By Mariam Ghaidan
What makes a beauty product the best of the best? Obviously, ingredients count. While very simple ones, like rose water, chamomile and coffee can be very effective indeed, they’re not quite a luxe as caviar, gold and precious gems. Additionally, to make a beauty product that’s really beyond the norm, cutting-edge technology and stunning packaging are both musts.
While it may seem a bit decadent to include things like gold and pearl dust in cosmetics, they do have proven benefits: for example, gold is such a powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient that it has been used in the treatment of arthritis, and pearl, high in calcium and micro-nutrients, has been used both internally and externally for centuries by Asia’s most beautiful women.
Here, we’ve listed our picks of some of the most seriously luxurious natural skincare products that we think deserve a glittering five stars for their ingredients, technology and design.
This serum is cult favourite, with good reason! It’s packed with luxurious ingredients including 16 super nutrients and bio-actives designed to boost collagen synthesis, lift and firm the skin and reduce fine lines. Designed for all skin types, the formula contains a new ground-breaking ingredient hailed as nature’s equivalent of retinol – but suitable for sensitive skin – called Bakuchiol. It’s made from ground Indian Babchi seeds, which have been traditionally used for centuries to heal cuts – but here, it repairs the signs of ageing in the skin, and prevents further damage.
Naysayers claim that ‘natural’ products aren’t as effective as more toxic, chemical ones – but that’s absolute rubbish, and this vegan friendly, British skin care label can prove it. CliniSkyn is proud of the science behind its brand, which indicates that its naturally derived ingredients reduce wrinkles and pigmentation over time. For example, SWT-7 is a stem cell ingredient that improves that keratinocyte (epidermal skin cell) layer. Apparently, this layer gets thinner and thinner as we age, causing wrinkles, fine lines, dryness and loss of firmness.
CliniSkyn’s SWT-7 increases keratinocyte production, which results in the thickening of the epidermal layer of skin, and a denser number of cells, which improves the appearance of the complexion.
Another effect of ageing CliniSkyn fights is that of a blotchier complexion. Hormones and sun can lead to pigmentation, and inflammation can lead to redness. ReGeniStem, a stem cell ingredient based on liquorice extract, has a proven, measurable effect in evening out skin tone and reducing brown spots, as you can see below.
The best part? CliniSkyn’s products may deliver results like other luxury brands, thanks to their merging of high-tech innovations with the power of nature, but their products are priced fairly, allowing anyone with skin care issues they need to solve to afford them.
Subtle Energies’ rich, creamy Mogra Rejuvenating Gold Cream blend contains rare and exotic ingredients known for delivering results: Mogra stimulates cell renewal and promotes collagen production, while Indian rose deeply hydrates the skin, softening and restoring balance, whilst making this product smell simply divine. The most luxurious ingredient here is, of course, 24K gold, known as a powerful anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory ingredient, crucial in reviving vitality in the skin.
These exquisite ingredients use the ancient Indian healing power of Ayurveda and come housed in–you guessed it–an elegant gold cannister.
This German brand formulates its products using the finest ingredients infused with pure alpine spring water sourced from the Kitzbuehel Alps, but what makes this range truly luxurious is its focus on high technology. Ambuja is produced utilising molecular biochemistry along with the purest most potent botanicals. Ambuja products are based on either lotus water or green coconut water, and are all made without preservatives, parabens, synthetic fragrances, colorants, sulfates, mineral oils, silicone. Of course, they never test on animals.
Two highly renowned products within the Ambuja Empire Collection are Urban Foam, a cleanser packed with anti-oxidants, and Overnight Eye Cream, which not only protects but also prevents collagen breakdown while providing natural elasticity. But their star product (which recently won the European Gala Spa Award) is their Wanderlust Elixir, an age-defying cream which leaves skin smoother and with fewer visible wrinkles.
The packaging the brand uses is also wonderful, and evokes both high-tech pod budding open to reveal the treasure within.
Like most skincare products made by AEOS, their Relive Serum contains what they call ‘crystal essences’ but what we call ‘bling’: Opal, Amethyst, Charoite, Turquoise, Emerald, Quartz, and Chrysoprase dusts combine with organic and biodynamic essential oils, plant extracts and the energies of the above mentioned gems and crystals to provide a multi-layered delivery of both hydration and moisture.
But beyond these almost spiritual ingredients, there is one key factor that’s scientifically proven to improve your skin: hyaluronic acid. This naturally derived ingredient is often directly injected by plastic surgeons as a filler, but topically it can help reduce wrinkles and plumping the skin. Coupled with essential oils of lavender, rose and rose geranium makes this an ideal serum to help minimise the signs of ageing and encourage a radiant complexion.
In addition to their ingredients, we love the packaging AEOS uses: it’s simple, but luxurious: a substantial glass bottle topped by a silver cap that’s so pretty, you’ll want to keep it even after it’s empty.
When it comes to summertime skin there’s nothing more luxurious than a gorgeous glow, but given the dangers of the sun, it’s best to find a bit of cosmetic help. Given all the carrot-toned tanners and glitter-filled lotions on the market, it’s no easy task to find products that can achieve a more natural effect, so thank goodness for the release of the new Ren Rose Gold Perfect Dry Oil.
The latest addition to the award-winning Moroccan Rose range, this oil is every bit as rich and heavenly scented as the rest of the line. Formulated with 100% naturally derived actives harvested in the Atlas Mountains, rare ingredients such as rose Damascena oil leaves skin sublimely soft, nourished and healthy, while Omega 6 Linoleic Acid and Cranberry Seed Oil work to soothe and protect, defending your body against oxidative stress after UV radiation exposure. And the best part? The stunning golden glass bottle, which looks more like it should be hosting perfume than oil.
Get an instant lift with this super-luxurious skin enhancement. Housed in a glamorous, glittery coppery box, this easy-to-use syringe releases a cream that perfects the skin and freezes in place, leaving your skin lifted and smooth, thanks to an ultra-powerful tri-peptide and micro-algae complex with a concentrated cocktail of minerals, carbohydrates, micronized silica and amino acid. The instant tightening is so strong, it feels a bit like a little facelift!
Inspired by the beauty factors derived from the Mother of Pearl, Onsen’s Timeless Pearl Collection features products that are developed and based on the extracts of pearls which are known to suspend the process of aging, bringing rich vitality to the skin, improving metabolism, supporting miniaturization and protecting against damaging environmental factors. No nasty chemicals are added to any of their anti-ageing formulae.
One 15ml Wrinkle Release Syringe doesn’t come cheap, but at $799.95 it’s still cheaper (and easier!) than a facelift.
Housed in a heavy brown glass jar with a cream and gold label, this honey polish is part mask, part cleanser, part cream. The sterling silver here revitalizes and comforts skin whilst Dead Sea mud cleanses, and humanely collected raw honey and botanical oils moisturise. To use it, gently scrub the face with the emulsion to dissolve impurities. Leave it on the face for a few minutes to draw in moisture and infuse the skin with minerals and active enzymes that awaken a clear, supple and glowing complexion. You can then rinse it off, but we also like to use this as a mask, leaving it on for ten minutes before rinsing.
The secret ingredient here is the leaf sap of the South African plant Bulbine frutescens. It contains two powerful compounds that have been scientifically proven to slow the rate of collagen breakdown in the dermis and increase collagen production – without triggering the body’s natural immune response that would interfere with the process and lead to low quality collagen overload.
Comprised of all natural ingredients scientifically selected for their efficiency, this is a highly effective cream that is formulated in compliance with a number of industry standards. XYZ Smart Collagen is a certified organic, natural product made using sustainably grown, raw materials. It is vegan friendly, contains no artificial ingredients, and no mineral, palm or palm kernel oils.
Looking to prevent and even reverse the signs of photo-ageing, like brown spots, fine lines and sagging? This is the serum for you! Created by Britain’s Organic Pharmacy, this potent concoction contains Rosehip, Grapeseed, Alphalipoic acid, DMAE, Carrot and Grapefruit. Apparently, this combination of ingredients makes this serum 50 times stronger than using the potent anti-oxidant Rosehip oil alone. Over time, you’ll see the product reverses sun damage, lifts and tones the skin and reduces wrinkles – but its everyday job is to mop up free radicals. A lighter version of this is the Face Gel, which can be used during the day, whilst the serum is best used at night.
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