12 best post-summer skin savers

Super-charge your skin's moisture levels and undo dehydrating damage caused by sunshine, salt and swimming with a post-holiday product

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The Independent Online

From masks and serums, to oils and balms, whatever your preference there's a moisture-boosting skin treatment to suit. 

1. Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules: £65 for 60 capsules, Elemis


Beauty products come in and out of fashion but year in, year out we’re always impressed with this award-winning anti-oxidant day and night oil. It’s always our essential complexion saver for post-holiday, sun-stressed skin. 60 capsules last a month when using them morning and evening under moisturiser (the pink rose capsule is for morning and the green lavender for night). Even within the first month of use you’ll notice your skin is transformed. High level anti-oxidants break down accumulated harmful toxins that clog up your pores, leaving skin glowing.

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2. Oskia Renaissance Bright Light Serum: £85 for 30ml, Space NK


If dark spots and pigmentation get worse for you in the summer months, there is an answer – that works. Oskia founder Georgie Cleeve suffered from hyper-pigmentation, so she set about creating a concentrated solution to help combat it. The result was this daily correcting serum that targets melanin production. With regular use this product will even out and brighten skin tone.

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3. Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Infusion de Rose Nourishing Oil: £44 for 30ml, Selfridges


Whenever dry or dehydrated skin feels like it needs a boost, you can mix one or two drops of this sumptuous, but surprisingly lightweight oil into your serum or moisturiser to strengthen the skin. It’s delicately rose-scented and doesn't feel oily, even if you use it straight on the skin for an extra, pre-moisturiser boost. Handily it’s a great multi-tasker – you can also use it to soften cuticles and on your hair to nourish dry ends.

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4. Elemental Herbology Hyaluronic Booster Plus: £85 for 30ml, Elemental Herbology


If your skin’s moisture levels have hit the floor and your complexion is looking dull and dehydrated, this serum will put the zing back into your skin. The perfect antidote to poor tone and texture, this powerful replenisher boosts radiance in as little as a week. You can use it morning and night under your usual moisturiser until fine lines and wrinkles are plumped out and skin looks glowing again. Also, it’s especially good for mature skin tones all year round. Elemental Herbology, a relatively young British brand, uses high performance natural ingredients, natural actives, superb nutrients and beautiful plant oils to create high-end skin care that we found really delivers.

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5. Lancôme Ḗnergie De Vie Sleeping Mask: £42 for 75ml, Lancôme


At the upper end of the price scale for face masks, this overnight recovery treat really does boost your beauty sleep. Rough, dull, dehydrated skin is plumped up and smoothed out overnight. Apply a thin layer instead of your night cream and wake up in the morning with a radiant glow, or a thicker layer can be applied for a quick 10-minute hydrator.

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6. Clarins Repair Booster: £30 for 15ml, Clarins


‘Repair’ from skincare expert Clarins will give a turbo-charged, targeted boost to weakened skin. It aims to increase the skin's strength after exposure to hard, salty or chlorinated water, sunburn or other extreme climates. It’s perfect for a post-holiday radiance revival; just add three to five drops into your favourite moisturiser, mask or foundation for as long as you need – a day, a week or a month. 

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7. M&S Nourishing Cracked Heel Balm for Happy Feet: £9.50 for 80ml, M&S


Rough and dry feet that have spent months in flip-flops need a post-summer treat before we wrap them back up into boots and socks for the next seven months. And this new range from world renowned podiatrist Margaret Dabbs is the answer. The ingredients bergamot, green tea and lime give a beautiful scent, while ginger extract and manuka honey add a nourishing element to this antibacterial formula. It will soften and condition even the most cracked heels.

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8. Ren Flash Hydro-Boost Instant Plumping Emulsion: £34 for 40ml, Ren


Nothing shouts hydration more than this new hybrid moisturiser mask that super-charges the skin with water. Use before your usual serum and moisturiser, the water activates the mask to lock in moisture and reduce ageing dehydration. Smooth over your clean face and neck and then just add a tiny amount of water with your finger tips and massage in until fully absorbed. It aims to reduce dehydration and increase the skin's ability to lock in and retain moisture.Use as often as needed, but particularly after a summer of sunshine.

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9. Neom Real Luxury Bath & Shower Oil: £40 for 100ml, Neom Organics


Turbo-charge your bath or shower time with some serious skin nourishment from Neom – one of these bottles is sold every four minutes, making this original Bath & Shower Oil one of the brand’s best sellers. Lavender, jasmine and Brazilian rosewood give this oil a decadent, luxurious fragrance that fills the bathroom, and combined with the other 21 pure essential oils, boosts body moisture in just one hit. Pour in the bath under running water, or apply to the skin before showering to rehydrate summer skin, de-stress, relax and unwind.

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10. L'Oreal Paris Pure Clay Detox Mask: £7.99 for 50ml, Boots


Summer skin can feel and look clogged up after all that holiday sunscreen, so for a fast, easy and inexpensive detox, this mask is perfect. Three types of pure clay combined with charcoal acts as a magnet to draw out impurities and deep-clean congested pores. Apply a thin layer for five to 10 minutes, two to three times a week and the difference is unmistakeable – you get luminous, smooth -feeling skin after just a few applications.

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11. Kiehl's Cactus Flower Mist: £18 for 75ml, Kiehl’s  


With the hydrating power of cactus flower (desert resilience means it flourishes in dry conditions) and the moisture retaining capabilities of Tibetan ginseng root, this refreshing pick-me-up packs a powerful punch. Use as a traditional toner to boost moisture levels after cleansing, or as a finishing spray to lock in moisture for a dewy complexion. It’s fast absorbing and can slip into your handbag, so you can simply spritz when skin feels tight or dehydrated. The rosemary, lavender and geranium essential oils give your skin a revitalising instant hit.

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12. Aesop Petitgrain Reviving Body Gel: £25 for 150ml, Cult Beauty


Unlike heavier oils and creams, this gel is lightweight and absorbs almost immediately, so you don’t have to wait to get dressed in the morning. The zingy citrus scent of grapefruit and lemon is ultra-cool and refreshing while the aloe and panthenol soothe and soften dehydrated, sun-exposed skin, leaving it plump and supple. It's also perfect for irritated, inflamed or sunburnt skin.

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Oskia is great if you suffer from pigmentation problems while Laura Mercier, Neom and Elemental Herbology are a joy to use. We love Lancôme, as it does the hard work while you sleep but year in, year out we’ve seen real results from the Elemis Bliss Capsules - they put the radiance back into your complexion ready for winter. That’s why it’s our top pick.

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