Rosemary Mac Cabe

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Holiday skin – and not a bottle of fake tan in sight

The menu was varied for my holiday skincare (largely dependant, in fact, on what I had in travel size) – and I had mixed results. What saved my sun-damaged skin, and what wasn’t worth the money?

Fri, Aug 9, 2013, 13:35


Readers, I have just returned from a week in Marbs, sunning myself on the Spanish costa and enjoying the best people-watching of my life. (No, I did not, sadly, see a single TOWIE cast member.)

While there, I did what any self-respecting idiot would do, and I worshipped the sun, like a simpleton who cares not for skin damage. So I simultaneously worshipped at the altar of cosmetics, and slathered myself in whatever lotions and potions I had (a) found in cabin-sized portions and (b) thought to bring with me. Namely?

1 Darphin’s Youthful Radiance Camellia Mask. Having been told, not two weeks before, that my skin was a bit dry, I was definitely aware of moisturising it to what some would call excessive levels. It was dense in texture and felt very rich, and though one can never tell what great differences a product effects in a week, I convinced myself that it prevented my ageing overnight, which is worth a lot. $75 for 75ml on

2 Cowshed’s Slender Cow Extra Firming Body Butter. I’m a stickler for night-time moisturising – and during the day, if I can find the time – and holidays, when my skin is being exposed to a load of extra-drying sun, seem a better time than any to give my dermis some TLC. This stuff is definitely super-moisturising and rich, while somehow managing not to leave my skin totally sticky and wet, but the cinnamon in the ingredients mix turned my stomach a little. I won’t be repurchasing, but if you can stomach the smell (and aren’t counting the pennies, because it’s rather pricey), I would highly recommend its moisturising qualities. €36.44 for 200ml on

3 Ren Vita-Mineral Day Cream. This is another odd one, because I really didn’t love the smell of the rose water in this lightweight day cream. Rose water reminds me of the old-school Body Shop. I once had a cupcake with rose water in the icing and I didn’t even like that (which says a lot). Moisturiser-wise, it worked fine, but I wouldn’t repurchase. £25 at

4 Aveda Sun Care After-Sun Masque. So this baby is a little hidden in this pic, but it definitely took centre-stage in my holiday beautifying. Having gone blonder than blonde a few weeks previous, I was determined to treat my hair gently in the 30-degree heat. (I have an enormous head, so I can’t wear hats – true story. XL men’s hats sometimes fit me, but that’s only sometimes.) Aveda products smell incredible, and do exactly what they say on the tin. My hair feels great – none of that post-holiday dryness. €26 for 125ml at Brown Thomas and Debenhams

5 Episilk Pure Halyuronic Acid Serum. New to the Irish market, I was introduced to this wonder product a few weeks ago over dinner. Luckily, make-up superstars Leonard Daly and Sarah Lanagan were there to explain things to me, because I had serious problems with the concept of an acid being able to moisturise my skin. But I’m a believer: this serum is lovely and light on the skin, has barely any smell and feels really moisturising. My only tip would be to leave about 60 seconds before moisturising; when this serum is combined with moisturiser it goes a bit nuts! €69.95 at

Of course, this wasn’t all – I also took shampoo and conditioner (Aussie), foundation (Bare Minerals – it’s powder, so can go in the hand luggage), more suntan lotion than you could shake a stick at (L’Oreal) and 10 of the trashiest vampire-werewolf novels I could find. Bliss. What’s on your holiday shopping list?