Rose has so many skin benefits – from soothing and hydrating skin to strengthening the cell wall – it’s no wonder Lancôme has used the flower in three forms in its Absolue Soft Cream, which is exclusive to Harrods until January. The unusual texture demands a slightly different routine: the thick cream needs warming between your fingertips, before being pressed into the face in a thinner, melted form. As it's spread across your face, it thickens to leave skin feeling extra nourished.
Top Picks: Party Lips
In The Spotlight… Arabella Preston, Founder of Votary
A make-up artist by trade, Arabella Preston came to love natural skincare by using it to counteract the unnatural ingredients in the make-up used on her clients. Founded in 2015, Arabella still formulates all Votary products at her kitchen table (the oils are all pressed and blended in small batches in England), and now include five routines for different skin types.
On oil… "We are meant to have oils in our skin – natural lipids are a key part of skin health. Natural plant oils are incredibly varied: on one end of the spectrum you have something like rice bran oil which is very light (we use it in our clarifying range) so perfect for oily skin types, and at the other you have avocado or macadamia oils, which are super-nourishing and hydrating."
On retinol… "The hydroxypinacolone retinoate used in the Rosehip and Retinoid Intense Night Oil is the first time I've used a synthetic ingredient in one of my products – that's because it really works. Many retinoid products I tried were too strong, or housed in bases I didn't want to use on my skin. Ours is a form that is stabilised in a blend of natural plant oils, like tomato seed and rosehip, which have natural vitamin A, that’s then boosted with this unique oil-soluble form of retinoid. It's a serious dream team."
On her exclusive Harrods facial… "The Super Seed Nutrient Facial has been created for people with dry, sensitive and reactive skin – or anyone suffering from a case of 'winter skin', for that matter. It combines soothing, nourishing plant oils with hard-working actives such as lactic acid, paired with a cooling massage using rose quartz crystals to help release tension and stimulate circulation." £120 for 50 minutes at the Harrods Hair & Beauty Salon.