Hands up whose skin and hair is looking all dewy-fresh and juicy-plump right now? No one. That’s who. It’s officially the time when our complexions need a little TLC – especially if, like us, you’ve been overindulging in curling up by the fire with a glass of red wine. From cream cleansers and sleeping masks to scalp scrubs and leave-in conditioners, when our skin is lacklustre or our hair is dry and brittle, these are the products we swear by to help get our beauty routines back on track.
Editor’s pick: Kevin Murphy SCALP.SPA SCRUB and SCALP.SPA WASH
Prepare to fall back in love with wash day again with Kevin Murphy’s brand-new SCALP.SPA SCRUB and SCALP.SPA WASH. Designed to clean your hair and calm your scalp, tackling hair issues right from the root, these satisfying scalp heroes score more than just pampering points. If you’re looking for something extra-thorough to gently sweep away impurities from your scalp and hair follicle, the scrub has to be the most satisfying option. Come for the mint green and recyclable packaging, stay for the ethically sourced and eco-certified ingredients as well as the seriously deep clean that this scrub delivers. Dense, grainy and deliciously scented, the gritty bits are actually perlite, a type of volcanic rock (there they go again with the sustainability). Because it’s so effective, we recommend saving this for a once-weekly indulgence. The wash, on the other hand, is key to true shower (or bath) nirvana. Deeply nourishing, this shampoo made with micellar water, celery seed extract, rose water and coconut oil is designed to relieve intensely dry, flaking scalps. It’s so gentle that those with a sensitive scalp will love it for its hydrating and clarifying properties. Plus, it smells like heaven right out of a bottle! In our opinion, your scalp deserves to be treated with at least a fraction of the love you show your complexion (be honest – how many serums and moisturisers are on your shelf?). Not only does a happy scalp lead to healthy hair that behaves well and looks glossy, it also encourages hair to grow at its optimal rate.
R495 and R575 respectively from your nearest Kevin Murphy salon
Exuviance Gentle Cleansing Creme
If your skin is in need of a loving hug, then this cream cleanser is a cuddle in a bottle. With a cocktail of botanicals, such as aloe leaf juice, chamomile flower extract and rosemary leaf extract, it’s as calming as it is cleansing and helps gently exfoliate congested skin. Because it’s soap-free and contains no harsh chemicals (just nourishment), it’s excellent for dry and sensitive skin types. The creamy, gentle formula glides on, swipes impurities and rinses without foaming, making it the perfect accompaniment to a good facial massage. Afterwards, you can expect your skin to feel soft, supple and intensely moisturised.
R545 from www.dermastore.co.za
SVR Sebiaclear Micro-Peel
Your skincare routine just gained a major player – SVR’s new unclogging, smoothing renewal water. You may not know this, but your pores don’t open or close and you can’t change the size of them. Rather, your pores can start to appear larger or smaller based on how clogged they are. That’s why this formula is a top choice. The blend of niacinamide and salicylic acid is a game-changer for eliminating skin imperfections such as blackheads and spots for even the angriest acne-prone skin. Apply it with a cotton pad for a refreshing, instantaneous detox. The result is clean, fresh skin and we’re totally here for it!
Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Dew Drops
As with all of Mario Badescu’s dreamy skincare products, this water-like serum’s formula glides onto the skin easily and absorbs so quickly you’ll forget you’re wearing anything at all. But once you look in the mirror and see smooth, baby-soft skin with a healthy glow, you’ll be easily reminded. Formulated with two molecular weights of sodium hyaluronate, niacinamide, lactic acid and thyme extract, it looks like a tall drink of water for your skin, and that’s exactly it is. We recommend applying three to four drops immediately after misting while your skin is still dewy. Trust us, your face will feel the difference!
R525 from www.mariobadescu.co.za
NUXE Crème Fraîche de Beauté Cream-in-Mist
For city dwellers, NUXE’s chic new cream-in-mist is an essential. This is high on our list because of how incredibly hydrated your skin will feel after a couple of spritzes. Think of this mist as a spray-on cream: It’s cleverly enriched with sweet almond botanical milk that forms an invisible film over the skin, thereby keeping moisture levels balanced. You’ll also notice that your skin is less ‘stressed’, and the silky and fine texture makes it a brilliant touch-up mist under and on top of your makeup. Plus, the orange blossom scent makes for ultra-pleasurable misting. Try keeping it on your #WFH desk for moisture top-ups.
R375 from select Woolworths, Foschini and Truworths stores
AQ Skin Solutions Active Serum
We’re obsessed with every AQ Skin Solutions product that we’ve ever tried, but especially this active serum. For those who have no idea where to start when it comes to anti-agers, this unique, technologically advanced serum which uses patented growth factor technology is your new best friend. Boasting a highly concentrated and rejuvenating ingredient list, it’s a serious multitasker that addresses multiple signs of ageing with every application. After using the serum nightly for a couple of weeks, our frown and smile lines have dramatically faded. It’s an expensive habit, sure, but a little goes a long way.
R2,234 from www.aqskinsolutionssa.com
Eau Thermale Avène A-Oxitive Smoothing Eye Contour Cream
If you’re enamoured with Avène’s A-Oxitive range, you’re likely to fall equally hard for this new addition to the family. Packed with eye-opening ingredients, this eye cream instantly brightens, masks discolouration and colour-corrects dark circles. But it’s not just a one-trick pony: With regular use, bags are lighter and fine lines are genuinely plumper, too. The balm-like texture sinks in easily, which makes it ideal if, like us, you don’t like a heavy cream. You won’t believe your eyes (pun intended) once you see the transformative effects – this brilliantly hard-working formula is absolutely worth the hype.
R389 from Clicks, Dis-Chem and www.dermastore.co.za
Mavala Skin Vitality Sleeping Mask “Baby Skin” Radiance
Do you wish you could rewind and journey back to simpler times when you actually slept for eight hours? Well, with this energising sleeping mask, you can (sort of). Containing a potent cocktail of active ingredients, such as Swiss apricot extract – high in provitamin A and antioxidant properties – this mask is ideal for helping smooth uneven skin texture while you sleep. Simply apply a generous lay of the non-oily half mask, half cream formula at bedtime and wake up to skin with a dewier, healthier appearance. It’s like giving yourself an expensive mini facial right in the comfort of your own bathroom!
R695 from www.mavala.co.za
label.m Honey & Oat Shampoo and Conditioner
Dry hair doesn’t stand a chance against this duo! Thanks to ingredients like honey, oat extracts, sea algae and sea cabbage, your hair will keep its moisture and any damage will be restored. When lathered up, the ultra-creamy shampoo gives hair a gentle cleanse to bring back shine and elasticity, while the conditioner deeply conditions for glossy, smooth strands. Together, this pair renews sleekness so your hair feels drunk on moisture. With regular use, our hair’s texture felt softer and silkier, and our wash routine felt more like an experience. Who knew your hair could look this good all winter long?
R340 and R350 from Tanaz Hair
INOAR Liso Mágico
Brazilian favourite Inoar rarely gets it wrong (the brand’s iconic Sensitine all-in-one shampoo, conditioner and scalp treatment is amazing), and this lightweight, vegan-friendly mist is no exception. Aside from smelling like a dream, it delivers on its promise of softening knots, protecting against high temperatures and rehydrating dry strands from the mid-lengths through to the ends. Jasmine extract and argan oil replenish the hair as well as provide instant moisture and shine – just spray the product throughout your hair and watch your hair flourish. It gets better with every time you use it!
R500 from Sorbet Drybar and select salons
Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Sage and Orange Blossom
Face mists have a bit of a reputation as a superfluous step in your skincare routine, but this formula – infused with aloe, sage and orange blossom – has the power to hydrate perennially dry complexions and increase the absorption of (subsequently applied) products. If you’re looking for a lovely basic mist, this one suits everyone – even sensitive types. It’s refreshing, leaves the skin feeling soft and looking healthy, and can be used in any situation – from prepping your skin for makeup to a quick mist on board a flight. It doesn’t hurt that it smells divine too! Pop it in your handbag for spritzing throughout the day.
R299 from www.mariobadescu.co.za
Eau Thermale Avène A-Oxitive Sheet Mask
Praise be! Avène’s cult favourite A-Oxitive range now includes a limited-edition sheet mask. Dealing with dull skin right now? Don’t stress – try this illuminating pro-vitamin mask prior to layering on your favourite face cream. Not only will it cleanse your pores and revitalise your skin with a dewy glow, it will also help the skin to defend itself against oxidative stress and the harmful effects of pollution. The biodegradable mask sits tightly over the face (so no dripping) and comes with all of the necessary antioxidants to give your skin a plump and supple glow. We love it as a post-workout refresher.
R99 from Clicks, Dis-Chem and www.dermastore.co.za
NUXE Detoxifying + Glow Insta-Masque
If you’re desperate for a deep cleanse, this mask is the much-needed breath of fresh air that your skin has been craving. Formulated with activated botanical charcoal and rose floral water, it takes your dull skin and transforms it into a radiant, rebalanced complexion. Paint it on (just a thin layer of its refreshing jelly texture is all you need) and wait two minutes in rose-scented bliss while it works to give your skin some nourishment and fight concerns like excess oil and large pores Whether your face is dry, oily, normal or combination, you definitely want this product on your team for purified, smooth skin!
R370 from select Woolworths, Foschini and Truworths stores
Filorga Oxygen-Glow Mask
Our face mask obsession just hit new heights. We’re convinced that anything and everything from Filorga gives us a dewy glow, but this express mask is on another level entirely. When your skin is a looking a bit dull, let this express mask that’s full of hyaluronic acid and L-enzyme give you a glow-over. After letting the velvety-smooth, pearly-pink formula sit on your face for 10 minutes, the tone of your skin will be noticeably more even with a light-catching glow, like you’ve just gotten an expensive facial. This is a seriously indulgent newfound love that we don’t plan on letting go anytime soon.
Gatineau Melatogenine Futur Plus Mask
Famous for dramatically lifting and tightening the skin, this is one of the best face masks money can buy that delivers results you can see and feel right away. In just 10 to 15 minutes, it refines the appearance of the face and neck, leaving skin with a more sculpted look and bringing it back to its healthiest state. With continued use, your skin will look and feel firmer and bouncier with a luminous glow. Makeup also looks absolutely flawless after application: We don’t really understand how, but it (temporarily) fills and flattens forehead wrinkles to the point where it looks as if they never existed to begin with.
R940 from select Woolworths, Truworths and Dis-Chem stores
Mavala Aqua Plus Multi-Moisturising Sleeping Mask
Sleeping masks have become a new beauty staple, so do your skin a favour. This personal favourite inspired by the ‘sleeping packs’ from Korea attacks dehydrated and dull skin head-on with its silky, lightweight formula. Think of it like a nighttime moisturiser on steroids: For dehydrated skin that needs a boost of radiance, this leave-on mask enriched with Swiss mallow flower extract will provide you with both. You can say goodbye to redness, dry patches and tired-looking skin! A little goes a long way, and patting it into your skin feels as refreshing as splashing cold water on your face in the morning.
R709 from www.mavala.co.za