July in Joburg usually means dry and scaly skin, and physically feeling in the doldrums. This winter though has been a little perkier – it hasn't been too cold, I've been focused on the excitement and challenge of a new job, I've had good health, and, as this post indicates, I've been trying and using some great products.
Here's what's on my beauty shelves this month:
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Syndet AP+ wash, and balm
What they say: La Roche-Posay Lipikar Syndet AP+ is a creamy, gentle daily-use body wash that helps treat symptoms associated with eczema, right from the very first use. It provides ultimate hydration and is designed for the driest, most sensitive of skin types.
Key ingredients include a 20% lipid replenishing complex, incorporating shea butter which provides the lipids skin needs to restore moisture, suppleness and lasting comfort. Anti-inflammatory ingredient Niacinamide instantly acts on the biological mechanisms of itching, inhibiting the release of th epro-itch mediator histamine, whilst helping to restore the skin barrier. La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and also helps maintain skin microbiome barrier. Aqua Posae Filiformis, an exclusive patent prebiotic, replenishes the biodiversity of micro-organisms at the skin’s surface.
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+ is a new generation, soothing formula that helps to rebuild the skin barrier. It is a breakthrough formulation that helps to relieve very dry, flaky, itching skin associated with atopic eczema or people suffering from chronically dry skin. It helps to keep the skin soft, supple and comfortable in adults, children and babies.
Key ingredients include a new and exclusive patented active ingredient Aqua Posae Filiformis to re-establish and stabilise the microbiome’s balance and to restore and preserve the skin barrier. Niacinamide immediately soothes relief of pruritus (itching). Shea butter helps to replenish the hydrolipid film, while Glycerin helps restore suppleness. La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water, a real wonder of nature, reduces sensitivity with its soothing, antioxidant properties due to its unique Selenium content – a mineral that protects the cellular metabolism. Fragrance-free. Paraben-free.
What I say: I haven't yet used a La Roche-Posay product that isn't fantastic, and this Lipikar range has been a skin-saver this month. I don't have eczema, but these products have still kept dryness at bay. The odourless balm is surprisingly easily absorbed (I was expecting something much thicker to fulfil its duties), and I haven't had any of the itching or scaley patches that I usually have in winter.
I used the cream on my baby as she had a rash and some dry patches, and it zapped it to restore her baby-soft smoothness. Since I used them together, I can't say for certain whether it was the combo usage that worked or if they would have worked individually. Knowing the efficacy of this French brand, I'm certain that each works well.
The range is available from DisChem or SkinMiles. The wash costs about R270 and the cream R220.
Vichy Dercos Nourishing Reparative Cream Shampoo, and Conditioner
What they say: A replica of the hair's natural ceramide, Dercos ceramides work between the scales to rebuild the intercellular cement and reinforce cuticle cohesion, providing a protective layer for the hair.
Untangled without heaviness, repaired and revitalised from root to tip, your hair is soft and shiny. The hypoallergenic formula is pareaben free and silicone-free. Its efficacy has been tested under dermatological control. Repairs and nourishes the hair fibre.
What I say: I have dry and damaged hair, and I generally buy salon products as I feel they're the most effective in hydrating my hair sufficiently – most drugstore products leave my hair even dryer. This is a premium drugstore brand and its prices lie between regular and salon products, and left my hair soft and shiny, and even looking pretty good without the use of styling aids. It didn't weigh my hair down either, which is what I sometimes experience with conditioners.
I'd definitely buy this duo when my sample products run out.
The shampoo costs about R199, and the conditioner R225 from Clicks.
L'Oreal Mythic Oil Huile Orginale
What they say: The Mythic Oil Huile Originale has argan oil, a precious oil extracted from the legendary Moroccan argan tree. Argan oil has been used for centuries leaving hair soft and shiny. Its lightweight and fluid texture is ideal for detangling after cleansing, and it adds radiance before or after blow-drying.
Heat protection to heated appliance up to 230°C/446°F. 48h humidity and frizz protection.
What I say: It's hard for me to love something as much as I do MorrocanOil Treatment, but I could share my love easily with Mythic Oil. It smells lovely, and just a few drops leaves my hair feeling soft, and looking a bit shinier. It doesn't weigh my hair down, but like with all hair oils, quanitity is key, and too much can result in an oily finish, and weighed-down hair.
L'Oreal Infaillible Crayon Eyeliner Gel 24h
What they say: Waterproof gel in a coloured crayon… for a 24-hour intense lasting line. Saturated pigments for intense colour payoff. Creamy formula for easy glide application.
What I say: These liners go on easily (even with shaky, non-makeup-artist hands), and create good looks – not too "loud", but not too subtle. I can't vouch for the 24-hour bit as I talke it off at nights, but should I ever go for a night out clubbing (the chances are low though), I'd turn to one of these guys.
Available for R159.95 from chemists and Foschiniforbeauty
Elemis Skin Nourishing Milk Bath
What they say; This unique balancing formula leaves the skin feeling nourished. The special Milk Protein base, rich in vitamins, amino acids and minerals contains natural plant collagen from Japanese Camellia Oil and Oat Extract.
Excellent for excessively dry skin conditions, leaving the skin satin soft and in perfect harmony.
What I say: This is the most expensive cream I've ever bought (43 pounds on Cultbeauty, excluding shipping, and using a PayPal account with money I had long forgotten about) and I don't regret a thing. This is one of the most luxe and indulgent creams I've ever used, and was a big winter splurge after seeing it while purchasing a Charlotte Tilbury palette on the same site (more about that next month).
I bought it as a spa a few years ago after it was used on my during a treatment – I was struck by its beautiful smell and texture.
It can be used in a bath or shower, or as I prefer, directly on the skin as a moisturiser. I don't know what I love more here – the smell, or the moisturising beneftis. Fortunately I get both!
Available for around R1300 from various local beauty sites, and in spas that stock Elemis.