Thursday 27 April 2017

Change of Heart - five products to shake up your skincare

A change is as good as a rest, says our expert , who has five favourites to shake up your skincare

Pictured, from left, Clarins Hydra-Essential Intensive Moisture Quenching Bi-Phase Serum; Bobbi Brown Remedies Skin Fortifier No 93; Kiehl's Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream; Eucerin AntiRedness Concealing Day Cream; Vichy Idealia Peeling
Pictured, from left, Clarins Hydra-Essential Intensive Moisture Quenching Bi-Phase Serum; Bobbi Brown Remedies Skin Fortifier No 93; Kiehl's Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream; Eucerin AntiRedness Concealing Day Cream; Vichy Idealia Peeling

Sarah Caden

No matter how well our skincare is performing for us, a certain boredom sets in after a while. There is a school of thought that says this is only right and proper and that chopping and changing is key to keeping your skin tip-top. They say that your skin gets lazy, no matter how "active" your skincare is. In caring for your skin, change can be positive. Maybe not a big change, maybe not even a permanent one, but a change, nonetheless.

This is a fine time to make a change, of course. January is done and dusted, and as the end of mercifully short February comes into view, you can start to see suggestions of spring. And maybe the slightly brighter mornings and the little-bit-longer evenings are showing up a certain dullness that was easy to ignore up to now. Some of us will need a hydration boost, some will need some serious stripping away of the dead wood, some of us might just need a bit of a decent moisturiser. Some of us are just bored, and it can take only a small adjustment to alleviate that. Small changes can make a big difference, and sometimes a little break for something new can bring you back to the old beloveds with a new affection.

Best overall

Clarins Hydra-Essential Intensive Moisture Quenching Bi-Phase Serum, €55, Clarins counters nationwide

Regardless of age or skin type, dehydration can be an issue. Even oily skin needs water, while the tiny lines that we imagine require a heavier moisturiser, often just need a drink. This serum is part of a new line - featuring thirst-busting moisturisers for a range of skin types - and it is for everyone. Madagascan 'leaf of life' promises to boost the water levels in your skin. "This looks like an oil-and-water make-up remover," said a panellist, "but it has no greasy slip, and it leaves one's skin matt and smoothly softened."

Best Add-On

Bobbi Brown Remedies Skin Fortifier No. 93, €35, Arnotts; Brown Thomas; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16

Skincare add-ons are big, and Bobbi Brown has launched a range of four Remedies, each of which you can use alone, add to your moisturiser, or put in your foundation. This one, an oilier affair than the others, promises to address weakened skin. The other variations claim to help dullness, dehydration and sensitivity. "I used this as skincare and as a make-up additive," a panellist said. "It gave my skin softness, and my make-up a nice dewiness."

Best Tame Tweak

Kiehl's Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream, €56, Arnotts; Kiehl's shops, 35 Wicklow St, D2; Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Debenhams, Cork

Sometimes, the word 'inoffensive' is the ultimate insult. In this case, it's not. In fact, it's how this product sells itself, as a naturally derived, non-aggressive cream that promises to protect the skin's barriers from time and torment. "I loved this as a cream free from of parabens, mineral oils and stuff, but also because it made my skin lovely," a panellist said.

Best Cover and Calm

Eucerin AntiRedness Concealing Day Cream, €24.99, pharmacies nationwide

If sensitivity is your thing, Eucerin is a brand worth looking into. With two key anti-reactivity ingredients, including liquorice, this day cream promises to calm the skin while also soothing redness and roughness. The decent level of sun protection is a bonus. For those whose skin is maddeningly oily as well as sensitive, it's a pleasing matt primer for make-up. "Instantly, this feels cooling and calming on my cheeks, which don't do well in winter," a panellist said. "An excellent all-rounder."

Best Big Reveal

Vichy Idealia Peeling, €30, pharmacies nationwide

Overnight peels are very 2017. They're like a souped-up exfoliant, but adialled-down salon peel. Often, as in this case, they contain glycolic acid, which gobbles dead cells and promises to leave the new cells hungry for skin-plumping moisture. This is suitable for nightly use, but these products make skin extra sun-sensitive, so you must wear sun protection every day. And sun sensitive doesn't mean the Irish "tans more easily" - fail to protect your skin, and you'll see dark spots and wrinkles. "For an at-home product, this was impressive," a panellist said. "My pores looked better and my skin was more even. And at a good price."

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