Why Spring Beauty Is Skin Deep

What LOOKS MODERN is the opposite of adhering to any prescriptive image: it’s EMBRACING THE NATURAL, real and tactile, says beauty editor SARAH HALLIWELL

Victoria Beckham SS18
Victoria Beckham SS18

It’s the central tenet of every beauty look: great skin. Skincare is the leading growth area in beauty, forecast to reach £147.3bn globally by 2020. Glowing skin was the starting point on every spring catwalk, reflecting a new mood. “Health, freshness, optimism and wellbeing – these are all aspirational now,” notes MAC’s Terry Barber. What looks modern is the opposite of adhering to any prescriptive image: it’s embracing the natural, real and tactile. It seems, though, that we still don’t really know what our skin needs and why. And we’ll pay for someone to tell us: facialist Jennifer Rock, known as the Skin Nerd, charges €50 for a 30-minute online consultation, and has waiting lists. Swedish brand Allél, just arrived at the Beacon Clinic in Dublin, charges around €1,600 for a three-month subscription service that begins with a DNA swab and analysis to determine specially prescribed skincare and nutritional supplements.

We’re also seeing plenty of skin-focused books: Rock’s The Skin is an Organ – A 360 Approach to Your Healthiest Skin will be published this autumn, and Kate O’Brien’s Glow: Four Weeks to Radiant Skin (March, Gill Books) is a practical guide to achieving your best skin, outlining what you need, when, and why. A renewed interest in age-old ingredients such as retinol and vitamin C is no coincidence – gimmicks like foaming masks might catch people’s eye on Instagram, but we just want things that actually work. Any facialist will tell you that retinol, handled correctly, absolutely will make a difference to your skin (Votary’s night oil with retinol, at SpaceNK, is a gentle way to start), while self-activated pure vitamin C formulas are undeniably effective. There is also increasing demand for high-quality natural products, ideally locally sourced and produced; the natural skincare market has more than doubled in the last decade. Try Phyt’s (www.vclaire.ie), for example, and organic Éminence (www.eminence.ie). The pillars of healthy diet, double-cleansing and SPF aside, for an instant and simple change, ditch the hard lines of contouring and go back to blush; while contouring can look unnatural, shades of rose and peach look “real” and healthy.

Sarah Halliwell

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