It’s all everyone in the beauty and skincare industry is talking about: post quarantine skin. We explain the important reasons why you should use a moisturiser.
Many initially thought the lockdown would be beneficial for our skin – less makeup, less external pollutants, less complex regimes = problem-free skin. WRONG! As it turns out, extended periods of time indoors combined with a hiatus from normal routine and the additional stress of uncertainty can play havoc with our skin.
Skin fasting, or avoiding using any products whatsoever, has been touted as a potential solution. Please do not do this. Your skin needs extra TLC at stressful times, and may likely be in need of a new product/routine to accommodate such changes. That’s where we can help. Below, we have rounded up the best moisturisers for all skins and budgets. Whether you were just in the market for a new moisturiser or need a new holy grail product, we have you covered.
Prai Neck and Decolletage Crème and Serum
If you aren’t just concerned about the lines/dark marks/dry patches on your face and you’d like something effective and on the more affordable end of the scale for the neck and décolleté, Prai brings state of the art technology to its entire range, and you can pick it up along with your eggs at Marks & Spencer.
Known worldwide as neck experts, I was curious to see what Prai’s range could do. The flagship product in this range, the Ageless Throat and Decolletage Crème, says it works within 7 days. After having originally been doubtful of this promise, I was pleasantly surprised to find they weren’t wrong: light wrinkles and lines on the throat are visibly decreased, and the skin looks less saggy with just over a week’s constant use.
With key ingredients including proprietary Sepilift™ technology and hyaluronic acid, my skin looked plumped, smooth and hydrated. Better yet is their Ageless Throat & Décolletage Serum which comes in a whopping 120ml squeezable bottle. It has a three-way rollerball applicator which ensures you don’t waste any product. The rollerballs feel as though you’re getting a spa massage treatment at home – I loved it. Both products are a wonderful combination if you feel like your neck and chest area needs extra attention.
The Mogra Rejuvenating Gold Moisturiser
This restorative, age-defying daily hydration boosting moisturiser contains rare and exotic ingredients known for delivering the most luxurious and best results. Mogra (known as the ‘Queen of Jasmines’), stimulates cell renewal and promotes collagen production. Indian Rose (‘Queen of Oils’) deeply hydrates the skin, softening and restoring balance, while 24K gold, known as a powerful anti-ageing ingredient, is crucial in reviving vitality in the skin. These ingredients together with other nourishing plant actives help to maintain moisture levels, smooth the appearance of fine lines and give the skin a more radiant, youthful glow.
You need a certain amount of gold for it to be effective and here we have 24k gold leaf rather than colloidal gold which is great for cellular interaction. if you put a smear a little on the back of your hand and take a look, you will be able to see the gold! The sleek, airless pump ensures that the beautiful formulation stays intact each and every time too.
Angela Langford bloom & glow face oil
Founded by MasterChef finalist Angela Langford, this organic, vegan, cruelty free, mood-boosting facial oil is created by hand in Pembrokeshire. First of all, the oil smells amazing and reminded me of being in a spa. Just a couple of drops before bed is enough to nourish the skin. It also mixes in well with other moisturisers.
Chia seed and sea buckthorn are blended together to deliver high levels of essential fatty acids, vitamins & antioxidants so it improves skin’s elasticity, calms inflammation and restores radiance. The oil also contains high levels of repairing omega 3, helping to reduce fine lines.
Dr Organic Manuka Honey Rescue Cream
If your skin is dry, cracked and in need of a thick balm-like moisturiser, this cream retails affordably at under a tenner. For this bargainous price, you still get excellent value. This emollient cream is thick and melts luxuriously into the skin. I used it when I had some rather intense and sore peeling around my mouth/chin area due to sunburn – within hours of applying the dry skin had all but disappeared, leaving behind supple, smooth glowing skin. If you are not a fan of fragrance do avoid this however– it smells strongly of fresh honey, which reminds me of a high-end spa product but may irritate others.
Available from your local Holland & Barrett or online.
Holland & Barrett CBD Day Cream
For a fully vegan, all-natural ingredients and cruelty free product, I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at Holland & Barrett’s own brand CBD day cream. CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It can be extracted and turned into oil, which due to its various antioxidant properties, is now a prevalent ingredient in the beauty and skincare industry.
Not only is this cream ultra-moisturising, it is also firming and helps to balance oiliness in the skin and minimise early signs of ageing. There’s also a serum and a night cream in the range but this is a great place to start for a daily hydration boosting moisturiser that isn’t too heavy but helps balance your skin, regardless of skin type. Again, this does have a light fragrance.
Available from your local Holland & Barrett or online.
Slow Ageing Essential Moisturiser
This absolutely beautiful algae-based moisturiser by UK brand Slow Ageing is now going to be part of my daily skincare routine. That’s no mean feat, but this gorgeous cream ticks so many of my boxes. Not only is the packaging discreet (black recyclable pot, no plastic to be seen anywhere), the fragrance is heavenly, the formula is thick but not cloying, and sinks into skin with ease. I can attribute a lot of the glow I now have when I apply this every morning to the natural ingredients which include seaweed, ylang ylang and lemon verbena. The brand is totally cruelty free, and the moisturiser needs to be slowly massaged on the face, starting with the forehead and ending with the décolletage area – a true spa in a jar! I cannot wait to try other products in this range – if you want a light, brightening moisturiser which plumps and firms skin while feeling like a cream three times the price, buy this. You will not be disappointed.
Fadeout Advanced Even Skintone Day Cream and Even Skintone Night Cream
Another affordable option here comes from fadeout, a readily available high street brand that promises big things but actually delivers. I would recommend this set of day and night cream for those of you that suffer with hyperpigmentation, dark marks and sun damage on the face and neck areas. The day cream has broad spectrum SPF 25 and UVA/UVB protection, as well as lactic acid for gentle exfoliation. The formula also contains niacinamide, or naturally occurring Vitamin B3, which is great for uneven skin tone, large pores, fine lines and can help limit the effects of free radicals (UV ray exposure, pollution etc.) on your skin. The night cream is a pumped-up version of the day cream, with additional extracts of rosehip oil. I would definitely suggest using these together over the course of a minimum of 4 weeks before seeing a reduction in pigmentation and marks, and smaller pores.
Available from Boots and Lookfantastic.com
Vitamin Injections London Vitamin E Everything Moisturiser & Vitamin A Night Shift Repair Cream
Award-winning Harley Street-trained skin specialist Bianca Estelle has recently launched her new skincare range formulated with a powerful selection of vitamins and minerals. I struggle to find heavy duty daytime moisturisers that don’t sit on the skin and are easily absorbed but also keep my dryness at bay. Bianca’s Vitamin E moisturiser is perfect for light-wearing hydration but also has a high dose of vitamins B, C, E and my holy grail ingredient for dry skin – hyaluronic acid. It pairs wonderfully with the Vitamin A Night Shift cream, which despite its intense ingredients, feels light and soft on the skin. Vitamin A combined with lactic acid and glycolic acids help to resurface the skin while you sleep and leaves you with a long-lasting glow.
Buy all products in the range on Vitamin Injections London’s website.
£34 and £42
CM La Vie Coconut Oil
For those of you only looking for a 100% natural, cruelty-free option which can be used for a multitude of skin and hair-related concerns, do consider CM La Vie Coconut Oil. It is raw, cold-pressed, extra virgin, ethically sourced coconut oil in a big tub. This product is an essential in most bathroom cupboards due to its impressive versatility – You can use it in the first stage of a double cleanse to remove impurities and makeup, post-workout/shower to reinvigorate skin, as a full body moisturiser or as a natural hair mask and lip balm. It also retails in most supermarkets for under £10.
Stocked by Amazon, Sainsburys, coconut-merchant.com, Ocado
Frezyderm Moisturizing Plus (ages 30+ and 45+)
Specially formulated by Greek dermatologists, Frezyderm have created a luxuriously light product for both face and neck. For dehydrated skin, which most if not all of us have right now, this is a great product. It’s a misnomer when some say that you need a very thick cream to deal with dry and dehydrated skin – it’s actually all about the ingredients in the formula itself. With a whopping three different types of hyaluronic acid, this product left my skin plump and soft without making it look like an oil slick. It also comes in two different versions for different age groups, 30-45 and 45+. The 45+ helps to improve skin structure, increasing the density and tone of thin, fragile skin and preventing wrinkles. It’s also a nice base under makeup.
Available on Beauty Base
£21.50 and £22
Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ Sub-D/Neck
Perricone MD really have the science as skincare brand down, and is this year celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its leading Cold Plasma franchise. Cold Plasma Plus+ is a high-achieving collection of targeted treatments for the face, eyes, neck and chest, using the highest quality ingredients to lift, firm and plump skin. I have previously raved about their encapsulated retinol serum, but I do think this range of products is the secret jewel in their crown.
The neck is one of the first parts of the body to show ageing, yet many tend to only focus on their face. Additionally, being WFH during lockdown exacerbates the chances of the dreaded “tech neck”– pain, headaches, tension and subsequently wrinkles, crepiness and less skin elasticity from looking down too much at phones and laptops. Perricone’s specialist neck cream now has a new and improved formula, which will help with sagging, discolouration and hyperpigmentation, whilst retaining an air-light texture and is also fragrance free.
Available on Perricone MD’s website.
Bioeffect Daytime moisturiser
I know I have skin that is on the drier side, but for those of you with normal/combination skin, Icelandic brand Bioeffect is a great option. Its lovely green and white striped box reminds me of old English confectionery, and it has a wonder ingredient in the form of EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor). EGF is a protein that stimulates cell growth and renewal, making it great for anti-ageing.
A little of this product goes a long way and it doesn’t feel overly heavy or greasy on the face but lasts all day. Over time, this also helps to smooth fine lines and hydrates with the power of Icelandic water. A good all-round daily moisturiser for normal skin types.
Available on Bioeffect’s website.
Su-Man Velvet Skin Brightening Serum
Not quite a moisturiser, but a silky smooth rosy serum that I recently discovered, is still worth a special mention in this round-up in case you don’t like to use thick creams on your face.
You don’t need to use much of this serum, so the 30ml bottle lasts a good while, and for someone who suffers with uneven skintone (hello teenage acne scars), this product is truly a God-send. The brainchild of renowned facialist Su-Man Tsu, used by queens of good skin Naomi Campbell and Juliette Binoche amongst others, this particular product is innovative in its simplicity. The serum combines a few very effective ingredients including hyaluronic acid to hydrate, tranexamic acid for lightening and brightening, rosehip seed oil for essential fatty acids and vitamins, and dragon’s blood extract to transform skin and make it the best it can be without surgical intervention.
I haven’t mentioned dragon’s blood extract in a column before, so thought I should give a quick debrief: dragon’s blood does not in fact come from the scaly, fire breathing predator of old lore! It is a bold red substance that is extracted from the Croton lechleri or Sangre de Drago (“Blood of the Dragon“) tree which is native to the Amazon rainforest. The resin from this tree has powerful protective, regenerative and anti-ageing properties, which ease swelling and redness and protect from external pollutants. All skincare regimens can benefit from adding this ingredient to the repertoire – it is found in many products but I would definitely recommend trying Su-Man’s formula as it is as close to (skin) perfection in a bottle that you can get!
Available to buy on Su-Man’s website.
Pietro Simone Act 4, The Cream
With his catchy motto behind him (“Our skin is the theatre of life”), Pietro Simone is the shining young star of the skincare industry. Working with a private laboratory, and using his Italian heritage and love of naturally derived ingredients, Pietro has put together a 10-step programme for all skin types. Act 4 is of course, the moisturising cream. Pietro combines a potent mix of tomato seed oil, apple and grapeseed, as well as plankton and algae extracts to smooth, soften and protect skin. Marine algae has peptides, proteins and powerful antioxidant properties which can encourage cell turnover and skin regeneration.
To quote Pietro himself, “your face should take centre stage – so make it smooth, soft and beautiful with this wonderfully luxurious cream.”
Buy this product and others in the range on Pietro’s website. You can also book to see Pietro at his clinic in Belgravia here.
The Organic Pharmacy Rose Diamond Face Cream
So you’ve heard of rose-infused creams and how the flower’s power can soften, plump and hydrate skin. How about harnessing that power and adding one of the strongest substances on this earth’s planet to take your skin to the next level? Look no further than Organic Pharmacy’s Rose Diamond Face Cream (72.92% organic). The lavish formula feels like silk when smoothing on, and after using daily for two weeks, my family were commenting on the radiance, even tone and brightness of my skin.
Beloved by Kylie Minogue, who is celebrated for her excellent skin, the cream combines natural extracts of hibiscus and linseed to promote elasticity and fade lines over time. I would also say this suits all skin tones and types, not just dry/dehydrated but also normal/oily and combination. The hydrating elements of shea, pomegranate, Evening Primrose and rosewater distilled from organic blossoms of Persian Rosa Damascena, smell utterly divine. The addition of diamond powder is undetected in the smooth as butter formula, and helps to blur the skin’s imperfections making it a fantastic option for wearing under makeup. The lovely no-frills pink and metal packaging means that it would also make a wonderful gift for a loved one.
Available to buy on The Organic Pharmacy website.
BioMiracle sheet and peel-off masks
To round things off, thought I’d add something fun yet practical to this extended round-up – a fun sheet mask or two! For the uninitiated among us, sheet masks are disposable one-use face-shaped fabric masks that come doused in a potent serum, and are very affordable if you feel like your skin needs an extra boost every now and then.
I love BioMiracle’s Stardust Bubble sheet masks, which by some sort of magic, bubble and fizz up on your face as you wear them! Not sure how much the bubbles add, but these masks (I tried Pixie and Bubble Bee) were gentle and great fun to use, as well as leaving my skin feeling zingy and fresh after a draining working week. It’s definitely something different to add to your normal skin routine, and can be a nice way to start the weekend by brightening up your face! BioMiracle also do some fantastic all-natural non-GMO masks that include super-veg and fruits such as broccoli, kale, grapefruit and orange to soothe, clarify restore and hydrate tired-looking skin. All masks are vegan and fully biodegradable.
Available to buy on Beauty Bargains.
By Geeta Kana
Featured image courtesy of Ian Dooley/Unsplash.