Q.Having just discovered Liz Earle’s fantastic Cleanse & Polish, I am I’ve asked countless workers at Boots but no-one who is selling No7 Protect and Perfect Serum can tell me what is in the product! I cannot even compare products on what has more of the beneficial agents that are clinically proven to work if they are not listed. Also, can you suggest products that can do more than No7 and have a sunscreen? Boots told me it wasn’t necessary to have a sunscreen in their products because ‘people are allergic to it’.
A.OK, so here goes: by European law, all ingredients must be listed on the packaging – so if you look at a serum on the shelf, they really are on there somewhere (even if you have to take a magnifying glass to see them). Then you can do your comparisons. If you’re looking at a ‘tester’ on the counter, find somewhere in the store where it’s on the shelf, and have a look at the outer packaging. We agree, though, that the comment about ‘sunscreen’ is pretty unhelpful (and a case of Chinese whispers, we’d say: although some people are sensitive to sunscreens, not everyone is – and we think it is important to wear a sunscreen, at least between April and November. We would suggest a moisturiser with SPF: the Protect and Perfect Serum isn’t actually a moisturiser but is created to be layered underneath. One that has scored incredibly well with our testers is Clinique Superdefense SPF25 (available for a range of skintypes), or if you prefer a more natural option, we rate Origins A Perfect World SPF25. Give your serum a minute or two and then apply this over the top; it is always easier to prevent future damage than repair it. And meanwhile? Go back and look at that packaging.
Q.I am 40 years old and have always looked after my skin, which is normal/dry. I am currently using all Liz Earle skincare products including Superskin, which I love. But, I am very conscious of the SPF factor missing from the moisturiser. I would like to try a moisturiser with an SPF and I am quite interested in using Estée Lauder DayWear. Do you think this would be appropriate for my age? Also what eye cream would you recommend for me? Have you had any good comments about Superskin Eye Serum or is there an Estée Lauder eye product you would recommend?
A.The way Jo gets round this problem is to apply Superskin, wait a few minutes and then layer a product from Laura Mercier over the top. Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Daily Face Shield with Adaptogens SPF40+, is a lightweight, matte, relatively high SPF product that sinks right into skin without leaving it shiny, and the two products seem to go together very well. (We’re sure that Liz and her team are working on an SPF facial moisturiser, but we’re also sure that they won’t launch anything until they’re absolutely confident it’s as good as it can be. And obviously that day hasn’t come, yet…) We are also vocal and long-standing fans of the Estée Lauder DayWear range, which comes in a choice of lotion, sheer tint moisturiser (a great tinted moisturiser), or a richer cream (DayWear Plus Multi Protection Anti-Oxidant Crème SPF15, is the formulation most like the Superskin texture.) Now on to eyes: Jo does really rate the Superskin Eye & Lip Treatment, in fact, it is the ONLY eye product that she’s ever used religiously! It’s lightweight, and she particularly likes the fact it doesn’t ‘travel’ into her sensitive eyes. But yes, Lauder do offer some excellent eye products, too: within that range, we especially like Estée Lauder TimeZone Anti-Line/Wrinkle Cream for Eyes. Basically, it’s your call.
• Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Daily Face Shield with Adaptogens SPF40+, £26 for 30 ml at www.johnlewis.com – buy here
• DayWear Plus Multi Protection Anti-Oxidant Crème SPF15, £39 for 50 ml is available on-line at www.boots.com – buy here
• Estée Lauder TimeZone Anti-Line/Wrinkle Cream for Eyes, £34 for 15 ml at www.boots.com – buy here