Here are the autumn skin saviours our co-founder will sell her granny for
I don’t know about you, but it’s around this time of year that my face starts to fall off. The combination of colder weather with the general stress of 'la rentrée' means I’ve always got that nasty, scratchy feeling you get when you go swimming in chlorine. My complexion becomes dull, dehydrated, as grey as the autumn clouds.
It’s a sign that I need to step up my skincare regime, which during the summer months tends to drift somewhat. Just, you know, do a bit more than slap on some sunscreen on the school run. Practice a bit of skin self-love, as the young people say.
Skincare has changed so much since I started writing about such things. Back in the late nineties and noughties it was very results-driven. We tolerated any amount of foul-smelling, pseudo-scientific concoctions, all in the name of beauty. Some, I’ll admit, were better than others - but few, if any, were much fun to use.
Things are different these days. The pleasure principle in skincare is very important, as are notions of provenance and ethics. At the same time, all the expertise remains. The result is that, as we approach the dawn of the 2020s, we really can have the best of both worlds.
I like simplicity in my skincare: I have neither the time nor the patience for ten-step Korean routines or the like - no matter how great the results. So first on my autumn rescue wish-list is Annee de Mamiel’s Autumn Facial Oil, £80.
I've known Annee for over a decade, from back when she was practising facial acupuncture and Chinese medicine in a basement in Marylebone. She is an accomplice practitioner with years of experience, and her facial oils, which are seasonal, are a little bit of her wisdom in a bottle.
They act to rebalance not only the skin but also the mind – and you will not find a more high quality, impeccably sourced set of ingredients. The texture is light yet nourishing, the aromas – a beguiling mixture of hand-blended botanicals, as soft and as comforting as a cashmere shawl.
Another old hand when it comes to self-care is Gill Sinclair, co-founder of victoriahealth.com . She’s an expert when it comes to solutions for troubled skin and her recent collaboration with Garden of Wisdom aims to tackle all sorts of niggles, from acne to hyperpigmentation. In the context of autumn, the Pore Cleaning Powder, £12 , which contains Zinc, pink clay and a variety of other detoxifying ingredients, is a fantastic way of clearing congestion and preparing the skin for nourishment.
And as we also have three weeks of Mercury Retrograde to look forward to in late October/early November (not to mention, of course, you-know-what) the Neurophroline Serum, £18 might not be a bad call, since it contains a substance - Tephrosia purpurea - that helps break down cortisol, the stress hormone. Something tells me we’re all going to need a bit of that.