The Thoughtful (Beauty) Shopper: October’s best sustainable skincare and makeup buys

Hard-working retinol’s and fermented tonic’s are just some of the new beauty releases worth discovering this month

Giorgio Armani’s Lip Maestro Satin is a new liquid lip colour that uses double-gel thin film technology

Retinol Solution, €180, Royal Fern

Coming slickly packaged in a fire-engine-red bottle complete with tantalising yellow tincture inside, Royal Fern’s new Retinol Solution is a regenerative anti-ageing serum that comes enriched with probiotics and mushroom extract, combined with firming retinol and brightening glycolic acid to soften fine lines and wrinkles, even tone, smooth texture and add radiance. Royal Fern was founded by dermatologist Dr Timm Golueke, who has based the whole range around the time-defying Royal Fern plant whose particularly anti-ageing properties he harvested. Gentle but potent, the serum is equipped with time-release technology, waiting until it has reached deep below the skin’s surface before getting to work. Royal Fern is also a member of 1% For The Planet certification and supports several sustainability organisations each year.

Toleriane Foaming Gel, €25, La Roche-Posay

One of the best new cleansers on the market, this super gentle, hard-working formulation does double the work in half the time. Made with glycerin concentrate and ceramides, it comes with an amino acid complex that feeds the skin while cleaning it, giving it its unique double-action​ that protects the skin’s pH level and moisture barrier. La Roche-Posay are currently aiming to make all of their containers from recycled plastic by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2025. From pharmacies nationwide.

Retinol Boost range, €35-€40, by Neutrogena

The latest innovation from Neutrogena is not just one retinol product, but a whole range. The Retinol Boost collection comprises a Serum (30ml, €34.99), Eye Cream (15ml, €30.99), Night Cream (50ml, €34.99), Day Cream SPF 15 (50ml, €34.99), an Intense Care Cream (50ml, €38.99) and an Intense Night Serum (30ml, €38.99) that contains the highest concentration of pure retinol in the range. While the retinol works to neutralise those free radicals in the middle layer of the skin, helping to reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines, Neutrogena has also added Myrtus Plant Extract, known for its skin-regenerating benefits and retinol-boosting properties (it increases effectiveness by 83 per cent, versus using retinol alone). What’s more, since 2022 their packaging is made with 30 per cent post-consumer-recycled (PCR) plastic. Available from Lloyds, McCabes, Hickeys and independent pharmacies nationwide

Lip Maestro Satin, €40, Armani

With the sudden cooling of temperatures, your lips will feel it most and unlike the rest of our skin, the lips are devoid of sebaceous glands meaning they need regular rehydration. Giorgio Armani’s Lip Maestro Satin is a new liquid lip colour with its double-gel thin film technology composed of two ultra‑concentrated gels, 70 per cent is a watery gel and the other 30 per cent is an oily gel, which is concentrated with skincare actives including 15 per cent plant-based glycerin. With a 12-hour wear, the lip colour bottle is shaped to evoke a bullet lipstick shape in a liquid lipstick case. Available in up to 13 shades from 1 November at Brown Thomas Dublin, Dundrum Town Centre and Grafton Street, Limerick and Cork and online at

Ferulic Brew Rejuvenating Facial Essence €52 for 100ml, Kiehls

Fermentation has been used for centuries for its preservation and antioxidant properties but it also has plenty of benefits for skincare, with the fermentation of plant extracts enriching vitamins, antioxidants, and skin-refining acids. Kiehl’s has created a blend of this old-world apothecary knowledge and modern science with a first-step skincare formula Ferulic Brew Rejuvenating Facial Essence. Aiming to reduce fine lines while rejuvenating the skin’s texture, it is created using a 120-hour phyto-brewing process using enzymes from germinated Brassica seeds and transforming them into phyto-components from Brassica extract. This Ferulic Acid can then help the skin defend against free radicals, with the added help of Lactic Acid and Squalane to help refine skin texture. All of Keihls’ products are formulated without parabens, with 98 per cent of formulas feature three or more renewable ingredients. Launches 18 October and available Kiehls stores, BT2, Arnotts, or