The Panel: The best face serums
In our opinion, February is a fine time for a fresh start, or a fresh complexion, anyway. Put the January slip-ups behind you and scrap the resolutions you just can’t keep; instead, resolve to be good to the face looking back at you with the gift to yourself of a pick-me-up serum.
The effects of weather, air conditioning and central heating inevitably show in our complexions and, unfortunately, our fragile Irish skin is ill-suited to the elements we endure and could do with a boost. Packed with all the technology the skincare manufacturers can pack in, and formulated in tinier molecules that penetrate the top layer of skin more effectively than any moisturiser, a short-term serum is a real treat for your skin. Most will bestow a smooth feeling, while others are highly effective in beating dehydration — which causes those surface fine lines — and any good serum will slowly give a well-rested, refreshed effect. Put your best face forward in 2012, and feel the better for it.
Trilogy Nutrient Plus Firming Serum, €28.95, Arnotts; selected pharmacies and health stores nationwide
As with all the products in this New Zealand range, this serum prides itself on its natural ingredients and its suitability for sensitive skins. With hyaluronic acid, which holds water in the skin and so helps to combat dehydration, it also boasts mulberry, green tea and liquorice extracts to calm and soothe winter-aggravated skin. “My skin was smoother and less tired-looking after a month of this,” said a panellist. “I react to the most gentle products, but this caused no redness and people commented on how fresh I looked, even without make-up.”
BEST FOR YOUNG SKIN
Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase, €53.89, Clarins counters nationwide
Young complexions don’t need the anti-ageing assault promised by most serums, but the fine, almost shiny lines caused by dehydration can be eradicated if the skin gets a good drink, and this light serum offers exactly that. “I don’t usually use a serum, but I do have dehydrated skin, so this was quite the revelation,” one panellist said. “No matter how dry or irritated my skin was by the changeable weather, almost immediately after putting this on, I had a smooth surface to work with. It’s a real treat.”
BEST EARLY INTERVENTION
Laboratoire Remede 360 Cellular Concentre, €102.20, see www.blissworld.co.uk
With a big price tag and big promises, this serum is aimed at thirty- and forty-something skin and claims to slow down skin’s collagen decline and boost oxygen uptake. Strip away the jargon, and you get a good serum that tackles the tired look of skin that is no longer young, but not yet old. “This is non-greasy, disappeared into my skin almost instantly and provided a nice, smooth canvas for make-up,” a panellist said. “I can’t say I noticed a dramatic difference, but my face wasn’t as tired or dehydrated-looking.”
BEST FOR EYES
Guinot Time Logic Age Serum Eyes, €120.50, for stockists nationwide, lo-call (0818) 719-303
In the past, we have raved about Guinot’s regular Time Logic Serum and its ability to restore radiance, and the eye version does not disappoint. Used only at night, the bottle should last two months and its promises of banishing fatigue and binding water to cells, thus plumping the skin, we definitely saw fulfilled. “My fine lines were decidedly improved,” said a panellist. “Nothing can stop the march of time, but this can help you to look less battered by it.”
BEST AGAINST THE ELEMENTS
L’Occitane Fabulous Serum, €34.95, L’Occitane stores nationwide This serum worked for us on several levels: price, seasonal appropriateness and achievable promises. High in hyaluronic acid and with five per cent shea butter, it gives a great kick in terms of smoother, softer skin and it also fulfilled its aim of cocooning the complexion. “Oh, I love this stuff,” one panellist said. “My skin feels really soft and looks healthier. It’s great in this cold weather, as it feels like a barrier against the elements, even though it’s ultra-light.”