SPOILED FOR CHOICE With so so many products at so many price points, choosing the right skin care product can be a challenge.
Our beauty guru shares her tips for savvy skincare shopping
If I spend a fortune will it actually do what it promises, remove wrinkles and leave me with a face that’s flawless, plumped up and vibrant? The six million dollar question!
Skin care products make massive promises, I call them ‘Hope in a jar’ – hope that the next skin product will change my life forever. Even the most frugal woman will be lured at some stage by advertising promises to spend jaw dropping amounts of money on a moisturiser. I have so many half-used jars and tubes, all of which I bought in the fervent hope it would skim off the years. Did they? Of course not! Did it stop me believing the next promise? Well now, if it had, I wouldn’t have so many half-used jars!
The instant gratification we get when we open the jar is swiftly replaced by disappointment when we discover the latest purchase is no better than all the previous ones. There are wonderful products that are both reasonably priced and extremely expensive, just as there are poor-quality products in both price categories.
I always advise people to read the ingredient list, then do a comparison. Always remember the brand’s advertising and positioning play a huge part in pricing. Of course, active ingredients and purity play a large part also.
Serum is well worth the splurge, as it allows you to pinpoint and target your skin’s specific needs, like pigmentation and dehydration. You can wear it under or over moisturiser. Serums generally perform well because they contain a higher concentration of active ingredients, allowing better penetration into the skin. I call them ‘moisturiser on speed’!
Pixi Overnight Glow (€34) is a good choice, as it contains 10 percent glycolic acid which is an effective exfoliant. A colorless, odorless alpha-hydroxy-acid (AHA) derived from sugarcane, it works on your skin while you sleep to remove signs of damage. Check it first, though, if you have sensitive skin.
The Ordinary is an amazing budget brand that delivers. It’s brilliantly priced. The company don’t advertise or have fancy packaging, which keeps the prices low. The Retinol in Squalane serum (30ml) is a bargain at €5.80. I bought mine online from Arnotts.
The sensitive eye area is the first place you’ll notice signs of ageing – lines and dark circles are just a couple of them. The other thing you may notice is the darkness in the skin at the corner of the eye area. I find concealer brilliant for dealing with this particular issue. My go to is AYU Instant Under Eye Concealer (€30, ayu.ie).
Novexpert Anti Ageing Eye Contour (€40, cosmeticsonline.ie)is a three-in-one for treatment for wrinkles, eye bags and dark circles. It contains Vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid. When surveyed, 94 percent of users found their eye contour appeared ‘more luminous’ after 28 days.
NeoStrata Bionic Eye Cream Plus (€60, neostrata.ie) contains Vitamins A, C and E, as well as green tea and cucumber extracts, to reduce puffiness while offering antioxidant protection.
On a budget? Try Boots Cucumber Eye Gel for just €2 or Boots Retinol Eye Cream for €9.
You probably have your own favourite moisturiser. I’m constantly trying new ones. As I said earlier I’m a sucker for promises! A good moisturiser protects the skin and helps with the application of foundation. Know what your skin needs, though, as different ones offer different benefits.
Skingredients, a range by Jennifer Rock (aka The Skin Nerd), is getting great reviews for its Skin Good Fats Moisturiser (€45 theskinnerd.com). It’s chock full of good fats as well as niacinamide (vitamin B3) and vitamin E. It’s very luxurious, and great also on cracked elbows.
Eucerin Dry Skin Replenishing Face Cream (€9.15, chemists nationwide) works a treat on dry skin, which is a real problem here in the west of Ireland. If you have mature or dry skin, the creams offer an extra boost of hydration. Skin feels super smooth afterwards, and it’s easily absorbed and fragrance free. Himself can even use it after shaving for soothing his face.
The face mask is having a moment right now. Masks (not the medical kind!) became a real lockdown treat, but that’s all they are really. They can give a wonderful boost to skin before you head out for the night. (If only!) At this stage I’ve tried literally hundreds, and my favourite is Seoulista Beauty Brightening Instant Facial. It’s biodegradable, vegan and cruelty free, and my skin felt fantastic afterwards – all hydrated and glowy. I’d definitely recommend it. Seoulista also does Correct and Calm, Rosy Glow and Instant Detox facial masks, all priced at a very affordable €9.45.
Neutrogena packs a punch with its Ageless Boost Hydrogel Recovery Mask, part of a new generation of masks designed in Korea… and don’t we love Korean beauty! Just €4 for a super product. Available in chemists nationwide.
Maggie Gibbons is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.