The Panel: Winter moisturisers
The time for kidding ourselves is past and the time has come to get cosy.
Certainly the summer was dismal and there were more than a few households who had the central heating on in August, but the bite of winter is different and it is no friend of the fragile Irish complexion.
Come winter, we wear that bitter bite all over our faces in the form of red, easily chapped cheeks and the fine lines that tell of dehydration.
What our skin screams for is a bit of insulation, and while there’s no government grant available, there are products out there to cocoon your complexion without the sensation of being smothered in goose fat.
Irish skin, pale and thin, has a tendency to redness, so, when looking for a winter moisturiser, you want soothing as well as hydrating, but not something so heavy that your make-up slides off by lunchtime.
And if you can’t bear anything heavier by day, consider topping up your skin’s moisture levels while you sleep. Try a layer of facial oil and/or a rehydrating mask, as well as your usual night cream.
Eucerin Anti-Redness Calming Night Cream, €18.99, pharmacies nationwide With moisturising glycerin and skin cell-friendly pathenol, this is a deceptively light night cream that is a great rehydrator, while the licorice extract calms and neutralises red, cold-ravaged skin. With natural soothing properties, licorice is a great defence against that sensitivity that can flare up when the cold weather sets in. “I love the range and this definitely has an extra oomph compared to the super-light day fluid,” said one panellist. “It felt like I was cocooning my skin against the cold and central heating and redness was definitely reduced.”
BEST SOFT DUVET
Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream, €52, 35 Wicklow St, D2 This rich but easily absorbed cream says it will improve dry, lined skin, and it does so by smoothing with glycolic acid and plumping up with glycerin, shea and cocoa butters. No outlandish promises and very pleasing results; a good combo. “Luxurious, but not too thick under foundation, and I look less desiccated than I usually do by autumn’s end,” a panellist said. “Makes you look like the winner against the wind.”
BEST KIND CLADDING
Payot Nutricia Ultra Riche Creme, €47.25, Clerys, D1; salons nationwide, tel: (01) 822-2711 Unless you have extremely dry skin, there will be a waiting period between applying this cream and putting on make-up, but, if you can wait, it’s worth it. Promising to restore suppleness with sesame and jojoba extracts, it’s very mild, with a slightly medicinal smell, and feels like proper layer of insulation. “I like that this simply promises to keep your skin soft and elastic,” said one panellist. “And it more than does that.”
BEST EXTRA LAYER
A’kin Rosehip Oil, €19.99, pharmacies nationwide A facial oil of any kind makes a great addition to your winter skin-care routine, and this is a nice example at a good price. Full of essential fatty acids, it’s small bottle of pure, certified-organic oil, a little of which goes a long way. “Those very fine dehydration lines, which seem almost shiny on your skin, were wiped out by use of this three nights a week under my usual night cream,” said one conscientious panellist. “Suited my oily skin better than ramping up to a richer day cream.”
Aromatherapy Associates Overnight Repair Mask, €52.21, salons nationwide, or see www.aromatherapyassociates.com With rose and frankincense, millet-seed and rice-germ oils, one would expect this mask to be slippery and greasy, but instead it’s a slightly dry white cream. It that works quietly to pump up the skin’s moisture content and boost the effects of your nightly cream of choice. Best left on overnight, it can applied for two hours before a night out, if you want to look like you just had a restorative snooze. “I didn’t believe it, but this had an effect,” a panellist said. “Like a few extra hours of sleep in a tube.” Sarah Caden