Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hero beauty products: daily face creams

I have several enormous plastic buckets under my bed, chock full of brand new beauty products, as a leftover from my last Important Job. My way of dealing with the avalanche at the time was to dole out the goodies to the office, with the proviso that if I had given them something that they found to be very good they were to report back me, so that I could test it out too. I also handed out random surplus from the huge beauty drawers in my office to my assistant & to my friends, and stockpiled everything I wanted to try at home and in my desk drawers.

Of course, by the time I departed, I still had mountains left. It's been three months or so, and I am still breaking the seals on new pots of stuff. And the plus side for you lot is that I now have all the time in the world to find out what really works and report back to you, without the advertising sword of Damocles waiting to fall if I slag anything off.

I'm certainly not a label whore where skincare is concerned. My main proviso is that whatever I use doesn't aggravate my sensitive skin. I suffered from eczema as a child and now have rosacea, which means I can break out in tiny pustules at the drop of a hat, whilst still having dry & flaky skin on my forehead & cheeks. Nice.

So, I tread carefully when it comes to slathering on new creams, but I know if they work for me then they will have stellar effects on everyone else. My two latest recommends are from either end of the spectrum.

First off is Eucerin's Lipo-Balance Intensive nourishing cream for dry to very dry sensitive skin. Containing a combination of ceramide-3 and biotin, I used this small glass pot all winter as my main moisturiser on top of my various serums, and it kept my skin supple & hydrated with very few breakouts. (I didn't use it if I was outdoors for any period of time as it is SPF6, & I prefer an SPF of at least 15). Only problem is I can't seem to find any suppliers for it, and I can't remember whether it came from the US or UK publicist. Oops. Really helpful, me.

RéVive Moisturizing Renewal Cream, my superstar night cream, is fearfully expensive ($165 - but can be got cheaper on-line). I do not recommend the pricey stuff lightly, but it really is that good. It was developed by plastic surgeon Dr. Gregory Bays Brown after he had seen the cosmetic potential for a bio-engineered molecule called EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor, whose discovering scientist won the 1986 Nobel Prize) that, when applied to burns and wounds, dramatically accelerated healing in all patients tested. Dr Bays Brown patented EGF for cosmetic use and developed the skin care line that became RéVive.

A quick squint through the ingredients shows the usual antioxidants and moisturising &/or water retaining skin care suspects (squalene, allantoin, shea butter, sodium hyaluronate, dimethecone, various vegetable & fruit oils, glycerin) as well as EGF and glycolic acid (an AHA) which exfoliates the skin. Upon application there is a slight tingle from the acid (which would be my normal sign to scrub the whole lot away before my sensitive face burned off), but the tingle was momentary, and the next morning my flakiness had disappeared.

Two weeks later and I'm kind of gob-smacked: my skin really is glowing. The makers would claim that the cream eliminates imperfections and decreases the overall appearance of fine lines, but I would say merely that my skin has never felt so soft. Overall it really does seem to do what it promises: deliver a luminous & firm complexion. Again, I cannot remember which publicist sent me this (forgive me, all delivery records stayed in the office when I left)- but thank you!