The onset of falling leaves and fading sunset always calls for a rethink of your daily routines. Out with the old, in with the new, as they say – and autumn is prime time for looking after your skin. This season is all about skin-quenching formulas to greet the cooler days and divine-smelling moisturisers to butter yourself up, as well as new launches that deserve face (and hair and body) time. So, grab a pumpkin-spiced latte and check out the must-haves you’ll want on your vanity and inside your makeup bag well beyond the autumnal equinox. Warning: They might induce instant shopping!
Editor’s pick: Weleda Skin Food
Why: This iconic cream’s thick, buttery formula is truly multifunctional. Now available in South Africa for the first time, Hollywood’s favourite budget moisturiser cossets and comforts the skin just like the softest turtleneck or knit trousers. Its certified natural formula, which has remained unchanged since its initial launch back in 1926, contains wild pansy, sunflower seed oil, chamomile, calendula and rosemary extract, alongside a cocktail of oils. In addition to acting as an all-over moisturiser to deeply nourish, hydrate and soften rough or compromised skin, it doubles as a natural highlighter, cuticle cream and flyaway tamer – just to name a few other uses. Simply put, it’s a directional solution for all your autumn and winter skin woes! We use this cult skincare product religiously all year round – as a base under makeup, a salve on dry patches, a rich mask on flights and as a night cream in the winter months. If heavy creams aren’t your thing, you might prefer the Light formula. It’s comprised of many of the same super-soothing plants, but unlike the original, it’s slightly less thick and sinks into skin almost instantly.
R350 for 75ml from www.weleda.co.za
Optiphi Pure Cleansing Wash
Why: Starting with a fresh canvas is vital. This is a top-rated product in the Optiphi portfolio, and it lives up to its hype. We love the conditioning, pH-balanced formula that racks up on moisture without sacrificing the clean feeling we love and expect from a refreshingly pampering cleanser. It’s soap-free, so rest assured that it’s totally safe to use on your sensitive eye area and doesn’t leave any skin burning or stripped. If you’re not sure which all-star cleanser to get, try this one.
R840 for 220ml from select salons
SVR Ampoule [C] Anti-Ox
Why: Brighter skin days right this way! Dull skin will be a thing of the past with regular use of SVR’s strategically formulated vitamin C serum. While most vitamin C products pack a bit of a sting, this one feels instantly soothing and hydrating. That said, the 20% optimised vitamin C formula melts right into the skin, leaving you absolutely glowing. See this as your introduction to an ingredient you’re sure to fall in love with. And for the price, you really can’t go wrong!
Sothys Hydra 3Ha Intensive Hydrating Serum
Why: When moisturiser alone just won’t cut it, moisture-boosting elixirs are essential. Make dry skin vanish – and lock in moisture all season long – by layering this milky serum underneath. Its main ingredient is hyaluronic acid, a hydrating compound that softens skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to make you appear more youthful in just weeks. The serum’s primer-like texture layers beautifully under makeup, too, for an all-day glow up.
R1,195 from www.orleanscosmetics.co.za
Dermalogica Biolumin-C Gel Moisturiser
Why: A gel moisturiser and then some, you’ll want to work the latest addition to Dermalogica’s Biolumin-C series into your regimen ASAP. The supercharged potion will win you over with its texture alone, but inside the lightweight hydrator is a slew of ingredients that reward you for indulging in it twice a day. Skin immediately looks dewy upon application due to its highly stable vitamin C, and to fast-track skin turnover, there’s also phytic acid and pumpkin enzymes.
R1,290 for 50ml from Dermalogica
Lamelle Dermaheal Renewal Cream
Why: Even if you’re a total skincare minimalist, you should have a mega-hydrating night cream in your arsenal. We love all of Lamelle’s products, but our holy grail is this comforting cream – a cocooning concoction that works overtime for flawless skin in the AM. It’s satisfyingly rich, yet doesn’t leave a film, and can also be used during the day. We love the way it makes the skin feel firm, plump and unmistakably brighter. The high-end result is well worth the splurge.
R1,140 from www.dermastore.co.za
Placecol Illuminé Anti-Oxidant Mist
Why: It’s time to do the dew. This lightweight face mist is our secret for sealing in a dewy glow, whether on bare skin or over foundation. When skin looks grey from too much screen time, a few spritzes will help bring back a healthy bounce … kind of like a shot of espresso. If your foundation needs a pick-me-up, spray some onto a makeup sponge and dab away. It’s completely natural, vegan and cruelty-free, and handy for popping in your handbag.
R380 for 100ml from select salons
Kevin Murphy PLUMPING.WASH and PLUMPING.RINSE
Why: Rapunzel-like locks, coming right up! Kevin Murphy’s pinky-peach thickening shampoo and conditioner, specially formulated for fine hair, is a standout. The eco-conscious option delivers a supreme lather as well as successfully thickens ends and gives limp strands a volumising boost. Rice bran and amino acids leave hair feeling thicker and looking fuller without weighing it down, while ginger root and nettle extract invigorate and gently exfoliate the scalp.
R510 each from www.retailbox.co.za and select salons
Moroccanoil All in One Leave-In Conditioner
Why: In a relationship with your heat tools? This leave-in conditioner is a luxurious treat that makes for the perfect primer before styling. Equipped with argan oil, pure amino acids, a blend of superfoods and naturally derived sugars, it helps preserve hair health while also giving it a beautiful shine. It’ll smooth, hydrate, nourish and protect your hair for a gorgeous blowout, all in one sweet-smelling product. Like moisturiser, but for your hair. We wouldn’t be without it!
R515 from Splush
TIGI Bed Head Superstar Queen for a Day Thickening Spray
Why: Resist the urge to spend autumn in a slicked back bun or messy topknot. If your strands are feeling a little sparse, flat or thin following this summer’s sun-bathing sessions, this volumising spray will pump up the volume. Ideal for fine to medium hair, it’s fabulous for that perfectly tousled, full-sized autumn hair. Work this aerosol spray that smells like berries into towel-dried hair and watch your strands plump up seemingly instantly. Flat hair woes, be gone.
R345 from Splush and select salons
Pelo Baum Lash Lash Eyelash Enhancer
Why: If there’s ever a good time to work on lengthening (and thickening) your lashes, autumn is it. Lash serums can be pricey, which is largely why we appreciate this wallet-friendly version. It relies on peptides to deliver plenty of conditioning benefits, while also preventing breaking and brittleness, keeping lashes soft, supple and strong. We’d recommend it for everyone since it does great things not only for lashes but for brows, too … and with minimal irritation at that.
R550 from www.lamelle-health.myshopify.com
Smudge Makeup Remover Oil
Why: Gentle (sensitive skin and eyes are welcome) and budget-friendly – this makeup remover oil is a no-brainer. It effortlessly dissolves eye makeup and lipstick, including the most tenacious makeup like eyeliner and intense matte lipsticks, leaving nothing behind. This remover might be a little greasy to the touch, but it’s for good reason: The solution literally glides across your skin and does the work for you so that you don’t have to tug. Never wake up with smudges again.
R69.99 from Clicks
Rochas Girl Eau de Parfum
Why: Florals for spring may not be groundbreaking, but florals for autumn are always refreshing. Consider this warm, welcoming fragrance your new season scent; a floral woody musk with neroli, blackcurrant, pink pepper, orange blossom, jasmine and orchid, warmed and softened by notes like vanilla, sandalwood and cedar to blend into the vibes of a cosier season. It’s like the most elegant yet cosy cashmere sweater in spray form – a real neck nuzzler!
R899 for 40ml, R1,099 for 60ml or R1,399 for 100ml from Clicks
Gatineau Vitamina Suractivee Hand Cream
Why: Yes, your hands need just as much love as your face! Believe it or not, the delicate skin on the top of the hands happens to be one of the first areas to show signs of ageing. For this reason, an effective hand cream should be a handbag mainstay. This one is designed to specifically target anti-ageing concerns – a double collagen complex, citric and sorbic acid plus vitamins A, E and F are the dream team to help brighten dark spots and even the complexion.
R295 from www.orleanscosmetics.co.za as well as select Woolworths, Truworths and Dis-Chem stores