Skin

The Gloss Report: 34 day creams reviewed

25 January 2016

1 / 35

The Gloss Report: 35 day creams reviewed

A day cream is an essential part of your skincare arsenal but finding the perfect one for your skin type can be tricky. On the one hand you want enough hydration so your skin is comfortable and prepped for makeup, but on the other you don’t want anything that’s too heavy, takes an age to sink in, or melts your makeup by lunch. To help you on your mission we tested a whopping 35 different creams - click through to see which made the top spot.

2 / 35

La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Cream

Price: £320

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Feedback: "Having oily skin that is prone to blemishes and pigmentation (partly due to occasional breakouts, partly due to excessive sunbathing in my former years) I'm always on the look out for serums and day creams that simultaneously hydrate and mattify the skin but also even out skin tone. Having tested countless day creams that fail to deliver I stumbled upon the La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Cream and can gleefully report that I have finally found 'the one.' This thick, creamy luxurious cream is super hydrating and absorbs into the skin immediately, leaving a glowy complexion without any hint of oiliness.

“Within two weeks of using it twice daily, my blemishes and pigmentation have significantly diminished, my skin feels softer and firmer and compliments alluding to a brighter, more radiant complexion have been coming in thick and fast. Containing potent ingredients, such as golden caviar extracts, white truffles and white honey, I knew that this little pot of perfection would come with a hefty price tag but I must admit that I was slightly taken aback when I realised that it was £320. Saying that - given time to mull it over - it actually almost seems, dare I say it, reasonable. Of course, I couldn't afford to use this on a daily basis, or even at all, but considering the rare and pricey ingredients and the fact that it IS an anti-ageing, lifting, mattifying, brightening, softening, firming, glow-inducing wonder product, I can definitely see its appeal to those with deep pockets."

Reviewer: KB

Score: 10/10

3 / 35

Estée Lauder Daywear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme SPF 15

Price: £42

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Feedback: “Striking the balance between rich and refreshing, using this cooling, calming cream felt akin to giving my skin a mini-facial, albeit in two seconds flat before getting ready for work. It was quite frankly a lovely way to start the day; the crisp cucumber scent wakes you up and the protective benefits of the product make you feel like you’re preparing your skin for the day ahead in a very responsible, grown up manner. Thanks to its anti-oxidant rich formula and advanced broad-spectrum sunscreen with exceptional UVA defense (world-leading don’t you know), pollution, sun damage and premature ageing are given a wide berth. Designed for normal to combination skin, I’d say that this would perhaps be a bit too heavy for oily t-zone areas but I loved the ease at which it absorbed and the resultant silky finish. Make-up glided on like a dream afterwards. The only negative is the jar it comes in; it looks chic  on your bathroom shelf but dipping your fingers into the pot reduces the efficacy of the anti-oxidants and is less hygienic than tube packaging. On the other hand it will last ages - which helps to justify the fairly high price tag.”

Reviewer: AH

Score: 8.5/10

4 / 35

Omorovicza Balancing Moisturiser

Price: £80

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Feedback: “EIGHTY POUNDS. That’s a pretty spectacular weekend for me, so I was expecting a lot from this heavy glass bottle of balancing goodness. Thankfully, it earnt its crust complexion-wise - it does something that most mattifying moisturisers fail to execute. It leaves skin velvety and shine-free, but with a soft-focus glow. It’s as if you’ve been artfully airbrushed - the light fluid clears up oil slicks and shrinks pores but also creates a veil of radiance. Other mattifying creams I’ve used have left skin ashen or chalky, but this balancing wonder blurs imperfections whilst making skin look healthier and plumper. Dead skin cells are hoovered up by pineapple enzymes and rosemary extract, and it smells delicious. It’s definitely a fluid not a cream however, and won’t quench dryer areas such as foreheads and cheeks if you’re prone to flakiness in these areas. But for oily to combination skins, I’ve not tried anything like it.”

Reviewer: AH

Score: 9/10

5 / 35

Palmers Cocoa Butter Daily Facial Lotion

Price: £8.99

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Feedback: “With this brand, most people will know whether they love or hate that buttery scent - I am definitely a fan. However, though I would slather this all over my legs and body, I’m not sure it suits the face. It has a very light and fluid texture but is too greasy for my combination skin; I usually go for non comedogenic creams to avoid breakouts and think this is a little too rich for my easily blocked pores. That said, it could be better for dry skins and has SPF which makes it ideal for use in the day.”

Reviewer: CC

Score: 4/10

6 / 35

Malin + Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturiser

Price: £37

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Feedback: “This has no fragrance to it which appealed to me as I prefer to leave that to my chosen perfume of the day. However, it does have a slightly clinical smell to it at first, but thankfull it doesn’t linger. The squeezy bottle makes for an easy application and the cream is really light and soft - I had no trouble getting it to absorb into the skin and I was left with no stickiness whatsoever. The packaging is by no means glamorous, but that’s what enticed me to try it; it lays bare all the ingredients on the front of the label which is quite unique. In this way though the brand slightly shoots itself in the foot - it boasts of all its natural ingredients but lists plenty of chemicals, too. Still, 10/10 for disclosure!”

Reviewer: CC

Score: 7/10

7 / 35

Shiseido Ibuki Protective Moisturiser SPF 15

Price: £42

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Feedback: “This cream is deceptive as when you first squeeze out what you need it seems like a lot, but the consistency is so light and non-greasy that it sinks in super fast and almost makes you think you need more. However  with one such application my skin looked visibly moisturised and felt really soft with no shine (even hours later!). It has a fresh and clean smell which isn’t at all overpowering - my only negative would be that the packaging isn’t perhaps as luxurious as you’d expect for the high price point.”

Reviewer: KJ

Score: 8/10

8 / 35

The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Day Cream

Price: £4

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Feedback: “This day cream has the traditional Body Shop packaging and claims to be great for sensitive skin as it is fragrance and alcohol-free. Despite the lack of artificial fragrance, however, it does have an unpleasant ‘natural’ scent to it which is quite off-putting. That aside, the cream is impressive; it has a lovely smooth consistency that’s easy to apply and absorbs quickly, making it ideal for busy mornings when you don’t need any extra fuss. It feels light on the skin but I don’t think I’d repurchase purely because of the smell - if that doesn't bother you though, the price and texture makes it more than worth it.”

Reviewer: UR

Score: 7/10

9 / 35

Aveda Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Cream

Price: £32

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Feedback: “This cream has a beautifully light citrus fragrance, the perfect kind of fresh scent you want for your morning beauty regime. It has a very rich, indulgent texture but sinks into the skin easily leaving it super hydrated, silky and fresh-feeling. The packaging isn’t frilly or gimmicky, but is simple and sophisticated and alludes to the natural citrus ingredients. A big yes from me.”

Reviewer: RD

Score: 9/10

10 / 35

Crème de la Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream

Price: £108

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Feedback: “Wow. This beautiful cream is everything you expect to get from a £108 investment! Its super smooth, soft and luxurious. It’s a very small pot for such a hefty price tag but you really do not need a lot to leave your skin completely hydrated and energized. I was a little worried that it was going to be thick and heavy but this newer formula has a light and non greasy texture that absorbs quickly into the skin. It’s light enough for those with normal skin, but also nourishing for dryer skin. I’m pleased to report that it leaves no trace of oiliness. It’s definitely my essential facial product for the winter months; I never want it to run out! Fragrance-wise it has a hint of rose and isn’t too overpowering. It gave an even base for make-up application and left my skin glowing with not a dry patch in sight.”

Reviewer: SM

Score: 10/10

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Chantecaille Flower Harmonizing Cream

Price: £88.00

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Feedback: “This moisturising cream aims to nourish the skin and cocoon it against stress – ideal! Especially given the fact that its contains rosewater, one of my favourite ingredients. Saying that, although there was a hint of a rose it did have a slightly medicinal smell to it which was a little off-putting, but this didn’t linger once it’s rubbed in which is good!  It’s a light textured cream that sinks into the skin easily and it can be used around the eye area too. It’s very soothing on dry skin and felt really refreshing. A little goes a long way so I only used a small dab. My mum, who has drier skin than me, found it really luxurious and loved that it left her skin tone more radiant, highly moisturised and overall less tired looking.”

Reviewer:SM

Score: 8/10

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L'Occitane Crème Divine

Price: £74

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Feedback: “Before application I used a gentle but deep pore cleansing wash and followed with a cleansing water. I then applied the Crème Divine. My first impression was that it smelled lovely but the fragrance was very strong, almost overpowering. My face felt instantly moisturised and nourished but the product was slow to absorb and left my face a bit shiny which is not ideal for my oily/combination skin. After use I did notice that my face looked smoother and more plump and my skin tone was a little more even. I'd use this in the evening as it's a bit too heavy for my skin in the day.”

Reviewer: IM

Score: 7/10

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Orico London Streetwise Oxygenating Day Cream

Price: £28

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Feedback: “I cleansed and toned my face prior to application. When I used the cream I found that it had a starchy scent to it, despite apparently being fragrance free. It is quite light, went on smoothly and absorbed quickly. The idea behind it is to protect against pollution and help increase oxygen intake to the skin. Unfortunately my face felt quite stiff and dry after about five minutes; it didn't feel soft, moisturised or smooth. I think this cream might be better if you have really oily skin, it certainly kept shine at bay which is a positive.”

Reviewer: IM

Score: 4/10

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Perricone MD Hypoallergenic Nourishing Moisturizer

Price: £62

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Feedback: “I applied this today and instantly my face felt firmer and smoother. It also feels more moisturising than other creams I've used. I'd use it again but it's fairly expensive for a day cream so I probably wouldn't repurchase it. I loved that it left my skin with a healthy glow though!”

Reviewer: CS

Score: 6/10

15 / 35

Dr. Hauschka Moisturizing Day Cream

Price: £43

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Feedback: “The brand name makes it look as if it has some sort of medical affiliation and I therefore had rather high expectations. However, I was a little disappointed when I applied it; the consistency is rather runny/watery and made me think of one of those cheap hotel body lotions. It also takes a while to absorb, so it’s not a great option if you want to applying makeup afterwards. It does however have a very smooth finish (once it is dry) and it smells really nice.”

Reviewer: VN

Score: 6/10

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WELEDA Wild Rose Smoothing Day Cream

Price: £16.95

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Feedback: “I really liked this cream! I loved how soft it left my skin and it’s very gentle. My skin feeling really smooth and velvety with only a single, fairly thin application. A major plus is that it smells amazing! Least but not last it has a very practical packaging.”

Reviewer: IM

Score: 9/10

17 / 35

This Works No Wrinkles Extreme Moisturiser

Price: £46

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Feedback: “I was particularly curious about this one since it is an award-winning anti-ageing product, however it left my skin feeling a little greasy and the smell is not particularly pleasant. On the other hand after a quick wash my face felt a lot smoother. Despite the lacklustre first impression I look forward to keep using it and seeing some results.”

Reviewer: HM

Score: 6/10

18 / 35

Filorga Hydra Filler Pro-Youth Boosting Moisturizer

Price: £38.75

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Feedback: “This can be used day or night, but I applied it at nighttime. The texture was quite thick and a little greasy,  but it sunk in overnight and when I woke up I definitely looked a bit healthier! I am curious to see what the results will be after a few weeks of applying it. Unfortunately the packaging was quite impractical which brings it down a little in my estimation.”

Reviewer: HM

Score: 7/10

19 / 35

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Price: £23

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Feedback: “As a guy I prefer not to use any of these things but a face moisturiser is a necessary staple. The texture was thin and silky and it absorbed really quickly without leaving any greasy residue. I applied it last thing at night and in the morning my skin felt really soothed and nourished.”

Reviewer: SM

Score: 9/10

20 / 35

Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Gel

Price: £35

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Feedback: “I’ve been using this as my everyday moisturiser for the past few months and it’s one of the best moisturisers I’ve ever come across. The cream gel formula is super light in texture, it’s non-greasy and it absorbs quickly into the skin.  When applied it has a cooling effect which helps to tighten pores and give a matte appearance.  My skin is always left with a smooth, glowy finish and it makes dry skin both look and feel fresh and hydrated all day long.”

Reviewer: SM

Score: 10/10

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Ila Day Cream for Glowing Radiance

Price: £66

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Feedback: "I'm always keen to try and make my beauty regime more 'green' so was excited to try this cream from organic brand Ila. It has a fairly thick, oily texture so you don't need much at all - which is good considering the price (I was surprised how high it was!) and the size of the jar. Despite the slightly off-putting thickness, it glides onto the skin beautifully and sinks in so fast you almost miss it, except for the lovely sheen it leaves behind. My skin looked instantly radiant and drenched with moisture to banish any wintery dryness that I usually suffer with. However, though it left my skin feeling smooth, I could really feel the product after it had sunk in, so continued to use a primer in order to put make-up over the top. It has a very strong scent from the organic ingredients - a heady mix of rose and sandalwood, which I didn't love. I'd save it for the extra cold months of the year when my skin needs some TLC."

Reviewer: JJ

Score: 7/10

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Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+

Price: £29

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Feedback: "I had heard so much about this 'DDML' lotion that I couldn't wait to put it to the test, and luckily for me I know I'm safe with Clinique with my sensitive skin because all their products are fragrance free. A quick look at the ingredients list wasn't overly impressive - it leads with mineral oil (which usually puts me off) and has various cucumber extracts but this reformulated version of the original cream claims to protect the skin as well as hydrate it. The primrose-coloured lotion feels great on the skin - not luxurious or rich but it spreads easily and leaves a super smooth texture. In fact, I even skipped my primer as the finish was as good as any I'd usually use. It's probably not rich enough for when my skin is crying out for help in the winter but in those in-between, milder months it's ideal."

Reviewer: JJ

Score: 8/10

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Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream

Price: £52

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Feedback: "As a brand I tend to find Kiehl's' products are 'all or nothing' - I either love them or don't see much of an effect. This, I'm pleased to say, is in the former category. Fragrance free (tick for sensitive skin, though do always patch test it) yet full of useful ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and jasmonic acid, it claims to correct the signs of ageing and leave skin looking firmer and refined. I was pleasantly surprised at how light it is in texture - it sinks in easily and leaves a really silky finish in its wake. All dry patches were diminished and my skin really did look more plump; to be expected with any good moisturiser but the key for me was that it felt good too. A bit steep in price given how small the jar is (the lightness of the cream means you'd get through it quickly) but a luxury I'll be treating myself to when my skin needs some help."

Reviewer: JJ

Score: 9/10

24 / 35

A’Kin Intensive Moisture Antioxidant Creme For Dry and Sensitive Skin

Price: £24

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Feedback: "The ingredients in this cream read like a smoothie recipe, from vitamins to olives, aloe to shea butter and rosehip oil; I took this as a good sign. The cream looks a lot like vanilla ice cream, and is almost as solid - this is incredibly rich in texture which makes sense given it's for 'very dry skin'. Even with very little product applied, I found it didn't sink in too well and so wasn't ideal for using before make-up. The natural scent is gorgeous - it takes me back to shopping for Bronnley soaps when I was little, with a delicate and comforting rose aroma. An impressive cream for soothing the skin, but I'm going to use it at night instead - it's too heavy for the day time."

Reviewer: JJ

Score: 6/10

25 / 35

Una Brennan Superfacialist Rose Hydrate Radiance Day Cream

Price: £14.99

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Feedback: “It had an amazing smell which was the main positive in my book. The cream felt fresh and hydrating upon application but as I have quite oily skin it was a bit greasier than I would have liked. My complexion was quite shiny after I’d applied make-up which isn’t ideal!”

Reviewer: HS

Score: 7/10

26 / 35

Aromatherapy Associates Soothing Daily Repair Moisturiser

Price: £55

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Feedback: “This cream has a gorgeous natural scent that reminds me of a greenhouse. The ingredients list is very promising - with natural plant oils such as camomile, evening primrose and strawberry seed oils it looks good on paper. It has a very light texture, which surprised me considering the oil content; but despite not being too heavy it feels very nourishing and certainly calmed redness on skin as promised. My only concern is that it doesn’t feel right as a day cream - it feels like such a treat for the skin that I’d rather use it at night and soak up the goodness.”

Reviewer: CC

Score: 8/10

27 / 35

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream

Price: £39

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Feedback: “I loved the consistency of this cream and after use my skin felt instantly nourished! It acted as a great primer and my make up looked flawless after application. Surprisingly it really mopped up oiliness, leaving my complexion soft and fresh.”

Reviewer: HS

Score: 9/10

28 / 35

Mary Kay Timewise Repair Volu-Firm Day Cream SPF 30

Price: £35

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Feedback: “I really loved the packaging of this product - a neat little jar in pink and silver, it looks as luxurious as it feels. The cream is beautifully rich and left my skin feeling silky smooth and looking quite glowy despite the awful weather, and it has a really fresh scent to it that isn’t overpowering. Add to that the SPF quality and I’m definitely sold on its skin-protecting benefits.”

Reviewer: HS

Score: 9/10

29 / 35

Good Things Face the Day Goji Berry & Papaya Moisturiser

Price: £7.99

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Feedback: “First things first: this smells amazing. It was like rubbing all the nutritious ingredients of a healthy smoothie into my face. However, scent aside, I didn’t feel that it really hydrated my skin as much as I’d like for the day - my skin didn’t feel particularly soft and almost felt tighter after applying. It has a very light texture that wouldn’t suit drier skins - perhaps better for the summer months when skin isn’t quite so thirsty.”

Reviewer: HS

Score: 7/10

30 / 35

Thalgo Energising Vitality Cream

Price: £33.20

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Feedback: "This has a really strong scent to it which actually reminded me of my old Ghost perfume - not a bad scent but perhaps a little overpowering for a face cream. It has a surprisingly thin consistency but that makes it really easy to absorb and it feels good on the skin - I felt really fresh and ready for the day after applying it. I didn't love the packaging and I'm not sure I'd buy again given the price - nice, but not nice enough."

Reviewer: EP

Score:  5/10

31 / 35

Pai Geranium & Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream

Price: £34

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Feedback: "I have found in the past that creams designed for combination or oily skin have not provided enough hydration for me and have even been somewhat drying on my skin, but this cream from Pai couldn't be more different. Super lightweight it absorbed into my skin speedily (perfect for the morning rush) and the soothing formula made both a great base for makeup and left my skin feeling calm and comfortably hydrated all day. Sleek packaging with a pump (no bacteria gets in here) and absolute no nasties, this has become my go-to morning moisturiser and for anyone with combination skin I couldn’t recommend it more.”

Reviewer: EB

Score: 10/10

32 / 35

Ren Vita Mineral Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream

Price: £20

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Feedback: “Lightweight, fresh-smelling and easily absorbed, this Ren Day Cream was a welcome break from the cloggy, greasy products I’ve been using of late. Packed with a powerful blend of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, it claims to hydrate and replenish the skin, while also nourishing and leaving a glowing, healthy complexion - and it absolutely did. Having suffered from dry skin most of my life, it was thoroughly surprising to find such a delicate formula that managed to moisturise and perform so deeply, without leaving an oily residue (which is also ideal now that the warmer summer months are well upon us). As a result it’s made its way to the forefront of my new favourite skincare products - I’m truly impressed.”

Reviewer: KR

Score: 9/10

33 / 35

Elemis Hydra-Boost Day Cream

Price: £38

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Feedback: “Moisturising in the morning is usually a step I skip, foolishly thinking that my oily, combination skin doesn’t need it. Cue dry flaky patches and uneven foundation. This Hydra-Boost Day Cream is the perfect solution - designed specifically to be applied each morning, it left my skin feeling soft and smooth all day, and is a dream to apply. Created to work naturally with your skin, extracts of samphire and starflower oil strengthen your skin’s natural barrier and lock in moisture all day. It absorbs super-fast, allowing me to easily encompass it into my bleary-eyed morning makeup routine. The almost tropical scent is delicious and uplifting, and I appreciated the hygienic, slick nozzle dispenser (nobody likes poking around in a pot of goo at first light). As an added bonus, Elemis promises that all their products are free from chemical nasties such as parabens and silicones, so you can go about your day happy in the knowledge that you have given your skin the best possible start.”

Reviewer: IB

Score: 8/10

34 / 35

Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser

Price: £42

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Feedback: “Lightweight yet supremely hydrating, this day cream provided the perfect mixture of qualities for my normal/combination skin type. Nourishing and fast absorbing, it left my skin softer, suppler, healthier looking and most importantly for me, well moisturised from the morning when I first applied it, to the evening.

Making my complexion look more glowy, (without going into high shine territory), it definitely ticked all the boxes for me and I would recommend it in particular for those with a similar skin type to mine and dryer ones too. It’s a great complexion pick-me-up using clever probiotic technology for those looking to give their a skin a subtle but noticeable lift.”

Reviewer: AM

Score: 10/10

35 / 35

Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream

Price: £24.50

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Feedback: “If you’re sensitive of skin, a frequent flyer or often exposed to the elements, likelihood is you’ll love this softening, speedily absorbed moisturiser. It smooths rough patches and feels nourishing as soon as you put it on, rather than sitting on the skin or taking yonks to sink in. I found that its smooth finish worked well as a makeup base, and the fact that its not packed with overpowering fragrance was a plus- it feels really mild and soothing. While it does contain some funky plant extracts, which no doubt do act as antioxidants and enhance hydration, the jar packaging makes me feel that I’m contaminating them every time I dip my fingers in. It works a treat, but it does feel quite ‘basic’ (although it’s outstanding as far as basic goes), so £24 might be a bit steep for some."

Reviewer: AH

Score: 8/10