Stunning Skin for a Post-Lockdown Summer – Best Skin Products 2021
By Rachel Howard
It’s been a long 14 months hasn’t it… in and out of lockdown, being isolated from our friends and families, lack of sleep, increasing anxiety and stress… Just a few of the things life has thrown at us during 2020 and 2021. But as we enter May, there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. The roadmap out of lockdown is allowing us more contact with our loves ones, our social lives are being revived and life is slowly starting to feel a little more normal. So, in celebration of that, I have scoured the beauty market for ways to make ourselves look and feel ready to throw ourselves back into life with as much confidence as possible. Here are just some of the brands stepping up to help us get our sparkle back…
Meder Beauty – Lipo-Oval DIY Facial Kit — De-puffing (£350)
Let’s deal with the elephant in the room first – yes this is pricey (very pricey) but this is a complex skincare system that removes any need to go to a beauty salon for a facial. The box includes masks, cleansers, serums, concentrates and a full set of instructions. Everything your skin needs to de-stress, de-puff and drink in as much hydration as possible. If you’re someone that normally frequents beauty salons for regular facials, why not hold try an at-home solution instead?
Wo Skincare – Revive Oil (£32) and Eye Contour Perfecting Essence (£19)
Wo ask you to complete a skin diagnostic questionnaire before recommending specific products that are tailored to your needs, The Revive Oil and Eye Contour Perfecting Essence were put forward for me and I found them to be hydrating and firming, leaving my skin to act as a perfect canvas for makeup.
Trilogy Skincare – Hemphip Collection (from £20.50)
Trilogy have recently concentrated their efforts on combination skin with their new range of products featuring Hemphip – a proprietary botanical blend of pure plant oils that creates a balanced and light complex, which moisturises and hydrates without leaving skin greasy or oily. The range includes Clarifying Cleansing Gel (£23.50), Purifying Cleansing Toner (£20.50), Hemphip Balancing Oil (£22.50) and Mattifying Moisturising Lotion (£27.50).
Function of Beauty – The Complete Trio (£102)
In a similar method to Wo, Function of Beauty have a skin quiz to fill in before recommending a specific routine just for you. Their products – cleanser, moisturiser and serum – are tailored not only in their ingredients for you, but also in their packaging. All bottles are personalised with your name and, with their pastel coloured tie-dye inspired design, they’re an excellent addition to your bathroom or dressing table. I particularly liked the lightweight yet nourishing moisturiser, and the serum, which soaked in quickly without residue and left me glowing within seconds.
Skin Woof – Tan Enhancing Vitamins (£19.95) and Vitamin C Radiance Serum (£23.95)
Woof are a brand that not only concentrate on traditional skincare, but also nurturing our skin from the inside out. As we hurtle towards summer, the majority of us feel better with a tan, but skin damage from the sun is a constant concern, and fake tan can often be messy. Step forward Tan Enhancing Vitamins. Working by improving the body’s natural ability to produce more melanin, these natural tablets are not a quick fix and need to be taken for a few months to see results. For a more traditional approach to skincare, the Vitamin C Radiance Serum has a beautifully lightweight texture and includes hyaluronic acid, vitamins C and A, and Sea Buckthorn oil.
ESPA – Yuzu & Ginger Cleansing Sorbet (£40) and Clean & Green Detox Mask (£40)
Luxury skincare brand ESPA has been a fixture in beauty salons for many years, but the products are just as much of a treat to use at home. The Yuzu & Ginger Cleansing Sorbet is one of the nicest “balm” type cleansers I’ve tried. Suitable for all skin types, it melts seamlessly into the skin, dissolving makeup and dirt effortlessly and leaving skin hydrated, plumped and calm, with absolutely no hint of dryness or tightness. The Clean & Green Detox Mask is the treat your lockdown skin has been waiting for. The clay formula is thick, rich and feels amazing on the skin from the word go. Once it’s worked its magic, your skin is left feeling smooth, soft and positively glowing.
This is Silk – Silk pillowcase (£49.99)
Sticking on the theme of nurturing from the inside out, This is Silk are a brand that are harnessing the unique properties of silk in a range of products including pillowcases, cleansing cloths, face masks and hair wraps. The fabric is gentle against the skin and hair, doesn’t pull, doesn’t cause the skin to crease and locks in hydration. I loved the luxurious feeling of the pillowcase, it was cool against the skin on warmer nights and I woke with exceptionally soft and calm skin.
Neutrogena – Deep Moisture Body Lotion (£3.59), Antibacterial Hand Cream (£2.99), Hydro Boost Awakening Eye Cream (£12.99), Ageless Boost Instant Facial Cream Mask (£3.50) and Ageless Boost Hydrogel Recovery Mask (£3.50)
Neutrogena is a beauty industry rarity – a brand that delivers excellent ingredients and great results at a bargain price point. Covering everything from every day products like hand cream and body moisturiser, through to luxurious face masks and serums, Neutrogena really have all bases covered when it comes to getting your skin in tip-top condition. The products I tried did exactly what they said on the tin – the body moisturiser was hydrating, rich and soothing; the hand cream expertly combined moisturising properties with alcohol – forming a lightweight, antibacterial gel-cream – negating the need for a separate hand sanitiser; the eye cream was cooling, light and easily absorbed; and the two Ageless Boost masks were luxurious and effective – they could be easily be mistaken for a much higher price point. It really is your one-stop shop for beauty on a budget.
Cambridge Whites Teeth Whitening Kit (£19.99)
As anyone who has an interest in beauty knows, teeth whitening is big business. The UK has finally caught up with America when it comes to wanting a perfect smile, and there are no shortage of brands on the market claiming to give you that Hollywood sparkle. Cambridge Whites provides the chance to try teeth whitening at home without breaking the bank. For just £20, you get three vials of whitening gel, a mouth tray and LED light. Each treatment takes just 30 minutes and certainly gets rid of stains and leaves you with a brighter smile. The results may not be as permanent as dentist-based treatments, but for a fraction of the price, you can’t go far wrong.
Dr PawPaw – Overnight Lip Mask (£8.95)
Lips can take a battering in the winter months. Central heating, cold weather and the common cold affect the delicate skin and often leave us with chapped, sore lips that are far from kissable. Dr PawPaw is here to rescue us, with the Overnight Lip Mask. This is a thick, gel-like texture that soaks into the lips, working over time to drench them with moisture, repair damage and plump up the skin. Contrary to the name, it can be used either at night or during the day, and results are noticeable from the first use.
SOS H2O Day Serum (£15)
SOS is one of the next big brands – exposure by big-name beauty bloggers is helping to get the name on the map – and with good reason. Another brand that targets a high-street budget without compromising on quality, SOS specialises in cleansers, moisturisers, serums and SPF products. I tried the hydrating, moisturising Day Serum and was impressed with the results. It was gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin, the lightweight, scent-free formula was soothing, not greasy, and SPF 30 made sure I was protected from the sun’s harmful rays. At just £15, you’ve got everything you need in one product. It would be the perfect product to take on holiday, and at a travel-friendly 50ml, it could even go in your hand luggage.
Sakrid Superfood Frenzy Organic Serum (£29)
Firstly, let’s talk about packaging… this serum feels luxurious from the moment you pick it up. A glass bottle with minimal fuss, this will be an asset to any dressing table. Bu more importantly, the serum inside packs a punch when it comes to soft, glowy skin. Vegan friendly, organic, halal and cruelty free, it contains all of the good and none of the bad. The scent is invigorating and fresh, and the end result is bright, firm and fabulous skin.
Studio Botanic Eye Cream (£30)
The market for good eye creams is certainly competitive, and prices often reflect that. Small tubes and pots can retail for hundreds of pounds, but Studio Botanic have released a product that may buck the trend. I was especially impressed to experience an eye cream that was rich and thick in texture. Many products on the market are of a lightweight, fluid consistency, which many people prefer, but I was thrilled to try this nourishing texture that really felt like it was working and plumping up those crows feet! The natural ingredients make it suitable for use even with sensitive eyes, and the intensive moisture can still be felt long after the initial application.
Better You – Magnesium Sleep Bath Flakes (£9.95) and Magnesium Lotion (£9.95)
As we all know, sleep is one of the most important factors when it comes to good skin. These sleep flakes can be added to a warm, relaxing bath to help slow sensory activity and quieten the mind in preparation for sleep. Containing a blend of Zechstein magnesium and essential oils lavender and chamomile, there is no better way to switch off and prepare yourself for a restful night’s sleep. The Magnesium Lotion combines magnesium with shea butter, providing a nourishing formula that improves skin elasticity, softens the body and relaxes muscles.
Blonde & Brown – Pamper Box (Subscription £22)
Blonde & Brown are a Yorkshire-based, family run company that are bringing the gift of pampering, good skin and little treats to everyone. Whether you want to treat yourself, or someone else, they have something for everyone. Their boxes cover everything from skincare, chocolate, body butters, bath salts, sleep masks… everything you could need for a night of pampering before heading out for some post-lockdown fun. I was lucky enough to try one of their subscription boxes and was blown away by the range and quality of products inside, the beautiful packaging and the ethos of the brand. I love to support small, local businesses, and this is one I’ll definitely be revisiting.
Working alongside all of these products that work from the outside in, there is a growing market for supplements that work from the inside out. Collagen is a particular favourite and there are many new drinks, powders and tablets that deliver natural benefits for the hair and skin. Here are just a few of the products on the market at the moment:
Raw Beauty Lab – Beauty Superfood Vegan Collagen Powder (£34.95)
Skin Woof – Premium Collagen Beauty Drink (£39.95)
Great Lakes Gelatin Co – Collagen Hydrolysate (£27.95)
Better You – Hair, Skin & Nails Daily Oral Spray (£19.95)
Bioglan Superfoods – Beauty Protein (£12.99)
As ever, the beauty industry doesn’t disappoint when it comes to providing a vast array of items that aim to make us look and feel our best. As life finally starts to move forward and we step out of a locked-down world, I hope one or two of these products will help boost your self confidence, put a spring in your step and instil a sparkle worthy of a post-pandemic 2021. Enjoy!