Bringing skincare to a whole new level


SCIENTIFIC SKINCARE Cosmeceuticals are more than cosmetics, yet less than  pharmaceuticals.

Beauty review
Maggie Gibbons

During lockdown last year I decided to up my skincare game and began using products with more active ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, retinol and collagen. This powerhouse of ingredients helped reduce scarring and pigmentation.
Hyaluronic acid is best if you need to moisturise dry skin, while retinol helps to boost collagen. If you’re only starting to use Retinol it’s best to start off by adding it into your evening routine one to two nights per week for the first week, building up gradually as your skin gets used to it.
The general term nowadays for products containing these active ingredients is ‘cosmeceutical’ – more than a cosmetic, yet less than a pharmaceutical.

Irish star
I have been using some new products from Irish brand Skinician for the past while. The brand was created by mother/daughter duo Hilary McMurray and Shelley Martin, who were therapists previously. The range is dermatologically tested and suitable for all skins. It has five unique systems, with each one focused on individual skin concerns.
I’m a huge fan of Irish made products, and I was excited to start using their Advanced Time Delay Day Cream, and Advanced Firming Serum for my ageing skin. They didn’t disappoint.
The Advanced Time Delay (€52.50) is specially formulated for both mature skin and those showing fine lines. It feels gorgeous on the skin and really leaves it looking more luminous. It claims to reduce all the main visible signs of ageing, which I can only assume means lines and wrinkles? I haven’t noticed this yet, but will continue to use it, so let’s see what happens. It contains hyaluronic acid and is brilliant for hydration.
The Advanced Firming Serum (€66.88) is known as Skinician’s miracle serum, and I can see why! It’s formulated with a vegetable collagen that intensely hydrates, and overall, my skin appears brighter and more youthful. I love it. If you like that spa smell, then you’ve got it here. When I was first trying it I put a bit on the back of one hand, and I honestly couldn’t believe the difference in softness between both hands.

Game changer
NeoStrata products are also highly recommended by dermatologists. NeoStrata has conducted  breakthrough research in alpha hydroxy acids, which have become a standard among anti-aging technologies in the beauty Industry. Each skin care product is backed by the highest standards of quality and effectiveness to deliver highly effective products.
I first encountered the range during my days with RTÉ One’s afternoon show Open House, about 20 years ago. I discovered all the models were hooked on it. ‘I’ll have some of that please!’ I thought. And boy, was it a game changer.
Back then there were very few products like it – we were still buying regular skin creams. NeoStrata, however, was loaded with amazing ingredients that normally had to be prescribed.
NeoStrata’s Restore Daytime Protection Cream is an anti-ageing moisturiser with SPF, which is a real bonus. My skin drinks it in. The cream works on restoring the skin’s protective barrier while also helping to calm irritation. It’s wonderful for dry skin, absorbs quickly and gives your skin lovely brightness. A friend of mine who has sensitive skin also loved this product, and we both really liked the fact that it’s fragrance free. It costs around €56 in pharmacies nationwide, though I have seen it online for €45, so it’s always good to check prices.
The same company’s Defend Sheer Physical Protector SPF 50 is ultra sheer, with a slight tint. I love the tint, but accept that everyone won’t. It’s overall more liquid than creamy. I have to say it’s wonderful to see such a high SPF. Again, prices vary hugely online, I’ve it costed  between €30 and €37 – so do your research.
There are of course lots of other great brands out there; these are just two I wanted to bring to your attention. Let me know if you have any favourites!

Maggie Gibbons is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at