Beauty: the best prep for the party season

Avène Hydrance Aqua-Gel cools and soothes the skin.


Image Skincare Ormedic Lift Peel
When you think of a peel, you might picture Samantha in Sex and the City with red, flaky skin falling off her face like layers of an onion. But there are so many genuinely effective peels available that have no down time, meaning they’re perfect for a Christmas week skin refresh.

Image Skincare’s newly reformulated Ormedic range contains an amazing enzymatic peel, which utilises gently exfoliating fruit-based enzymes to dissolve dead skin cells, support skin-cell renewal and soften skin texture with minimal irritation. Pumpkin, papaya and pineapple make for some pleasantly alliterative – and active – ingredients in this one. Price: €99, for stockists see


SaltFacial Glow Luxury Facial
This innovating treatment uses natural sea salt, which is healing and antibacterial, to exfoliate, brighten, smooth and soothe the skin. Pressurised sea salt is used to exfoliate first of all, and can be tailored based on your skin concerns.

The second step uses ultrasound cavitation to stimulate collagen and elastin production, and the third step uses multi-wave length LED light therapy to further heal and treat the skin, targeting specific skin concerns such as pigmentation and rosacea. Price: €150,


Biologique Recherche Prescriptive Facial
Cult French pharmacy brand Biologique Recherche prides itself on its education, research and development, and at a BR facial, you can be sure you’re getting the most effective of treatments. The beauty of a Floraison facial is that you not only see instant improvements in your skin, but a bit of luxury ‘me’ time too, combining relaxation with results in a fine balance.

Each BR facial is tailored to your skin’s needs on a given day, meaning if your skin changes in winter and is more sensitive, more dry or more oily than usual, the facial adapts to suit. Prices from €125, from


Q-Fractional Rejuvenation
It mightn’t sound like a very relaxing treatment, and, in truth, it’s not your typical blissed-out facial. It’s entirely results-driven, and works by bypassing the surface of the skin and increasing the production of collagen, which is youthful-looking skin’s best friend.

It treats all signs of ageing and returns skin firmness, it reduces acne scarring and sun spots, all the while brightening and firming the skin. It’s something for those who don’t mess around when it comes to effective skin treatments. Price: €135 (a course of three is €370),


PAYOT Water Power Morning Mask

We all know we’re made of mostly water, and it’s a key component in healthy and fresh-looking skin, particularly in winter. Dehydrated skin can appear lifeless and dull, but this PAYOT fabric mask is enriched with bamboo extract to deeply moisturise and restore comfort to your skin during cold and changeable weather. Price: €6.95, pharmacies countrywide

Avène Hydrance Aqua-Gel
A new hero from Avène, this is a visibly dense but light-textured gel which breaks into a refreshing water formula when applied to the skin. It cools and soothes the skin straightaway, then leaves long-lasting and effective hydration behind. It also promotes the restoration of the natural protective barrier, leaving skin plump and soft. You can apply a light layer in the morning, or apply a thicker layer before bedtime and leave it on all night as a mask. Price: €30, pharmacies countrywide

Skin Formulas Mask Exfoliator
A double-jobbing product, this mask exfoliator is suitable for those with dry, oily, combination or normal skin, as well as for those with dehydrated, sensitive or rosacea-affected skin. It uses fruit enzymes and glycolic acid to gently exfoliate dead skin cells and infuse the skin with antioxidants. A dream for the party season, you can use it before applying make-up – it leaves your skin smooth and supple but doesn’t cause it to become parched. Price: €35, from selected Cara, Meaghers pharmacies, Shaws and online at