Ask HH: Answers to Your Pressing Skincare Questions

I often get rather amazing, thoughtful and fairly deep-diving comments on my posts. I figure that my other readers might be interested in reading my answers (and I need to be my ridiculously verbose self), so I am starting a new feature: Ask HH. Ask your brilliant questions in comments and will do a regular digest with my answers. Of course, please keep in mind that I am not a dermatologist or an aesthetician, so my advice comes strictly from personal experience and obsessive research.

The first question comes from the lovely Akismet:

I’m in the midst of switching over from chemical-ish (Sunday Riley & La Mer & Chantecaille) products to natural but I’m having the hardest time deciding on what natural brands to use. Esp aft reading reviews on GA & Aesop which I thought were top of the list natural products I’m now confused.

Am trying to use less on my combination, rosecca, big pored , semi scarred & pigmentation damaged skin. What would be a couple of brands in the Natural line that you’d strongly recommend? Hope to hear from you soon! Thanks. Kind regards xx

Dearest Akismet,

For starters, congratulations! It may seem like a daunting task to switch over to green beauty (especially seeing as your taste in skincare clearly leans towards the high end and the exquisite), but it’s one of the best things you can do for your skin. I was once a La Mer/Chantecaille/La Prairie girl and my skin is so much better and less sensitive after making the switch.

It makes sense that Grown Alchemist and Aesop were your first choices: they both fall into the whole “carried at Barneys”, sexily minimalist category. I do want to make it clear that GA is actually a much cleaner brand that Aesop (and some of its products are completely clean). I tend to think of it as more of an anti-aging focused brand, but its Matte Balancing Moisturizer could be an interesting choice. Now for my actual recommendations.

Although I myself don’t have problems with oiliness/scarring/pigmentation, people who do, tend to absolutely swear by Yuli’s Cell Perfecto PM for diminishing acne scarring. I have never tried it, so cannot speak from personal experience, but as everyone knows, I adore Yuli’s other products. Since your skin is rosacea-prone, I would think that Yuli’s Cocoon Mist would be perfect: it’s incredibly gentle, calming and hydrating. If your skin is feeling oily, the Panacea Elixir is also a great bet. Yuli’s Liquid Courage is an excellent everyday oil and its high content of vitamin C can help with hyper-pigmentation.

My best friend who suffers from rosacea fell in love with La Bella Figura’s Modern Radiance Concentrate. I don’t know if you have any anti-aging concerns, but if you do, the MRC is an excellent choice. Plus, again: the Vit C is excellent for hyperpigmentation  and building up collagen, which can help with scarring. And speaking of hyper pigmentation, Odacite’s Papaya + Geranium serum concentrate was the only thing that managed to get rid of a stubborn dark spot on my cheekbone. Odacite also has a number of serums for oily/combination skins and its Beautiful Day Moisturizer is lovely, light and delicate and the MSM can help with blemishes.

Clearly, my list of recommended products is a mile-long, but I think you can make a great start with Yuli, LBF and Odacite. I am just SO excited for this journey you are starting! You are going to have so much fun! xx

The lovely Cecilia writes:

Hello HH,

I was wondering if you have a routine recommendation for the spring, (lighter cream or lotion), and for a long haul flight ( I travel for work quite often, Middle East, south east Asia, Latin America, even Russia!) I think my skin is constantly in the shocking mode.

Dearest Cecilia,

As for the lighter creams/lotions, I highly recommend the Odacite Beautiful Day (see above – it’s super-light, yet hydrating) and the Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream (light, hydrating, smells lovely, effective sun protection). You can also use Kypris’ Antioxidant Dew for a hit of lightweight moisture and antioxidants and you can layer it under your favorite oil if it doesn’t provide quite enough hydration (my skin is so dry, I need to over-moisturize it even in the summer).

As for the in-flight routine, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I am serious about my carry-on stash. The key to a first class skincare experience onboard lies in three components: size, smell and supreme hydration (yes, I am really reaching for that alliteration). The size thing is obvious: the last thing you want to happen is for TSA to confiscate your treasures. The scent is also huge: you want something pleasant-smelling to help deal with the stale airplane air, yet not so overpowering as to make your neighbors want to stuff you into the overhead bin. Yet the most important thing is hydration. The airplane air sucks the moisture right out of your skin, so you want to both replenish and seal in moisture. So without further ado, here are my in-flight must haves. NB: I won’t be giving links to products linked elsewhere in this post.

Face Mists: absolutely essential. They hydrate the skin and freshen the stale air. I like to inhale deeply as I spray, so that I get some relief for my over-dry nasal cavities. My personal faves are the One Love Organics Vitamin D Mist (super-hydrating, helps retain moisture); Yuli’s Metamorphic and Cocoon Elixirs (can’t keep raving about them, but both are crazy hydrating, gentle, etc); and LBF’s Jardin De Fleurs (hydrating, helps retain moisture, smells like a heavenly jasmine garden). Some of my favorite sprays (May Lindstrom, De Mamiel) only come in sizes too large for carry-on, but you can always decant your favorite into a small spray bottle.

Face Oils: Use whatever you love and whatever oil makes your skin happiest. This is also a good time for oils that might otherwise be too rich. My plane faves are May Lindstrom’s The Youth Dew and OLO’s Vit C Serum.

“Sealants”: You need an occlusive barrier to help keep the moisture in your skin. Any balm would be an excellent bet (check out my winter balms post for some of my faves). I also like the Jao Creme: it’s not as occlusive as a balm, but very hydrating and does a great job of sealing in moisture.

Happy travels! xx

31 responses to Ask HH: Answers to Your Pressing Skincare Questions

  1. Ooh I love this. I’ve been debating myself whether I should start a beauty/life advice series on my own blog. This is helpful for me as I have quite a few travels coming up in my horizon. I’m excited for it, but my routine needs to be better prepared as the elements take a toll on skin. I have got tot ry Odacité ( Pa+G and that beautiful moisturizer are on my radar) and the Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream. I love all these picks and tips!

  2. Gabrielle

    I love this Thank you! Another suggestion I have just received my de Mamiel Spring oil and it is AMAZING! I love the layers of smell and its much lighter then Winter oil. I like that the every 3 months a new one appears and stops me guessing what my skin needs. I have also just started using her dewy facial mist and cleansing balm – I am in aroma heaven! I think I read about them on your blog so HUGE Thank you!

  3. Love this add to your site! You’ve already answered my questions last time we saw each other and I am loving all of your suggestions!

  4. Maria

    I am not sure on my skin type and have been experimenting with natural products from May Lindstrom, Yuli, LBF, de Mamiel…. My skin seems prone to breakouts…not a huge deal, just minor ones as well as some redness… I actually came off of a cosmeceutical line that used glycolics, lactics, salicylics as well as…..alcohol…..which can be irritating, all kinds of information on the internet can make a person second guess what they are using… Some estheticians actually shun face oils which they say lead to clogged pores and irritation, and always push the Aha and Bha route. I have been fed so much information. Some say exfoliate with scrubs, others say don’t exfoliate with scrubs..use retinols and so on…. What is a girl to do?? What do we believe? You seem rather knowledgable as I have been reading all your posts which are very informative. I would just like to hear your take…and what you suggest for someone trying to get there skin balanced and in check… Do we start with a foaming natural cleanser such as Yuli? Do we go for an oil cleanser or a balm cleanser? I am a person once I start and I get a pimple….oh it must be that product, when it could very well be internally more than topically. Love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

    • TheHermesHippie – Author

      What an amazing question! Thank you so much! I really want to give it its due, so if you don’t mind waiting a little bit, I’d like to combine your question with a post I had been planning anyway 🙂 I’m aiming for later this week. Xx

      • Maria

        That is perfectly fine… And I totally agree that this question will take time to answer…from a person that takes skincare seriously. I will be looking forward to your post. Thank you!

  5. Juliet

    I was wondering about the differences between Yuli Liquid Courage and LBF Modern Radiance. I want a powerful, but gentle (I have VERY reactive skin) vitamin C product to help with collagen production. Basically, I’m looking for anti-aging!

    • TheHermesHippie – Author

      Like the Vit C question! 🙂 If you don’t mind, I’d like to save it until my next Ask HH post. Look for it some time next week. But please do let me know if you need an answer quicker and I’ll respond on here 😉

  6. leonieng

    (: glad to have inspired you to start an Ask HH section! And so lovely of you to go I to detailed recommendations.

    You are going to be helping heaps of people! Thanks again for the honest advice & reviews! Will be checking in xx

  7. sbgirl

    Dearest HH, So absolutely THRILLED you are doing “ask HH” – it will be as devoutly followed as Diana Vreeland’s “why not” column, I am certain! My question is this: for a quick fix, ie: something that can be picked up at a rural Whole Foods or health food store, is there a brand you like as much as Yuli or the others that must be ordered? I have been reading quite a bit about John Masters Organics face line (I like the hair care) and evan healy. Have you tried her things? Her website shows her hand-harvesting the rose geranium! Totally relate to Maria’s post – although fine pored and without scars, I would love to just have ONE day without a pimple (or two or three). Will try your advice and look to the diet, as the lovely people at Yuli suggested that may be an issue. Wondering also if you’ve tried the beauty “supplements” from Moon Juice? (But dairy SO hard to give up – and you know how long this NY winter has been, where would we be without multiple cups of PG Tips with lots of milk and sugar??) Thanks for everything as always!! XO

    • TheHermesHippie – Author

      Oh my gosh! You have made my day, week, month and century by putting me anywhere near the divine DV! Am beyond chuffed! As for your question, I have liked the couple of things I tried from the JM skincare line, but it wasn’t anything too serious (I really liked his face wash and I think there might have been a facial spray I enjoyed). As for Evan Healy, I have one of her masks and it’s quite simple, but nice. I haven’t tried her “proper” skincare, but lots of people whose opinion I respect seem to adore it, so I’d say it’s a good quick fix in a pinch 😉

      Yes, I love the Moon Juice stuff! I use their Brain Powder and it’s great. Also, as for dairy, I am a builders tea gal myself (btw, the Englishman strongly urges you to switch from PG Tips to the far superior Yorkshire Gold) and have had great success replacing milk and sugar in my tea with OMilk’s cashew milk. It’s rich and creamy enough to help lighten a suer-strong brew and has just enough sweetness to it. I don’t think OMilk deliver outside New York City, but I think any cashew milk would work well (I think Blueprint Cleanse delivers nationwide?)

      Thank you for your wonderfully kind words and encouragement! Please let me know if you have any other questions 🙂 xx

      • sbgirl

        Dear HH, Thank you for your thoughtful reply, as always! I knew you were a girl after my own heart, liking builders tea! (And please thank the Englishman for me for suggesting the Yorkshire Gold – I shall try that as soon as I use up my PG!) You are quite correct, too about the Omilk cashew milk delivery – NYC and Brooklyn only. But I have been making my own cashew milk – awfully simple and delish (still SO stuck in the rut of regular milk in the tea, though!). If you’re so inclined: soak cashews in water overnight, drain, rinse and whiz up in the blender with filtered water, vanilla and a little maple syrup or coconut crystals. It can be strained for a smoother texture but not necessary if feeling lazy. Perhaps I’ll add a bit more vanilla and cinnamon too, as they’re both added to the Omilk… Thanks again dearest HH and all the best! Daphne xo

  8. Nina

    Hi Lola ! I recently found your blog and I have been obsessed with it ever since.
    I have always been very into natural/organic skincare but until recently I stuck to very basic products. After reading your blog I purchased the Kypris serums, as well as some of the odacite boosters.
    This might sound like a silly question but suddenly I am unsure whether I am applying all my products in the right order (I currently do cleanser, toner, serums then oil over the top and odacite boosters as spot treatments). I read your night time routine post and if I remember correctly you like to use the Blue Coccoon as your last step? I am just not sure if by using an oil last I am wiping away and wasting all the other products I have applied before that? Any insight would be greatly appreciated 🙂 xxx

  9. Kathleen

    You haven’t posted in a while. Hope all’s well. You are missed. I have a question: I am a “woman of a certain age” who has taken reasonably good care of her skin and been fastidious about sunscreen. What really bothers me now is my neck, which is a bit crepey. Is there a product that will help this area specifically? I currently use whatever I’m using on my face. Thanks for you help.

    • TheHermesHippie – Author

      Thank you so much for asking, you are so sweet! All ok with me, just a bit of unexpected craziness 🙂 I’m back to posting regularly now! Love your question! Mind if I use it in Ask HH? X

  10. Dear HH,

    Love love love this! Please do more!

    Mean while, I wanted to report back that your recommendations made traveling a breeze! My skin did not act up nor did I see the usual dry flakes. All thanks to you! You can see my travel cocktails here (posted 26 March),

    I am about to embark on another journey with much warmer weather. Jao lotion here I come!

    I would also love to know your recommendations of eye products and exfoliators. 🙂

    Happy Spring!

    • TheHermesHippie – Author

      Oh my gosh, you’ve made my day! So, so thrilled I could help!!! 🙂 I’ll be doing an exfoliating cleanser post soon-ish and check out my review of the Bottega Organica creams (their eye cream is amazing) and the upcoming review of In Fiore (I’m reviewing their eye cream as well). Safe travels and happy spring to you too! Xx

  11. Jasmin

    I just jump in with another question: Thanks to you I got my eyes on the Josh Rosebrook Daily Lotion with SPF 30. I love it! My skin really is amazed by it.. the only thing is that for summer I would like to use an natural sunscrren higher than 30, the best would be one with 50. Because I really have big struggle with hyperpigmentation it is something I have to do on a daily basis; protect my skin from the sun as best as it gets. I have fairly blemish prone skin, slightly oily and would love an not so whiteish mattifing solution. Any solution for an SPF 50 daily lotion?..

    • TheHermesHippie – Author

      Ooof! That’s a tough one! My beloved Suntegrity SPF only goes up to 30 and even Raw Elements, which is really intense and thick, is only 30 as well. I think it’s tricky to find a purely physical sunscreen that provides an SPF of 50. Coola does offer SPF, but it’s chemical. Maybe a better bet for you if you want to stay all-natural would be to use an SPF 30, reapply often and also use a strong antioxidant oil to up the sun protection factor? Like Yuli’a Liquid Courage, LBF Daily Elements Defense or Laurel’s Antioxidant Serum.

      • Jasmin

        Thank you very much for your answer and your concret suggestions! So I will stick to my JR Daily SPF and add up some anti-oxidants cream, i try the one from LBF.

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