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From the MECCA Group Chat: Funscreen and ‘Retinol’ for Impatient People

January 1 | 2 minute read

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Words by Christie Sinclair

Originally published on | July 8

In our new series, MECCA Must-Haves, we’re baring all our beauty secrets – and this week skincare has been the hot topic of conversation in the MECCA HQ chat.

From the new Korean brand rescuing our dry winter skin to the beauty tech we whip out when we can’t get to the clinic, and a serum said to be stronger than retinol, here’s what you need to know…

Is Korean skincare the secret to better skin?


Korean skincare isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s bigger than ever. With an influx of K-beauty brands bringing the best skin tech and ingredients to our shores, we’re benefitting from the region’s exceptionally high standards in skincare (‘glass skin’ is back – not that it ever truly left; click here for your how-to guide.)

Dr.Jart+’s barrier-focused derma-skincare has made a timely arrival at MECCA, given the wintery weather has noticeably disrupted our usual dewy complexions. I’ve witnessed real-life miracles this week thanks to the Ceramidin™ Skin Barrier Moisturizing Cream and the viral green colour-correcting face cream. Meanwhile, I’ve replaced my emotional support water bottle with AMOREPACIFIC’s Moisture Plumping Dewy Mist – it’s taken my skin back to pre-motherhood levels of plump.

The biggest thing in skin is not what you think

All the coolest people are wearing not just sunscreen, but gloves to the beach – if I’m to believe what I’ve read (and by read, I mean seen on TikTok). It seems we’ve finally cottoned on to the idea that preventing sun damage in the first place is the easiest way to retain a youthful glow for longer. It might have something to do with the fact that sunscreen scientists have realised that for people to reach for their SPF daily, it needs to fit into their lifestyle – and, dare I say it, be at least a little bit fun…

We’re now blessed with a plethora of options specifically formulated for the face, many with ingredients or multiple functions that make them a year-round necessity. Some, like MECCA COSMETICA’S To Save Face SPF50+ Superscreen and MECCA MAX’s SCREEN SAVER SPF30 Broad Spectrum Facial Sunscreen won’t mess with your makeup, rather, they improve it. Others (Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50 and MECCA Cosmetica’s To Save Face SPF50+ Brightening Sun Serum) double as skincare. Aussie brand Naked Sundays has even managed to make SPF trendy, with top-up sprays, lip oils and makeup infused with extra protection you’d be happy to whip out of your bag – no matter your location.

ALWAYS READ THE LABEL AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE. Sunscreen is only one form of sun protection. Avoid prolonged sun exposure and reapply as directed.

“Retinol” for impatient people

Retinal (aka retinaldehyde) entered our chat this week – the strongest form of vitamin A available without a prescription. And it’s just the thing for impatient people or those whose skin can’t tolerate traditional retinol (vitamin A).

Go-To now has two retinal products in their collection: Very Amazing Retinal and an eye serum, De-Crease – both of which are clinically proven to work harder and faster than retinol to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, tone and texture. All that with less chance of irritation, as long as you start slowly. So if you’re serious about youthful skin (and are well over the age of 18), this is one to try.

Add these for skincare results

While skincare continues to innovate at breakneck speed, topical solutions alone can only do so much. For even better results, intervention is essential – in the way of beauty tools and tech. Bless the brains who developed at-home beauty devices because this is where skincare gets interesting. There are space-age gadgets from NuFACE and FaceGym to lift and sculpt facial muscles using microcurrent, and others that suck debris from pores like a mini skin vacuum. There are also tools clever humans have been using for thousands of years that render miraculous results, like gua sha and dry brushes. Try them with your skincare if you want to see results.

Or, you could drink your skincare

Do you find skincare tiresome? Why spend time on 12 steps when you could sip on 10 of them? I credit my newfound incandescence to this serum along with INTU WELLNESS’ Gut & Skin Rejuvenation Powder, which I’ve been enjoying as a mid-morning, peach-flavoured aperitivo. I’ve tried countless beauty supplements and I do believe these are up there with the best, not least because I can throw a sachet in my handbag (along with 13 lip glosses) and sip them when I remember, but because they were created by two women with small children who know what it’s like to be in the trenches – and wanted an easy way to look and feel more alive. Have you seen founder Anna Robards’ skin?


There’s also skincare for hair

Is anyone else as preoccupied with the hair length of everyone in their vicinity, or is it just a MECCA HQ thing? Long hair is this year’s equivalent of the ‘It’ bag, and it has a lot to do with giant leaps in hair science. For example, there are myriad products that work like the skincare you’d put on your face to improve scalp health and in turn help reduce fallout and damage, including Act+Acre’s Cold Processed® Stem Cell Scalp Serum and Living Proof’s Triple Bond Complex which has reached viral status at HQ after a tip-off from our very own Cat Garrett (of ‘Touch My Elbow’ fame).

And if you’re blessed with naturally abundant strands, we’re also hyper fixated on glossing them – and nothing works quite as well (nor as fast) as Gisou’s iconic Honey Infused Hair Oil.

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