Finding an anti-ageing product that actually works is like discovering the Holy Grail – so we turned to the experts to reveal the creams they swear by
While we might wish we weren’t worried about ageing skin, not many of us can avoid the lure of anti-ageing creams to help us avoid crow’s feet and laughter lines. The problem is, with so many lotions and potions lining the shelves with various (potentially dubious) claims and ingredients you can’t pronounce everywhere you look, how can you choose which ones to spend your hard-earned money on? It’s a crowded market and it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so we spoke to trusted beauty experts and dermatologists to find out what they use on their skin and which products live up to the promises on their labels.
The eye cream
“With eye creams, I believe it’s better to not use one that’s too strong, as the skin around the eyes is very delicate,” says skincare expert Karen J. Gerrard, founder of SEAMS Hand Cream (seamsbeauty.co.uk). “I like Liz Earle’s Superskin Eye Cream (£39, lizearle.com), as it’s hydrating and includes plant extracts, including cranberry seed oil, that help to lift and firm.” A good tip is to apply the product with your ring finger, as the skin around your eye is very delicate and this is the best way to avoid using too much pressure.
“SPF is extremely important to prevent premature ageing and to protect the skin and should be worn every day (even in the winter),” advises cosmetic dentist and facial aesthetician Dr Krystyna Wilczynski (drkrystyna. com). “I always go for one using mineral filters and Heliocare 360° Mineral Tolerance Fluid SPF 50 (£27, skincity.co.uk) is my go-to, as it also contains antioxidants to protect the skin and DNA from UVA/UVB rays, infrared-A radiation and visible light. It doesn’t leave a white film on the skin and does not cause my skin to break out.”
The face cream
“Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream (£49, charlottetilbury.com) was originally created backstage at Fashion Week to transform the models’ tired skin,” says Karen. “It contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate and rosehip oil to give a radiant, glowing look.”
The face mask
“A great way of achieving freshly-moisturised skin is by using a face mask – these can also help to refine pores, increases hydration, diminish fine lines, make skin firmer and even out the tone of your complexion,” says skin expert Dr Majid at the Artistry Clinic (artistryclinic.co.uk). “I recommend doing a face mask before going to sleep, as this is when our skin loses hydration. I like the Dr LEVY Switzerland R3 Cell Matrix Mask (£69, cultbeauty.co.uk).”
The night serum
Skin expert Dr Ross Perry of Cosmedics (cosmedics.co.uk) suggests using Medik8’s Crystal Retinal Stable Retinal Night Serum 3 (£45, medik8.com): “It contains retinal, which is a new formulation of the classic retinol, giving up to 11 times the effect,” he tells us. “It also features hyaluronic acid, glycerin and vitamin E.”
If that is a little out of your price range, Dr Krystyna recommends The Ordinary’s Retinol 0.2% in Squalane (£4.20, theordinary.com): “This retinol is so affordable and effective! It targets fine lines and wrinkles, while evening out skin tone. The addition of squalane also keeps skin hydrated.”
The night cream
“I’d recommend Lancôme’s Absolue Night Precious Cells Recovery Cream (£180, lancome.co.uk) – I was given a 50ml sample of this cream and noticed the difference within days,” says Karen. “It’s pricey, but worth it. The rose cells promote skin’s radiance and self-renewal.”
The lip cream
“Lips are the first part of your skin to become dry, so if you’re dehydrated, drink plenty of water and use a lip balm or cream,” advises Karen. “My tried and tested favourite is Blistex Relief Cream (£2.69, superdrug.com) – after just one application my lips feel noticeably softer and smoother.”
The hand cream
Keep your hands looking young by keeping them moisturised. Karen recommends SEAMS Hand Cream (£14, seamsbeauty.co.uk), which is full of natural ingredients, including shea butter and pro-vitamin B5 to lock in moisture and slow down the signs of ageing.
Surprising anti-ageing ingredients
Lesley Reynolds of the Harley Street Skin Clinic (lesleyreynolds.com) reveals unexpected things to look for in skincare.
Boasting omegas 3 and 6 and high vitamin C levels, it helps to boost collagen production and improve hydration.
Try it: Huxley Oil Essence – Essence-Like, Oil-Like, £38, lookfantastic.com
This isn’t the coal you put on the barbecue, but activated charcoal powder that acts like a magnet to absorb dirt and oil. It draws out the impurities from skin and also helps with exfoliation. The deep cleansing properties also mean serums and moisturisers will be more effective.
Try it: Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, £22, origins.co.uk and Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Honey Mask Nourish, £30, origins.co.uk
Peat contains a powerful antioxidant, called trolox, the water soluble equivalent of vitamin E, along with zinc, copper, iron, selenium and plants such as bog whortleberry, which can promote collagen production and tighten pores.
Try it: Vestige Verdant Organic Peat Mask, £39, lovelula.com
Ever wonder how the celebs have such flawless skin? Here are a few of the star’s favourite beauty saviours…
The Duchess of Cambridge is a fan of rosehip oil and it’s no wonder, as it’s brimming with antioxidants, vitamin A, and omega 6 and 9.
Try… Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil (£19.50, trilogyproducts.co.uk) and Pai Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream, £38, paiskincare.com
Jennifer Lopez has revealed her love of glycolic acid in the past. It’s a great exfoliator and can increase collagen levels.
Try… Revolution Skincare 2.5% Glycolic Acid Toner, £8, boots.com and Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads, £13.59, superdrug.com
Kate Winslet looks for vitamin E in her beauty products – it can aid in repairing cells and is good for adding hydration to your complexion.
Try… Lancôme Advanced Génifique Sensitive Dual Concentrate Serum, £59, johnlewis.com and The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream, £14, thebodyshop.com
You’d expect the founder of Goop to have a great skincare routine, and you’d be right – Gwyneth Paltrow relies on grapeseed oil to maintain her glow. It’s packed with omega 6, which can hydrate skin and tighten pores.
Try… Goop Enriching Face Oil, £98, cultbeauty.co.uk and Disciple Good Skin Face Oil Serum, £23, beautybay.com
Halle Berry swears by coffee in her beauty routine – she combines it with body wash to help exfoliate her skin.
Try… Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub, £12.95, frankbody.com and Sukin Coffee & Coconut Exfoliating Masque, £11.95, sukinnaturals.co.uk