I love an oil.
One of the most satisfying consistencies for massaging, cleansing and moisturising, slathering on a good oil just feels like you’re doing a better job of looking after yourself than if you used, say, a plain old cream or wash.
With the weather stuck in a permanent ode to Christmas, except without all the good Christmas stuff like mulled wine, Quality Street and Christmas trees, spring is an excellent time to buy something new and exciting to add some zip to your skincare routine.
Pop these in your bathroom cabinet, pronto:
1. CODEX BIA WASH OFF CLEANSING OIL
I’ve never been hugely enthusiastic about pricey cleansers, but man, this stuff is like a facial in a bottle. I’ve started looking forward to that moment when the workday is over and I smooth a few drops of it over my face and breathe in the heady scent of blackcurrant oil and borage.
Massage it in for a few minutes (it whips off lipstick, foundation and mascara in seconds without any rough rubbing) then sweep it off with a warm face flannel. The chia seed oil helps to hydrate and protect the skin’s moisture barrier, while oat lipid oil soothes and calms irritation – all part of a genius formula developed by Cork-based herbal scientist Tracey Ryan.
Codex Bia Wash-off Cleansing Oil is €78 here.
2. 24K GOLD PRECIOUS OIL DROPS
You no longer need to be Cleopatra to enlist the many benefits of 24K gold in your skincare routine. Marks & Spencer’s is now home to the PRAI Beauty 24K Gold Collection, a fabulous foursome of products that promise to brighten, boost collagen and reduce inflammation – three things we all need at this time of year.
There’s a Wrinkle Repair Creme (€42), a Serum (€46) and a Retinol night time treatment (€46) that are all rather excellent at leaving skin glowing, but it’s the 24k Gold Precious Oil Drops that impressed me most… and not just because of the absolutely gorgeous gold bottle either.
A best-seller in the collection, the drops are a blend of colloidal gold, seven botanical oils and Vitamin E, soothing chamomile and moisturising avocado. Smooth it on under your moisturiser at night or massage it into skin 20 minutes before you apply foundation for a ‘lit from the within’ glow.
24k Gold Precious Oil Drops, €42, PRAI at Marks and Spencer
3. FRENCH GIRL CLEAR SKIN OIL
It might sound like terrible advice to cover your breakout in oil, but stay with me.
Sometimes breakouts are a sign that skin needs extra love and attention, not a week of prodding and drenching in the harsh, drying spot treatments you first used in your teens.
French Girl Clear Skin Oil is a favourite of Gwyneth Paltrow’s and the brand (it’s actually made in the USA) is 100% natural and organic, free from parabens, sulphates, petrochemicals, silicones, and other nasties.
A mix of tamanu, argan and hemp oils, French Girl Clear Skin Oil has everything necessary to replenish acne-prone skin, along with rosehip oil and linoleic acid to increase cell turnover and reduce redness and scarring, blue chamomile and lavender essential oils contain (powerful anti-inflammatories) and tea tree and rosemary oil, which provide antiseptic properties that protect the spread of bacteria.
It feels lovely on the skin, especially when you’re suffering an annoying or painful breakout, and you’ll get none of that dry, tight feeling that makes other clearing formulas so uncomfortable.
French Girl Clear Skin Oil is €22.36 here.