How to keep your summer glow
Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter.
“Skincare first, make-up second.” Beauty history doesn’t record who first pronounced this truism, but TikTok’s resident Korean skincare advocate Ava Lee argues that it’s key to achieving what she calls “jello skin”. It’s her bouncier take on “glass skin” – a dewy, almost reflective look achieved with a combination of supplements, skincare and make-up that appeals for its resemblance to, well, more youthful skin.
“Taking collagen stimulates your own body to generate collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin, the compounds that make skin bouncy, plump and radiant,” says wellness writer and HTSI contributing editor Rebecca Newman. Lee shows followers how to make their own collagen “soup” at home but for the time-pressed, Newman recommends supplements such as Artah Skin Clinic (£52 for a month’s supply), the Nue Co’s Skin Hydrator (£27) – with ingredient-of-the-moment aloe vera to protect the skin barrier – or Pippa Campbell Health’s Radiance formula (£44.35), with marine collagen and astaxanthin, an antioxidant in algae that protects cells from damage.
“The ‘skinside out’ approach has the advantage of being great not just for your face, but for the skin across your body and indeed systemic health,” says Newman. Which is why glowing skin is so appealing in the first place – we are programmed to recognise it as the outward signifier of inward health.
The skin associated with a return from holidays isn’t just the effect of a blast of vitamin D. Downtime is typically less filled with stress and poor sleep, both of which raise cortisol levels and lead to collagen degradation. But how best to hold on to summer’s glow? Supplement the supplements with radiance-boosting skincare and make-up, drink alcohol in moderation and head to bed early, which will have long-term benefits for your health and, by association, your skin.
Ilody Luxmi Hydrating Radiance Serum
There are lots of collagen serums out there, but I like this one – packed with plant extracts such as skin-brightening liquorice – for its multi-functionality and a squidgy gel consistency that promises plumpness. Hydrating and nourishing, it’s particularly useful in the morning as a base before make-up – or, with its glowy golden hue, it can be mixed with foundation to add radiance to base make-up. £72 for 30ml, ilodyskincare.com
Susanne Kaufmann Glow Mask
A great 15-minute brightening mask for a quick route to glowiness, this uses gently exfoliating papaya powder, red date seed extract for its antioxidant properties and raspberry fruit extract for hydration. Ginger root extract and caffeine create a plumping effect. £60 for 50ml, susannekaufmann.com
Inika Radiant Glow Veil
“I always recommend using a glowy primer before make-up to achieve radiance, rather than just adding a highlighter on top,” says make-up artist Brooke Simons. “Apply to clean, moisturised, sun-protected skin as the last step before your base make-up.” She favours Inika’s Radiant Glow Veil, which combines fatty-acid rich kukui nut oil, magnolia bark for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties, argan oil for that all-important plumping and hero ingredient of the moment, soothing aloe vera. £44 for 30ml, inikaorganic.com
RéVive Glow Elixir Hydrating Radiance Oil
Arguably anything from RéVive, founded 25 years ago by reconstructive surgeon Dr Gregory Brown and employing Nobel Prize-winning technology, is going to make your face look glowier. But for on-the-spot pearlescent radiance, this little bottle will do the trick. It includes the brand’s Bio-Renewal Protein that helps skin look rejuvenated and revitalised, so never mind using it as a highlighter and go with the option of spreading a small amount all over the skin post-foundation. £100 for 30ml, harveynichols.com
Ultra Violette Daydream Screen SPF50 Tinted Veil
The brave – or the very beautiful – will be happy to pat on their glowy serum and go. For everyone else, there is tinted moisturiser, to give a little coverage while maintaining the glow. Aussie brand Ultra Violette’s new skin tint comes with SPF50 and the smooth, silky feel of a silicone-based product, but without the silicone (which can be irritating to some skin types). It’s also oil, fragrance and alcohol free. This is a good one while the sun still shines. For autumn/winter, Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser (£34 for 50ml) is still, for me, the ultimate lighter-than-light coverage, especially for dry or fine skin. £38 for 50ml, spacenk.com
Sann Nourish + Care Solid Lip Serum
The “clean girl” make-up obsession is the latest manifestation of the no-make-up make-up that has been prevalent in one form or another since the 1990s. In this latest iteration, eyes and lips are best served by completely colour-free balms with gentle ingredients that can soothe and add hydration. Sann’s lip “serum” is neither waxy nor glossy, instead just perfectly shiny, which it seems to achieve with ingredients that include cannabis oil, meadowfoam seed oil (as a barrier against moisture-loss) and good old cocoa butter. £22, sannbeauty.com
Peep Club Soothing Coconut Eye Balm
This is not an eye cream per se, but a balm that works as both eye make-up remover and clear gloss. Optometrist and brand co-founder Nicola Mari-Alexander says it will nourish the whole eye area, including the delicate skin around the eyes. “It’s a base of the highest grade raw organic coconut oil infused with cureberry, which is a potent antioxidant, and chamomile to calm - making it an all-round delicious treat to leave your eyes radiant,” she says. As with the lip serum above, it is free of the waxiness inherent in many balms. £20 for 120ml, peepclub.com
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dewy Set setting spray
The problem with sheer, lightweight formulas is that they are just that - and what is gained in natural-looking radiance can be lost in terms of staying power. This setting spray doesn’t just keep make-up in place, it also does what is implies on the very sparkly tin, and imparts a subtle sheen without drying out the skin in the process. £28 for 100ml, anastasiabeverlyhills.com