In need of some pampering? Create an at-home spa experience with these six products, tried and approved by the team! We try out body scrubs, lotions, scalp treatments, hydrating masks and essential oils!
Al’s Beauty Premium Organic Essential Oils, $40
I’m a fan of aromatherapy – I love how I can customise my essential oils according to my mood. Online store Al’s Beauty offers a great range of organic essential oils that are carefully extracted through steam distillation, cold pressing or resin tapping, so they don’t lose their potency. My favourite of the lot is the peppermint scent; it’s super refreshing for hot and humid afternoons. It also helps to clear nasal congestion, so I love using some in my aromatherapy diffuser when I’m feeling stuffy. My only gripe is these bottles don’t come with a drop stopper, so you have to be extra careful when you’re pouring or you’ll end up using too much!
– Anthia Chng
Fenty Skin Buff Ryder Exfoliating Body Scrub, $48
“Smelling like a teenage girl’s Caribbean dream – coconut, pineapple and suntan lotion – this new product from Rihanna’s Fenty Skin range promises to “buff the rough and bring the smooth (sic).” It’s made with sugar, salt and sand granules to mimic that afternoon on the beach – they are not fine grains, so I wouldn’t put this on sunburnt skin or near your face.
To exfoliate the whole body, you’ll need multiple dollops of the product but it’s worth it. Fruit enzymes and oils from sunflowers, soyabeans, avocados and shea butter leave your skin wonderfully soft and smooth. It works amazingly on dry areas like the knees and elbows. I had to wash my hands afterwards as they felt a bit greasy, but the oils on the rest of my body did not transfer to my clothing. It felt so much like I had just enjoyed a massage on the beach, I could almost hear the waves!”
– Danielle Rossetti
Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Dream Body Cream, $43
“I’m in love with this body cream! I’m a huge fan of Glow Recipe and love the watermelon scent in this range, so I was pretty sure I’d like this product. The pump dispenser makes it easy to use. As the cream has a thick texture, a little goes a very long way. It glides onto the skin perfectly, making it feel soft, nourished and hydrated. Plus, it soaks in quite quickly. It doesn’t leave a sticky residue like some creams do, which makes it perfect for this climate. I put more on my elbows and heels overnight and it really does soften the skin nicely. It’s a real winner for me.”
– Jacqui Young
Lilaroze Organic Rose Body Scrub, $48
“I normally don’t use body scrubs as I’m more of a wash-and-go kind of girl, but this body exfoliate is the bomb! You can see results with just one use. First of all, it smells divine. The combination of almond oil and rose makes you think you are applying flowers to your skin because the scent is amazing.
Apply the product on your entire body, massaging it thoroughly everywhere for five to ten minutes. Don’t forget your heels and elbows as those tend to be dry (at least for me). I’ve tried the scrub for a month, three times a week, and my skin looks more radiant – almost like I have that “J Lo” glow!
One tub should last you one month, but it all depends on how much and how often you use it.”
– Susan Knudsen-Pickles
MTM Labo Custom Blended Hydrating Mask, $188
“This premium Japanese label has been offering custom-blended skincare products for 30 years. One bestseller is the Hydrating Mask, which contains powerful plant extracts and essences like chamomile, cucumber and calendula to soothe, soften and deeply nourish all skin types.
I have combination skin – oily T-zone, dehydrated cheeks – and this rinse off mask has worked well for me so far. It comes in a cute, minimalist box with my name printed on it (I love the attention to detail!), and the glass jar feels luxe. After leaving it on for 10 minutes, all I need to do is wash it off and I’m left with smoother, calmer skin. I’ve found that it has also helped with oil balance, while hydrating my overall complexion. The only downside is the price tag, but if you can splurge, go for it – it really works!”
– Anthia Chng
Phyto Phytopolleine Botanical Scalp Treatment, from $55
“While we remember to scrub and polish our body, we often forget about our scalp. Suitable for all hair types, this scalp treatment helps with itch and congestion, and can be used to boost hair growth. You apply it on dry scalp, one to two times a week. Use the dropper to separate the hair and make sure the scalp is fully covered with the product. Then, lightly massage and leave on for 20 minutes before you shampoo it out. The product is paraben-free, but it has a strong scent. Made in France, the base consists of essential oils like rosemary, sage and lemon to help balance the scalp and soothe irritation. Regular use improves scalp health, which can help reduce thinning or hair loss.
I have used this treatment a few times and there’s still a lot left, so I think it should last a couple of months. My scalp does feel nice and stimulated after each use. It’s a bit early to see any increase in hair growth, but I love the fact that it contains ingredients of natural origins.”
– Rebecca Bisset
Phyto Phytopolleine Botanical Scalp Treatment, from $418
While we remember to scrub and polish our body, we often forget about our scalp. Suitable for all hair types, this scalp treatment helps with itch and congestion, and can be used to boost hair growth. You apply it on dry scalp, one to two times a week. Use the dropper to separate the hair and make sure the scalp is fully covered with the product. Then, lightly massage and leave on for 20 minutes before you shampoo it out.
The product is paraben-free, but it has a strong scent. Made in France, the base consists of essential oils like rosemary, sage and lemon to help balance the scalp and soothe irritation. Regular use improves scalp health, which can help reduce thinning or hair loss. I have used this treatment a few times and there’s still a lot left, so I think it should last a couple of months. My scalp does feel nice and stimulated after each use. It’s a bit early to see any increase in hair growth, but I love the fact that it contains ingredients of natural origins.
– Rebecca Bisset
Ole Henriksen’s Dewtopia 20% Acid Night Treatment, $78
“Being Danish, I grew up with the famous Ole Henriksen and love his products. It’s rare to actually experience products that work for you, and these babies definitely do – they work overtime for your skin!
I tested these two products together to get the ultimate result. After washing my face twice (I actually also used Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser), I religiously followed up with the Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner.
This toner is lovely and really cleans up your skin, it takes away the remaining dirt and oil and leaves you feeling skin cool, smooth and fresh. It’s not for sensitive types, however, as it’s a potent brightening toner supercharged with a high concentration of AHAs (glycolic and lactic acids) and witch hazel water to reduce the look of dark spots in as little as seven days. If you look at my skin closely when you next see me, you’ll know what I am talking about! I have freckles on my cheeks and they have slowly
calmed down and faded while I’ve been using the toner.
After toning, I was very excited to be using the Dewtopia 20% Acid Night Treatment. This nightly retexturizing serum, packed with a powerful 20% acid blend (10% AHAs and 10% PHAs), overhauls the skin texture making it feel super soft, and look bright and younger. Again, this is not one for the sensitive types. This baby works hard on your investment from day one! When you apply it, you’ll experience some tingling – that’s the acid working right there. Also, it’s quite thick, which is why you apply it at night; the consistency is rather sticky, too, so remember to put your hair up.
I got too excited and put this on every night, which was a mistake. My advice is to start slow and perhaps use it every other night to get your skin used to the acid blend. Overall, I really like the result and I think you’ll get the best outcomes if you do a combo product!”
– Susan Knudsen-Pickles
Want more? See our style & beauty section!
This article first appeared in the September 2021 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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