Does No7's Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Serum live up to all that hype? Imogen Edwards-Jones and her doting husband test out the anti-wrinkle wonder

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It is not often I get a telephone call from my sister. She lives in India, you see. She’s got two children, a business to run and what with the time difference and everything, she doesn’t do much chatting. But oddly for a woman who lives so very far away, she is quite on ball when it comes to ‘stuff.’ She used to work in fashion. For most of the '90s she was up to her arse in Chanel, dancing with Rifat Ozbek around his studio, while discussing the merits of silver nail-varnish with Dame Viv Westwood; so what she doesn’t know about ‘stuff’, isn’t actually ‘stuff-worthy.’

“Hey, hey,” she said. There was a bit of an echo on the line. “Now this No7 serum.”

“This what?” I put my finger in my ear.

“From Boots? No7 serum? I hear it’s good shit and my skin’s buggered. The temperature goes from minus 15 to 40 degrees in a matter of weeks over here. Honestly. I look like freeze dried fruit. I need help! Get me some! Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Serum ! Now!” she barked. And with that the phone went dead.

Now before I go on, I must also point out that my sister was once fired from one of her many jobs for not being “enthusiastic enough about hair and beauty” so for her to bother to enquire, from India, about some “good shit’ (which is apparently fashion-speak for a ‘beauty-must-have’) then the No7 serum must really be mighty fine.

And she is clearly not the only one to think this. The serum has been selling like a miracle cure. It has been feted as the ultimate topical panacea, selling out as soon as they stock up. Simply everyone, darling, keeps saying it is the one and only cream that plumps, fills, smooths and doesn’t cost an arm, a leg and a Ferrari. It is supposed to be jam-packed with peptides, antioxidants and salicylic acid, which apparently removes dead skin cells for that fresh-faced, just-spanked look we're all looking for.

Yes, yes, yes, ok: but does it actually work? The research certainly says so; recent clinical trials spanning over 12 months found that the results even improve over time.

So, my husband and I test-drove the ‘his’ and ‘hers’ formulae for one month, last month, standing at our separate sinks like something out of an advert.

“What do you think?” I asked him when I first opened the very unprepossessing tube.

“Well,” he said, slopping great fistfuls in to his large mitts, before slathering it all over his cheeks. “It’s just like having sperm rubbed all over your face.” He glanced across as me. “Well,” he paused. “How I imagine it must be to have sperm rubbed all over your face. Not that I know what that feels like at all, ever, obviously.”

“Sperm is supposed to be good for skin,” I said, rubbing the serum into my forehead. I looked back at him. “At least I imagine it is.”

And so we continued on our daily routine. Wash. Cleanse. Slather. The serum went on well, it didn’t smell of anything in particular, which in my book is a godsend. And it was absorbed in a jiffy, leaving the skin feeling soft, plump and not at all greasy. In fact, it was fabulous.

But did it really work? I think the definition of a good serum/cream/moisturiser is if friends/colleagues ask you if you have been on holiday recently? Or suggest for a second that ‘you look good’ despite the gallon of pink wine and three packets of fags you’ve sucked up the night before. Which they did. Often.

My skin definitely feels better. It looks better. Those weird squinting-into-the-sun-lines have gone. And I do look ‘well.’ Really quite well, or so I keep being told. Honestly, I do look a little less haggard and apparently a little more up for it!

And my husband? He still can’t get over the texture of the serum and still mentions its seminal consistency… every night. But he too looks better. Firmer. Plumper. Younger. So much younger in fact he even has a rather a large zit on the side of his nose!

P.S. There are two tubes currently on their way (Express Post) to Raisin Face, New Delhi, India.

The 'hers' No7 Protect & Perfect Intense ADVANCED Serum is £24.95 and  available online now.

The 'his' No7 Protect & Perfect Intense ADVANCED Serum is £24.95 and  available online now.

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