U.K. skincare star Caroline Hirons

Ingredient Intelligence With Caroline Hirons

Whenever we get the chance to chat beauty with London-based skincare guru Caroline Hirons, we jump. A former Chantecaille spa operations director, Hirons has been a cheerleader for our botanically-based formulas practically forever. Proof of her appreciation comes in the form of inclusion in her coveted Skincare Hall of Fame, which featured our best-selling Jasmine and Lily Healing Mask this past fall.

The author of Skin Care: The Ultimate No-Nonsense Guide is extremely dedicated to dishing out advice that is exactly that: no-nonsense. Hirons does not suffer fools easily, has zero patience for formulas overloaded with unnecessary ingredients, and maintains a less-is-more approach to skincare that we certainly align with. A recent chat got us into deep discussion about her favorite products and the ingredients that she simply adores, with lots of good reason: they deliver results.


Jasmine and Lily Healing Mask

First things first—we were thrilled to be in your Hall of Fame skincare box this past fall. Why did Jasmine and Lily Healing Mask make the cut this year?
Put simply, I chose Jasmine and Lily Healing Mask because it’s a no-brainer—anyone can use it, and I’ve yet to meet a skin that didn’t like it. It calms the skin down, it’s good for all kinds of weather. When we do the kits, because we sell internationally, I am always sort of wary of putting too much in it because if it’s winter here, it’s summer in Australia! The products have to be for everyone. That mask is universal: it’s good for cooling skin that’s been out in the sun too long or been windswept for too long. But it’s also brilliant for central heating, and snow and ice. So it’s a no-brainer product. And I mean that as the best compliment!

Can you tell us what Chantecaille products you are loving right now?
Because I’m now menopausal, my skin appreciates the basics more than it ever did. Which actually means that Chantecaille skincare really suits me sort of down to the ground because it’s so gentle but so effective. My favorites have always been the Bio Lifting Cream+ and Vital Essence, but now that I’m simplifying I’m also really loving Vital Essence and Water Flower Fluid. My skin right now is… so not so much temperamental, but it certainly does not like being overstimulated. I’m going to go easy and just give my skin a good moisturizer, maybe with some Pure Rosewater underneath. 

You’ve always loved our Retinol Intense+ — it’s been sold out for ages but is finally back in stock! Can you tell us what you think is so special about this formula?
I prefer to advise people to shop for a formula as opposed to sort of a key ingredient. I don't want just a straight tretinoin or a straight, super strong retinol, I need something in it to cushion what the retinol was designed to do, which is to well, let’s face it—it aggravates your skin, right? I don’t have the time for downtime and I don’t want  my skin to go all flaky, I'd rather not be bright red. So I want something that will work as a retinoid on my face, but also appreciate the importance of maintaining my skin barrier, which you can get with Retinol Intense+.

"Put simply, I chose Jasmine and Lily Healing Mask because it’s a no-brainer—anyone can use it, and I’ve yet to meet a skin that didn’t like it."

You are always so knowledgeable about key ingredients, can we chat about those? So many of our skincare formulas feature superstar peptides—they can be hard to explain! How do you talk about them with your followers?
I tend to talk about peptides as cell communicators—they’re like building blocks of your collagen. I use the analogy of putting scaffolding on a building: Peptides will act as like the screws that lock scaffolding together. So as we get older, as we lose estrogen—and therefore collagen, estrogen is directly related to losing collagen and losing tone and elasticity in the skin. Peptides are designed to fill the gap. It’s almost like having two family members that don't talk to anyone anymore. And peptides are the intermediary, ha!

Stress Repair Concentrate+

What about your beloved Niacinamide?
Do you know it’s actually been causing me to break out? I think it's a bit too active. But in terms of an ingredient, I think it's still a great ingredient for treating uneven skin tone, lines, wrinkles, and dullness. A little goes a long way, but it doesn’t need to be in everything, it needs to be used strategically so you don’t overdo it. 

Let’s switch gears and talk routines: eye cream is key in any skincare lineup. Do you have a favorite? 
I love Stress Repair Concentrate+. I was working for Chantecaille when the original version launched, and I just love the feel of it on my skin. I appreciate what it does as a moisturizer and also, I want something that will soften the lines around the eyes. It feels comforting and nourishing without being greasy or sticky. The only fault I had with Stress Repair is that I wanted it in a big pot so I could use it all over my face!

Lastly, let's talk about Pure Rosewater.
When I was doing trainings, I used to call it the backbone of the range. It’s hydrating, soothing, calming—all the things you want! Especially if you're 52! What I love is that when it first launched, people would always clamor for it and say "When are you getting more in?". It was always so coveted, and still such a favorite.

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