Double, double toil and trouble! So say witches as they conjure up magical potions in their cauldrons. Since it’s Halloween, why not do similar – but swapping lizard’s leg and bat extract for a raft of exciting skincare formulas instead.
Yes, some buzzy new launches require a little more DIY spirit than the pump-and-go products we’ve become accustomed to. Often arriving in powder form, these formulas are designed to be added into your existing skincare products to supercharge their effect, while others can also be used alone.
Take Lixir Skin’s new Ionic Shot, a powder which develops into a mousse when mixed with a water-based cleanser, like the brand’s Electrogel Cleanser. “When combining the two, you activate the powder, which then has a magical clarifying effect as a mask upon the skin,” says Colette Haydon, formulator and founder of the brand, of the succinic acid and niacinamide-filled powder, which helps to unclog pores and take down bacteria.
As well as being an easy way to up the ante on an existing formula in your skincare repertoire, powders are a good way to preserve active ingredients and ensure they are as stable as they can be, right up until they touch your skin. Vitamin C is a notoriously unstable active ingredient, and so many brands – including Drunk Elephant, The Ordinary and Dr Sebagh – have launched pure powder formulas, which keep it as fresh as possible until blended with other formulas. Subsequently, one can achieve more powerful results.
“With many cosmetic active ingredients there is a catch 22 situation: they need water to be activated, but water also makes them more unstable,” says Haydon. Activating them at the very last minute pre-application means you make the most out of them. “Powder formulas also eliminate the need for preservatives and other base ingredients, which are often not well tolerated,” she adds.
And, of course, there is the joy of being your own mixologist, too. Whether it’s adding facial oil into your moisturiser to deeply nourish the skin as the winter months hit, or simply watching your formulas shape-shift into other forms entirely (Dr Dennis Gross’s Hyaluronic Marine Hydrating Model Mask is particularly satisfying), mixing up your skincare is unequivocally fun – and can be more cost effective and sustainable, too.
Below, some of Vogue’s top skincare mixology buys.