When it comes to efficient skincare, it’s all in the serum, the hardest working element in your routine, and the step in which you target all your insecurities, whether your skin needs tightening, brightening or just a big shot of hydration. Splurge accordingly - and swap in ampoules or boosters, which are even more concentrated versions of your daily serums, as needed - but give your skin a break, too, because when it comes to infusing the dermis, there really can be too much of a good thing.
For instant hydration
Look for low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid products when you need instant hydration, which will deliver moisture in smaller particles that are easily absorbed by skin - Dr Yannis Alexandrides consulted on skincare for Russian cosmonauts (and space is dry) before formulating solutions such as the 111Skin Space Aqua Booster, a serum booster that can be used alone or mixed in with your serum or cream, and contains hyaluronic acid as well as vitamin E to protect and Lactil complex which mimics the skin’s natural moisture system, the ultimate on days your face feels like the Sahara desert.
For brightening and whitening
Here, it’s vitamin C you want, and a four-week course using Sisley’s Phyto-Blanc Absolute Whitening Essence will have you even and beaming, thanks to Ascorbic Acid 2-glucoside (a vitamin C derivative), exfoliating prickly pear flower extract and pigmentation-blocking Hexyl Resorcinol. But remember, after any intense lightening treatment, it’s essential to stay out of the sun as much as possible, and to load up on sunscreen, lest your freckles or dark spots come back in double.
For skin repair
Estée Lauder has an ampoule version of its hit Advanced Night Repair serum, a two-week anti-ageing and skin repair course it recommends you use before or after travelling, in the winter or when you know you’re going to be in the sun quite a bit. It attacks all those ageing aggressors with ChronoluxCB™ Technology to repair skin, and 92 percent of users reported better skin after just the first evening dose. (Pro tip: the Advanced Night Recovery Powerfoil sheet mask is an even quicker fix using the same complex, with a plump and bouncy complexion after 10 minutes).
For fine lines
But for the most targeted skin concerns - fine lines around the eyes, frown lines and naso-labial folds - nothing beats Natura Bisse’s Inhibit High Definition Patches, which are mini masks that contain low and cross-linked high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid - the latter provides larger shots of hydration to fill wrinkles and fluff the skin - as well as conotoxin, which relaxes the face from contractions, which are a leading cause of expression lines in the first place. Throw on a movie, dedicate two hours to the patches and you’ll be wrinkle free for the next four weeks.