As with every transition month, September is one of those crucial points in every skincare routine that is meant to both bring emergency care for the past summer’s sins and to prepare the skin for the rainy, cold days ahead. And by sins I generally mean too much sun and maybe not as much SPF as needed, resulting in a few extra sun spots and loss of moisture, plus an excess of ice cream and holiday treats that often bring about stubborn blemishes and irritation. So the main goal is to restabilise the skin and prep it for the gloomy autumn/winter season, and here are my favourite products that helped with that this September.
Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask (£43 / 100ml)
This is supermodel Miranda Kerr’s beauty brand that uses natural hero ingredients and is infused with the vibrations of rose quartz. Whaaaaaaat! you will say. I may not have become a believer in crystals, but I do love a good exfoliant and this mask is a very fine example of an equally abrasive and acid peel that gives you the best of both worlds. I like to massage it onto damp skin to remove any flakiness or congestion especially around the nose, then leave it on to act for 5-7 minutes. Thanks to turmeric and papaya enzymes, it leaves skin smoother, brighter and clearer, a perfect pick-me-up treatment for the autumn.
Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Plumping Jelly Serum ($58 / 30ml)
L.A. cult juice brand Moon Juice became famous for creating Gwyneth Paltrow’s favourite smoothie boosters, with a series of “dusts” combining adaptogen herbs and supermushrooms. Even if you don’t know what all these words mean, just roll with it for now. Last year they launched a skincare line in which this jelly serum was the absolute highlight – and I got lucky enough to take it home for a spin. I’ve been using it on and off over the summer, but it’s only this September that it showed its full potential. I love applying a moisturising serum in the morning before my SPF or day cream for two main reasons: 1. to plump those annoying fine lines on the forehead and around the eyes and 2. to prevent any moisture loss during the day, especially when spending hours in front of computer screens and in the blast of air conditioning. And as you’d expect from a Goop-favourite serum, you won’t just find the already boring hyaluronic acid like in most formulas, but also a combo of two power mushrooms – hydrating and plumping silver ear and adaptogenic reishi that reduces inflammaging. My skin feels smoother and looks fresher and brighter every morning thanks to this sandalwood-scented slippery jelly and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Jurlique Purely Age Defying Firming and Tightening Serum (£68 / 30ml)
Don’t you just love it when you come across a lightweight and beautifully scented serum that seems to be made specifically for your own skin – and no one else’s? I like this one so much that I sometimes use it on top of the Moon Juice Jelly Serum in the mornings to replace the day cream, and the duo manages to keep my skin looking and feeling fresh and glowing all day. It works great in the evening too under a night cream and, while verifying bold claims such as tightening and firming sounds like an impossible task to me, I can vouch for the skin smoothing effects. It uses firming beech tree bud extract, hydrating blue algae and moisturising oat kernel extract, and comes in the cutest ceramic bottle. All boxes ticked!
Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multi-Vitamin Eye Cream (£54 / 15ml)
In the world of clean beauty, Drunk Elephant is a bit of a cult brand whose aim is to achieve that much coveted balance of natural and clinically active skincare that doesn’t compromise on performance just because it’s clean. I was extremely curious to test this brand and I started with their already famous eye cream, which uses eight peptides, five forms of vitamin C and cucumber extract to brighten and firm this delicate and tricky area. While I love the fun coloured packaging and the quickly absorbed texture, I don’t think this eye cream is any different to the ones I’ve used before – yes, even the cheaper ones. But my reason for including it in my September favourites is that it actually makes for a very good makeup base and does a fine job at smoothing the eye area. I’m committed to keep using it and find out if it’s really worth the hype and the hefty price tag.
Susanne Kaufmann Glow Mask (£59 / 50ml)
I love a good mask and this one right here is an excellent one! It’s a fantastic mid-week pick-me-up to help my skin push for a few more days till the weekend, and equally the perfect Sunday night treat to survive through Monday on way less sleep than needed. Probably one of my favourite masks ever and absolutely amazing for tired skin, the glow-restoring formula is based on one of my favourite chemical exfoliators – papaya enzyme (yes, same as the Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask above). The addition of ginger, coffee and paprika gives a pleasant tingle that results in infinitely smoother and brighter skin.
Vichy 72-Hour Stress Resist Anti-Perspirant Deodorant (£9.50 / 50ml)
Here is my non-skincare bonus: this deodorant was my go-to products this summer and during a very sticky September and, even though I don’t really struggle with excessive perspiration, I think it might be one of the best ever deodorants I’ve had the pleasure to use. Yes, it does contain aluminium and alcohol, so not a “clean” formula at all, but sometimes you need one of these to prevent any chances of accidents happening.