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Are you obsessed with the latest ingredients or green all the way? Whatever your style, here's how to shop smart
Do you worry about the number of chemicals you’re slapping on your skin? Are you concerned about what you’re washing down your bathroom sink into the environment? If so, you share your worries with 42% of UK consumers, who favour natural and organic buys. It’s time to go au naturel!
1. Focus on the big stuff. If you like the idea of reducing your chemical load but feel daunted by making your entire routine totally natural, be strategic about it and pick the products you use daily, such as cleanser and moisturiser.
2. ‘Don’t sacrifice quality when it comes to naturals,’ advises Origins education executive Greg Vaughan. ‘Check to see whether the brand has patents on natural ingredients and read up on its website to learn about research and development innovations.’
3. ‘Use two-in-one multi-tasking products to reduce product overload,’ advises Greg. We like Botanics All Bright Micellar 3 In 1 Cleansing Solution Boots Exclusive £4.49/449 points (250ml) – a super-gentle, no-rinse cleanser, toner and effective make-up remover in one.
4. Natural products can do wonders for your skin, and the environment. Materials such as peach stones can work as excellent gentle exfoliators when they’ve been ground down, and can be found in the all-natural and degradable New Burt’s Bees Peach & Willow Bark Deep Pore Scrub, £10.99/1,099 points (110g), which removes dirt and oil to leave super-smooth skin. What’s more, the salicylic acid found in this scrub also comes from nature, having been extracted from willow bark.
5. Many make-up wipes have been found to contain polyester in the fabric, making them difficult to break down after you bin them. If you really can’t give up wipes, switch to biodegradable versions, such as Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh Cleansing Facial Towelettes, £3.99/399 points (25-pack), which are made from plant-based cellulose that won’t still be in a landfill next century.
When it comes to expecting results fast, savvy spenders are more demanding than Rihanna. Skincare must work hard for its money – and deliver benefits.
1. Spend most on the products you use daily and save on occasional extras. ‘When we’re on a budget, we often take shortcuts with cleansing products – but this is a false economy,’ says Dr Anna Persaud, CEO of This Works skincare. ‘During the day we amass a build-up of sebum, make-up and pollutants on our skin, which can lead to problems if not removed.’ In other words, your cleanser is worth the investment!
2. Turbo-charge your face wash with a mini cleansing device, such as Foreo Luna Play, £30/3,000 points (available in a selection of colours). Its tiny vibrating silicone bristles remove more gunk than manual cleansing can. Win!
3. Splash out on a new ‘beauty booster’ that’s formulated to make other skincare products work harder. Elizabeth Arden SuperStart Skin Renewal Booster, £60/6,000 points (50ml), jump-starts your complexion’s natural defences and renewal processes – it can be used on its own as a refreshing serum, or under your moisturiser to help other products work more effectively. And a spritz of Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic, £14.50/1,450 points (200ml), hydrates and provides a great base for the ingredients in face masks to do their job more easily.
4. ‘Products with multiple benefits are worth paying a little extra for, particularly if they make skincare less of a hassle,’ says Anna. Try This Works Clean Skin 5-In-1 Water, £21/2,100 points (200ml), which removes dirt and make-up while also exfoliating and softening. Or, for a treatment boost, No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum Boots Exclusive £27/2,700 points (30ml), offers firming and brightening benefits.
A whopping 70% of us do our online homework before buying a new lipstick or mascara. Luckily, the latest try-before-you-buy apps make it easier to shop smarter, and a scroll through Instagram for inspiration on what the pros use on their pores is great way to find the best-in-test for our skin.
1. Know your skin type. While it’s wise to take in reviews by fellow skincare fans, their complexion needs might be totally different to yours. So it’s worth sourcing impartial, professional advice to help you build a customised beauty regime. The Boots Beautiful You service is a clever combination of online and in-store analysis that matches you with skincare from an array of brands. A personalised product selection is then saved in your digital Beauty Cabinet, so you can refer to it for ideas when you’re shopping.
2. Don’t try to change everything at once: start small and work up. ‘Beautiful skin begins with cleansing,’ says Charlotte Blanchard, L’Oréal Paris marketing director for skincare. ‘Ensuring make-up, oils, dirt and sebum are removed every evening is rule number one, providing skin with the perfect canvas for everything else, from moisturiser to make-up. Micellar water is an all-in-one gentle cleansing solution, as micelles can act like dirt magnets.’ Try L’Oréal Paris Skin Perfection Micellar Water, £4.99/499 points (200ml).
3. Tailor the trends to suit you. Multi-masking – applying masks with different benefits to the areas of the face where you need them – has been clogging up Instagram feeds all year! Use it as inspiration, then work out which face-mask combo works best for your complexion. L’Oréal Paris Pure Clay Masks in Purity, Detox and Glow, £7.99/799 points (50ml) each, will let you play around until you find the right mix.
4. ‘Look out for new technologies that combine science with tried-and-tested knowledge. Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery PowerFoil Mask, £58/5,800 (4-pack), is a great example. We can’t get enough of face masks (sales are up 22%), and now you can give your skin a concentrated hit of Estée Lauder’s iconic Advanced Night Repair serum in just 10 minutes!
Words Caroline Brien Photography Elise Dumontet Hair Nina Beckert Make-up Lisa Valencia Styling Shelly Vella, all at Carol Hayes Nails Loui-Marie Model Aveen at Milk Management Jewellery Model’s own