I was raised in the sixties in a household of five women, so moisturisers were as commonplace in our house as pointy bras. My English nanny insisted Ponds Cold Cream was all a woman needed. She had a peaches and cream complexion until she died, so who could argue?
My sisters and I preferred Oil of Ulan (later Oil of Olay), a thick pink beauty fluid with a rose petal scent. It promised a “younger looking you”, which was strangely appealing to we pre-pubescent teens.
As I’ve aged, I’ve used a variety of products more suited to my changing skin texture (and, occasionally, my changing bank balance). What I now know is, while some cheap moisturisers are okay, the best moisturisers tend to be at a price that will cause the blood to drain from your face.
But then, you need only the smallest of amounts, so they last for absolutely ages. If you are looking for a return on investment, they make economic sense. These three all delivered on their promise.
My skin has paid the price for sitting on a surfboard in the sixties, waiting for the perfect set of waves to roll on through. Who knew, 50 years on, that would give cause for regret. But this oh-so-pretty silky, butter-milky whipped cream, seems up to the challenge.
Listed as one of Vogue’s top beauty products last year, it is light to the touch and smooth to apply. My skin felt nourished and protected. Ingredients include the big-hitting antioxidant Idebenone ester, for which Elizabeth Arden holds the patent, and which is rated more potent than Vitamin E.
It was originally used medically during organ transplants to prevent their oxidation, but later discovered to have a topical application to protect skin cells from environmental damage.
The old faves, Shea, cocoa butter Retinol Linoleate – a Vitamin A derivative – plus hibiscus seeds are also in the mix to smooth crinkles. Plus, there’s an SPF of 30, to prevent further sun damage if I get back on my board (unlikely). The product feels light as air, but it packs a heavy punch. My skin showed its approval by glowing.
Apparently the go-to fave of at least two Kardashians, Liv Tyler, and Demi Moore. I first bought it years ago because I loved the name. What could be healthier than a dose of the ocean?
This time around, I forgot to read the instructions and tried to slather cream straight from the jar on to my still-sleepy skin. Duh! La Mer has to be coaxed to perform; prized from its pottle with a small plastic spoon, warmed with fingertips, then pressed gently on your face.
Its secret ingredient is “Miracle Broth”, reportedly brewed from hand-harvested sea kelp that inhibits ageing. Lime tea is said to prevent environmental damage. It felt thick to start with, but it grew on me as the week wore on and was stable under foundation.
My second “Duh!” moment came in trying to get into the product. In the packaging, the top looks like the bottom.
The moisturiser is silky smooth, firm even, to the touch, but once you’ve warmed it between your fingers, a little spreads a long way. The key ingredient is green tea, reportedly gently hand-picked, then naturally fermented for 50 days before being aged for another 50 days in traditional Korean onggi pots, which are also used to make kimchi (fermented veges) and soybean paste. So far, so healthy. The benefits of green tea leaf extract as an anti-oxidant are well-documented.
I don’t expect moisturisers to wind back time dramatically; they’re more to lubricate, pamper and protect. But, for those like me, now dry of face around the edges, the cream made a discernible mid-winter difference. My skin felt better; so did I.
The majority of product in our beauty reviews is gifted to our reviewers with the requirement it be trialled over a period of time. Editorial opinions are the writer's own. Is there a product you’d like to see reviewed? Let us know.