Water is an often neglected skincare ingredient. Because it’s just water, right? There’s nothing exciting about it, especially compared to super hydrating hyaluronic acid, relaxing lavender oil or anti-ageing retinol. And yet it makes up a huge part of many skincare products, with ‘aqua’ (latin for water) being the first ingredient mentioned in the ingredients list for cleansers, masks and moisturisers. French pharmacy brands such as Avene and La Roche-Posay (which I’ve covered in my post Is Pharmacy Skincare the secret to French beauty) have certainly honed in on that, highlighting the unique benefits of the thermal waters they feature in their skincare. I’ve certainly come across French thermal waters, but never – until now – beauty products featuring Himalayan spring water. Enter skincare brand Herbal Essentials, which harnesses the skin-boosting benefits of Himalayan Spring Water thanks to the high concentration of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. I’ve used Himalayan crystal bath salts before but never the mountainous region’s spring waters, so I’m looking forward to finding out what it can do for my skin with Herbal Essentials’ Radiance range.
First up is the gentle scrub which contains walnut shell powder and kaolin, a type of clay which pulls impurities from the pores without causing redness. The second ingredient (after water) is shea butter, and a little further down the list I can also spot beeswax, honey and a vegetable oil. So quite a few ingredients known to nourish skin, which I hadn’t necessarily expected from a scrub. Would it tackle excess oil? I apply the formula to damp skin and massage it into the particular areas of concern, i.e. my nose and chin. It doesn’t feel tight or drying at all, and the little particles of grit (walnut shell I’m guessing) feel like they’re doing their job of loosening dead skin cells without causing damage or inflammation. 75ml RRP £16.50
A daily staple in my skincare routine, I use a wash off cleanser in the evening to ensure all of London’s grime is removed from my skin. I’ll take a guess that the water content on this particular product is quite high, possibly higher than the others mentioned (although I can’t guarantee it), so this is where the Himalayan Spring Water comes into play. These waters will have travelled down from the peaks through mineral-rich stones, absorbing high levels of skin-repairing calcium, breakout-reducing magnesium and moisturising potassium. What had surprised me when I tried La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Cleansing Gel for the first time was how gentle it felt on skin. Herbal Essentials’ cleanser gives me that same sensation, possibly due to the mineral-rich water which feels ultra-gentle on skin. The formula is also soap-free which means it doesn’t mess with the skin’s natural balance by drying it out. This cleanser does feel quite ‘thin’, I think due to the low viscosity, which I’m not a fan of. However the proof of its effectiveness is in my skin which feels clean without any tightness. It does what it says it’ll do, however if you’re looking for a more indulgent product this isn’t it. 100ml RRP £18.00
How do you measure the glow of skin? It seems so subjective, especially when it comes to skincare. Thanks to amazing makeup tutorials and professional looking shots of beauty bloggers showing off their glowy skin highlighted to within an inch of its life, I end up staring at my Instagram feed for far longer than I should. And then you have Korea’s glass skin takes glow to another level. I rate Clinique’s Moisture Surge range, especially the CC Cream, to give my skin a glow, but what works on my skin may not work on others. This face mask contains papain enzymes and glycolic acid to lift away dead skin cells, plus shea butter makes another star appearance to give skin a moisture boost. And I agree with the radiance claim: my skin does look brighter! 75ml RRP £20.00
I hate liquorice. It is one of only two foods, alongside beetroot, that I won’t touch with a barge pole. In skincare however I’m all for it, especially as it’s supposed to help diminish the appearance of dark spots, which thanks to my sun worshipping tendencies when younger always crop up again come summer. I can’t say that in the last 3 weeks of me using it daily I’ve seen improvement on that front, but when it comes to moisturising it does so in just the right amount, without being heavy handed. I just apply one to one and a half pumps of the cream formula to my face and neck and overall my face looks brighter. 50ml RRP £30.00
All products are formulated in France and housed in recyclable packaging, contain at least 90% ingredients of natural origin, and are all vegetarian, with some being vegan (not the scrub and mask featured here though as they contain honey). In the last 3 weeks since I’ve been using this radiance range my skin has been clearer than usual and the formulas all feel gentle enough to use on sensitive skin. This brand has recently expanded its availability from the Middle East to other regions including Europe so I’ll be keeping an eye on its progress. Which skincare brand have you discovered recently? Leave a comment below to let me know.
Recommended Retail Prices updated – June 2020
Features gifted products.