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Let me guess: you’ve got at least three cleansers, a couple of moisturisers, exactly four serums and countless lip balms and the skincare crew ain’t getting any smaller. Join the club. There are large areas of my flat dedicated to my beauty regime and, really, only use around 5 per cent of it. If you’re similarly inclined to hoard, then Barcelona-born skincare line Alex Carro is your ticket to the simple life.
“I wanted to create a range of products that were concise and went that extra mile,” explains Carro herself of her self-named brand. And concise it is; the whole line consists of five products and they’re all housed in slick, black packaging meaning they’re a great addition to pared-back bathrooms or even your boyfriend’s wash bag – he won’t be embarrassed to get these out. The idea behind each product is that you can mix it with any of the other products for different results – going that aforementioned extra mile - so you can make an additional five products from the five you’ve bought. That, friends, is skincare maths.
There’s a Balancing Face Oil, Face Cream, Cleanser, Exfoliating Powder and a Multiuse Balm and they’re all completely natural. Usually, the au naturel thing puts me off; although I like the idea of putting something ‘clean’ on my face, I’m often skeptical about how effective it can possibly be. But Carro uses a clever combination of herb and plant extracts, essential oils and fruit acids that are also used in high-science skincare to great effect. This stuff really works.
And, it turns out it’s pretty fun being your own mixologist, especially with such a variety of textures to play with. The Exfoliating Powder, a personal favourite, is a crumbly dust that contains crushed coconut shells (which physically exfoliate the skin) along with papaya and pineapple enzymes (which nibble away at dead skin cells). Use on its own by blending with water or – more fun - mix it in with the cleanser and you’ve got a soothing treatment for sensitive or tired skin. One of the best combos is to mix it in with the multi-use balm – it’s the ultimate, moisturising lip de-flaker.
The Balancing Face Oil is another hard-hitter and where Carro began when starting the brand. “Add a few drops to the cleanser and you have a super hydrating face mask,” she says, adding that she also uses it around her eyes to keep fine lines at bay.
If the promise of only five products for every skincare need isn’t enough, then perhaps the promise of pure aromatherapy heaven will be. Carro has a background in it and I count my lucky stars that she has because this stuff smells like heaven. I’m a self-confessed aromatherapy addict and essential oils like evening primrose, grapeseed and jojoba make using the line a real de-stressing joy. In fact, I’ve taken to putting the face oil on my arms at work just for the therapeutic smell during times when I need a boost (A.K.A. Monday mornings).
So try it – surprisingly, going minimal can actually maximize benefits to your skin.