Wednesday 1 March 2017

The beauty panel: Field of Creams

Everyone needs a moisturiser, says our expert, but there so many options, we can have too much choice

Sarah Caden

Pictured, from left, Olay Total Effects Feather Weight Moisturiser With SPF 15; Estee Lauder Hydrationist Maximum Moisture Cream; Decleor Hydra Floral SPF 30 Anti-Pollution Hydrating Fluid; L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Cream SPF 20; The Body Shop Drops of Youth Cream. Photo: Kip Carroll.
Pictured, from left, Olay Total Effects Feather Weight Moisturiser With SPF 15; Estee Lauder Hydrationist Maximum Moisture Cream; Decleor Hydra Floral SPF 30 Anti-Pollution Hydrating Fluid; L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Cream SPF 20; The Body Shop Drops of Youth Cream. Photo: Kip Carroll.

Much as everyone likes a new beauty product, we all have moments of feeling somewhat cynical about skincare. Like, it can be irksome how rapidly one next big thing comes on the heels of the last big thing. You know: the one you spent quite a few quid on, that now seems to be surpassed by the new science. And you haven't even finished it yet.

Then again, we are convinced of the value of chopping and changing some beauty products, with moisturiser being a case in point. The dream cream that works so beautifully in winter can become a bother when the season changes. Also, hormones can utterly alter how our complexion behaves from month to month.

Thanks to the effects of air conditioning, central heating and the weather on our skin, most people will feel the need of some degree of moisture top-up. Some moisturisers offer basic hydration plus bonuses of near impossible promises. Lately, however, the Korean-led trend for layering active-ingredient products under your moisturiser has led to a surge in products that simply moisturise. Good news for those who don't believe the hype, but still like a little luxury buy.

Best Overall

Olay Total Effects Feather Weight Moisturiser With SPF 15, €13.99, available nationwide

Now is the time of year when words like "featherweight" matter. To the cynic, they seem silly; how can a cream be the weight of a feather? But if you know the heavy, cloying feel of an over-rich moisturiser, then this is a word you want to hear. As the weather gets warmer, a lot of us find our skin gets oiler, or less parched by wind and cold. This is a good intro-to-summer product, as it has a decent SPF of 15. "Olay is a brand I return to regularly," said a panellist. "The moisturisers are always good, and this one is particularly light-feeling under make-up."

Best Dry Zone

Estee Lauder Hydrationist Maximum Moisture Cream, €48, Estee Lauder counters nationwide

There are two variations of this cream, and this one is aimed at dry skin. It contains bio-mimetic water, which, they say, imitates the kind of water your skin produces naturally, so it easily binds and boosts hydration. This dry-skin variety is, obviously, a little rich and cushioning, which older skin will appreciate. "One of those products that instantly eases any tight feeling and makes my skin feel a bit less fragile," one panellist said.

Best Fabulous Fluid

Decleor Hydra Floral SPF 30 Anti-Pollution Hydrating Fluid, €56, Decleor salons nationwide

Salon brand Decleor's best-selling range, Hydra Floral, has expanded to include three new products, designed to deal with what they're calling "the effects of urban life". Specifically, they deal with damage caused by the sun, by pollution, and by stress. Good luck with the last one. This is the light fluid from the line, with SPF 30 and hyaluronic acid. "The texture and smell of this are divine," one panellist said. "My skin feels sort of cushioned, but it's not greasy."

Best Faintly Floral

L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Cream SPF 20, €88, L'Occitane shops nationwide

The Immortelle range has at its heart extracts of the flower of the same name, which is known for its resilience to decay. The idea is that infusing it into a cream will do the same for your skin. Certainly this is a deliciously light cream, with a faint fragrance and a lovely dewy finish. What sets this

new-release cream apart from those already in the line is that it has a good SPF, which we're all going to become diligent about in the coming months. "I like that this feels like a hybrid between a cream and a gel, so it's not too heavy heading into summer," said a panellist.

Best Young Love

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Cream, €35, The Body Shop nationwide and selected pharmacies

"Air-whipped" is how they describe the process behind making this a light, creamy, gel moisturiser, with three plant extracts and a fresh feel. It's aimed at skin that is showing the first signs of ageing, by which it means really tiny lines that no one but you notices. And it is nicely hydrating, which plumps out those little lines. "A little goes a long way with this nice-smelling cream," a panellist said. "My skin was nicely smoothed but not at all oily."

Email thepanel@independent.ie

Sunday Indo Life Magazine

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in this section