Thursday 26 April 2018

Beauty panel: Body talk

A body-cream habit will ease the ageing process but will also descale you for summer

Pictured, from left, L'Occitane Amande Youthful Body Velvet Serum; This Works skin deep dry leg oil; Shiseido Future Solution LX Total Regenerating Body Cream; Clarins Body Shaping Cream; Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser Q10
Pictured, from left, L'Occitane Amande Youthful Body Velvet Serum; This Works skin deep dry leg oil; Shiseido Future Solution LX Total Regenerating Body Cream; Clarins Body Shaping Cream; Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser Q10

Sarah Caden

In a recent article that gave top tips for ageing at your best, one expert piece of advice was to use a body moisturiser. The reasoning had nothing to do with vanity and everything to do with practicality. Because our skin gets so dry with age, it is more prone to crack, and when it does, it can easily become infected. Not a good look, never mind how it must feel. So, the advice was to make a habit of a body cream or lotion, and to apply it at least once a week. They also advised that the body bits we overlook are often the parts that need most attention. We all slap stuff on our limbs, at least occasionally, but ignore the bits we don't like or those that we don't expose much.

Our top five this week are, for the most part, serious treats for the skin on your body. All bar one are far from cheap, but they are also a lick of luxury for your skin and will last a long time if you're taking the once-a-week advice to heart. And if the ageing-wisely advice isn't working for you, we'll try vanity. Your favourite fragrance will evaporate quickly if sprayed on dry skin. Moisturised skin will hold it longer and more intensely. No? Well, summer's coming. Get your skin in order, or risk looking scaly in your skimpy wear.

Best Overall

L'Occitane Amande Youthful Body Velvet Serum, €46, L'Occitane stores nationwide

This brand already boasts a range of almond-based products, but this is a new addition. As the name suggests, it can be used on the body in the same way you'd use a serum on your face - as a first, active layer, ahead of your moisturiser. It also works a treat on its own, though, as the thin liquid soaks in quickly to leave skin soft and sheeny. With extracts from the almond buds and fruit, which claim to help with hyperpigmentation and loss of firmness. "The smell is delightful, nutty but fresh, and the product has a delicious lightness, too," one panellist said. "A pleasure to use."

Best Leggy Lover

This Works skin deep dry leg oil, €49, Arnotts; selected pharmacies nationwide

Legs can look lizard-like when we finally liberate them from tights and trousers, and sometimes a cream just isn't enough. This oil lends itself to regular use, but it's also a great quick-fix. All appearance of tight dryness is banished by this blend of 16 different oils, including evening primrose, rose and sandalwood. "For an oil that instantly makes your legs look soft and cared-for, this is dry to the touch in record time," said one panellist. "A summer saviour for snake legs."

Best Terrific Tub

Shiseido Future Solution LX Total Regenerating Body Cream, €130, Brown Thomas; Arnotts; Debenhams; selected pharmacies nationwide

Yes, that's the price. Yes, you'll use it sparingly. Yes, you'll see a difference even if you make a little go a long way. There's a patent involved, attached to a scientific-sounding, anti-ageing complex, and it promises 24-hour moisture for your skin. It feels gorgeous, striking a balance between luxurious and fresh, and smells richly of citrus and warm spice. "I love everything about this - the smell, the feel, the really nice way that it leaves my skin," said one panellist. "I've used it every few days, which seems sufficient."

Best Summer Shaper

Clarins Body Shaping Cream, €49, Clarins counters nationwide

See above for what we had to say about the wobbly bits needing more care and attention than other body parts. We're not convinced that any cream can rid you of cellulite, but one thing that helps is massage. So, really rub in this cream that contains caffeine and something called Sveltonyl. Conveniently, Clarins provides massage instructions. "Any bit of attention helps my orange-peel-skin thighs," said a panellist. "And I noticed some benefit from using this."

Best Value Option

Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser Q10, €4.69, available nationwide

This is a good-value product for the days when you haven't the time or the will to slather on a body moisturiser before dressing. Nivea already has a basic in-shower product, but this new one contains little beads of the enzyme Q10, which is naturally found in abundance in young skin. You wash in the shower, then apply this stuff, rinse it off and you're done. "A great speedy solution for when it's too cold to add another step to the skin-care regime - even in summer," a panellist said.


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