Oscillating between stress-induced eczema and acne is challenging enough these days, but battling wrinkles at the same time doesn’t really feel like a fair shake.

Acne and wrinkles? Come on! Of course, all things considered, it’s a small hair shirt to wear if that’s the extent of my pandemic issues (that and the extra 10 pounds thanks to the everlasting comfort of eating and drinking to excess).

The good news is there’s a whole new crop of skincare out there designed to deal with such myriad issues—whether they’re age or stress-related or simply hastened by the harsher elements like this past weekend’s arctic air blast.

And just like the latest fashion trends (elevated sweatpants, sweatpants-and-heels, just sweatpants), beauty trends are skewing easy and relaxed because no one needs extra stress right now. These multifunctional products work double-duty so you don’t have to—because there are shows to watch, comfy pants to wear, and wine to drink.

Goddess Goals Self-Care Kit 

January feels like the hump day of the pandemic—it’s not Monday, but nor is it Friday since we’ve still got a long way to go before we can move about freely. With that in mind, Saje introduces its Goddess Goals Self-Care kit this week, which not only addresses the ravages done to our skin by winter climes, but also the ravages done to our mood (by this winter in particular).

Image courtesy of Saje.

Containing two new limited-edition products—Goddess Body Butter & Rose Lips Balm—the kit also includes the Goddess roll-on and Rose Mist to take care of body and mind with supportive premium essential oils such as rose, jasmine, and neroli. Rose supports emotional healing as well as skin softening and smoothing; jasmine soothes emotional stress and encourages intimacy (which comes in handy when you’re tiring of your housemates) and revives dull, dry skin; while neroli is a fantastic mood booster.

The Rose Mist also doubles as a facial toner and textile refresher (I like it as a pillow spray since my ironing pile hasn’t seen the light of day in several months). And the Goddess roll-on can serve as perfume—albeit one that only you and your household can enjoy right now.

Goopgenes Super Nutrient Face Oil 

We’re pretty sure the folks over at Goop headquarters do a lot of yoga followed by beetroot smoothies so glowing skin is just all in a day’s work. But the cornerstone of Gwyneth Paltrow’s skincare line is epigenetics⁠—the science of how our genetic code expresses itself based on our age, experiences, and habits.

According to Goop, 100 per cent of the women who tested their new nutrient face oil saw their fine lines and wrinkles reduced, and skin texture and moisture levels improved. Whether their test subjects were drinking the kombucha Kool-Aid or the all-natural skincare (formulated without parabens, petroleum, phthalates, SLS, SLES, PEGs, TEA, DEA, silicones, artificial dyes, or fragrances) really is the secret isn’t clear, but it’s tough to argue with 100 per cent.

Image courtesy of Goop.

Packed with bakuchiol (considered a gentle alternative to retinol), amla (a superfood berry rich in antioxidant vitamin C) and cacay oil (antioxidant-rich with vitamin A), the oil is designed to supercharge your skin with active botanical extracts, oils, nutrients, and butters. Fewer fine lines and wrinkles, with firmer and more toned skin, and hydration—the trifecta of anti-aging goals.

Timeless Skincare Pollution Solution

As if worrying about a world pandemic and your liquor stocks weren’t enough, the wear-and-tear on our skin from indoor pollution adds to the endless list of concerns. Turns out that indoor air quality may be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air thanks to synthetic furnishings, building materials, personal care products, and even candle-burning. And considering we were typically spending about 90 per cent of our time indoors even pre-COVID, it’s time we addressed this issue since it might be the reason we’ve got dull, clogged, dry, and spotty skin.

Image courtesy of Timeless Skincare.

Barring moving your desk outdoors, your next best bet is Timeless Skincare’s new Pollution Solution kit. The brand’s highly concentrated active ingredients in clean formulas work in concert with three anti-pollution products chock-full of free radical neutralizing ingredients. Brighten is a serum with 20 per cent vitamin C + E Ferulic acid, while Defend features coenzyme Q10 (an antioxidant your body produces naturally) that helps with rebuilding collagen and elasticity, and Protect is a 100 per cent pure squalane oil, which leaves a weightless natural glow to seal in moisture.

The trio works on multiple levels to protect against environmental stressors, prevent visible signs of aging, repair environmentally damaged skin, regulate oil production, brighten complexions, and reduce redness and inflammation. Apply freely and then go burn a candle in good conscience (just make sure it’s coconut wax).

Fresh Kombucha Antioxidant Facial Treatment Essence

While we’re on the topic of pollution, Fresh Beauty’s new no-rinse cleanser also packs a multipunch. In just one step, the Kombucha Antioxidant Facial Treatment Essence removes pollution, impurities, makeup, and sunscreen while treating the skin’s microbiota with prebiotic inulin—with no need to even rinse it off. That means clearer skin, tighter pores, and smoother texture in one fell swoop.

Image courtesy of Fresh Beauty.

Kombucha, or fermented black tea, helps to smooth skin while giving a natural glow and simultaneously protecting against free radicals and pollution, including digital light pollution (it’s a thing!); hyaluronic acid works to keep skin supple, while mandarin peel extract creates a more even tone.

Fresh Beauty is part of the stable of products labelled “clean” at Sephora—all are formulated without a list of over 50 ingredients, including sulfates (SLS and SLES), parabens, and phthalates so you can not only clean easy, but rest easy too.

Clarins Extra-Firming Energy moisturizer

French pharmacy know-how is legendary so with elevated pharmacy staple Clarins’ launching its new moisturizer this month, Gallic savoir-faire gets distilled down to a tiny jar of Extra-Firming Energy cream. French women—and now the rest of us—don’t have to choose between radiance or firmness thanks to the almost 70-year-old brand’s launch that targets both concerns, thanks to the power of super fruits.

The new Glow Plus Complex features acerola seed extract, which increases cellular respiration and helps optimize the skin’s oxygenation process thereby boosting your skin’s radiance. According to traditional Chinese medicine, organic goji berry extract kickstarts energy production. Apricot oil is rich in fatty acids and helps nourish the skin to help reflect the light. Meanwhile, paprika extract promotes an immediate healthy glow thanks to its natural, golden colour.

Image courtesy of Clarins.

Clarins is all about harnessing the science of plant extracts and fruits so the grocery-like list also includes organic oat sugars, extracts of kangaroo flower, organic mitracarpus, organic desert date, and organic leaf of life.

Amandine Dew Dream Spray Serum

When I first wrote about Canadian Amandine Sol Botanicals in 2019, I loved the founder’s tale of decampment from law school to lavender fields. This January, I’m loving Amandine Sol Azran’s introduction of her Dew Dream spray serum, the second product in her slow beauty stable. A combination of essence, toner, and serum all-in-one, the product is designed to simplify skincare routines. Because back-to-basics is how we’re all going to get through this.

Sol Azran discovered that most people are simply confused by what products to use, when to use them, and why. Nor does the average person have the time. And while we may have a lot more time during a pandemic, we now don’t have the inclination. A multitasking product hits just the right note in both instances.

Image courtesy of Amandine Sol Botanicals.

Dew Dream’s Dual-Hyaluronic Complex hydrates and plumps while the Soothing Complex features anti-inflammatory properties that evens, tones, and firms skin while simultaneously reducing and preventing breakouts. Willow bark serves as a sloughing agent that exfoliates dead skin cells, clear pores, and encourages that youthful glow, while the Antioxidant Blend features tea extracts and Ginkgo Biloba, which act as free radical scavengers to inhibit oxidation to prevent skin damage.

With local Ontario honey, elderflower and jasmine added to the mix, this powerful potion aims to do all the heavy-lifting for you—because we could all use a little help right now.


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