A bit like the perfect seasoning or artful accessorizing, sometimes adding a little something can take a basic meal/ outfit/ entire day to the next level, and the same goes for skincare. You may be loyal to a moisturiser that you love, but there’s the odd occasion when your skin goes a bit Sahara desert for no obvious reason, or you’ve got a lovely crop of spots on your chin that you’d like to address without overhauling your entire bathroom cabinet. Such skincare tweaks call for the caped crusaders of the dermatological world: the boosters. There are many of these skincare superheroes about, and while they might not be called on everyday to firefight flare-ups, when they’re needed, they can fly in and make all the difference to an SOS skin situation. Here are seven of the latest and greatest for different skin emergencies, although obviously if your derma disaster is in anyway rashy or infected looking, obviously get thee to your GP. Otherwise, seventh skincare heaven is this way…
Whether it’s due to changing seasons or a sudden breakout, sometimes skin needs a bit more TLC than your usual lotions and potions are delivering. Here’s how to turbocharge your routine for better results
Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster, £40, goes big on vitamin B3 to help restore skin to its former glory, by way of a soothing blend that reduces redness, helps to minimise scarring and refines skin texture to nix that lovely bumpiness that so often accompanies breakouts. Hydrating without being in any way heavy, you can slip this into a serum, moisturiser or even your makeup without even noticing you’re wearing it, and it can help to minimise the appearance of pores too thanks to niacinamide’s positive effect on skin elasticity. An all-rounder, but particularly pertinent for the rosacea and acne-prone.
The winter coat
Okay, we’re only just easing into autumn, but with transitioning seasons, bitter winds and central heating comes dehydration, and having an extra skincare layer can make all the difference between prune face and plump visage. Skinceuticals H.A Intensifier, £82.95, is a hyaluronic acid packed booster helps to bind moisture to the skin, increasing hydration by up to 30 per cent and making skin look and feel more supple. A few droplets into your usual day and night team will sort you right out- our Editor Victoria is regularly dosing up now that the nights are getting darker and the sun is going down on her minimalist summer skincare routine. Like said winter coat, it also lasts a good while, which is just as well considering the price tag.
The protein shake for your face
Vichy Mineral 89 booster, £22, is a multi-mineral skin strengthener with just twelve ingredients (positively minimalist in skincare terms), designed to improve the resilience and moisture levels of sensitive, stressed out skin. Skin’s ‘bounce’ is improved by our old friend hyaluronic acid, plus glycerin for extra moisture, and the fact that it’s fragrance-free makes it far more tolerable than many alternatives if your skin’s on the reactive side. The ‘89’ in the name refers to the booster’s 89 per cent mineralizing water content, which not only gives the booster a fresh-feel and ensures speedy absorption but helps skin to ward off environmental aggressors. It also won’t get in the way of other skincare or makeup- there’s no oily finish or silicone rolling going on here.
The urban warrior
Oskia CityLife Booster Concentrate, £110, is a seriously potent anti-pollution elixir that takes aim at free radicals by way of an alphabet of antioxidant vitamins- namely A, B3 (*waves at niacinamide*), B5, E and two readily absorbed forms of vitamin C. Add to this a cocktail of lipids, astaxanthin and coenzyme Q-10 and it’s quite the anti-inflammatory tonic for smog-exposed city skin. Just go easy- it’s strong stuff. The brand recommend one part booster to three parts skincare product (a basic serum or moisturiser), but try just a dab at first and see how you get on. Plus, lasts longer that way, not that I’m Scrooge.
The night nurse
Your skin doesn’t sleep, but the fact that it’s not having the likes of UV rays and other outdoor skin enemies thrown at it gives it a fighting chance at R&R, and that’s where retinol comes in. ESPA Tri-Active™ Advanced Night Booster, £42, peps up your regular face cream with a gentle form of bio-retinol (plant based rather than synthetic), that’s less likely to make you flaky come morning, plus mineral rich kelp extract and canola oil to hydrate. There’s caffeine in there too to speed up cell renewal, which may seem like an unusual nocturnal addition, but go with it. It’ll make skin beam rather than giving you buzz.
The support system
I’ve been using Sarah Chapman Ultra Recovery Booster, £59, throughout the summer months as a ‘cushion’ between serums and a light moisturiser at night time, going particularly hard during a period of sunburn while on holiday (the shame), and the light rose scented oil-lotion blend definitely adds comforting oomph to my staple skincare. Formulated with omega fatty acids, skin barrier strengthening probiotics and restorative peptides, this is sort of like the skincare equivalent of a nourishing, home cooked meal that is particularly welcome after you’ve been hoofing down convenience food for days (or burning the skincare candle at both ends/ sunbathing/ not cleansing properly...you get the picture).
The matrixyl multitasker
Another peptide pusher, Indeed Lab’s new Collagen Booster, £16.99, features some particularly collagen and elasticity enhancing peptides by way of MatrixylTM synthe’6™ (us neither) and Syn®-Tacks™ (still nothing). Essentially, this girl band of peptides have a three-pronged approach to revitalise skin, by way of firming, refining skin texture and revving up skin cell turnover, ideally resulting in more resilient skin overall. It can be worn both AM and PM and blended into any complexion product your desire. I can vouch for lightweight silky feel- as they’ve only just launched time will tell on the fine line and saggy face front...