I’m not immune to the evocative power of opening a luxurious jar of moisturiser.
The heft of the lid as you unscrew it, the pleasing peek of cream inside, the veritable ‘slurp’ with which your skin drinks it up… It’s a sensation so satisfying, only sinking into a hot bath after a long day really measures up.
Yet two years ago, I decided to turn my back on them altogether. For two years, I’ve shunned creams and lotions, and focussed entirely on products with the viscosity of olive oil, at a push. There wasn’t really any one thunderclap moment that made me want to do this – it was more a slow realisation that serums could do everything my favourite creams could do better, faster and without the sticky-face feeling.
First up; the science.
Serums have the same active ingredients you’re used to seeing in skincare, but often a much smaller molecular weight, meaning they penetrate the skin deeper for a more potent effect. No sitting on the surface here; they sink in quickly and easily and get straight to work.
Then there’s the formulation benefits of such a skimpy texture. By keeping it as a light liquid and not needing to bulk it up to a creamier feel, there’s less ‘filler’ in serums, and the ingredients are that bit more potent for it. In the palm of your hand, you can mix a cocktail of serums that has an incredibly efficacy profile, and is totally targeted to your skin’s needs.
I love being able to layer products.
For me, layering light textures over each other gives a much more believable glow than any highlighter, plus it encourages you to massage your face somewhat as you apply them. I adore SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective
when the chill of the wind has been biting at my face or after a particularly brutal face mask. (I also love their CE Ferulic
first thing in the morning, the antioxidants providing another layer of defence under my sunscreen from UV rays).
Medik8 B5 is brilliant in lieu of moisturiser (if you have eczema or psoriasis, ignore me) – it’s packed full of hydrating hyaluronic acid and Vitamin B5 for supple skin. Need an all-rounder? Try NeoStrata Bionic Face Serum
to moisturise, exfoliate and brighten sallow skin.
Oh, and retinol. My skin loves retinol – like Jan Marini Age Intervention Retinol Plus
. Vitamin A, which retinol is derived from, is a powerhouse for both anti-ageing and anti-care care. It stimulates the production of new collagen and elastin and increases cell turnover, helping to clear pores of spot-causing bacteria and encourage a bouncier complexion.
I love being able to pick from a selection how my skin is feeling (Dehydrated? Dull? A bit ‘meh’?) and then whipping up a targeted concoction at the drop of a hat. I know exactly what strength of each active ingredient I’m getting, and my skin thanks me for it.
Besides, you know what they say – less is more.