Just because you’re one of those people who spend your time at home working out, meditating and cooking to fill the hours doesn’t mean your beauty routine has to suffer. As 13-step routines have begun to feel superfluous in the days of lockdown, many of us have whittled down our regimes to just a handful of hard-working products. Ahead, our editor’s favourite beauty products to use while you multitask – from a do-it-all cleanser to a sheet mask that almost beats a trip to the facialist. Spending time alone never looked so good!
Editor’s pick: Environ Focus Care Comfort+ Anti-Pollution Spritz and Masque
What it is: Anti-pollution skincare products that you should be using now
Why we love it: There’s plenty of research out there that links environmental pollutants – such as UV rays, infrared radiation, temperature extremes, stress and blue light from your computer or phone screen – to a whole host of skin issues, from sensitivity and pigmentation to premature ageing and a dull, sallow complexion. Thankfully, Environ has launched two new products to protect your skin from pollution: The Anti-Pollution Spritz with a myriad of skin-boosting benefits and the Anti-Pollution-Mask that sweeps away every last particle. Famed for its rejuvenating skincare products and facials, this brand knows a thing or two about keeping skin protected from the elements.
The invisible and breathable travel-friendly mist is a great way to top up your protection throughout the day. The spray is super-fine, so you can spritz it over makeup without disturbing your foundation, and it will shield skin from pollution while also imparting a dewy radiance (that’ll be the high potency of antioxidants). The no-nonsense masque is one of the brand’s most advanced products yet – and one of the most potent protectors you’ll find on our shores. The lightweight formula is packed with Japanese charcoal that works to absorb pollutant impurities on every level, as well as special botanicals that normalise and hydrate both the skin surface and deeper layers. Because dull, dehydrated skin isn’t a good look!
R520 and R515 respectively from Sorbet salons
SkinCeuticals Replenishing Cleanser Cream
What it is: A spa-level indulgence that you’ll always find in our editor’s bathroom
Why we love it: Whether your skin is super-sensitive or super-dry – or somewhere in the middle – this restorative cleanser with a calming cream-to-foam design will stun you with how it leaves even the most parched patches feeling baby-soft. The unique creamy gel texture makes rubbing it into your skin totally gratifying, while the ceramide complex locks in moisture, boosts the skin barrier and feeds the skin’s outermost layer with the goodness it needs to thrive in an instant. And, if used at night, it tucks skin into bed with a relaxing lavender scent. It’s highly effective and feels like a treat on your skin, which is why it’s consistently atop our bathroom vanity. Use it in conjunction with a warm flannel for best results.
NeoStrata Ultra Brightening Cleanser
What it is: A glow-giving cleanser that works double time to keep skin dewy
Why we love it: NeoStrata is one of our personal favourite skincare brands. Its products, like this brightening cleanser full of a non-acid amino that gently exfoliates, are the reason. Not only does it slough away dirt, makeup or pollution that your skin has accumulated throughout the day, it also levels your skin tone and gives you that lit-from-within radiance that we like to refer to as ‘the glow factor’. Now that we’re coming to the end of a sun-drenched summer, we find this product to be especially necessary. Plus, it’s soap, fragrance and paraben-free, which is a major win in our book! We use it in the morning and at night on wet skin after an oil cleanser or micellar water to remove makeup.
R575 from www.dermastore.co.za
Lamelle Correctives Serums
What it is: Wonder serums for your most radiant complexion ever
Why we love it: While indoors, we find that we’re still craving a radiance boost. Enter the Lamelle Correctives HA +, Vita-C Lipid and Brighter Serums. These supercharged formulas are truly modern-day miracle workers: The HA + Serum, which has four skin-compatible types of hyaluronic acid, secretly holds the key to smooth, flawless and hydrated skin. If you want a hyaluronic acid serum that’s free from questionable ingredients – think essential oils and drying alcohols – this is where it’s at! This thirst-quenching serum is light on the ingredients list, but weighty in the hydration department.
Applied in the morning on clean, dry skin, the Vita-C Lipid Serum prevents free-radical damage from things like UV rays and pollution to keep your skin healthy and glowing. It also inhibits the production of excess melanin, which, in turn, helps prevent and fade dark spots, acne scars and melasma. And, thanks to its ability to boost collagen, it smooths fine lines and wrinkles over time, too. Crazy, right?
Packed with a unique combination of melanin-inhibiting ingredients coupled with potent antioxidants, the Brighter Serum helps fade pigmentation and increase luminosity. With ferulic acid as one of its main ingredients, this complexion-correcting serum will tackle dull lacklustre skin types. It’s a little more expensive, but as one of the best brightening serums in the business, it’s worth every single penny. Trust us.
R680, R849 and R879 respectively from www.dermastore.co.za
What it is: A snugly fitting sheet mask that doesn’t slide
Why we love it: In our books, the best sheet masks need to do two things: Be loaded with spa-like appeal and improve our skin while we’re parked in front of our laptop. This biocellulose mask is generously soaked in serum and provides a visible lifting and firming effect. Delivering a potent dose of active ingredients used in injectables – think collagen, hyaluronic acid and cellular factors – it’s a fabulous way to treat your skin while you’re working from home. When our skin needs a pick-me-up between emails and Zoom calls, we apply the mask on freshly cleansed skin with a serum underneath and then leave it on for 15 minutes. Our skin always looks plumper and dewier after using it.
Elizabeth Arden Hyaluronic Acid Ceramide Capsules Hydra-Plumping Serum
What it is: Ampoules of supercharged serum divvied out into daily doses
Why we love it: Elizabeth Arden’s new single-serve skincare capsules deserve a permanent spot on your vanity, especially while you’re working from home. Infused with hyaluronic acid and ceramides, each pea-sized biodegradable pod promises to moisturise, target wrinkles and retexturise skin. The ampoules seep into skin seamlessly and practically immediately, leaving no kind of residue from too many products. After a few regular uses, our skin felt smoother and we noticed fewer dry patches. We recommend using one ampoule both morning and evening for an extended at-home spa treatment. They’re powerful alone, but transformative when layered with the Advanced Ceramide Capsules on top.
R1,095 for 60 pieces from Woolworths, Edgars and Foschini
Olgani Charcoal & Cocoa Natural Toothpowder
What it is: Your new BFF tooth powder that will make your teeth pearly white
Why we love it: Attention all coffee and wine lovers! It’s 2021, and tooth powder is officially cool. But it’s not just for show: This tingly tooth powder is essentially just a powdered version of classic toothpaste, but with natural, simple ingredients that work like your favourite stain remover by binding to dirt and pulling it from the surface, revealing a whiter smile. It’s filled with charcoal and turmeric to whiten the teeth, cocoa to improve mineral absorption, liquorice to prevent cavities, coffee oil to improve blood flow in the gum tissue, vitamin E to support the gum tissue and a blend of essential oils to keep bad breath in check. Just dip your damp toothbrush into the powder and brush like normal.
Nivea Peel-Off Urban Skin Detox Mask
What it is: A peel-off mask that’s actually good for your skin
Why we love it: Apply, dry and peel – possibly the best fun you can have at home. Most peel-off masks are gimmicky, but this one leaves your skin ridiculously soft, smooth and mattified. That’s because this formula actually works: Once you peel off the mask (in a single layer, if you’re lucky), you’ll be left with a clean, purified complexion and clearer pores. It uses a combo of superstar ingredients – black rice and green tea extract – to decongest, condition and protect. Plus, it’s an ideal pick for every kind of skin type and works in as little as 15 minutes. There aren’t a ton of peel-off masks to be found at the drugstore, but happily, you can nab this standout that’s a huge hit on Instagram. City girls, this one is for you!
R99.95 from Dis-Chem
Sorbet Pedi-Care Foot Mask
What it is: A foot mask that gives your feet the baby-soft feel of a salon treatment
Why we love it: Make sure you bear your often-overlooked feet in mind when working from home. Treat your toes to this foot mask that’s invigorating, revitalising and active all at once. Infused with a potent combination of hyaluronic acid and argan oil, this holy grail product leaves feet silky-smooth and has an amazing scent. The booties are plastic and securely fasten, so there’s very little mess and you can comfortably move around if you choose, although we recommend using them while reading – it’s the perfect way to unwind. After the time is up, we rub the product into our feet. Post-mask, our feet feel super-soft after going way too long without a pedicure. It’s also a quick-fix for a dodgy fake fan.
R59 from Sorbet salons and Clicks