This isn’t the kindest time of year for skin, continually jolting from freezing cold outdoors to centrally heated indoors, fuelled only by mince pies and a determined attitude.
So I wanted to show you a couple of produts that can help with skin hydration if yours is feeling the effects of the season. Plus they make really good gifts, if you’re still searching.
Here’s the Hydration Injection Masque by ARK Skincare and Silk Cleansing Cloths by This is Silk. Both are small independent UK brands with a positive attitude which deserves to be supported.
First up, this is what spent last night working its magic on my skin: ARK Skincare Hydration Injection Masque.
Since I last wrote about ARK Skincare I’ve been to their HQ in Haslemere, met the people behind the brand and even had a good rummage around their raw ingredients. I really like the ethos of this natural, independent UK brand and have found their products to be consistently good. They’re very thoughtful and considered at what they do.
This is a very light, but nourishing and hydrating mask to apply. It comes out of the tube opaque then turns to a clear gel on the skin. Texture and results-wise it reminds me of Dermalogica’s Skin Hydrating Masque although this one is easier to remove.
How to use
Use varies depending on what you think your skin needs and by age, but once or twice a week is recommended.
Teens and twenties are advised to leave it on for around 5 minutes (though really I think it’s much more suited to mature skin). Thirties and forties can go for 10 minutes; fifties and above can do 20 minutes.
Or you can leave it on overnight for some intensive rescue, which is what I did. If you’re going for the overnight treatment, apply it 20 minutes or so before you go to bed so the ingredients have a chance to sink in and don’t end up all over your pillow.
I woke up to skin that felt soft and nourished and almost in the mood to forgive me for all the sins of Christmas past (look, a strawberry Quality Street does count as one of your five a day, I’m sure of it).
The ingredients list is quite the skin hydration cocktail. Heavy hitters include: Vitamin A to regulate collagen synthesis; Vitamin B5 for smoothness; Vitamin C to fade pigmentation and Vitamin E to act as an anti inflammatory and to prevent UV damage.
There’s also a Hyaluronic Acid Booster to help the skin stay plump and juicy and Sugar Beet and Abyssinian Oil to nourish. Lovely stuff.
Remove mask with a dampened cloth. Which brings me neatly on to my next recommendation.
Skin friendly silk
I think we all know that disposible face wipes are a bad idea by now. I’ve been using cotton flannels for a while, until an unexpected gift introduced me to something new – silk cleansing cloths.
These cloths are surprising in a lot of ways. I mean, did you even know that silk face cloths are a thing? Nope, me neither. And they’re much thicker and less smooth than you might expect from silk – the feel is more like a very fine linen.
These come nicely gift boxed, so put them on your list if you’re buying for a skincare lover. Skincare is a hard one to gift even if you know a person’s into it. They may have thier favourite brands or skin concerns that you don’t know about it. But everybody needs to cleanse, and this has got an environmentally friendly touch of luxury to it.
They are machine washable and suitable for all skin types (though not suitable for vegans, obviously).
I’ve found them to be top notch at removing make up (and masks) from the skin without irritation. If flannel cloths are too harsh for you then these are an excellent alternative. Use them to thoroughly cleanse and lightly exfoliate the skin so that whatever skincare you use next will sink in more effectively.
I’ve only had a chance to use these a few times so I will update after a few more weeks’ wear, especially when they’ve been through the wash, but I wanted to flag them up now because I think they’d make an excellent gift.
Hydration Injection Masque by ARK Skincare RRP £35 75ml. Suitable for vegans. Available from various retailers retailers including Look Fantastic who have a great deal on at the moment: the masque is reduced to £26.25 here (affiliate link), plus you get a free hydrating beauty mist worth £12. There’s also a 20% off offer running at Look Fantastic until 10th December but I’m not sure if you can stack it. Use code LF20 and cross your fingers.
The Silk Cleansing Cloths by This is Silk come in a gift boxed set of three. RRP £24.99 with free postage.