Between acids, emollients, humectants and antioxidants, getting your head around what to pluck from the stacks of products on offer and slather on your face can be an arduous task.
While trying and testing the next best thing can uncover some gems, having a trusty list of the faultless, everyday stalwarts is essential to maintaining happy, healthy skin. This is your skincare saviours tool kit.
The make-up remover
Wipe away the day with the Elemis white flowers eye & lip make-up remover, £25, a soothing grime-gripping cleanser that does the hard work before you go in with a second, deeper cleanse. Enriched with white tea extract, hydrating and soothing vitamin B5 and anti-inflammatory white peony extract, this oily liquid is more than your average make-up remover.
For your morning scrub and that all- important second cleanse in the evening, reach for the CeraVe hydrating cleanser, £7.50, a creamy, dirt-obliterating gel that can be used all over. It’s packed with hydrating hyaluronic acid and barrier-protecting ceramides so doesn’t leave skin feeling dry or tight.
Removing dead skin cells is the key to banishing a dull complexion and preventing breakouts caused by oil and dead cell build-up. The Dr Dennis Gross alpha beta daily peel, £89 for 30, consists of two types of pads. The first exfoliates using AHA and BHA acids, while the second neutralises those acids to prevent over-exfoliation, refines using retinol and adds a boost of antioxidants to ward off skin-damaging free radicals.
The do-it-all serum
The Allies Of Skin multi hyaluronic antioxidant hydration serum, £72, negates the need for 10 different serums. Formulated with multiple sizes of hyaluronic acid for maximum hydration, free radical-fighting and barrier-protecting antioxidants and skin-strengthening and regenerating tripeptides, it’s a no-brainer.
The spot zapper
If you’re burdened with a burgeoning blemish or a full-blown zit, the Patchology breakout box, £18, is the thing to have on hand. It features salicylic acid and witch hazel patches to treat and battle spots.
Maintaining a certain amount of good bacteria on the skin’s microbiome is essential to regenerating and protecting it against external aggressors. Brimming with prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics, the moisturising, non-greasy Gallinée face cream, £35, does just that.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts to stay hydrated, skin can become parched come afternoon so the Avène hydrance mist, £15, is a tremendous desk-side companion. Super fine and very lightweight, it’s loaded with vitamin B3 to prevent further moisture loss and, of course, that all-important hydrator — hyaluronic acid.
The eye cream
Yes, the Kate Somerville KateCeuticals lifting eye cream, £105, is pricey, but a little goes a long way and it’s worth every penny. Formulated with peptides, brightening vitamin C and plumping hyaluronic acid, this clever cream smooths, firms, lifts and decreases the appearance of fine lines in as little as two weeks.
Thanks to patented lamellar technology, Ultrasun is the only brand of SPF guaranteed to stay all day. The non-greasy broad-spectrum anti-pigmentation SPF 50+, £32, not only protects from sun-induced burning and ageing but also combats sun damage and existing pigmentation with the help of vitamin C and zinc PCA.
A must-have anti-ager for its sublime skin regenerating properties, retinol is something every skincare addict should explore. Though, be warned, it should be treated with the utmost caution as side effects from ill-informed application can be frightful. Created with beginners in mind, the Medik8 crystal retinal 1 , £39, features the gentlest encapsulated derivative of vitamin A that’s also 11 times more efficient than most bog-standard forms of retinol.