How to enhance your skincare routine post-holiday & beyond


I’ve recently enjoyed the most fabulous week’s holiday in Honfleur with the husband, despite catching Covid. My mind is feeling fairly rested and refreshed, however my skin has been in need of some serious TLC. I love spending time outdoors, and the weather in France was kind enough to let us explore the beach and discover some fabulous walks.

I applied sunscreen religiously to my face and body before leaving our Air BnB every day, which was vital in order to filter uv rays. In fact, I’m a keen advocate for sun protection, which I wear on my face every day whatever the weather. However, when we first arrived home my sensitive skin looked and felt dry, rough and flaky. I tend to suffer with dry skin anyway, and this skin type runs in my family. So, to put it mildly, I felt I had some skin concerns which I needed to address.

Sarah always keep an eye on skin aging

 Do you have sensitive skin?

Luckily, autumn is the ideal time of year to re-evaluate your skincare regime, in order to repair any summer damage, and prep and protect in time for winter. And by skincare, I mean body care too!

So I’ve been experimenting with different products to create my own bespoke beauty ritual and ultimately promote healthy skin. If you don’t already know, I have sensitive skin so every product I pick must work with this. If you’re keen to update your skincare routine with gentle beauty buys too, read on to find out more about my latest recommendations.

Metro towel rail in Chrome showcasing bathroom decor ideas

Why should you use a gentle cleanser?

Effective, regular cleansing is the cornerstone of all of the best skin care routines. It’s the only way to thoroughly remove makeup, dirt and pollution from the skin’s surface. I tend to wear makeup every day, which can of course clog pores. However, I always remove every remnant with a gentle cleanser before I get into bed.

Balmonds oil cleanser for positive skin care

The best skin care routines won’t clog pores

A good cleanser is the best defence against clogged pores, breakouts, excess oiliness (if you have oily skin) and dullness – a key characteristic of dehydrated and/or dry skin. There’s also no point investing in expensive anti-ageing lotions and potions is you’re applying them to dirty skin, as they simply won’t be able to do their job properly.

 My favourite gentle cleanser

Over-cleansing with harsh, foaming formulations isn’t recommended either, especially if you have sensitive or dry skin or reactive, like mine. I must say I’ve been thrilled with the results of Balmonds Omega Rich Cleansing Oil (£22 for 200ml),which was created to condition, nourish and moisturise sensitive skin. I’d definitely recommend this oil cleanser if you’re looking for a good skincare routine and, if you want to double cleanse, this could be perfect.

Sarah loves the active ingredients in this cleanser

Looking for a gentle makeup remover?

As regular readers will know, I like my skincare to be vegan and cruelty-free. This sensitive skin cleanser not only ticks those boxes, but it’s also fragrance-free, and contains no preservatives, nut oils (important if you’re allergic) or synthetic ingredients. I find it works well with my cleansing routine as a super gentle makeup remover, which fits in perfectly with my nighttime routine, too.

All skin types rejoice

As a 100% natural alternative to soap, this oil cleanser leaves my skin feeling clean and calmed, with no heavy, greasy residue. The oil simply slides and glides on my sensitive skin and I’m using it to double cleanse. I use a muslin to remove it, but you can just rinse it off too if you prefer. This cleansing oil has become a great addition to my daily skincare routine and I’d recommend it whether you have normal skin, combination skin, oily skin or dry skin.

Exfoliate to remove dead skin cells

My skin didn’t looked very bright when I got back from holiday. In part, this was probably due to Covid. But luckily, there’s a straightforward solution for dull skin. Exfoliation is one of the best ways to get glowing. So if you want to ramp up your natural radiant skin, it’s time to add a specialist exfoliator to your skincare routine.

Green People exfoliator for all skin concerns

 Consider the signs of ageing

Exfoliators help to keep skin soft and smooth by buffing away dead cells, sebum and bacteria. Did you know gentle exfoliation can also improve the appearance of fine lines and hyperpigmentation too? As we age, our natural exfoliation process slows down, so a helping hand from either a physical or chemical exfoliant really can work wonders. But you can have too much of a good thing. Harsh scrubs really aren’t recommended for sensitive skin, or for anyone prone to redness or broken capillaries. So I was delighted to discover Green People Age Defy+ Soft Buff Skin Exfoliator (£26 for 30ml).

Green People exfoliator could help to combat signs of aging

Prepare for your moisturiser with exfoliation

This gentle formula uses pineapple enzymes and bamboo to loosen the bonds between dead skin cells, and lift them away. It contains 80% certified organic ingredients, and is cruelty-free and vegan. I love the uplifting citrus scent, and how my face feels so refreshed after using it. My skin certainly looks and feel softer and smoother, and I think my moisturiser definitely absorbs better afterwards. I can also vouch for the fact that a little goes a long way, so this exfoliator is a great investment too.

Gentle exfoliation can be good for all skin types

Replenish skin with a few drops of face oil

Introducing facial oils to my skincare routine has been an absolute game-changer for me. There are lots of different types available. But broadly speaking, face oils add moisture, nourish and condition skin, while strengthening its barrier protection function.

Angela Langford's restorative face oil for every skin type

 Restorative goals

My new favourite is Angela Langford Bloom & Glow Radiance Restoring Face Oil (£20.50 for 15ml). This clever formula is absolutely packed full with skincare goodies like vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. It’s fabulous for calming redness and inflammation, and it really does smell divine.

Helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines

Lot of people are wary of adding face oils to their skincare routine, as they think they’ll be too greasy. But this one sinks in really quickly. I think my skin looks plumper and firmer, as well as less red and flaky, after using it. I usually apply it at night within my daily skincare routines, but I sometimes add a few drops to my daily moisturiser which can provide a great way to really soften skin.

 Top tips from Angela

“My top tips for replenishing your skin after the summer are using a weekly mask treatment to boost radiance,” reveals company founder Angela Langford. “I also recommend using a hydrating tonic to lock in moisture to your skin, using it to layer in between products. Finally, use a daily hydrating moisturiser in the day and massage in nourishing, repairing and radiance-boosting oils at night.”

Angela Langford face oil matches every skin type

Refresh skin with a day and night cream

On the subject of moisturisers, the latest addition to my skincare routine is ishga’s Hydra+ Marine Cream (£125 for 50ml). I was already a big fan of this brand, having used lots of its products in the past. So I was excited to try this latest launch, which combines super-hydrator hyaluronic acid with ishga’s unique antioxidant-rich Hebridean seaweed extract, and lots of other essential vitamins and minerals.

ishga marine cream soaks into fine lines

 Relieving dry skin with a moisturiser

Long story short: I love it! It may seem pricy, but I would say it’s a worthwhile investment for brighter skin. This formula has absolutely transformed my dry, dehydrated skin, but it’s suitable for all skin types, so don’t discount it if yours is oily. I find this moisturiser especially soothing when my face feels red and irritated. It’s one of my favourite creams which leaves my skin hydrated. The marine cream basically gives me glowing skin and it’s ideal for sensitive skin types, too. This product really softened and smoothed my parched, post-holiday complexion and I’m using it as my go-to day and night cream.

 How to protect skin all year round

“I look for a moisturiser that provides long-lasting hydration, increases moisture and keeps my skin comfortable through the change of seasons,” explains ishga Head of Training Gillian Mitchell. “I look after my skin using ishga skincare every day which keeps my skin healthy, therefore my skin can adjust to [different] climates without having to drastically change my skincare products. instead I simply adapt my routine.”

ishga face cream brightens your skin tone

She adds: “For example, if my skin feels as though it needs a boost of moisture due to environmental factors such as air conditioning or central heating, then I will add in our Nourishing Face Oil to improve dryness.

“Post-holiday & all year round, my skin is protected from free radical damage thanks to the high levels of polyphenols (antioxidants) found in the incredible seaweed extract we use in our products.

Pamper perfection for the eye and lip area

I’m getting older (aren’t we all?!), so the dark areas around my eyes were becoming that much darker and I’m pretty sure they were getting larger, too. Let’s not forget all the fine lines – of course, signs of aging really are inevitable to some extent. But I’m all for trying to slow this down where I can.

Reducing dark circles

Hyaluronic Eye Complex for skin care

As soon as I first tried Evolve’s multi award-winning Organic Beauty Hyaluronic Eye Complex, £19 for 10ml, I haven’t looked back. This is not an eye cream – it’s actually a gel, which is certainly helping to smooth all my fine lines around my eye area. It’s easy to apply – simply shake the roller then roll the ball over your skin. This evenly distributes the serum around your eye area, then you can gently pat any excess using a finger.

This eye complex treatment has definitely helped to brighten my dark circles and seems to be slowing down my skin ageing, too. I can now get away with using less concealer around my eye area, so I don’t have to worry about getting ‘panda eyes’ either!

Evolve Organic Beauty Hyaluronic Eye Complex helps dark spots

Embrace versatility with two-in-one

If you’re looking for comprehensive skin protection and rejuvenation around your eye and mouth area, I suggest Evolve’s award-winning 360 Eye and Lip Contour, £30 for 15ml. Featuring a probiotic blend of green tea, pomegranate and caffeine, this is clinically proven to reduce eye bags and dark circles. I hear Evolve promises that the 360 Eye & Lip Contour can reduce wrinkles by up to 36%, and it appears to be working. My skin tone feels a lot better already.

360 eye and lip contour from Evolve for reducing dark spots

This beauty gem also features low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, which is a natural ingredient to rave about. After all, this helps to hydrate and plump your skin and increase collagen production but I’ll let Evolve’s founder Laura Rudoe tell you more.

Evolve founder Laura says: “The skin around the eyes is thinner than on the rest of your face, with smaller blood vessels, which makes it one of the first places you’ll see signs of physical problems: lack of sleep, illness, and dehydration are all culprits that cause lacklustre under-eyes.”

360 eye and lip contour to combat signs of aging

She adds: “One of the most common reasons people initially reach for an eye cream is that they’re getting a few wrinkles and fine lines around the area. While we’d advocate for prevention rather than cure, opting for an eye cream at the onset of any signs of ageing will still be helpful. Though age certainly plays a role in creating these pesky wrinkles, they can also be brought about by sun exposure. 

“Wrinkles and lines are predominantly caused by skin losing its elasticity and hydration – whether through UV damage, stress, or simply the passing of years – and that’s where an eye cream can really help. One of our favourite ingredients to use is low molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid, which holds on to 1000x its weight in water. This makes it a fantastic moisturiser, and the newly hydrated skin becomes plump and bouncy, filling out any fine lines.”

Embrace exfoliation with a body polish

I’ve used Olverum Body Polish (£42 for 200ml) on and off for years – most frequently ahead of a pre-holiday self-tan session. But it’s equally good as a post-holiday exfoliator. After all, there’s more skin on your body than your face, so any self-respecting skincare routine should include products for use below the neck too!

Olverum body polish buffs dead skin cells away

Looking to absorb excess oil

Unlike some scrubs, this formula isn’t scratchy and abrasive and it can effectively absorb excess oil. It simply glides on, buffing skin gently but effectively to leave it feeling soft and noticeably toned. As you’d expect from me, it’s vegan and cruelty-free and is free from artificial preservatives and fragrances – although the essential oils it contains smell fabulous!

 Easy to use

This body polish couldn’t be easier to use. You just massage it into damp skin in circular motions, then rinse off. I apply mine during my morning shower and step out of it feeling goddess-like and glowing.

 Listen to the expert

“Exfoliation is crucial for summer skin recovery as it removes accumulated dead skin cells and unclogs pores, allowing your skin to breathe and recover from sun exposure and sweat,” explains Olverum Head of Product & Brand Development Eco Arakaki.

 All the positives

“It boosts blood circulation, enhancing oxygen and nutrient flow to the skin, which accelerates cell turnover and collagen synthesis. This helps your skin renew itself more efficiently, making it look radiant and youthful. Additionally, the massaging action during exfoliation energises the lymphatic system, naturally toning the skin.”

Olverum Body Polish

Skin Bureaux Youth Boosting Body Lotion Souffle

My final recommendation for your new-season skincare routine is Skin Bureaux Youth Boosting Body Lotion Souffle. Now, at £114 for 200ml, I’m aware that this isn’t a budget option. But if you’re looking to introduce some luxury to your regime (backed by some serious scientific knowledge), look no further.

Skin Bureaux Body Souffle

Reducing the signs of ageing

This lightweight body lotion feature an impressive blend of proven anti-aging and anti-inflammatory ingredients, including CBD (Cannabidiol) and CBG (Cannabigerol). It also includes retinol – a type of vitamin A that’s renowned for its ability to help promote skin regeneration – alongside hyaluronic acid, Cupuacu butter (a plant-based alternative to lanolin) and glycerin, all of which promote hydration.

 Long-lasting results

“When returning from holiday abroad in sunnier climes, try using a reputable brand of body soufflé on your legs,” advises aesthetic doctor and Skin Bureaux co-founder Dr Victoria Manning. “This way, you can wave goodbye to scales from dehydrated skin and enjoy beautiful, dewy, plump skin with a glow, which will last until the following day.”

My recommendation

I’ve been applying this souffle every day to clean, slightly damp skin and I’ve definitely seen improvements. My legs in particular look firmer and more toned, and my skin feels super soft and moisturised.

Body souffle by Skin Bureau

Do you look forward to long, languorous soaks in the tub as the evenings draw in? Then click here to read my review of the best vegan bath oils.

AD: Huge thanks to all the brands here who have collaborated with me in order for me to create this blog.