I’ve had more lipstick-free days this year than over the previous three decades. But these products proved indispensable
At the beginning of each year, I share my most used and loved products of the past 12 months – and this time the task is very different. I can’t pick a lipstick because I’ve had more lipstick-free days in 2020 than over the previous three decades. Foundation was another thing I left aside, except for high days and holidays, as I was either in pyjamas inside or a mask outside.
Skincare, though, channelled our greater need for self-care, and used up newfound free time. And for me, some products still proved indispensable in this most freakish, high-anxiety, low-maintenance of years. At the time of writing, I have used Skin+Me’s prescription cream every night for almost four months – a personal record for someone who must frequently abandon beloved products in the name of testing the next. I answered a questionnaire, uploaded some bare-faced selfies, entered my card details (£3.50 for month one, £19.99 thereafter) and waited for a real-life dermatologist to prescribe precisely the right formula to tackle my self-selected hitlist: melasma (brown patches of pigmentation); age-inevitable loss of firmness; general texture and dullness (a trademark of pandemic-related agoraphobia). Within a week I’d received my first monthly night cream (vegan), containing niacinamide, prescription-strength azelaic acid and tretinoin, the ante of which is raised with each delivery of the plastic-free click-doser. The effect on my skin is undeniable: tone is more even, pores are noticeably smaller and the very subtle increments in active ingredients meant I did not have a day’s redness or irritation.