Why You Need to Try Beauty Waters

Water-based skincare is no longer a lightweight option as these infused elixirs show

Estee Lauder; Lancome; Chantecaille; La Mer. Pictures / Supplied

In the long ago days when bottled water first arrived in New Zealand restaurants it was either considered fancy or farcical. Now special waters command their own menus in some establishments, with their differing characteristics celebrated. Beauty waters have been similarly slow to catch on with Kiwis, but these days are emerging as quite the thing.

Many people still baulk at the idea of paying to layer their skin with infused water — or for a bottled drink when tap does the trick — but as these examples show, you sure can splash out. Nourishing oils have been the liquid gold of skincare for some time, but when premium brands start bottling water then clearly they think they are on to a good thing. (Memo to the New Zealand Government: Same applies to our country’s precious resource.)

As with the bottled drinkable stuff, watery skincare carries the same appealing connotations of lightness and purity. It too is promoted as having special properties, either from the water source itself, or from added ingredients.

Toners, lotions and hydrating mists are the skin balancing, soothing or plumping water-based care we are most familiar with. Micellar cleansing waters have really caught on locally in the last few years, as have fluid serums and emulsions, but it is essences that are the emerging extra.

In brightening, clarifying or hydrating form, these have a small following for now — given they add another layer to simple skincare routines — but for those who can afford the time and money for more than the basic, consider these boosters a top-up treat.

1. Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Floralixir Dew Regenerating Water $188
For use morning and night before serum application, this rose-scented addition to Lauder’s top-of-the-line range contains an infusion of two precious and hardy flowers to ensure skin looks blooming lovely. From department stores and pharmacies.

2. Lancome Absolue Precious Cells Emulsion $350
This silky fluid is an alternative to moisturising cream. Both contain Absolue’s promise of revitalising care, in the patented ingredient Pro-xylane used in Lancome’s premium range. At prices that won’t sap your liquidity levels so much, try Pearly Lotion, a Korean-inspired hydration hit from Lancome’s youthful La Vie range, priced at $75. From selected department stores and pharmacies.

3. Chantecaille Vital Essence $181
A nourishing gel-like serum with a rosewater base that also carries a shot of freshening vitamin C and grape-seed oil. Anti-inflammatory plant properties help reduce redness. From Mecca Cosmetica, visit meccabeauty.co.nz.

4. La Mer The Cleansing Micellar Water $150
As well as tiny micelles to help wipe away makeup and grime, La Mer’s version of the cleanser contains purifying algae and restorative sea minerals in keeping with its marine-based mission to manage skin to glowing good health. From Smith & Caughey stores.

La Prairie; Kiehl's; Dior; Shiseido. Picture / Supplied

5. La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion $345
An extravagant 75 per cent caviar water, this lotion is a gentle beginning to an indulgent daily ritual of advanced Swiss skincare. From Smith & Caughey stores.

6. Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence $60
A liquid concentrate to boost hydration, with iris root extract added to help deter dullness and add radiance. From Kiehl’s Britomart and Smith & Caughey’s.

7. Dior Capture Totale Serum Lotion $142
Highly concentrated serum replumps skin, with its hero ingredient, a Madagascan flower extract called longoza, said to help synchronise cells for anti-ageing effect. From selected department stores and pharmacies.

8. Shiseido Bio Performance Super Refining Extract $132
Saturates skin and promotes natural exfoliation with a multi-benefit essence that smoothes and brightens.

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