You can’t lose with a hydrating product. Here are five of the best
Beauty: Skincare to suit all ages, genders and skin types
There is one skincare regime that benefits everyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or skin type – hydrators. File photograph: Getty Images
Skincare can be difficult to shop for. Skin’s needs can change, sometimes suddenly, depending on the time of year, general health, hormonal fluctuation and, of course, our old enemy, stress.
It is better for the skin not to foster actual enemies – hating people or things is frightfully injurious to the complexion. Indeed, I have a friend who refuses even to raise her eyebrows in any extravagant manner (no matter how shocking anything she hears might be), based on a highly scientific (by which I mean not at all scientific) theory that it will minimise the development of forehead lines. My eyebrows jumped skyward when she shared this theory with me; I’m happy enough to wait 10 years to see if she was right.
In the meantime, there is one type of skincare that benefits everyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or skin type – hydrators. You cannot lose with a hydrating product. They don’t congest, they sink right into the skin, making it relaxed and comfortable, and they prepare skin for make-up brilliantly. Dehydration is most commonly the cause of skin tightness and the sudden feeling that you have developed fine lines or deeper-than-usual wrinkles overnight on looking in the mirror after waking (you haven’t).
Hydrating products can be layered into your skincare routine with your old favourites, and have an instant plumping, glowing effect. Everyone should own a hyaluronic acid-rich, hydrating moisturiser, at the very least.
L’Occitane Ultra Thirst Quenching Gel (€29)
This is part of an entirely delicious new hydrating skincare range from the brand, is an intensely comforting everyday treat for the skin. If you have oily skin, use this alone – if your skin is drier, apply a richer cream over the top, or a couple of drops of oil.
For those who take skincare layering very seriously, an essence is a beneficial extra step to add to a skincare routine. Essences tend to be like serums, but thinner in consistency and are applied before.
Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Liquid Essence (€90 from April 20th)
This is an essence/serum hybrid, and packs serious hydration into the skin. You don’t strictly need to use an essence, however. If you want to keep products to a minimum, opt for a serum instead.
La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 Serum (€38 from Boots)
A delightfully gelatinous serum. It works best applied to damp or freshly misted skin, and boosts the hydrating capacity of your moisturiser.
Glamglow Waterburst Hydrated Glow Moisturiser (€45)
This is a nice option for over the top, and works like a dream under make-up with its light, smoothing texture, reminiscent of the excellent but significantly more expensive Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream.
La Mer The Moisturizing Cool Gel Cream (€140 from Brown Thomas)
If budget is not an option, then the only hydrating moisturiser to use is this one. A moisturiser of such beauty and effectiveness that it gives me the same feeling that most people would have on first seeing a sculpture by Bernini. I could weep for its sumptuous beauty.