Let’s be honest, ladies, life’s too short for bad face cream. As our largest (and most visible!) organ, the signs of fatigue, age, and last night’s wine are ever present on our skin. The responsible thing to do? Look after it. Whilst the pollution in Hong Kong is sky-high, we’re trying to get a breath of fresh air by using products with a natural take.
When you’re investing time and money into “top quality” products, it’s worth doing a bit of investigating. It’s about time we find out exactly what goes into those pretty little bottles, tubes and tubs decking out our dressing tables. As more and more people around the world move towards cruelty-free or natural-based skincare routines, brands are (thankfully!) responding to the demand. In fact, the range of organic skincare products on offer has soared in the last year (13% according to Soil Association, the UK’s leading organic-certification body). Though organic products have certification logos to prove its credentials (like COSMOS or ECOCERT), natural products are a little more flexible. Primarily, natural skincare uses ingredients available in – you guessed it – nature. Whether you’re looking for face washes with blackcurrant seeds or sunblock with Shea butter, we’ve lined up a list to get you going…
This Aesop cleanser is made with licorice root and lactic acid, to clarify skin and remove surface impurities. This fool-proof combo is then mixed with real blackcurrant seeds to offer mild exfoliation. Daily (but gentle) exfoliation is ideal when you’re living in polluted places, like this smog-filled city we happily call home. Best suited for normal, combination and troubled skin, this cleanser offers a deep clean for delicate skin.
Top Tip: Only a tiny amount is required for a full lather, so you really are getting your money’s worth.
Available from Aesop
The USDA Certified Organic S.W. Basics Exfoliant is so natural you could eat it. It mixes organic oats and almond flours (that are “not too rough but not too soft”), and mineral-rich sea salt, for a simple, nourishing, super-effective exfoliant that leaves skin glowing. And, because it’s a dry product, you can customise it to provide exactly what your skin needs. On days when your skin feels dehydrated, mix it with some organic olive oil. Breaking out? Mix it with fresh yogurt. And, if you’re already running late, just stick with warm water. P.S. It smells like freshly baked oatmeal cookies. Bonus.
Top Tip: The olive oil based make-up remover is rumoured to be ground-breaking
Available online at S.W Basics
This vegan and gluten-free Pangea Organics mask is an anti-aging superfood smoothie for your skin. It uses the power of Earth’s most effective, nutrient-dense antioxidants: organic Matcha Tea, organic Goji Berries and hand-harvested Seaweed. While French Green Clay and White Clay bind with toxins to pull them up and out, old cells are removed to promote elasticity. Ultimately, the aim is to deep-cleanse, exfoliate, tone, hydrate, nourish, protect and balance the skin. That just ticked every box we can think of.
Available online at iHerb
I’ll be honest, toner is the stage in my personal routine that I often miss. Nevertheless, the girls in the office swear by it, so we pooled to find a favourite. This Organic Rosewater Facial Toner closes pores after cleansing, making sure that your face is left feeling squeaky clean, whilst maintaining the natural pH-balance. Alcohol-based toners can really dry out the skin, so you want to opt for something lightweight but simple. With a pure rosewater base, this toner softens and soothes, whilst reducing dryness and leaving skin refreshed.
Top Tip: Now available in Travel Size, there’s no excuse to miss this stage in your beauty routine.
Available online iHerb
The area around your eyes is THE most sensitive and delicate part of your face. Made with 8 certified-organic ingredients, John Masters Organics’ firming eye gel is a product the girls at Sassy can’t get enough of. With anti-inflammatory (and collagen-stimulating) oat kernel extract, you’ll be decreasing that I-got-no-sleep-last-night look, whilst prepping for the day ahead with UV ray protection. The other ingredients, including rye, rice, spirulina and aspen bark, combine to offer a lightweight formula that adds elasticity and decreases wrinkles. The end result? You’re left with softer and firmer under eyes.
Available from John Masters Organics
The upgraded Immortelle Divine Youth Oil contains 10% more Immortelle essential oil than before. Essentially, this doubles it’s power in avoiding skin oxidation and promises to leave skin smoother and nourished for longer. The light texture of the oil melts into the skin to offer you a quick fix, like never before. We had the chance to check this out and can say it’s a guaranteed way to get your glow on – especially through the cooler months. Plumped, radiant skin and smoothened wrinkles? We won’t say no to that.
Top Tip: Mix 1 drop of the oil into the Immortelle Divine Cream to strengthen its benefits.
Available at L’Occitane (check out the recently-opened store in Festival Walk, Kowloon Tong).
Get ready to grace your face with natural hydration. With botanical extracts and thermo-mineral water, this face cream is all about offering deep nourishment to the skin. The ultimate aim? To make you glow. After washing your face and patting it dry, apply a small amount of cream to your face, focusing on massaging it into your forehead, t-zone, jawline and neck. This is a lightweight product that will carry you through the seasons…
Available at GRATiAE
Want to know exactly what the ingredients are doing to your skin? Grown Alchemist has the answers. This Blemish Treatment Gel contains rich Polyphenol Antioxidants that visibly calm the skin and anti-bacterial Salicin to keep it crystal clear. Whilst triterpenoids provides antiseptic and cell regenerative properties, guaiazulene noticeably decongests the skin, and visibly reduces pore size. The chamomile and arnica extract noticeably reduce inflammation, leaving you feeling cleansed, refreshed and balanced.
Available at 10/10 Hope. Check out the Hong Kong locations here.
Packed with antioxidants and minerals, this matte SPF 30 sunscreen is a tried and tested favourite of ours. It offers broad-spectrum UVA/UVB, plus environmental protection – which is a necessary bonus in Hong Kong! Made with Rose Hip Oil, (free radical fighting) vitamin C and Flax Seed Oils, there’s an abundance of Omega-3 and Gamma-Linolenic Acid to improve elasticity and help skin retain moisture. Shea butter smoothes and hydrates while the phyto-protector plankton extract rejuvenates tired skin. Plus, the light (and naturally cucumber scented) formula gives skin an immediate line-smoothing finish.
Top Top: This preservative-free formula is water resistant for roughly 40 minutes, so you may need to reply if you’re heading out for a beach day.
Available from A Beauty Bar