Five beauty innovations that live up to the hype
From plums to bamboo, Katie Wright learns more about the trends shaking up the worlds of make-up and skincare
With thousands of new launches every year, it's almost impossible to keep up with all the products, trends and buzzwords in the beauty industry, let alone know whether they're right for you.
Just when you think you know your SPFs from your AHAs, along come a host of new acronyms to confuse you even more, not to mention all the ads that claim a certain serum or night cream will solve all your complexion problems. Will it really?
If you strip away all the dubious claims, you can find some genuinely useful innovations that could make a big difference, whether it's in skincare or make-up.
To help you sort the wheat from the chaff, here are five hype-worthy ingredients you should get to know now.
Pandas aren't the only creatures who can benefit from bamboo. Max Factor's new Lash Revival mascara is enriched with bamboo extract, which conditions lashes over time as well as delivering immediate jet black mega-drama.
- Max Factor lash revival mascara, £12.99, Boots
Bamboo extract also has skin-soothing properties, which is why it's found in Beauty Pie's Jeju cleanser, an ultra-moisturising lotion-balm ideal for dry skin types. Team with a bamboo charcoal cloth a couple of times a week to gently slough away dead skin cells.
- Beauty Pie Jeju daily multi-phase purifying cleansing milk, £28 (£9.25 for members); Jeju bamboo charcoal konjac cloths, £15 for two (£7.15 for members)
It's said the healing effects of centella asiatica were discovered when scientists saw tigers rolling in its leaves following a particularly bloody fight.
Also known as cica, the plant has now been harnessed to help humans.
"Cica balms are frequently used as a restorative for seriously dry skin, and it is fantastic that we now have a product which combines this high-level emolliency with the soothing, protective and pre-biotic benefits of the Triple Oat Complex from Aveeno," says Rebecca Bennett, Johnson & Johnson skincare expert.
"I would recommend using this generously wherever seriously dry skin is a problem."
- Aveeno skin relief nourish & repair cica balm, £6.99, Boots
Or try adding a few drops of the cica-based Booster from Elemis to your night cream to let its healing powers get to work while you sleep.
- Elemis superfood cica calm booster, £27
3. Kakadu plum
Boasting 50 times more vitamin C than an orange, the kakadu plum is the ultimate in antioxidants, which are essential if brightness is top of your skincare wish list.
Extracts of the Australian fruit can be found in Goop's latest glow-giver, a highly effective mask that combines chemical and manual exfoliants to mimic the effects of microdermabrasion treatments at home.
- Goop GoopGlow microderm instant glow exfoliator, £112
For a quick daily dose of kakadu plum, pop on Sanctuary Spa's 1 Minute Daily Glow Mask then jump in the shower. By the time you've washed your hair, the antioxidants should have sunk in and it'll be ready to rinse.
- Sanctuary Spa 1 minute daily glow face mask, £9.29 (was £14), Superdrug
4. Hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid (HA) has been around for a while, it's true, but we're talking about the next generation of the uber-hydrating molecule, which can hold 1,000 times its own weight in water.
L'Occitane has reformulated its cult Immortelle Precious range with a dynamic HA complex and silicium, which they say helps to improve natural HA production, smoothing out fine lines even faster.
- L'Occitane Immortelle precious dynamic youthcare serum, £59 (available September 5)
The Hydranet range from SkinSense encapsulates HA in a 'cage' structure, which allows it to slowly release over time, delivering intense hydration long after you've applied the serum.
- Skinsense Hydranet intense concentrate, £26
Have you tried retinol but found it was too harsh and left your skin red and flaky? Then give bakuchiol a go instead.
This plant-based alternative offers the same benefits - reducing fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation - but is more suitable for sensitive skin types and doesn't cause photosensitivity, so it can be used in the morning as well as at night.
- This Works no wrinkles extreme moisturiser, £50
- The Inkey List Bakuchiol, £9.99, Cult Beauty