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A sensible, non-surgical approach to anti-ageing goes a little something like this:
SPF is sacrosant. Apply at any given moment to every nook and cranny, except when going to bed. In which case…
Smother self in a nourishing, antioxidant rich night cream. On the subject of all things nocturnal…
Get enough sleep
Stay hydrated. Wine doesn’t count. In fact…
Overconsumption of alcohol and junk food is to be avoided
Most of us are vaguely aware of ‘the rules’, but sometimes we desire or require reinforcements, and given that skincare technology and research is truly space age these days, there’s no reason to make do with the skincare equivalent of bread and water in these modern times. Whether you’re a skincare naturalista, into your futuristic formulations or simply curious as to what’s happening in the most cutting edge sector of the beauty industry, read on...
This feature was written in partnership with Cult Beauty
It’s no secret that the effects of ageing are somewhat dependent on your gene pool, so ‘Good Genes’ in a bottle are surely the skincare holy grail. Good genes come naturally, as does Sunday Riley’s youth potion; given how active and instantly brightening it is, it’s hard to believe that this multitasker relies a lot, although not exclusively, on plant power. Along with the main ingredient, exfoliating lactic acid, Good Genes taps into the skin-evening capacity of liquorice and circulating boosting lemongrass to maximise radiance and minimise the appearance of dark spots and imperfections. It may be on the spendy side, but the fact that it can be slipped under a serum, oil or cream or applied as a treatment mask makes it a two-in-one refiner, if that helps when justifying it to yourself/your partner/ your bank manager. Just don’t go laying it on thick without patch testing first; sensitive skins have been known to experience adverse reactions.
When you suffer from rosacea and skin reactions, a few wrinkles can seem like the least of your problems. For a more calming and gentle take on botanicals, opt for MV Organics Rose Soothing & Protective Moisturiser. It sorts out the basics very effectively, which is likely the reason that it’s such a hit with makeup artists (no primer needed if you’re prepping skin with this). Smooth onto skin both morning and night to leave skin plump and hydrated; it gives even problematic skin a leg-up in the radiance department without any need for harsh chemicals- over 80% of the cream’s ingredients are organic, with highly prized Bulgarian Rose Otto oil being the main event. It’s quite thick in consistency so only a smidgen is needed and it’s wonderful in winter or all year round for very dry skins; those with combination skin types may want to blend it with a toner (try rosewater and you likely won’t need to wear fragrance either). Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Emma Watson all sing its praises, which is a pretty luminous line up of spokeswomen.
If ‘practically edible’ is a face cream credential for you, ‘Aunt Ilcsi’s’ handmade moisturiser will hit the spot. So fresh it needs to be kept in the fridge, the light, easily absorbed cream harvests the power of the humble grape; reach for this instead of the Sauvignon and you’ll reap the benefits of anti-ageing antioxidants without the dry mouth, woozy head or morning after brain fog. Polyphenols fight free-radical damage to cells while oligomeric proanthocyanidins (try saying that after a glass of wine) boost collagen synthesis. This double pronged attack from nature helps to counteract the detrimental effects of pollution, our environment and even stress or a dietary fall from the wagon (although it won’t work wonders- you know the drill), while pepping up the skin’s regenerative potential. Over time you should notice a reduction in fine lines and crepiness, but the immediate effects are very welcome nonetheless- applying the cool, gel like lotion first thing will wake up your skin more than your morning coffee ever could, and as it’s so lightweight it makes a great base for makeup. Ilcsi is big in Hungary, but we’re thinking that the ‘supernatural’ brand’s potential for world domination is high.
If refreshing gel textures make you go gooey inside, Resultime Regenerating Collagen Gel needs to be on your radar. Pleasingly bouncy and quick to sink in, it can be used to address everything from sunburn to chronic dryness to a general lack of lustre, and not only does it multitask in terms of troubleshooting but it can also be worn as a daily moisturiser, layered under your favourite face cream as a serum or applied thickly as a treatment mask. For a fairly modest price you benefit from an innovative ‘vectorised’ pentapeptide, which penetrates deeper than competitors in the market to give collagen producing cells a kick up the bum. It’s suitable for sensitive types and can be used around the eyes and on the lips, making it even more of a steal. As hardworking, added value 24/7 anti-agers go, this one takes the prize.
As anti-ageing goes, using an unction created by an internationally renowned plastic and reconstructive surgeon with a Master of Science degree from Harvard and a PhD in the field of skin cancer from Oxford University must be the closest thing to applying the crème de la crème. Dr Marko Lens’ crème certainly isn’t cheap, but your investment is backed by extensive clinical research and anti-everything potential- it’s highly active ingredients have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant functions, with general anti-ageing results that are as pro-radiance and pro-firming as anything in a jar could get (75% of female testers aged 30-60 reported that it left their skin looking visibly younger). We found that a little product covered us for the whole day, although those closer to 30 with a tendency towards oiliness might want to alternate it with a lighter moisturiser. The plumping effect was instant and skin was left in that illusive, coveted state of both firm yet soft. Giving it a go before signing up for anything more serious.
Another non-invasive skin-enhancer, think of Ling’s peptide packed serum as structured yet discreet lingerie for the skin. It’s thin consistency belies its apparent powers; it was developed to smooth out fine lines and sagging caused by facial expressions- crow’s feet can jog on, basically. Given that Ling Chan is Gisele and Naomi Campbell's New York facialist of choice, our faith in its wrinkle reducing formula is fairly strong, although testers have reported that you might have to wait until you get to the bottom of the tube for visible evidence of this. That’s not the case for it’s smoothing and softening effects, however, as hero hydration molecule hyaluronic acid helps cells to hold on to a whopping 1000 times their weight in water, resulting in more supple skin from the get go. If it works for jetlagged supermodels…
If you prefer your wrinkle reducers to be 100% natural, Tata will be right up your tree; the entire range is potent, with each product serving a specific purpose and certified organic where possible. This particular synthetic-free serum is the most expensive offering from the bioactive-focused brand, but with 75% of users reporting smoother skin within 24 hours, and 83% noticing a reduction in crow’s feet after 30 days of testing, the stats speak highly of its ability to outfox undesired signs of ageing. The elixir’s 38 active ingredients team up to plump dehydrated skin and bring skin back to a state of glowing good health, in turn reducing the appearance of fine lines and getting cells working and regenerating to the max (praise be to antioxidants). Do beware, however, if skin is easily irritated, as all natural doesn’t necessarily equate to ‘safe for sensitive skins’.
Tata Harper Elixir Vitae, £275
Another one to warn your accountants about, but when a brand boasts both skincare heritage and Nobel prize-winning prowess, not to mention precious ingredients such as actual gold, you’ve got an alibi for your extravagance. In this case purchasing Omorovicza’s golden trio will actually save you money, compared to buying the products alone (£85 saving to be precise), which is especially welcome for those who like to embrace an entire product range, rather than pick and mix. Rich and luxurious in every sense, each of the products delivers strengthening and anti-inflammatory gold ferment deep into the skin, not to mention mineral-rich Hungarian water, peptides, vitamin C and patented delivery processes to ensure that said beneficial ingredients actually get down to business in the areas that they’re most required. Our tester reported heavenly textures, incredible powers of hydration and a discernible glow post three-step application. If 24/7 lifting, tightening and firming (also...we swear light-reflecting) appeals, splash out.
Omorovicza Gold Set, £285
The solution to dull, fatigued skin appears to come in threes, as this high performance trio suggests. The set may lack the glamour of gold, but it makes up for that in innovative and seriously fast-acting skin repairing formulas. The first skincare regime developed by brand founder Dr Eric Schulte, the Complete Set addresses collagen loss in particular, with the Day and Night serums containing 70% natural soluble collagens, which help to preserve skin’ volume and moisture. The Exfoliant Fluid sets the scene for the oh-so-clever collagen molecules by whisking away dead skin cells and clearing out the cobwebs from sluggish skin cells. Application is via a tiny, tickly fan brush- it will tingle as fruit acids gobble up gunk. Possibly another to sideline if you’re in the sensitive skin camp, but for everyone else the results are superior.
Didn’t take us long to get back to the gold. It may be true that all that glitters isn’t, in fact, gold, but this brightening and resurfacing night cream will make you gleam all the same (in a flattering, non shiny way). It’s another tingler, thanks to exfoliating glycolic acid, and the addition of skin-clearing Vitamin C and antioxidant Argan stem cells ensure that this lighter-than-expected cream gives skin a lift both in the short and long term. Be careful not to combine this with too many other exfoliants and you’ll see superb results- think teeny tiny pores, smooth as a peach skin texture and a more even skin tone over time. Our tester loved that the packaging dispensed just the right amount of product, and that skin looked and felt invigorated post-use- no grease or inflammation to speak of.
We’ve moved into the nocturnal realm, and this cream doesn’t just have night vision; it claims to work in 3D. This 3D capability really means that it takes care of everything, short of picking up the shopping. With 51 ‘anti-ageing advantages’ giving Cult 51 an edge, you may not have heard of it, but a 75% repurchase rate suggests that it fulfills its promises, which range from encouraging cells to behave like their former, more youthful selves (think more efficient oxygen exchange and improved microcirculation) and fighting everything from blemishes to lines to dark spots. It’s velvety, protective on many levels, from pollution to pigmentation to photo-ageing, but also highly perfumed, so test it on your hand if fragrance often causes you dermatological drama.
Cult 51 Night Cream, £125
Whether eye creams are worth buying into is an oft visited topic in beauty land, but this particular potion contains a higher concentration of anti-ageing ingredients than most on the market, notably, retinol. Slick Swedish brand Verso set the standard for powerful yet non-irritating retinol- their ‘Retinol 8 Complex’ emerged as eight times more effective than similar dosages of standard retinol in studies, with the benefit of being 50% less likely to provoke common side effects such as redness and dryness. As such this serum goes where no retinol rich product could before; the delicate eye area. The results are almost unrivalled- collagen synthesis is stimulated, fragile skin is strengthened and dark circles brightened. Deep lines and crow’s feet won’t disappear, but they may be so plumped out that you won’t notice them, which is a win in our books.
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