It’s no secret that I love skincare.
All right, I don’t believe all the promises made for every single product I buy – but yes, I would like a magic wand waved over some dodgy areas. The anti-ageing market in the UK is worth billions – but do any of the products actually work? This time I’m looking at some high-end products that don’t quite claim to turn back the clock, but have price tags which definitely suggest that the sands of time might run a little more slowly if you invest.
YSL Forever Youth Liberator
This little vial came in a set which I gave Child One for Christmas, including a mascara and YSL’s iconic Touche Eclat (which I have never found effective, but that’s another story). Child One weeded this out and gave it to me, rather miffed that I seemed to be suggesting she needed its help at the age of 20. Of course she doesn’t, but I was rather thrilled to test it, as it costs from £44 to £76 on the John Lewis website, and has had rave reviews. The little instructions leaflet was terse and redirected me to a website for instructions on how to apply the product, which I thought was quite ridiculous. I slapped it on as per a normal serum product.
Now the hype around this product has been quite intense, with lots of science-style stuff from YSL about Glycanactif™, a ‘patented combination of 3 glycans, to help increase youthful activity in skin cells’. What are glycans when they are at home? No idea. I will say that this does seem to fill in a few cracks, though. I’ve had an annoying furrow by one eyebrow which has been worsening for years (no doubt caused by trying to read the small print on beauty product inserts) and this does seem to smooth it out. Whether that’s some sort of optical illusion, whether it’s actually working, or whether my eyesight is failing, I couldn’t tell you. I do rather like the product, though. It smells good, goes on easily, may be helping and I love the whole sciency pipette and vial presentation.
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
You wait ages for a good serum, and then two come along at once ….. In fact I used a tiny tester of this Kiehl’s concentrate on holiday, and my skin soaked it up very gratefully. It smells heavenly, predominantly of lavender, which I love anyway. It’s a light oil formulation, which could leave your face feeling a bit too tacky, but I found it was rapidly absorbed.
I spotted a bottle at the Duty Free on the way home, and as we’d been given a 20 per cent off voucher, I went wild and bought it. Luckily, what with the exchange rate, Brexit, the collapse of the pound and interest rate cuts, and all that, I have no idea how much it was in the end, except that it was a colossal bargain, of course. It sells for about £36 in UK shops.
Is it any better or worse than the more expensive YSL? It has an oil formulation, while YSL has a slightly (forgive me) mucousy texture which takes longer to sink into the skin. I suppose it would depend on whether you prefer oil or gel. Of the two, I think the YSL works better, but the Kiehl’s certainly smells divine.
Apivita Aqua Vita Advanced Moisture Revitalising Cream
A friend in the cosmetics business tipped me off about this range, as I was travelling in Greece. It’s a Greek brand which uses mostly organic ingredients, often substituting water for Greek mountain tea which contains antioxidants. It has a bee at the centre of its logo and uses a lot of honey and propolis in its ranges. Again, it has a whole raft of claims for its products. What I like is the fact that they seem to use very few ingredients per product, the ingredients themselves are organic if possible and chemicals are kept to a minimum. This seems like a very sensible approach and is probably a great relief to anyone who has sensitive skin, eczema or allergies to contend with.
I tried out the Aqua Vita moisturiser as I had just finished my jar of beloved Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream. This product is way less expensive and seems to leave my skin feeling very comfortable and decently hydrated. The slightly gel-feeling formula probably helps here. I bought a face mask for Child Two and she is very impressed with it – she feels it’s definitely improved her skin, which I am really happy about.