Susie Rushton: Beauty queen

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Indy Lifestyle Online

I've been a long time coming round to facial spritzers. I was put off by those prissy, white-jeans-wearing women using Evian sprays on planes, supposedly to combat in-flight dehydration. Because, let me get this right. You spritz it on your face. There follows a pleasant cooling sensation. Four seconds later the dewy patina evaporates and you're left with slightly tight skin. What a con. Toners like rosewater, on the other hand, are the worthy relation of facial spritzers. Astringents, they have long been used to reduce oiliness on acne-prone complexions. But in the age of fruit-acid peels and lightweight moisturising gels, they now seem curiously dated.

The beauty guru Eve Lom has insisted that if you are cleansing properly, you don't need a toner whatever your skin type. Other facialists advise that toners particularly ones that contain alcohol can actually exacerbate spots: by stripping away the oil, they cause the oil production to go into overdrive, producing yet more pesky pimples. But I've had none of these problems with Caudalie's Beauty Elixir, which is both a spritzer and a toner. It also lends a healthy flush to a tired and wintry complexion. Caudalie is a French beauty brand that uses grape extracts in its skincare products. The Elixir one of their "seminal" products, and its packaging this winter given a redesign is a mix of rosemary essential oil, mint oil and orange blossom water, plus the grape extracts. The water seems to separate from the oils, so you have to give it a good shake before spraying on to your face, and the lemony-mint smell is rather reminiscent of hot hand towels you'd get given in a (good) Asian restaurant. But if you're prone to dullness and pimples, it might be worth fitting it into your skincare routine. Just not on the plane, please.

Beauty Elixir by Caudalie, 24 for 115ml spray, from Space NK, Selfridges, John Lewis and selected independent shops

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