The panic I felt just days before my most recent trip to London made my ears ring and my skin burn... wait. My skin was burning for other reasons. In fact, it was the impetus for my panic. I was stumped. Why had made my face gone red, tight, bumpy and scaly (from temple to nose) and hot (no, not as in Angelina hot... as in to the touch) right before I was meant to board a plane for a week of back-to-back meetings with beauty industry folk?
Two things caused it, I have no doubt. One, my skin went on a 4-month makeup and skincare detox this summer that even the most cosmetic ascetic among us wouldn't be able to maintain by choice. On my around-the-world honeymoon-in-a-tent, makeup didn't touch my face, nor did anything, really, but a bar of soap and whatever moisturiser I had at hand. This period of skin calm was destroyed by a tsunami of new skincare, makeup and urban living in late October, when, in one fell swoop, I returned to dozens of products. Within a month, my face was radiating heat, the texture and colour angrily undulating and it became painfully clear that spot cream wasn't going to clear it up.
The second thing that dovetailed so conveniently with my hot-and-cold treatment of the cutis, is the onset of a Chicago winter. What on god's green earth keeps people living on such an icy tundra with such poor public transit? It's so cold there's no moisture (it's been at least 15 degrees below freezing for days) in the air. It's also as flat as a dinner plate, so no skiing here and ice rinks are strangely far and few between. It's moisture-free, wind-swept outdoors or drying, heated indoor spaces for me.
But as panicky as I became, it was comforting that my industry of choice wasn't, say, fashion, the most unforgiving (and backwards, in my opinion) of them all. Beauty people are fascinated by conditions and questions and how to fix them. My problem was greeted with genuine interest (not of the schadenfreude variety) and desire to find a solution, on which we all agreed.
It was clear I had to go cold turkey on the beauty bumpf until the flare up subsided and then, gradually, work my way back into a very simplified routine with simple products. An exclusion skincare diet was not on the table as the problem needed to be nipped in the bud immediately. Easier said than done when beauty products are your professional fodder! Facialist Emma Hardie was ardent that I stop using everything and then re-introduce slowly, and she was absolutely right.
Back on the plane, I stripped off the makeup and have been parring down my routine every since. No, I wasn't able to go cold turkey on the products... but I came close. And one month later still what has resulted is a prolonged trial of evolve beauty eco smart skincare, which has had, without a doubt, a beneficial effect on my complexion. And, thus, a write up here.
Before I go head long into my thoughts on evolve, let me give you a bit of a caveat – I have sensitive, youger(ish) skin, so anti-ageing is not at the top of my list of requirements for skincare. All I want is non-irritating goodness that doesn't cause acne or strip my skin and moisturises. Simple needs for very demanding skin, which are surprisingly had to meet. evolve meets every single one of these criteria.
evolve skincare is affordable and made from organic, high-quality ingredients that will not inflame sensitive skin. They smell lovely (the gentle cleansing melt is fragrance free), have wonderful textures and a little goes along way (although I use three pumps of the double cream every morning. More to do with Chicago weather).
The packaging is made from 100% recycled milk bottles. The look and feel of the range is high end, and a touch feminine, but in a modern sort of way (rounded edges, pastel but conceptual shapes and labeling and bucket loads of understated style), which makes sense at the brand founder also working on the founding of Nude skincare. There are skincare, bodycare and haircare products.
The products have simple ingredients, are high quality and they smell lovely. Best of all, they have worked to keep my sensitive and dry yet oily skin from flaring up. The gentle cleansing melt is my all-time favourite cleanser thus far in my life. The body lotion and double cream facial moisturiser smell good enough to eat. They leave a matte yet hydrated, plump finish. No re-application necessary to maintain hydrated skin.
HOW MY SKIN LOOKS NOW
No more redness, no more bumps, no more itchiness. What I thought were the beginnings of an irritating and long-lasting skin condition are no longer.
In the morning, I splash my face and neck with warm water and follow with evolve beauty double cream and a touch of makeup if I'm leaving the house. If at home, it's just the cream and a bit of facial massage. At night, I use the gentle cleansing melt on dry skin and rub it in for an age before rinsing it with warm water. I exfoliate a few days a week as well and then apply the double cream before bed. Works a treat.
I apply the body lotion after a shower or if my skin is feeling dry and itchy. Little by little, I'm adding in products I review. But slowly and in small doses.
It's only available on the ground in the UK right now (I love going to shops); I want a jumbo-sized bottle of the face cream (I would buy your products in bulk sizes and decant to the smaller containers!); the RRP hovers maybe just a touch in price-point purgatory between high street and high brow but it's a growing area... I think people will get used to there being a middle area to the all-or-nothing skincare spectrum where we've grown comfortable paying either pennies or hundreds of pounds for products but nothing in between. It's like we've collectively decided that either we're going to pay a full month's wages for something (in the inane, subconscious and persistent hope that price = efficacy) or nothing at all.
If you have sensitive skin, dry skin, combo skin... if you live in a wintery climate, if you spent loads of time indoors, if you like businesses that do good, then I would highly recommend you buy evolve beauty products. They do exactly what the say they do, the brand is thoughtful and a pioneer in the field of ethical business (yes, those two words can co-exist in the same sentence) and you can afford them, even during depressed economic times. (I mean, you're still going to buy skincare and basic toiletries, even if you've taken a wage cut. Just be clever about it.)