The 10 Best Stocking Fillers for a Skincare Lover
Writing about skincare for over 20 years for the UK’s most read newspapers and magazines has given me the opportunity to test hundreds of products! £500 eye cream made out of Caviar? Tried it! £2 bargain basement serum? Tested it! But what are the ones I always buy again and again and recommend to my friends when they’re putting their Christmas list together? Read on to find out…and hopefully Santa will too!
THE LUXE CLEANSING BALM
I’m obsessed with cleansing balms as they feel so good to apply and they make cleansing a treat rather than a chore. This one smells divine – the first time you scoop it up you’ll realise you’re in for a treat. It’s packed with skin-nourishing botanicals that smooth and re-plump skin, so it doesn’t feel tight afterwards, and as it contains zero alcohol or acids, it’s fab for sensitive skin types and melts away your makeup with ease. Use the cloth that’s included to rinse and wipe it away with water. I love that it doubles up as an overnight face mask too! Just apply an extra layer after cleansing and you’ll wake up with the most gorgeously soft, glowing complexion.
THE DE-STRESSING FACE OIL
I believe oils are the final step in your night-time routine that help skin really glow from within! Remember ageing skin = drying skin so even if your skin is oily it still needs that deep-down hydration to keep it looking youthful and glowing. Oils lock in all of the goodness from your serums and creams and all that vital moisture too, and this one is perfect for every skin type. The founder, Alice Moore, a former A-list makeup artist formulated it herself after suffering with a skin condition called dermatitis and she needed something soothing to calm the condition. This has a healing blend of oils, including calming chamomile that reduces inflammation, strengthens and balances your skin especially if you’re suffering with acne, eczema and dermatitis.
THE MUST-HAVE SERUM
Serum is the product that I recommend everyone should include in their routine – both morning and night! They contain the super concentrated ingredients that reach down deep into pores (much lower than moisturisers which just sit on the surface) and deliver all their goodness to where it’s needed most. There are a handful of serums that I often go back to, but if I had to choose one to use for the rest of my life this would be it! I love its silky texture that sinks in right away (a sign of a good serum); that it’s packed with naturally derived plant extracts (no irritants here) and is suitable to use both morning and evening (such a faff, not to mention an expense to have 2 separate serums in your routine). Yes, it’s expensive, but save it for your Christmas list each year and I promise your skin will thank you for it!
THE INSTANT GLOW TONER
I’m not normally into toners. I think I have too many bad memories of those ones we used when we were teenagers that felt like paint strippers on your skin and made it all red, dry and blotchy. But this one is so much more than a toner as it’s designed to chemically exfoliate your skin too. Don’t worry – this sounds scarier than it actually is. It contains an ingredient called Glycolic Acid which is proven to safely remove excess dead skin, the stuff that makes it look dull and sallow. Applied sparingly with a cotton pad on alternative evenings, it will really make even the dullest skin wake up with the most gorgeous glow. And I find it really helps reduce the appearance of my pigmentation too! Would totally recommend if your skin needs a kick start.
THE NIGHTTIME TREAT
This was my pandemic skin saviour! The ultimate spa-in-a-jar…It literally rescued my lockdown sallow skin and gave it (and my mind) a treat when they needed it most. Made with a blend of 100% pure essential oils, beeswax and butter that feels so good on your skin you can’t help but spend a few extra minutes massaging it in. Use it in the evening, as the final step in your routine. It’s the perfect treat for any skincare junkie!
THE MAGIC EYE CREAM
Even though I’m a 45-year-old Beauty Editor, eye cream is not always part of my everyday skincare routine. Yep, I realise…that’s terrible! Especially as I know that the eye area is the first to age (hello crow’s feet) and has the thinnest skin on your face so is prone to ageing fast if it’s not protected! BUT being an undereye concealer addict, when I discovered this eye cream that brightens dark circles as it treats your skin too, it helped me lose my bad habit and it quickly became part of my daily routine. It’s slightly tinted but the one shade magically suits all skin tones, making it so simple for everyone to use too.
THE BEST BODY CREAM EVER
Ever since I was a teenager, I have been addicted to applying body cream straight after my shower. It quickly became as natural as brushing my teeth and I’m still into the same routine to this day. So…I’ve tried A LOT of body creams in my time, but this one stands out by a mile as the best I’ve ever used. Why? The texture is like nothing I’ve ever felt before. It’s like the rich but light souffle style butter icing you get on top of cupcakes, but it quickly melts into skin so you can dress straight away without clothes sticking to your skin. The smell is gorgeous too! It’s lemony, light, refreshing! So gorgeous. I promise if Santa delivers your first jar, you won’t want to apply anything else!
THE SKIN-VESTMENT WORTH SPLURGING ON
At first, I was sceptical about using LED light therapy as part of my beauty routine. Gimmicks come and go like buses in the beauty industry and I presumed this was just another one! But after doing my research for a newspaper article, I realised that this was actually one worth trying. I spoke to lots of experts including leading dermatologists and plastic surgeons who had witnessed some of the amazing results that it gave to their clients’ skin. The red lights are used for fine lines and wrinkles, and the blue are used to improve acne scarring and prevent breakouts. But there are other benefits to using a mask like this regularly too. For me, it helps brighten my skin on dull days, fade my pigmentation and spending a few minutes under the lights helps boosts my mood too.
THE BUDGET STOCKING FILLER
Everything from Dr Paw Paw will make for a great stock filling to be fair, but by far my favourite is this gorgeous suits-all skin tones balm. It looks bright but once it goes onto any skin tone, it gives lips and cheeks a gorgeous natural looking flush. It’s packed with skin-loving ingredients that treat your skin as it tints too. One of my desert-island must haves!
THE RE-USABLE CLEANSING CLOTH
I believe everyone should have one of these in their stockings this year. Not only are they a must-have for cleansing – either use on its own to remove make up, or with your favourite cleanser; they also exfoliate your skin as they cleanse too! PLUS they’re a great alternative to wipes – which in my opinion should be banned because of the damage they cause to the environment.