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October has begun which only means one thing: welcome to our inaugural beauty awards, Powder’s first foray gong-wise into the very best in beauty. What makes our awards different is that we’ve tried every single product that’s featured, we’re not paid to promote and we’re genuine about the fact that these products really do work. And that’s what’s important, right?
This week, we’re talking the biggest and the best in skincare; not necessarily the stuff you’ve heard about before (though there will be some familiar faces too), but the creams, gels and liquids we’ve tried that really do make a difference to the texture, tone and overall X-factor of our skin. So without further ado…
1st Place: Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Oil-Free Moisture Cushion, £50.50
As far as moisturisers go, this one has – and does - it all, and for all skin types, too. It’s a water-based gel texture, which makes it an absolute non-greasy, quickly-absorbed pleasure to apply each morning.
The ingredients list is another thing to shout about; it contains everything from skin-plumping Hyaluronic Acid to Marine Algae - the ingredient de jour in the beauty world, thanks to its ability to boost skin’s elasticity and overall health. It also contains a small amount of glycolic acid, the AHA that penetrates skin to unclog pores and exfoliate surface texture, leaving skin smooth AF.
There’s a whole heap more in there too, but all you need to know is that, used daily, this is a cream that will transform how your skin looks for the better.
2nd Place: Lancer The Method: Nourish, £105
Hard not to give this super luxe, thick cream joint first place as it does exactly what it says on the tin: nourish. And it feels good, too.
3rd Place: Simple Kind to Skin Protecting Light Moisturiser SPF 15, £6.99
The SPF of 15 in this lightweight moisturizer is an added bonus to an already great hydrating cream.
1st Place: Clarins Eye Contour Gel, £31
Small but mighty, this blue gel is a god send when eyes are tired, hungover or just not looking their best which, let’s face it, is quite a lot of the time. As well as simple, soothing ingredients like Rose Water and Wild Rose that take down the dreaded puff, a plant called palmetto gives a refreshing menthol feel which helps disperse any of that heavy-behind-the-eyes feeling. Warm it between your fingers and then use them to press firmly around the lower and upper brow bone.
2nd Place: Crème de la Mer the Eye Concentrate, £150
Worth the massive price tag, particularly for older skin, this thick and indulgent cream perks up eyes and, over time, helps wrinkles look less pronounced.
3rd Place: Avene Soothing Eye Contour Cream, £9.50
A failsafe French pharmacy buy – and great for those with skin that likes to throw tantrums.
1st Place: Dr Sebagh Serum Repair, £69
It’s not often you get a unanimous agreement on skincare but this champ, created by renowned French cosmetic doctor, Jean-Louis Sebagh, beats most others out of the park. Its main ingredient is Hyaluronic Acid (HA), a molecule that can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water, which means that the skin gets ultra hydrated and plump when it’s applied – it’s a sponge, basically. Add to that the unisex, modern apothecary-style bottle and you’ve got a product that even the boyfriend will want to use (not that you’ll let him).
2nd Place: La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum, £20
This also contains the powerful sponge ingredient and it’s more than half the price – one for the skincare newbies especially.
3rd Place: The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%, £5
A combination of HA and antioxidant Vitamin C, this serum is only £5 worth of skin brightening, hydrating, glow-boosting brilliance.
1st Place: MZ Skin Cleanse and Clarify, £56
In this world there are cleansers… and then there are cleansers. This is the latter. It’s a whole array of products in one tube – cleanser, exfoliator, mask – and it does everything without stripping, drying, causing spots and so on.
How? Well it contains a blend of papaya enzymes and low concentration AHAs that lift dead skin cells, unclog pores and encourage skin cells to renew themselves. The more the skin is clear of dirt, grime and dead skin, the better it can absorb anything that goes on it after, including serums and moisturisers.
To really reap the benefits of the formula, dampen your hands and massage the cleanser onto dry skin – and then rinse. Mask-wise, apply thinly over your face and neck, leave for ten minutes, and then wash off afterwards.
2nd Place: Elemis Collagen Balm, £41
This cleanser smells and feels like a spa and it’s packed full of nourishing oils that help skin feel like it’s being loved – a great one to use for facial massage because it gives lots of slip.
3rd Place: Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, £14.50
This one has basically won every award going, and for good reason; it’s gentle, it comes with a muslin cloth (win) and it does a great job of thoroughly cleaning skin.
And if you want to find more great cleansers... take the quiz below.