For most of us, the very basic building block of our skincare regime is a good moisturiser. In fact, even those of us who don't lay claim to a thought-out regime will still own a moisturiser. At the very least, a face cream will save our skins from growing tight and uncomfortable, particularly in winter, but many go beyond that these days. Which is not to say that we really believe the promises of uplifted faces or entirely restored youth, but often the value of a moisturiser is literally written all over our faces.
These days, the real skincare aficionados have regimes that go far beyond the classic cleanse-tone-and-moisturise of old. Adopting the Asian trend of up to 10 layers of product, there are more than a few of us now using toners, essences, serums, moisturisers and more, morning, noon and night. These types don't ask a huge amount from their top-layer moisturiser, because they're getting the 'science bit' from the other layers. They will look for simple moisture from their face cream - maybe with a bonus of hyaluronic acid - and this is what your skincare purist will look for, too. So, whether you love to layer or to keep it simple, we have dream creams for you today.
Vichy Neovadiol Nuit Densifying and Sculpting Night Care, €34.99, available nationwide
The Neovadiol day cream has featured here previously, and has proved a boon to post-menopausal skin. After the menopause, skin is noticeably drier, and also loses density and fullness. The result is slacker skin that looks and feels brittle, and this night cream goes a long way to counter these effects. "I've never been a great one for night creams, but I love this," said one panellist. "My skin feels soft and elastic in the morning. It's a great product for people like me with ageing super-sensitive skin."
Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Brightening and Smoothing Moisture Treatment, €53, Arnotts, D1; Debenhams, Cork; Kiehl's shops, 35 Wicklow St, D2; Dundrum Town Centre, D16
If you use this cream, you absolutely must use a sun-protection product. The cream promises to improve skin texture, hydration levels and any uneven pigmentation, but it also leaves it sun-sensitive. This means that if you don't wear protection, the nasty UV rays will undo all the good. "I only used this at night, but still saw results," said a panellist. "Smoother skin, that was less rough in both texture and colour."
Best Day Break
Guinot Newhite Brightening Day Cream SPF 30, €78.75, Guinot salons nationwide, or see feelunique.com
There is a full and comprehensive range of products in the Newhite line, with everything from dedicated sun-protection to emergency face masks to this day cream. The whole range features a lot of antioxidant vitamin C, as well as an ingredient that promises to slow pigmentation that is caused by sun exposure. "This is luxurious to use," said one panellist, "and I feel it did good work on sunspots and overall softness."
Nivea Q10 Plus Anti-Wrinkle Day Cream SPF 15, €12.99, available nationwide
Q10 is an enzyme that exists naturally in the skin and contributes to firmness, and it's the key ingredient in this ever-popular range. Q10 diminishes over the years, but this range claims to restore it somewhat, and this most recent addition to the line has double the Q10 content. "I've used lots of Q10 products," one panellist said, "from eye creams to shower creams, and they're all very nice to use. This certainly made my skin softer, and, dare I say, a bit more dewy."
Eucerin Anti-Age Hyaluron-Filler Day Cream SPF 15 UVB + UVA, €26.99, available nationwide
You may well be sick of hearing about hyaluronic acid, but just in case you still think it's something that might scald off your skin, we'll go again. Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the skin. It serves to hold moisture in the skin cells, thus keeping the skin supple and plump. Sadly, it depletes with age, but, via skincare, we can re-introduce it. Temporarily, but still. Top tip: apply this cream on damp skin, thus sealing in that moisture as well as allowing it to attract more. "Simple, effective, easily absorbed; there's nothing to argue with here," said a panellist.
Sunday Indo Life Magazine