Ah dry skin, and the things I have to do to ensure it is hydrated, plump, bouncy and bright. The first real beauty product I ever used was Pond’s Cold Cream during my early teens. I never realised I had dry skin until my dear mother handed the Pond’s to me one day. Applying it became a ritual that made up the entirety of my routine until I slowly began to know better, which I think happened in my early twenties. Now, more than two decades later and mostly living in a climate that is the complete opposite to the one I grew up in, my dry skin care routine continues to evolve. Gradually, I’m starting to read about people debunking the skin type categories or attempting to de-emphasise the need to classify skin by types. I think that has the potential to become contentious so it will be interesting to see how that stance evolves. That said, I know for sure that if I’m using the wrong cleanser and the wrong products, I see it and my skin very much feels it.
Which is why I felt the need to share with you how I’ve been caring for my dry skin lately. I’ll start with cleanser, specifically De Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm which I’ve dedicated a post to here. Then I’ll share with you a mask that has been the answer to one of my many, many skin care prayers, then conclude with a dry facial oil that I’ve adored since the moment I began using it. That oil is also now my makeup primer and it has made me develop a new appreciation for some of my makeup that simply needed a better, more hydrating base on which to be layered. Sometimes, it’s that one item or one tweak that changes everything.
A balmy start with De Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm
De Mamiel’s cleansing balm can really be used by anyone but I’d bet money that drier skin types would really find this to be a skin saviour especially during colder months. Chock full of plant-based oils that soothe, heal and brighten the skin, this balm can also be used as a mask. My eyes and ears are always peeled for new skin news and I’m hearing that it’s better to exfoliate first even with makeup on and then proceed to do a second cleanse with a heavier balm such as this one. I tried that and found it a little strange so, for the most part, I’m sticking to makeup removal first with De Mamiel’s Restorative Cleansing Balm along with a warm cotton muslin cloth and then moving on to my second cleanse which can also be done with this.
This cleansing balm sets everything right as it fills my bathroom with a herbal vapour that is calming and restorative and in no way leaves a residue or the feeling of a face dipped in oil. On days when I’m just too tired or can’t be bothered to apply additional skincare after cleansing, this balances my skin sufficiently that it feels protected and cocooned and I wake up to clear, even skin. Some mornings I begin the day by using this balm but I simply reduce the amount I use and then remove with a warm cloth. It’s a perfect way to begin the day as the scent helps me to wake up and quickly sets my brain straight. Superbly formulated and well thought out, this balm is definitely on my re-purchase list.
Skin Boosting with SKN-RG Organics Super Rich Collagen Boosting Face Mask
So I searched and read and searched and read and all I kept seeing were masks that were supposedly vacuum cleaners in a jar, absolutely not what I was after. I’m in my early forties and I was in search of a mask that would feel like I was massaging my face with vanilla mousse. I was so struck by the overwhelming reliance on mostly clay in so many masks. Yes, this mask contains kaolin clay but it’s not the first or third ingredient and it’s not attempting to masquerade as a vacuum in a jar. Here’s what the company states:
”Immerse yourself in SKN-RG’s indulgent, multi-award winning, super hydrating, collagen boosting face mask treatment. A corner stone in any SKN-RG treatment, the Cellular Renewal complex drenches the skin cells, super charging them with nutrient and Vitamin C rich vitality. Brightening, firming, lifting and toning in one easy step’‘.
*Details compliments SKN-RG England
The scent of this mask is not a typical herbal or floral one. Instead, it’s a bit odd. But stick with me, because the ingredients include goji berry, chamomile, rosehip, agave, calendula, lemon verbena, vitamin E, rose otto, marshmallow root and echinacea among others. Marshmallow root is yet another plant that has been in use since Egyptian times and its flowers are also edible. Marshmallow also helps to soothe the skin and can be found in many skincare products. Then there is echinacea, which is used beyond treatment of colds as is popularly done. Evidence of echinacea usage dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries, and beyond using it for respiratory infections, it also provides high levels of hydration for the skin and appears to help in wrinkle reduction. I should also give a quick hail to agave, as its uses go past the world of tequila. Agave is actually an anti-inflammatory and can help wounds and burns to heal, which is just one of its skin benefits. That said, this collagen-boosting mask is quite similar in texture to the vanilla mousse I mentioned earlier. I enjoy slathering on layer after layer of this and then relish the pleasure of removing it about twenty minutes later to reveal happy, bright, balanced skin. I know that sheet-masks seem to be the ‘dish of the day’ lately but give me a mask in a jar or a tube on any given day and I am content. If I use this mask prior to putting on makeup, it helps everything go on better and wear better as well. SKN-RG’s award-winning, Super Rich Collagen Boosting Mask is certified organic, cruelty-free and vegan.
The Sealing Grace-Guerlain Abeille Royale Face Treatment Oil
An oil as a makeup primer? Absolutely, especially if you have dry skin. Less and less I reach for primers that are heavy on silicones. But look, if you have a big event or if life is coming at you really fast and you need your makeup to last for two consecutive days, then go for the silicones. On the other hand, if your dry skin simply needs a reliable layer before you apply your foundation, then going the oil route is not a bad idea. I noticed that once I started using this oil as my primer, some of my blushes and bronzers went on so much better, not to mention that my foundation looked better and made my skin look more…skin like.
I also use this oil as a daily moisturiser, a night treatment and as the last step if I’m using a retinoid product. Guerlain is known for decadent, pampering products and this oil is no different. In general, oils tend to be less skin irritating and contain good fats that help to nourish the skin. What makes this oil extra special is a honey that it contains, specifically Ouessant Honey. Ouessant is a small island off the tip of Western France and is also known as Ushant Island. Ouessant Island is home to a special species of black bees and Guerlain works with beekeepers there with preservation of these bees and their habitat.
And so because of the favourable eco-system in Ouessant, the honey produced from these bees is highly valued and used in all of Guerlain’s Abeille Royale products. When I use this oil consistently, it helps to plump, hydrate and tighten my skin and you can definitely use it as a ‘one and done’ treatment for night time. This anti-oxidant rich oil is fast absorbing and smells pleasantly of a very light floral. It doesn’t leave a residue either, and I also like to take a drop or two and massage it into my hands right before bed.
Altogether, these three items save my skin and help to keep it supple and looking lively. Sometimes, the answer to figuring out what your skin needs require doing less than doing more. I still use my serums and other add-ons like peels to exfoliate but these are my current dry skin must-haves.