Don’t believe the hype: beauty buys worth your cash

These hard-working products can save you money and time

Certain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycolic and lactic acids and retinol or retinyl palmitate are usually indicators of a useful and reliable product.

Certain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycolic and lactic acids and retinol or retinyl palmitate are usually indicators of a useful and reliable product.

 

Buying skincare can be a daunting experience and the level of spin and nonsense perpetuated by the industry is enough to baffle any consumer. Don’t believe the hype. No unguent you put on your skin can “increase collagen production”. If a vitamin C product is exposed to the air or strong light (almost all are), then it is less than useless. Nothing can “shrink pores”.

Remember that the closer an ingredient is to the bottom of the ingredient list on the label, the less of it the product contains in relation to the other ingredients. So if it claims to be a rosehip oil product and rosehip oil is toward the bottom of the ingredient list, you are being had.

Certain ingredients are usually indicators of a useful and reliable product. Hyaluronic acid, glycolic and lactic acids and retinol or retinyl palmitate are all demonstrably effective and potent ingredients which are worth paying for.

Skinceuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier (€91)

Dehydration highlights uneven skin texture as well as fine lines and wrinkles. Nothing else has the instant plumping and hydrating power of hyaluronic acid.

Pixi Glow Pads (€31 from Marks and Spencer)

Glycolic acid exfoliates the skin, removing dead surface cells without the need for gritty physical exfoliation. At 20 per cent concentration, these pads are quite powerful. Be sure to use an SPF daily as glycolic acid sensitises the skin to sunlight.

Skinceuticals Retinol 0.3 per cent (€58)

Retinol is the most potent and effective ingredient for tackling damage and signs of premature aging. A potent form of vitamin A, it can cause peeling and dryness, so it’s best to start at a low concentration and increase slowly over time.

Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum (€85)

This retinol serum promises visible results in two weeks, but is sufficiently gentle for those who are new to retinol products.

Clinique ‘Fresh Pressed’ 7-Day System with Pure Vitamin C (€34)

Beware of vitamin-C based skincare in general, it is notoriously unstable and goes off very quickly. This delivery system keeps it fresh until you want to use it and then is good for seven days of use. The brightening effect on skin is visible after a few days.

Environ AVST Moisturiser (€49)

This moisturiser contains retinyl palmitate, which is gentler on the skin than some other forms of retinol and comes in a step-up system so that skin adjusts gradually.

Sunday Riley Juno Oil (€80)

Every skincare routine for every skin type (apart from those with some skin conditions) should include an oil. This one is rich, nourishing and essential oil-free. It can be applied over retinol at night to help combat the dryness it can cause.

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel (€35.45)

This silky gel cleanser contains bromelain, the enzyme found in pineapples, which chemically exfoliates the skin. This is best as a morning cleanser.

Laura's product of the week: The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA2% (€8.10 from beautybay.com)

Lactic acid is another chemical exfoliant, but is much gentler than glycolic acid and more suitable for those with sensitive skin. This serum is effective and very affordable.