Skincare, Interrupted

Well, not interrupted in the sense that I’d no longer wash my face and anoint it with acids and lipids. I very much do. Interrupted in the sense that what was supposed to be the one area of my life not affected by politics now is.

I hope there are people somewhere revelling in the joy for the UK having left the EU. I really do, otherwise it’s just one epic, unnecessarily cruel insult to add to the recent, collective injury of everything.

I am obviously aware that I will stay alive by simply sticking to produce that is made available within the EU single market. Given the amount of continental stuff, I can actually enjoy rather an abundant life. I’ve started to look at French pharmacies (and, by provincial proxy, the Belgian pharmacies) with the eyes of my American sisters, who absolutely lose it when they realise that Embryolisse is actually a range of products.

German Dr. Barbara Sturm is starting to have a strange appeal. I’ve listened to a couple of podcasts lately where she’s told the story of her eponymous skincare brand, and there’s something about her teutonic insistence on the absolute superiority of her products that I’m kind of compelled to try.

The legendary Caroline Hirons kits no longer ship to Europe, and mail-ordering from the UK has obviously become an expensive hassle. As I said, I will find a tincture for every single square millimetre of my physical being in the EU, but not having access to Cult Beauty and Space NK is a mild annoyance.

EDIT/IMPORTANT PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: An avid reader commented that Cult Beauty for the time being does in fact ship to the EU without extra customs duties.

German Niche Beauty so far seems to have the widest range of non-European brands available. I am very interested in hearing about further suggestions and user experiences. Feel free to share, there is an audience.

In addition to skincare, there are hiccups with printed word as well. Recent trips to my local Waterstones have been a miserable exhibit of Brexit in practise: magazine shelves are half-empty and “well that’s anyone’s guess” is the response when I’ve enquired when January Vogue might become available for purchase.

My livelihood does, strictly speaking, not depend on my having access to British fashion magazines. I’m not a Scottish fisherwoman who’s not able to make a living because of the B-hassle. But it’s a noticeable thing all the same – the UK media market has been hugely influential and many of us on the continent are used to perusing British media in all its forms: TV, newspapers, magazines, books, movies… Now it’s all become that much more complicated.

(And yes, I am absolutely willing to conduct most of my business online like the rest of the world, but I do insist on reading fashion magazines in paper version. Same with Sunday papers, but that I had to give up already some time ago.)

As my skincare habits have long been mainly experimental, in that I’ve had a keen eye on new things to try, I will probably refocus that eye on European brands for a while. Surely international online platforms such as Net a Porter Europe will shortly expand on skincare as the EU market is too big to ignore and people already making most purchases online (even I, reluctantly).

Two interesting euro-products I’ve recently tried include Estonian D’Difference and Latvian Mádara. As it happens, both brands do an excellent gel-to-oil cleanser that comes in a easy to use tube. I had a long spell with various balm-to-oil cleansers that come in jars, Eve Lom and such, but find the slightly lighter, non-foaming gels to be actually much more effective.
Also they rinse off without the hassle of a washcloth, which can be nice every now and then, but for daily use I much prefer the gelly oils.

Basically the riddle remains how to get one’s hands on the US-strength Good Genes by Sunday Riley (Niche Beauty do stock the brand, though), but we make do.
(How long until there’s a proper underground market for skincare products?!)

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