10 all-time great products our beauty director swears by

Once someone hears what I do for a living the first thing they usually ask me to do is describe my skincare routine in detail. Often that’s tricky for me as I’m always (and rather unhelpfully) forgetting the names of things… ‘that light blue Vichy bottle, er… DM me on Insta and I’ll tell you when I get home’ is a typical response. But here they all are, not only remembered, but fully present and correct.

Given the nature of my job, the products I’m using can change as I trial many new launches that I consider worth putting through their paces. But these ten products have become my trusted skincare steeds. They are always on my bathroom shelf, travel with me when I’m on the move, and having stuck to them for the past few months, have given my complexion great clarity.

But there are a few things you should know: it’s worth remembering that these products work brilliantly for me. So who am I? I’m in my 40s, have fair and slightly sensitive skin that’s prone to dehydration and slight redness. I’m fortunate that I have fine but not drastic wrinkles, something I put down to lucky genetics (thank you Ma and Pa) and the fact that I am not and never have been a sun seeker.

‘these are my trusted skincare steeds; they have given my complexion great clarity’

I have tried Botox only once: it was a year ago and for a feature. I loved it – it was only baby Botox for those ‘elevens’ frown lines between the brows – but I haven’t gone back. I prefer to trust in skincare, lifestyle and trying to maintain a certain ease about ageing since it is, as they say, better than the alternative. I’m not puritanical, though, and I can’t promise that as soon as Dr Tapan Patel tells me he has a free appointment I won’t dash straight down to Harley Street.

I’m also not (at least not yet) a big user of retinol. I don’t deny that it’s a powerful skincare ingredient, but it almost always leaves my skin red and feeling as though it’s burning. That said, there are some products launching in the coming months that I’m about to start trialling. which promise a softer, but still effective, retinol action. More on those in due course. In the meantime, here are my current top ten skin perfectors.

1. Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum, £25, vichy.co.uk

As I said, my skin can get quite dry. This serum really helps and is packed with hyaluronic acid for proper hydration. It’s lightweight and I’ve never had any issues with pilling no matter what I put on top.

2. Medik8 C-Tetra Lipid Vitamin C Antioxidant Serum, £35, medik8.com

I use this every morning. It’s a lightweight oil formula, sinks in immediately, isn’t remotely sticky and has brought brightness and clarity to my face.

3. Eau Thermale Avène Tolérance Extrême Cream, £13.50, boots.com

This is a simple cream that’s great for hydration and if you’re prone to a bit of redness. It’s rich but doesn’t feel heavy or sticky.

4. L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Laser Renew Anti-Ageing Glycolic Peel Pads, £22.49 for 30, boots.com

Lots of brands produce these exfoliating pads and I’d happily use pretty much any of them. But these are good and markedly less expensive. You can use them daily but I don’t – I’m more of a couple-of-times-a-week gal.

5. Votary Rose, Geranium and Apricot Cleansing Oil, £45, spacenk.com

Oh, how I love this! It leaves my skin clean but never tight. I really massage it in and remove it with a flannel soaked in warm water (I prefer these to muslin cloths as I find them less abrasive). It also smells wonderful.

6. Seed to Skin The Alche’Mist Super Active Serum Spray, £145, libertylondon.com

Some of my skincare is alternated, but this I use daily. It does contain some essential oils (patchouli and bergamot) and some people can be reactive. But I have had no problem and am dedicated to this product. It also contains 0.05 per cent of vitamin A (aka retinol) and it’s the only time so far my skin has tolerated it.

7. DCL C Scape High Potency Night Booster 30, £108, selfridges.com

Yes, this is expensive but I say it’s worth it as it contains a 30 per cent concentration of L-ascorbic acid – aka vit C – to get to work at night (no sunlight so it doesn’t instantly start deteriorating) and seriously helps to even out skin tone.

8. Dr Barbara Sturm Glow Drops, £105, spacenk.com

This contains beneficial ingredients to hydrate the skin, and also has light-reflecting pigments that give you that extra bright and healthy oomph factor. When my skin’s in good nick I’ll often skip a tinted skin product in favour of these.

9. Tom Ford Bronzing Powder, £52, harrods.com

I admit that this has nothing to do with skincare. But it is one of my year-round products for the face and I consider it to be the finisher to my morning routine. It gives a glow and has no shimmer so looks natural.

10. Malin + Goetz Eucalyptus Deodorant, £19, spacenk.com

OK, not quite main skincare but the skin under your arms does matter. I use this every morning – it’s a natural (and aluminium free) deodorant that keeps me fresh all day.

Feature by Edwina Ings-Chambers