Since moving to London, I feel like my skin has been living in a yo-yo. Dry. Oily. Dry. Oily. It can’t make up its mind (but, then, London can’t make up its weather, so I guess it all figures).
I have to tweak my skincare routine every few months not to end up looking like a flaky lizard or a shiny frying pan.
Today, I want to talk about the flaky lizard. Or, better, what I’ve been using in the past few months to keep her at bay. I’ve been using products from Elemental Herbology but the steps are the same, regardless of what you use:
Step 1: Replenish Moisture With Hyaluronic Acid (Age Support Hyaluronic Acid Booster Plus)
Hyaluronic acid is a moisture magnet: whenever it spots some moisture in the air, it starts to woo and charm it, attracting it into your skin. Once there, it binds it to hydrate your skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a master at this: it can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water – both in high and low humidity conditions! I bet your dry skin had never seen so much moisture before!
Elemental Herbology Age Support Hyaluronic Acid Booster Plus has a thicker texture than most hyaluronic acid serums I’ve tried in the past. It sinks in very quickly and leaves no residue behind.
I shake the bottle well before use and then squeeze the pipette a few times to load the serum into the dropper. I use it both in the morning (I mix it with The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA 2%) and at night.
The serum is also infused with glycerin, another moisture magnet. It works in the same way as hyaluronic acid but attracts less moisture and works better when there’s enough water in the air anyway. Squalane, a natural component of skin’s sebum (read: super moisturizing stuff), is there, too.
All this moisture does several wonderful things for the skin: it plumps up fine lines and wrinkles so they look smaller; it makes skin softer to the touch; it gives skin that moist, dewy appearance that makes it look like it’s glowing from within.
But, a hydrating serum can’t fight dry skin alone. That’s when a rich moisturizer comes in.
Step 2: Rich Daytime Moisturizer (Moisture Replenish Cell Pumping Facial Moisturizer)
Moisturizers are a must for dry skin. They lock in moisture into the skin, preventing it from evaporating into thin air again. A richer texture also gives away the use of butters and oils, some of the most moisturizing ingredients Mother Nature has given us.
Elemental Herbology Cell Plumping Facial Moisturizer has both butters and oils. Cocoa butter is derived from cocoa beans. It’s a multitasker that acts as an emollient to keep your skin soft and smooth and as an antioxidant to fight the free radicals that bring premature wrinkles. There’s only one HUGE flaw with it: it doesn’t make this cream smell like chocolate. Boo!
Argan oil is in there, too. Derived from the kernels of the argan tree, this oil is chockfull of fatty acids (like linoleic and oleic) that moisturize skin and vitamin E to fight wrinkles. Dimethicone has slithered its way in here, too. It’s there to give the cream a luxurious texture and helps it spread smoothly on the skin.
I use it in the mornings only. It sinks into my skin fast, leaves no greasy residue behind and leaves my skin soft and moisturized for most of the day. Bonus point: it makes my fine lines look smaller (but the effect is temporary). I just wish it came in a tube that would keep it stable for longer.
Oh, one more thing: ignore the SPF 8. One: it’s too low to protect skin properly (15 is the minimum recommended). Two: you’d have to apply 7+ layers to get that SPF anyway. Three: it’d only work against UVB rays. Bottom line: use a separate sunscreen.
Step 3: Rich Night-Time Moisturizer Or Facial Oil (Moisture Replenish Facial Souffle’)
Whenever my skin gets on the dry side, I introduce a facial oil into my night-time routine. I find they go that extra mile in moisturizing super dry skin. But, the past few months the cold has been milder than I expected, so a rich night cream was enough to keep my skin happy.
Elemental Herbology Moisture Replenish Facial Souffle’ did the trick. It has cacao extract (that still refuses to make creams smell like chocolate!), argan oil and macadamia nuts oil. Native to Australia, the oil from this nuts is rich in unsaturated fatty acids, such as palmitoleic acid, that moisturizes skin well.
The organic purists among you will also be happy to know there’s no dimethicone here. Just more oils, antioxidants and soothing botanicals. Again, I’d rather they came in a tube than a jar, but you can’t always have everything.
I put it on as the last step of my night-time skincare routine. Its texture’s quite rich so it takes a few seconds to absorb. Once it’s fully sunk in, there’s no greasiness left on the skin.
The cream smoothes out (temporarily) my fine lines, softens my skin and keeps my face moistuirzed all night long. Basically, everything that I expected from it.
Now that I’ve finally found something that works for my dry skin, I have a feeling the weather and my skin will plot again to throw me another curveball. We may have to talk about how to avoid looking like a shiny frying pan soon. Stay tuned.