‘Anti-ageing’ products are a myth but you can still manage the damage

Beauty: All we can do is manage damage – and serums and eye creams can help

There are some things that should be flung into the sea and given no more thought. Among these are boot cut jeans, people who change a toilet roll so that the sheet hangs on the inside, facing the wall (that was tough even to write), and the term ‘anti-ageing’.

Ageing is inevitable and value neutral. Had it a singular will, the beauty industry would have us like King Canute, sitting atop a throne on the shore and roaring at the tide to keep back while drawing our brows on high and mad in a lower case letter 'n', like a very elderly Bette Davis.

The tide will do its thing, and so will time. Ageing is not objectively negative, and it cannot be reversed with anything we fling in a panic at our faces. It can be managed, however, and there is a difference between the natural ageing of the skin, and damage to the skin. The latter, we can do something about.

'Anti-ageing' products are simply products designed for skin from 40 years old and up. They tend to have richer consistencies and ingredients than products aimed at younger skins. Male skin tends to be naturally oilier, so won't need the same rich textures as female skin might, but serums are ideal for both. A serum is a treatment product, and should be more expensive than other skincare. Caudalie Premier Cru The Serum (€99 from Space NK) is a newly reformulated iteration of the brand's most potent serum for mature skin (think 50 and older). It promotes faster cell turnover, is firming and intensely hydrating. Skin exhibits more "snap back", bounce and even tone.


You don't have to spend exorbitantly on a serum if you would rather not. BareMinerals is a brand whose skincare is consistently underrated. Ageless Genius Firming and Wrinkle Smoothing Serum (€56 from Debenhams) offers intense hydration which minimises fine lines, and leaves skin comfortable, bouncy and with a brightened, more even appearance. Both serums apply nicely around the eye area also.

A dedicated eye cream isn't a necessity before 30, but Chanel Blue Serum Eye Revitalizing Concentrate (€65 from Brown Thomas) has a sumptuously light, creamy serum texture. It does not interfere with makeup or look shiny, but feels light and instantly smooths and brightens the entire eye area. To get the most from your eye cream, apply it before moisturiser, but after serum.

Follow up with your moisturiser. Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream (€85 from Thérapie Clinics) is a very effective peptide-rich resurfacer which is effective on texture and fine lines over time. When using retinol, apply it straight onto cleansed skin, and skip serum for best results.

To get the most of your products, adopt skincare authority and general blogging legend Caroline Hirons' method of spritzing a good mist like Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist (€23.50 from Arnotts) on to the skin before each layer of product. It may look like faffing about, but it will increase the absorption and effectiveness of your products, minimise the quantity you need to use, and feel absolutely dreamy as well.