BEAUTY KNOW HOW: Eau, please! The water-based beauty products you need to know about

Water, water everywhere – but not the kind you drink. It’s the latest magic ingredient obsessing beauty brands. Expect to see a wave of it in the next few months.

Where has the trend sprung from?

Well, the Far East, of course. ‘The need for water-based formulations harks from Korean innovation, specifically their love of layering to create the famous “glass skin” effect,’ explains Alexia Inge, co-founder of Cult Beauty, the retail website that’s always ahead of the curve.

Is it just skincare?

No. Water-based formulas have taken hold everywhere from skincare and foundation to make-up and even hair colour.

Why would you use it?

Because water-based formulations are incredibly lightweight, but still remarkably effective. Use one as a foundation, for instance, and it’ll feel as though you have nothing on your face yet it will have given coverage. For hair colour it delivers a gentle and temporary hue rather than anything harsh. Think of these formulations as a wonderful hybrid of being gentle to the body yet packing a punch.

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H2O heroes: The best water-based beauty products

Bleach London Watercolour in Gardenia Blue, £7,

Using natural and non-toxic ingredients, this leaves a subtle mauve stain on lighter hair and adds shine to darker lengths. And it washes out with shampoo. Perfect for the commitment-phobe.

Smashbox Limited Edition Photo Finish Scented Primer Water in Centering Citrus, £22,

Lightly scented and refreshing, this creates a smooth canvas for your make-up.

Lumene Lahde Artic Dew Quenching Aqua Serum, £24.90,

Packed with Arctic spring water (among the purest in the world), this intensely hydrates without that greasy feeling, leaving you with dewy skin.

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water, £18.95,

The lightness of this formula means no blocked pores and less streaks as it soaks straight into the skin – and no guide colour means no stained sheets!

Tan-Luxe Glyco Water Self-Tan Eraser, £22,

This vitamin-infused water leaves skin smoother thanks to naturally derived glycolic acid. It will exfoliate, tone and prime your skin – and even tidy up any fake tan errors.

On a recent beauty news page

we mentioned squalane, a complexion-quenching ingredient that’s enjoying the limelight as a mega boast on many a brand’s formulation. But you raised concerns as squalane has, in the past, been sourced from shark livers. We don’t condone this and most brands now use the plant-derived kind from sugar cane and olive trees. Skincare ingredient specialist Lipotec notes that there’s no EU ban on shark-derived squalane, however, so check Peta’s Beauty Without Bunnies database to ensure your squalane is plant-based. Here are three of our favourites:

The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane, £5.50,

Indie Lee Squalane facial oil, £30,

FaceThory Emolliating Olive Squalane O7, £17.99,

Other animal friendly news…

Primark has been given Leaping Bunny status for its beauty ranges – the stamp that means Cruelty Free International standards have been met. This certification confirms that the finished product and any ingredients used are guaranteed to not have been tested on animals. The Leaping Bunny is the universal symbol for cruelty-free products and is something to look out for if you want to be sure about what you’re buying. Other brands that carry the stamp include The Body Shop, Marks & Spencer, Neal’s Yard Remedies and Molton Brown.

Feature by Edwina Ings-Chambers