Words by Matt Huxley
The word iconic tends to get bandied around a bit in skincare circles. Every other month a company has their new “iconic” product out that promises to be even better than the last range. Of course by and large this is just marketing, but sometimes you do stumble across a product that truly does work for your skin – in my books, this gives it iconic status.
I have pruned, culled and eviscerated my skincare collection to determine the true iconic products for my skin. These are the best of the best and I have presented them according to category. Keep in mind that I have combination skin, meaning that I get oily in my t zone (especially during summer). It’s not overly sensitive either. You should always know your skin type before purchasing or trying products.
Cleanser – Vitaman Facial Cleanser
A surprising addition to this list, I was only very recently introduced to the Vitaman cleanser. It’s grapefruit scent and soothing, yet thorough, cleanse quickly made it a staple in my routine. The pump bottle means that it’s perfect for shower cleanses, quick and easy. It doesn’t have many nasties in it, yet still manages to foam up nicely without stripping the skin. I find that it removes any unnecessary oil, grime and makeup effectively. Usually I’m suspicious of “man branded” skincare as I usually find it to be full of fragrance, but this one is starting to change my opinions a bit!
Toner – Alpha H Liquid Gold
Can one really produce an iconic skincare post without including this cult fave? It’s earned its acclaim for a good reason – it’s truly phenomenal. I’ve included this in the toner section as you apply it the same way you would a toner, but it’s almost like a liquid exfoliant in some ways. It works to really refine the skin’s texture and regenerate any dull or tired looking skin. My skin can sometimes look quite dull, so this product is a life saver! I whip it out about once a week and I find that that’s enough to keep my skin looking fresh. If you have sensitive skin I probably wouldn’t recommend this as it can be quite harsh. But otherwise, I can’t say enough good things about it!
Exfoliator – Alpha H Micro Cleanse Super Scrub
Alpha H is getting a few mentions in this list! This Glycolic acid scrub has a bit of a microdermabrasion effect and really works well on smoothing skin and refining pores. The exfoliating beads are finely milled and don’t contain any sharp edges, meaning that your skin isn’t getting cut up. The scrub works well to exfoliate off any excess dead skin and clears any blocked pores. This allows any serums/moisturisers or oils to penetrate the skin more effectively, increasing the benefits you receive from them.
Serum – The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate
Wow, what a truly iconic product. Since integrating this bad boy into my routine I’ve noticed such a dramatic improvement in the texture and moisture levels of my skin. My skin is smoother and more hydrated than ever. The serum contains stem cells from three separate plants, meaning that the collagen in the face is replenished. I literally can’t say enough good things about this serum.
Day Moisturiser – Simple Light Moisturiser
Whoever said that drugstore skincare brands were shit clearly hadn’t tested out this moisturiser. It’s phenomenal. I use it every single morning and have done so for years. It sinks straight in, doesn’t leave a residue, yet my skin is hydrated all night. It’s a truly great product. It doesn’t have any fragrance or excess nasties, it just gets in and does the job.
Night Moisturiser – Apotekah Original Face Cream
Apotekah is an up and coming brand that has some truly phenomenal products. The original face cream is a really great, honest product. Similar to the Simple product above, it doesn’t have much fragrance and works well to just get the job done. It’s a bit of a dryer texture, meaning that you have to massage it in to your face, which I find results in better penetration of the product. I definitely prefer this one to gel moisturisers which I find don’t hydrate as effectively as a thicker cream. Plus I find that the texture of this cream works well with any oils or extra serums that I may add in to my routine. Don’t forget that you can get 10% off any Apotekah product by using the code MATTH10.
Facial Oil – Apotekah Facial Treatment Oil
Containing Jojoba, Apricot Kernel, Grapeseed, Sweet Almond, Geranium, Patchouli, Vitamin E and Carrot Seed Oils, this beautiful oil smooths nicely over the skin, adding excess hydration and suppressing excess sebum production. This is my absolute favourite oil to use as I find that the blend works well for my skin type and it doesn’t over stimulate my skin, which I find that some other oils can do. I find that many people are a bit scared of using oils on their face, so I’ll definitely do a post in the future explaining why they are so effective.
Treatment – The Body Shop Tea Tree Night Serum
I’m lucky in the fact that I rarely have to use a treatment on any pimples. However I find that tea tree products have been the best at reducing the size and redness of any problem areas quickly. Benzac Peroxide cream used to work really well for me, but I found that my skin was starting to get used to it, so I switched back to tea tree. This serum is just a light lotion that I smooth over my skin after serum and before moisturiser at night, if I have any blemishes. I find that they are really reduced by morning and typically after two days are basically nothing.
Eye Cream – Lancome Genefique Yeux Eye Cream
If you’re going to splurge on one thing, make sure it’s your eye cream. The skin around the eye is the most delicate on the face, and the one that requires the most specialty products. This lovely cream contains anti ageing products and works to protect the delicate eye skin. I’ve noticed a bit of a reduction in my dark circles and a significant decrease in the puffiness of the skin. Being a contacts wearer, there is a lot of stress placed on the entire eye area, and this definitely helps to correct and contain that. Worth the investment I promise.
Lip Cream – Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment
I mean was there ever another option? This bad boy may contain petroleum jelly, but it’s still the only product I’ve found that manages to keep my lips moist all night long. It’s a classic for a reason people.
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