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  • Writer's pictureVingt Sept

An Essential Guide to Summer Skin Part 1


Beauty

Summer is finally here, and with warmer weather comes a new set of skincare challenges. Sun exposure, humidity, and increased sweat production can all take a toll on your complexion, making it more important than ever to have a solid skincare routine in place.


To help you navigate the summer months with ease, we've compiled a list of editor-approved and tested products that are specifically designed to keep your skin looking and feeling its best. From lightweight sunscreens to hydrating serums and refreshing mists, these summer skincare essentials will help you achieve a healthy, glowing complexion all season long.


So, whether you're planning a beach vacation or simply looking to refresh your daily routine, read on to discover why these products are a must-have for any summer skincare regimen.



La Prairie

Opening its clinic doors in 1931, La Prairie was led by Dr Paul Niehans, a pioneer in cellular therapy; today it's dubbed the world's most luxurious and pioneering skincare line.


La Prairie's range is championed by supermodel Anja Rubik, actress January Jones, and now us. If you suffer from troublesome skin during transitional weather, then La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion (£245) is the perfect antidote. The lightweight essence provides ultra hydration with added benefits of firming skin, increasing elasticity and despite being nutrient-rich, not leaving an oily residue.



The stunning packaging will light up any bathroom and the effects are speedy. If you suffer from stubborn fine lines or irritation from sun exposure Caviar Essence-in-Lotion is a must for your beauty kit and worth every penny.


There are far too many trophy ingredients to list, however, if you're starting the anti-ageing journey, (which scientists recommend to introduce as early as your twenties), this product will help stop time in its tracks by improving skin elasticity.


Caviar Essence-in-Lotion can also double as a primer before makeup. It's nutrient-rich and packed with caviar water - known to enhance collagen production, boost cell production and retain moisture. It’s perfect to reduce fine lines and can be used AM and PM.



ARgENTUM Apothecary

Many are a little hesitant to use colloidal silver due to some misinformation about side effects. To clear this up, topically, colloidal silver is safe and is used in hospital settings such as burns units. However, if ingested it is dangerous.


One skincare brand has utilised its healing benefits combined with pioneering science.


Founded by South African Joy Isaacs following a dream, ARgENTUM was inspired by the familial use of colloidal silver treatments to heal minor injuries and acne. When Isaacs moved to London in later life, she experienced the benefits of colloidal silver following surgery.


After a vivid dream, Isaacs approached scientist Dr Gilbert Mouzin (a pioneer in his field of dermo-cosmetics) to create a line utilising the fast-acting results of ARgENTUM's patented fusion of two vital ingredients, Silver Hydrosol and DNA HP*. We tried the ARgENTUM Apothecary Soothing Silver Tonic Water (£82) - it’s a toner gamechanger, with the antibacterial properties seeing oil production and breakouts controlled in 24 hours.




The ARgENTUM Apothecary Balancing Silver Clay Mask (£123) is a rich soothing option for problematic skin. It surprisingly leaves skin immediately hydrated - perfect following long summer days of city pollution and UV exposure. Use for 12-14 minutes or on pesky breakouts and the inflammation is reduced - this is now our miracle mask.


The unique formulation of the award-winning skincare line is results driven and these are immediate. You do not need to wait for a whole skin cycle to see improvement in problematic areas. The mask leaves skin feeling tight and refreshed, supporting sebum production, and the toner is hydrating.


The packaging of each product is lux with the additional surprise of archetype cards, inspiring balance and allowing you to focus on your inner beauty. There were too many pros to mention but if you are at a loss with your skin and concerned about the changes during warmer months ARgENTUM will be your new best friend.



SWEED

The false eyelash market is lucrative, with a global spending prediction of $2.31 Bn by 2028. Eye watering (no pun intended) right?


Unfortunately, there are disadvantages to professional lash extensions. These include uncomfortable eye infections, and over time, long-term use can even result in permanent lash fallout.


But what if we told you there is a natural solution to gaining longer, fuller, and most importantly healthier lashes? Enter SWEED - a company founded by professional makeup artist and self-confessed beauty nerd Gabriella Elio.


Ellio is on a mission to disrupt the beauty market by creating outstanding eye-beauty products that are both vegan and cruelty-free. The range even includes safe and easy application extensions for those reluctant to put their falsies down.


We reviewed the SWEED Eyelash Growth Serum (from £42), a stellar introduction to the range that is free from prostaglandins (hormones) and packed with nutrients (including peptides, biotin and vegan keratin) to give lashes extra length, volume and a natural curl. Apply once before bedtime and for those keen to improve their brows, the formula can also get you summer ready.


This is a perfect beauty buy for lashes and brows to create that minimal makeup and natural look during summer.



MZ Skin

We are huge fans of Dr Maryam Zamani, and for those unfamiliar, it may surprise you that MZ Skin is the mastermind behind the gold and ever-popular LED mask loved by supermodel Adriana Lima.


We couldn't wait to try three items for a 28-day skin cycle review. First up is the light and effective MZ Skin Brighten and Perfect 10% Vitamin C Corrective Serum (£250). Although the price point may be eye watering, this potent serum is a handy product for existing hyperpigmentation. As we know the sun can enhance dark spots so tackling these before sun exposure is a recommendation. We noticed diminishing signs of hyperpigmentation by day 10.


Hyaluronic acid is another staple of any skincare regime. MZ Skin's Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum (£120) is literally skin food. The fast-absorbing serum is light and dreamy and a hybrid complex of five different hyaluronic acids and is ultra-hydrating. This is the highest concentration of hyaluronic acid and you can expect an improvement in redness, scarring and fine lines.



The MZ Skin Pigmentation Correcting Ampoules (£170) is a rapid AM/PM seven-day solution to reducing pigmentation and is intensive with brightening skin. It is so results driven that 93% of users noticed a difference at the end of seven days. Not only does it minimise pigmentation and discolouration, but the daily regime will show a glow to skin and firmness. The vials contain tranexamic acid (great for fading dark spots, discolourations, and melasma), Glutathione booster (which reduces acne, sun spots and free radicals), and lastly potent Alpha Arbutin - a fantastic ingredient for skin brightening.


This is best suited to those with problematic skin seeking to improve the appearance of a multitude of skin concerns. If you’re in a hurry and need fast results these products, together or separately, will deliver.



Philosophy

Another Vitamin C contender entering the arena is the potent Philosophy turbo booster 99.8% topical vitamin c powder. Inspired by Arizona's commanding views, the well-being brand endeavours to deliver skincare powered by science and driven by nature's secrets.


As we know, the shelf life of Vitamin C can be temperamental if it oxidises, is exposed to sunlight, or is water-based. However, Philosophy has a solution to this by allowing you to mix your favourite serum with this mighty powder form. Blend your favourite hyaluronic acid, serum or SPF - as this formulation is made from l-ascorbic acid (99.8% - and a pure form of Vit C) and amino acids it will enhance the protective factors of creams including sunscreen, even out skin tone, and reduce hyperpigmentation at a faster rate.





After a few days of using this powerful antioxidant, we noticed an increase in skin firmness, brightness, and a reduction in fine lines around the eyes.


Use one scoop of the powder and mix gently and you are good to go. One tip is to make sure you wash your hands afterwards or use gloves as it can stain the palms due to its potency.



Decorté

We're no stranger to Decorté so when we heard a whisper of their new Snow Clarifier (£32) we were quick to try this out for one skin cycle.


The Japanese skincare legends, backed by over 50 years of scrupulous science and with a strong team of Nobel prize-winning scientists, take pride in holistic approaches to beauty. Their intricate sourcing of extraordinary ingredients, including the rarest botanicals in the world, gives you access to luxury skincare without breaking the bank.

Ideal for those with dry skin, which can also be a concern during warmer weather, the serum-based cleanser gently sweeps away dead skin cells, softly clears pores, and leaves skin evenly toned.


Convenient for travellers, the two-in-one cleanser and toner will leave skin visibly smooth with additional and much-needed moisture protection.



Typology

Since Typology's 2019 launch, the Parisian clean beauty brand has gained adoration from makeup artists and skincare fanatics globally. Despite their infancy Typology are major contenders for the crown in a big and sometimes saturated beauty market, due to their small yet effective line of stunning products.


With a team of health and skincare experts, founder Ning Li (who also started Made.com), believes that premium skincare should not come with a hefty price tag.



If you’re struggling with tackling large pores and uneven skin texture then Typology's Resurfacing Masque Visage AHA 10% + PHA 10% (£30.50) is a great solution. Surprisingly there is no tingling when using this resurfacing mask, which is welcome for those with sensitive skin.


The vegan and naturally derived mask is easy to apply and most importantly there was a noticeable difference in oil production levels and a definite improvement in pore size, leaving our pores tightened and refined within just two weeks (used two-three times per week).



Zelens

If, like us, you deal with problematic flare-ups whilst travelling (particularly on the plane or during climate transition), a boost may be in order.


The Zelens The Powers Trial Kit (£75) is not only travel-friendly in size but also gives a potent dose of vitamins so that you can feel skin confident wherever you are. The beautifully presented gift set contains the brand's Power A, C, and D lines and each is packed with rich nutrients to solve problematic skin.


Power A is a retexturing and renewal non-greasy oil. Packed with key ingredients including retinol, it will help blur lines and improve the smoothness of your skin. It is fast absorbing and also helps to reverse photodamage, but just be mindful to apply SPF following use.


Power C contains collagen and brightening boosters which are essential for those with hyperpigmentation and skin damage. The sun can make dark spots more prominent so this is a handy essential for those with these concerns. Formulated with 20% Vitamin C, expect this bad boy to even out skin tone, increase firmness, and reduce dark circles.


Finally, we have Power D, which we dub the holy grail. If you’re in sunnier climates with hopefully a scenic horizon, you should be getting a good dose of Vitamin D from the sun. However, if (like most) during travel your skin becomes irritated, congested and problematic, this serum will calm it right down. Triggering skin cells' responses to regenerate and repair, Power D also strengthens the barrier of the skin. It does this by injecting a boost of Vitamin D, Ceramides, fatty acids and soothing plant oils, which help speed up restoration and importantly rejuvenation of the skin.



Lumene

Nordic skincare brand Lumene (named after Finnish Lake Lummenn) is a leading pioneer in Nordic beauty and now worldwide. Infusing products with precious natural Arctic ingredients, such as skin-brightening wild Arctic cloudberry and hydrating organic Nordic birch sap, their line is unique and most importantly effective - we know as they are no strangers to HQ.



Use one to two times per week and leave the brand's Fresh Glow Brightening Gel Mask (£27.50) on for five-ten minutes (or if naughty like us even longer), and you will notice a significant difference. Skin is lifted in complexion immediately and although it contains AHAs this mask is both gentle and non-drying. Other star ingredients include Omega 3+6, rich Arctic Cloudberry and a heavy dose of Vitamins A, C, and E for antioxidant effects. A true hero for all skin types, there's also the added benefit of this mask's performance in smoothing fine lines.


If you prefer a cleanser over a mask give the Lumene Clear Glow Cleansing Gel Scrub (£15) a whirl. Containing similar ingredients to the mask, you will reap the same benefits with this daily cleanser, with the addition of oxygen-rich and hydrating Arctic Spring Water.



Malin + Goetz

Combining advanced tech with natural ingredients, NYC-born Malin + Goetz (founded by Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz) are champions of neighbourhood apothecary and ensuring skincare remains uncomplicated. We're huge fans of their bestselling eucalyptus deodorant, so couldn't wait to get our hands on their Grapefruit Face Cleanser (£32) and Resurfacing Glycolic Acid Pads (£62).


Let's start with the cleanser; the gentle gel-to-foam product is packed with rich amino acids, vitamins and antioxidants. Due to its formulation, there is no need to follow up with a toner, and it can also be used as a makeup remover, resulting in fewer steps to your routine.



As grapefruit is a natural exfoliant, you will notice clearer skin from the antioxidants which help reduce melanin production, a reduction in blemishes, and plumper skin.


Moving onto the glycolic pads; a perfect cupboard essential for those who suffer on/off from congested skin. You will notice a difference in pore size and appearance, and see a natural glow after around five to seven days if using two-three times per week.


The penetrated pads provide clinic-grade peels in the comfort of your home. Although a little tingle may be felt, it is worth it, as skin texture is improved following use and it also improves melasma - a great alternative to a professional facial.


We recommend a good moisturiser following application to ensure the skin is hydrated.



Nature's Journey

CBD wellness brand Nature's Journey is composed of an impressive team of experts (including a chief scientific officer), and is on a mission to bring grounding, disconnection from the modern world and wellness into the home.


Creating bespoke luxury products in small batches, each item is carefully crafted with clean, ethical, sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free formulations.



We opted to try their Discovery Collection - a perfect sidekick for travel and for those who struggle with insomnia or anxiety. At just £20 you will receive generous mini-size products such as their daily cleansing balm. This gentle CBD, mango-seed-rich cleanser is indulgent and great for exfoliation. It is accompanied by a radiance oil packed with marula. apricot, rosehip and broccoli oil which delivers a boost of hydration without clogging your pores, and lastly a dreamy mist which now forms part of our nighttime routine.



Mario Badescu

We have reviewed many products from the NY skincare giants adored by supermodels Bella Hadid and Naomi Campbell, as well as Martha Stewart. So if you have troublesome skin that you desperately need to control during the summer months, we recommend these products from the Mario Badescu range.


Let's start with the Acne Facial Cleanser ($15) - this is a great companion for those with combination/acne-prone skin. Its potent formulation when used alongside the Glycolic Foaming Cleanser ($16) will control breakouts and minimise stubborn pores.




The body is just as important as our face. We simply adore Mario Badescu's AHA Body Soap ($8) and Special Cleansing Lotion Body Toner ($15). If you suffer from 'backne' you will notice an improvement in enlarged pores within just two weeks of use.


Now for those of you with oily skin, we understand how irritating it can be when your foundation doesn't sit in the summer heat, even with a lot of fixing spray. We recommend using the brand's Special Healing Powder ($12). It is our best-kept secret. Best used on its own, underneath makeup or as a setting powder, this product will keep those oils at bay whilst decongesting skin and balancing your complexion.



RéVive

RéVive is a skincare brand that sets itself apart in several ways. Firstly, it's known for its proprietary Bio-Renewal Technology, a patented collection of ingredients that work together to help renew and rejuvenate the skin. This technology has been clinically proven to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone.


Secondly, RéVive is committed to using high-quality and effective ingredients in its products. The brand uses a range of potent and scientifically-proven ingredients, to help address a variety of skin concerns.


Another aspect that sets them apart is its focus on luxury and indulgence. The brand's products are designed to provide a spa-like experience, with luxurious textures and scents that make skincare feel like a pampering ritual.



As we get older we lose the elasticity of our skin and it becomes further challenging to reverse skin damage caused by UV exposure, sun exposure and free radicals. The brand is known for its pioneering products (specifically formulated with Bio-Renewable technology) that renews skin, returning it to its natural youthful glow. SPF, of course, is an integral step in anti-ageing, but due to ageing causing a reduction in collagen production, RéVive's patented technology not only stimulates this but also will address lines, wrinkles, age spots and pigmentation. So whether you are in your 20s, 30s, 40s or beyond you can get ahead of the curve and slow down the ageing process of your skin.


Ideal for those who want salon-quality products with great results, the brand's Intensité Crème Lustre Day Firming Moisture Cream (£280) and Intensité Crème Lustre Night Firming Moisture Repair (£280) will provide unbeatable anti-ageing results when used together.


When using both AM and PM you will notice the fast rate of absorption to the skin. The cream is rich and non-greasy and following 28 days of usage we noticed that our skin felt and appeared tighter. There was also an evident improvement in elasticity and a glowing complexion.


If you have tried everything from expensive potions to high street products you will notice that RéVive is in a whole different league. This duo is the best sidekick for the skincare fanatic seeking luxury ingredients with derm-driven results.



Susanne Kaufmann

Turning 20 years old this year, Susanne Kaufmann has been creating stunning skincare solutions that evoke the senses whilst addressing concerns effortlessly.


The Austrian luxury brand is the epitome of natural skincare and if you don't know about the brand's infamous bath oil for the senses then we don't know where you've been hiding!

Kaufmann's holistic range is hand-finished in the mountains of her native Brezener Forest, with the stunning packaging manufactured using state-of-the-art technology, zero solvents and low temperatures for further sustainability.


Incorporating Alpine plant extracts and herbs, and with a stellar team of scientists and dermatologists at the helm, each product follows the principles embedded in Kaufmann's holistic approach to well-being.



Two key products we recommend are the Susanne Kaufmann Purifying Cleansing Gel (£60) and Hyaluron Serum (£110). The refillable cleanser is a special formulation of hand-selected botanicals and calming oils to gently lift away dirt and pollutants from your day, leaving your skin nourished and hydrated. Rare ingredients include Alpine Willowherb (a natural mountain flower) with fantastic anti-inflammatory properties and sebum production-controlling properties.


The lightweight and fast-absorbing Hyaluron serum is a best friend in our cupboard and fantastic for boosting elasticity, reducing the appearance of fine lines and aiding product absorption for the rest of our skincare favourites.



Fresh

The LVMH brand, founded by Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg more than twenty years ago at a Boston apothecary store, has gone from strength to strength since its inception. Glazman recounts that some of their products are inspired by ancient recipes. For example, their Fresh Créme Ancienne was inspired by a chance stumbling across a second-century book by scientist Claudius Galentus, detailing formulas for balms used on Gladiators following battle.


With a team of over 200 scientific laboratory experts, Fresh has a large range of products suitable for all skin types/concerns that is growing year-on-year.



With a focus on anti-ageing, two editor-approved items we loved are their Black Tea Advanced Age Renewal Cream (£84) and Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Concentrate (£58).

As eyes are indeed the gateway to our souls, their Eye Concentrate serum will reduce notable puffiness, dark circles and wrinkles due to its nutrient-packed ingredient list, including black tea complex, hyaluronic acid and noni fruit juice.


Moving onto the antioxidant-rich Age Renewal cream, if you suffer with tire and uneven skin then you will notice a significant improvement with daily use. Ingredients include fermented black tea which we dub 'botox in a jar'; neutralising the effects of free radicals and blurring fine lines, this is a cupboard essential for everyone.



Tata Harper

Masks are an essential part of any routine, whether they're incorporated once a month or (if like us) two to three times a week. Just by including a mask in your skincare regimen, you allow your skin the opportunity to rest whilst receiving a deep treatment to alleviate any concerns.


By masking, you are more likely to achieve instant results, target every concern effectively, and deeply cleanse and destress your skin. It also allows you to switch off at the same time so relax with a book, close your eyes for a short meditation or do nothing whilst wearing your face mask.


We looked at three masks from the brand Tata Harper for this summer's guide. Founded by Henry and Tat Harper on their 1200 acre organic farm in the Champlain Valley of Vermont (US), the luxury skincare company is known as a pioneer of organic and non-toxic skincare.


The certified organic farm is loved by stars such as Anne Hathaway, Tracee Ellis Ross and Goop Founder and actress Gwyneth Paltrow.


It's no surprise considering Tata Harper's products are pretty potent - something you will experience even upon first use. We suggest doing a patch test before the full application and trusting the process.


We start with the Clarifying Mask for Problematic Skin (£60/$75) - if you are at your wits end with managing congested skin this will be your new best friend. Doubling as an exfoliant scrub too, ingredients include healing bentonite clay (which can even treat reactions from poison ivy). It also removes skin toxins, reduces acne breakouts and prevents blackhead formation. Other ingredients such as Quartz sand microcrystals, Tazman Pepper Berry (soothing agent for redness) and a host of other plant nutrients and natural oils also help with improving and balancing problematic skin.


The mask does contain several naturally derived salicylic acids so does sting upon application. However, if you are in the business of fast visible results, this is something you'll likely overlook. Just do not keep it on for too long - we recommend five to eight minutes to do the job.


Another mask we recommend from the line was the multi-hyaluronic acid infused Hydrating Floral Mask (£78/$95) - perfect for people who suffer from heat rashes during the summer months or for those with rosacea, this is the perfect antidote to calming redness.


The brand's Purifying Mask (£60/$75) is a great shout for deep penetration of stubborn blackheads and does give the skin a really good detox session upon application. This anti-pollutant and pore refining mask will purge impurities to the surface and is made from white clay. This mild exfoliant gently draws out impurities and dirt and contains rare additional botanicals such as melasma-reducing Meadowsweet and soothing Clove flower. We recommend using this two to three times per week to encourage total clearing before reducing to once a week, and to follow up with a good moisturiser.




Words by Jheanelle Feanny




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