Those 20 (more if you’re lucky) days of holiday per year are to be savoured - nothing recharges the batteries more than daily daiquiris and impromptu banana boat rides. Sun, sea, sand and sundowners are some of my personal favourite things in life, but there’s no beating about the bush here, they can take their toll on our skin, both in the short and long-term. It’s boring, but it’s true, yet happily there are things you can do. Stage one of skincare intervention: put the Piña Colada down. Stage two: troubleshoot, then swot up. This is back to school beauty, and here’s what’s on this term’s curriculum…
Wrinkles and Fine Lines
I savour lying in the sun in the manner of a cold blooded reptile. Put me on an exposed rock for the day and I’ll be happy as Larry the lizard. As all of us are aware, however, the big orange ball in the sky has it in for our skin. So much so that it’s the number one cause of accelerated skin ageing and responsible for the soaring rates of skin cancer internationally. Slathering ourselves in SPF should be a given, and it’s the best weapon there is in the anti-ageing skincare arsenal, but sometimes squinting, dehydration and the occasional catching of rays can make creases and fine lines spring up seemingly from nowhere. Short of eating well (with optional intravenous fish oil drip), quitting smoking and curbing the Chardonnay consumption, a disciplined skincare regime will help you to fight off forehead furrows for longer and nip blah skin in the bud.
The blisslabsTM range means business on the anti-ageing front (although I think I prefer the term ‘youth-prolonging’). Packed with the kind of protective ingredients that often demand a prescription, the range has been formulated to infuse the skin with goodies such as exfoliating glycolic acid, moisture-retaining niacinamide and wrinkle-smoothing phyto-retinoids. The cornerstone of any wrinkle crackdown is a nourishing, deep-penetrating serum - a good one will step up moisture levels, sweep away dead skin cells and stimulate collagen production. The result is brighter, smoother and altogether happier skin in a relatively short amount of time, and if you’re balking at the price you only need a few dabs on the fingertips smoothed over skin to reap rewards. The truly conscientious can back it up with a dream team multi-action day cream and restorative night cream for double duty, around the clock firming and hydration (the day cream also functions as a great makeup primer to really get your money’s worth). If you’re serious about turning your bathroom into a post-holiday medispa, this perfecting mask strikes the balance between powerful and pampering. It may be light-textured but when it comes to replenishing depleted complexions, it’s heavy duty. Complete the treatment ritual with the modern, high tech alternative to the humble cucumber.
Breakouts and Clogged Pores
If you’re just back from a sunny sojourn it’s unlikely that stress is the the trigger for your acne attack, unless of course it was one of those holidays that you need a holiday to recover from...we’ve all been there. From hormones to sweat to sunscreen to a less than saintly diet, spots and pores akin to black holes can be particularly prone to rearing their less than attractive heads post hols. Outsmart problem skin with some supersleuth techniques and getting back into the swing of daily life without a breakfast buffet and room service button will be a LOT easier.
If blemishes and blackheads are your bugbear, the geniously named bliss ‘No Zit Sherlock’ range will outsmart them thanks to its 2% salicylic acid content and defensive probiotics (incidentally, if you’re not getting your daily dose of these internally, taking these as supplements might help to clear things up). Try the starter kit , first to see how you get on, as unfortunately even Sherlock himself would have trouble getting to the root of every acne-sufferers triggers.
If your pores are more clogged than the average school holiday luggage belt, it’s time to get the hoover out, so to speak. Bliss’ nifty pore-fector gadget is the tool you need to take clogged, prominent pores down a peg or two. It’s like nothing else you’ve ever seen, used or applied directly to your face, but trust me on this one, it’s a hoot and not half-bad at facial housekeeping, so to speak. Wield it after a warm shower and ‘power-wash’ your pores with sonic vibrations- I’ll admit that it’s an odd experience, but it’s also somewhat addictive, although don’t go too gung-ho; once a week is more than enough to thoroughly de-grime. There are two settings, one for sluicing out impurities, one for massaging treatments deep into the skin, making your existing products work even harder. Use with the accompanying toner and facial mask and never stare a puffed up pore in the face again.
Blotches and brown spots can become all the more prominent when the sun shines, and the occurrence of pigmentation only increases with age thanks to melanin misbehaving when the top layers of the epidermis are impaired. Exercise some serious damage-limitation with a belt and braces brightening system. Exfoliation is your friend, and this serum will even things out on a daily basis thanks to dark spot slogging amino acids and antioxidant vitamin C. Keep it away from light to preserve its potency and relish your newfound radiance.
If you’re in the market for chemical warfare, these peel pads are steeped in exfoliating and collagen-boosting glycolic acid to gently retexturise the skin’s surface. Do be prepared for resultant redness and dry patches for a few days afterwards, but once you’ve ridden out the roughness you’ll realise that summer’s skincare sins have fallen off your face, just like that.
You expected to return from the Algarve looking like Elle Macpherson, but instead everything’s gone south and your limbs are more shabby than supermodel-esque. It’s time to slough down my friends, and nothing will polish up pooped out arms and legs like a good scrub and rigorous application of body butter . For extra ammunition, take cottage cheese thighs to task with this lean and mean line up . Massage in as if your life depended on it and let the caffeine-infused creams shift lacklustre skin into the gear while you work, rest and play.
Your summer sandals are undeniably stylish but they’ve cut your feet to shreds somewhat, and now you’re limping around town trying to disguise their sorrowful state. Ditch evil footwear and cosy up to softening socks instead. Just perhaps don’t leave the house in them. If flaky, swollen hooves are your hindrance then a cooling, exfoliating foot lotion will smooth things over. It will turn calloused soles to cashmere thanks to exfoliating salicylic acid. Yes, it’s the same stuff that you put on your face earlier, but don’t your toes deserve a little TLC at a time like this?