademarked anti-ageing complex, inspired by the beauty rituals of Japanese Geishas; green tea, rice and algae. A facial mist that makes you glow, offers intense hydration, softens skin and makes you look younger? What more could you want?
Dewy Skin Cream
Inspired by celebrity makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, the Dewy Skin Cream was developed with Mario’s needs in mind. To develop a cream that is full of potent, active ingredients while being lightweight enough to pair perfectly with makeup.
I didn’t think it was possible, but this cream was even more carefully designed than its spritzy sibling, the Luminous Dewy Mist.
It feels so texturally satisfying and rich, yet somehow remains lightweight. As you scoop it out and begin massaging it in, it absorbs so simply, leaving plump, fresh, healthy looking skin. You can genuinely see results right before your eyes.
Fragranced naturally with young bamboo and green tea, even the scent is totally luxurious. It really is a little pot of purple gold.
Luma – Brighten Up Beauty Serum
Available at Priceline Pharmacy – $39.95
Luma is a brand created by Australian model Jessica Hart, and born from the concept of embracing one’s natural beauty and uniqueness. Jessica’s vision was to develop products that are not only effective, but create a healthy glow, while encouraging users to ‘enhance and never conceal their natural radiance’.
The beautiful Brighten Up Beauty oil serum, made from 99% naturally derived ingredients, includes our favourite molecular friend; hyaluronic acid, alongside apricot, jojoba and evening primrose oils, to name a few. This oil is packet full of natural occurring nutrients and vitamins, essential for happy hydrated skin.
Want to know the best part? That’s right, it isn’t even those rich delicious oils, it is the addition of crushed pearl extract that really gets you glowing!
Apply this pearly goodness all over your face (avoiding the eye area) and watch the immediate illumination. You can even take a little and apply it to the collarbones or anywhere you might want an extra pop of shine.
Weleda – Skin Food
Available at Vitology – $23.70
Skin Food is a multi use balm that’s perfect for everything from dry skin to itchy bites. This has been my personal night cream for the past two years. I don’t go anywhere without it now. With the thick, rich and luxurious feel of the cream, just the process of applying it to the skin is an experience of its own. Warm it in your hands a little before applying and breathe in the essential oils of chamomile, citrus and calendula and massage it in.
The natural fats leave your skin immediately nourished and plump, and it's 100% natural – which means no synthetic fragrances, colours or preservatives.
Aside from offering deep nourishment, Skin Food also gives the most beautiful glow to your skin.
Tap it in to the high points of the face (cheek bones, bridge of the nose, brow bone) over your makeup for a shimmer-free glow!
Weleda also recently released a Skin Food Light, for those that prefer a lighter option. Equally as beautiful in a much lighter, more absorbent formula.
Clinique – Moisture Surge Hydrating Lotion
Available at David Jones – $55
Toners are a very divisive topic in the beauty world! When some of us think of toners, we are teleported back to our childhood bathroom where we are splashing our skin with that clear liquid that smelled like alcohol and stung slightly, while squinting and convincing ourselves it was doing us good… it wasn’t.
The good news is most toners aren’t like that anymore. Toners can be used for many things – removing traces of makeup after cleansing, as a pore refiner (if the ingredients permit), giving a quick dose of hydration, or as a delivery system, assisting other products to penetrate further and faster.
The Moisture Surge Hydrating Lotion by Clinique is alcohol-free and delivers immediate and instant hydration. Glycerin helps to draw moisture into the skin, plumps fine lines, and most importantly, leaves your skin hydrated, dewy and glowing. It also has caffeine and probiotics for soothing, conditioning and invigorating the skin. Using a cotton pad, apply directly to your face, working in circular motions to get the blood flowing beneath your skin and helps achieve faster results.
Mario Badescu – Rosewater Facial Spray
Available at MECCA $10-18
The Rosewater Facial Spray by Mario Badescu is the definition of a cult product and I can understand why. An effective product at an affordable price, what’s not to love?!
Whether you are a makeup artist or just a beauty lover, this product will quickly become a staple. A water-based spray with glycerine and botanical extracts of thyme, aloe vera and rosewater it smells beautiful, and it looks and feels even better. Spritz this on your face morning, mid-day or night for perfectly hydrated, glowing skin.
This spray is the perfect way to deliver an immediate boost of hydration whether applied on bare skin or over makeup, and it will keep your skin glowing all day long.
Sunday Riley – Luna Sleeping Night Oil
Available at MECCA - $160
Luna Sleeping Night Oil is a little different to the rest of the skin softening products in this article, as it is first and foremost a retinol oil. Fantastic for those who may sit on the oilier side of the skin scale, but still need a little extra attention. This oil works deeply through the night with a lot of scientifically and botanically charged active ingredients.
Blue tansy and chamomile oils are powerful and natural skin calming ingredients, while avocado and chia seed oils are rich with fatty acids and naturally-derived vitamins, plumping fine lines and dehydration.
Retinol works on strengthening the skin, which is why we see ‘anti ageing’ effects from it. There are also complex acids in Luna that help to lightly exfoliate your skin as you sleep, further ensuring your skin stays soft, supple and radiant.
While hydration is very important, vitamin A is also very important in ensuring our skin stays strong, not just hydrated. This little baby has literally got it all!
As the name suggests, only use at night.
Retinol products make the skin very sensitive to the sun. Always use SPF when using them.
Available at Savant Apothecary - Hydrating Serum – $85 – Resplendent – $105
This brand has left me totally speechless. The store alone is mind-blowing, but the products are next level.
Savant Apothecary founder and owner Kylie is one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. Her background in both biochemistry and beauty therapy merged after many years in the industry – Savant was born from the need for “people wanting natural skincare that was still effective and responsive”.
Everything is 100% natural and made by hand; no machinery! I think that is so special. Visit Savant Apothecary the next time you’re at Kotara.
A water-based serum charged with hyaluronic acid, rosewater and vitamin B3, which works on retaining the skin’s moisture content, plumping fine lines and refining texture.
Use day and night and allow product to absorb entirely into your skin before applying products over the top. Being water-based, it can cause the products you put on top to slip.
This could be my favourite new product… and I don’t make that claim lightly!
Resplendent is a nourishing balm that will basically heal anything it touches… Do I need to say more? OK, I will.
The balm is vibrantly blue and smells absolutely mesmerising. I mean that, it will stop you in your tracks for a moment as soon as you take your first sniff.
Blue tansy, frankincense and immortelle are among the essential oils used in this blue beauty and are some of the most potent and effective essential oils you can get your hands on.
This product is a velvety, almost mousse-like texture. My favourite way to apply it is to scoop a little out and rub between my hands to melt it. Once melted, apply directly to your face and massage well.
Available at MECCA - Treatment Lotion – $180 – Crème de la Mer – $242-665
This potent Lotion uses La Mer’s trademarked Softening Waters™ as a way of delivering an intensive, instant boost of hydration deep beneath the skin’s surface. Softening Waters™ is a specialised blend of red algae extract and hyaluronic acid. Also formulated with Miracle Broth™, a multi-faceted development that heals, revives, replenishes, smooths, and adds radiance. This lotion is widely known as ‘liquid energy’ due to its fusion of intensively revitalising properties.
La Mer’s trademarked developments are so unique that there truly is nothing else like them on the market.
Crème de la Mer
This moisturiser is so incredible I am finding myself lost for words (which is unbelievable). Crème De La Mer quite literally IS the crème de la crème of face creams. Period. It is thick to touch but melts beautifully into the skin.
Powered with antioxidants of lime tea and La Mer’s cell renewing Miracle Broth™, it repairs signs of ageing, calms skin, adds radiance, strengthens the skin, protects from pollution and so much more. The transformative effects of this cream happen immediately, but it works deep within the skin to repair and rebuild the skin’s structure.
It also smells divine. Expensive and luxurious; exactly how you want a cream at this standard to smell.
Estee Lauder – Advanced Night Repair
Available at David Jones – $100-195
Does the name have you hooked immediately? ‘Advanced Night Repair’ is pretty much every word you could want in skin care. Advanced repairing of the skin, while I sleep? Sign. Me. Up!
This serum is a total icon. After being around for more than 80 years, it is still winning beauty awards and remains at the top of many serum wish lists… it’s that impressive.
With its super doses of restorative antioxidants, plumping hyaluronic acids and a unique trademarked technology designed to boost the skin’s ability to renew itself as we sleep, it is safe to say this serum is in a category of its own.
All prices are correct at time of publishing - 8/8/19.