All-rounder: Cult51, £125; Fortnum & Mason
While most creams treat two or three skin concerns, Cult51 has been formulated to treat everything, from protecting antioxidants in the skin to preventing hyperpigmentation, increasing elasticity, promoting collagen production and healing, reducing inflammation and sensitivity, brightening and smoothing skin — the list goes on. Plus, it can be applied to the face, neck, décolleté and hands. The chemist behind it, Richard Mears, formulated products for other skincare companies for 23 years before deciding to pool the best ingredients into his own product. Clinical trials have shown that Cult51 reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by 52% in just 28 days, and diminishes the appearance of age spots by up to 25% in 12 weeks. Such is its reputation there was a waiting list of 5,000 before its launch at Fortnum’s.
Overnight rescue: La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask, £204; House of Fraser
Falling somewhere between a rich cream and a mask, this makes the most of the night-time skin renewal process with a lipo-peptide to prevent and reduce lines while stimulating collagen production. Yeast extract and papaya refine the skin’s surface and soften lines and pigmentation, while hyaluronic acid plumps the skin by allowing it to take on and maintain a good moisture reservoir. This has the added bonus of filling out lines. A real face refresher.
Sensitive and irritated skin: Eucerin AtoControl Acute Care Cream, £14;boots.com
Eucerin’s latest offering bridges the gap between widely available skincare and prescription-only products. With sensitivity, inflammation and a weakening skin barrier its focus, AtoControl soothes skin, using liquorice-root extract to treat inflammation and menthoxypropanediol to calm and cool. Add to this decanediol (a natural antiseptic) to attack bacteria and you have the answer to your winter skincare needs.
Acne-prone skin: Indeed Labs Retinol Reface, £20; boots.com
Retinol, a powerful derivative of vitamin A, is regarded by most skincare experts as the key anti-ageing ingredient. However, some retinols come with unfortunate side effects, such as irritation, dryness, redness and increased sensitivity to the sun. This cream delivers a retinoid fluid gently, using SymSitive 1609, an ingredient that regulates sensitivity and calms skin. Used overnight after cleansing, Retinol Reface speeds up cell turnover, which in turns helps to smooth out wrinkles, fade pigmentation and encourage collagen production. Best of all, it eliminates acne-causing bacteria from the surface of the skin, so not only will you suffer breakouts less often, but when you do get blemishes, the chances of scarring will be reduced.
First signs of ageing: Clinique Superdefense SPF20 Daily Defense Moisturizer, £39
The first step to keeping the early indicators of ageing at bay is a strong skin barrier, UV protection and antioxidants to help the skin protect itself. That’s what this new daily cream from Clinique delivers. Since inflammation is a key cause of early wrinkles, it contains a blend of anti-irritants such as barley and wheat-germ extract to calm skin and maintain its healthy balance. There are also antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, which protect skin cells from free radicals and support their defence against premature ageing. Of course, you also get broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, and what’s more, this cream uses photosomes, enzymes that are activated by sunlight, which help repair UV damage before it can create lines and wrinkles.
Pronounced signs of ageing: Lancer Skincare The Method: Nourish, £105; Harrods
Beverly Hills-based Dr Harold Lancer is dermatologist to the likes of Victoria Beckham, Beyoncé and Katy Perry. His skincare line, already a phenomenon in America, is now here, and Nourish is arguably the hero product. It can be used both morning and evening and is safe for the eye area, too. It delivers a host of active ingredients such as peptides to soften lines, antioxidants including vitamin E to protect and repair skin cells, and retinyl palmitate, a vitamin-A derivative that speeds up cell turnover so skin looks younger, plumper and fresher.
Firming and lifting: Decléor Prolagène Lift – Lift and Firm Day Cream, £70
At the heart of this cream is L-Proline complex, to help reactivate the skin’s firmness. Iris essential oil boosts elasticity, and hyaluronic acids plump skin and fill out lines. White sage in the cream helps stimulate the skin cells’ defence proteins, and there is even a botanical tensing agent that will immediately, although temporarily, tighten the skin. Finally, light-reflecting particles make skin look more radiant after an application.