The only four skincare products you need

Make a resolution to declutter your skincare routine

January is always rife with mantras of self-denial and the promise of lifestyle transformations. However, if we’re being honest, no – I’m not likely to stick to a punishing strength and conditioning regimen involving rising at three each morning, and no, I don’t have any intention of learning what a “veganuary” is. Resolutions should be small and sufficiently achievable to make us feel better, not worse. What we need now as a nation is not ripped abs and a kale enema, but a nice cup of tea and a sense that the wheels haven’t fallen off completely.

One achievable improvement is to declutter your skincare routine. As long as you have a few of the four categories of product below, odds are you’re taking quite good care of your skin. If a product is more than two years old, dump it. If you struggle with this, imagine the two year-old product is food – even a food designed to last, like jam – and picture rubbing it into your skin. Skincare expires like everything else.


For your morning cleanse, you want something efficient and decongesting but not stripping. The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleanser (€12.70 at ) is gentle, unfussy and affordable. Salicylic acid is an oil-soluble ingredient with the ability to work its way into congested pores. Leave it on congested areas for a minute or so to get to work before rinsing thoroughly.


A breakout serum for adult skin is increasingly essential due to friction and bacteria from masks, as well as generally increased stress levels. SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF (€158 at is a pricey but powerful anti-blemish day serum. With potent vitamin C, this serum works on the signs of aging – lines and pigmentation – but also inflammation and oil, preventing bad breakouts rather than working on them after they appear. Your serum should always be the product you invest most in because it contains the highest concentration of absorbable, active ingredients compared to other products – better to have one investment serum than several less effective ones.



A moisturiser, on the other hand, is a reverse raincoat. Its primary purpose is to prevent transepidermal water loss; in other words, to keep moisture in your skin. Clinique Moisture Surge Intense (€45 at Clinique counters nationwide) is nothing short of delectable. I have real difficulty in resisting the urge to put a spoon into this moisturiser and eat it (I manage to refrain, and you should too). A richer version of the iconic moisturiser, this keeps the beautiful whisper-light texture but is gloriously rich in comforting emollients. It won't congest the skin, but soothes it deeply and looks glowing under makeup.


Finally, you should have a mask in your rotation for those times when skin needs a bit of a kick-start. Drunk Elephant TLC Sukari Babyfacial (€79 at Space NK) is renowned as one of the US brand’s bestsellers, and until now, was only available to buy in its home country. However, in some good New Year news, we can now buy and enjoy this justifiably famous resurfacing acid mask. It gives the soft skin its moniker suggests.