Forget Desert Island Discs, if we found ourselves stranded on a remote tropical island we know which personal care product we’d miss the most. It wouldn’t be shampoo: after four-to-six greasy weeks our hair would begin to clean itself again. Deodorant? With no one around to offend with our body odour, who cares? Hair products? We’d hardly be short of sea salt spray (though it would be a shame to achieve surf hair goals without Instagram to prove it).
But, as our skin slowly fries and dries in the elements, we’d pray that the island had coconut trees. Coconut oil is one of nature’s best natural moisturisers, and moisturiser is your skin’s first line of defence against dryness, irritation, sensitivity, ageing and environmental concerns. Good moisturiser, therefore, is essential and goes way beyond the comfort factor.
These days, if you know where to look, there’s a product to suit every skin type and concern; from creams to lotions, balms to serums. Sophisticated versions boast added sun protection, anti-pollution shields and cell-renewing ingredients. You might want to switch it up between seasons, or wear something that works harder while you sleep. Which one is right for you? Read on to find out.
Lab Series Instant Filter Moisturizer
Instagram perfection in real life? Lab Series just made it a little bit easier to achieve with the Instant Filter Moisturizer. If you need a little help balancing out your skin tone or disguising the odd blemish then this one’s for you. It doesn’t contain any makeup-style pigment, it comes out of the tube looking like normal moisturiser. What it does have is a magical ability to soften the edge of fine lines, balance out redness and make skin look less tired and brighter.
The Wrinkle Buster
If you’re feeling flush and want some of best skincare money can buy, go for Sisley. The luxury skin experts launched a specific product for men a while back: Sisleyüm is a wrinkle-fighting cream (and gel) that also works as a post-shave salve, and is great for more mature guys. However, we’re taken with Sisleyouth Hydrating Energizing Cream as a kind of starter anti-ageing moisturiser. It has a nice herbal smell and feels rich enough to take care of the skin at night but is ideal for daytime too.
Aesop B Triple C Facial Balancing Gel
There’s a pervasive myth that breakout-prone skin doesn’t need hydration. Harsh treatment can actually cause over-production of oil and result in more spots. Break the cycle with Aesop’s B Triple C Facial Balancing Gel. It’s aimed at combination skin but could also be your go-to summer fix when you want something light but effective.
The UV Protector
Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily Defense SPF 50
UV rays are a year-round threat – even indoors if you sit by a window all day. The trouble is that sun screen can often be heavy, comedogenic (pore clogging), greasy and leave a whitish residue. Well, we’re long-time fans of Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 because it offers high-level protection without any of those unwanted side effects. It can be worn in conjunction with your preferred serum or regular moisturiser. Technically, it sits under the sun care category at Kiehl’s, but we think it’s more than a pretty adequate moisturiser on its own – in summer it’s often all we wear.
La Mer Moisturizing Matte Lotion
Need hydration but want to kill the shine? La Mer’s Moisturizing Matte Lotion is top of our wish list. It might be pricey, but you don’t need much and it’s pore minimising, oil controlling and lightweight all at the same time.
Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator
Easier on the wallet but no less effective, Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator does what it says on the tube. It sinks in without trace and gives long-lasting shine protection, all while keeping skin soft and supple.
The Eco-Friendly One
Neal’s Yard Age-Defying Moisturiser
There was a time when “green” skincare products didn’t always cut it when compared to the chemically concentrated competition. Well, not any more. Neal’s Yard has always had watertight eco credentials, and now they prove their potions actually work with clinical trials like the big skincare brands. Its Age Defying Moisturiser improves firmness and elasticity with easy pump-action delivery.
The Thirst Quenchers
ClarinsMen Super Moisture Collection
Does your skin often feel tight after showering? The ClarinsMen Super Moisture Collection features a rich Super Moisture Balm (£31 for 50ml) and Super Moisture Gel (£31 for 50ml) for very thirsty skin which contains organic botanical extracts that encourage water retention in skin cells for longer lasting hydration.
The Screen Defender
Dr Sebagh Supreme Day Cream
Dermatologists have found that the blue light emitted from screens (HEV) is a new menace in premature ageing. The good news is that the same UV screens found in sun care and the same anti-oxidants that fight free radicals offer some protection. The bad news is that there’s no escape, so we need to protect our skin 24-7, especially during those late-night scrolling sessions. The Supreme Day Cream, from top dermatologist Dr Sebagh, contains a fractionated melanin compound that helps shield skin from high blue visible light.
The Pollution Protector
Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly
Live in a town or city? Unfortunately, the UK has some of the dirtiest air in Europe – and pollution contributes to premature ageing and general dull skin tone. Escaping to the country is one option. Or, put a filter between your skin and the atmosphere with Clinique’s Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly Anti-Pollution. This clear gel sinks in quickly, locking in moisture and shutting out toxic particles.
The Cold-Weather One
Aesop Facial Barrier Cream
Piste bound? Aesop’s Elemental Facial Barrier Cream is our pick for snow sport activities and the two days of the year when winter actually shows up. Central heating and freezing temperatures suck moisture from the skin, this Barrier Cream is like an invisible thermal layer that keeps skin snug and cheeks chap-proof.
Lab Series BB Tinted Moisturiser
Say the words “makeup” or “foundation” and everyone freaks out. But sometimes we all need a little help in the skin department – and a confidence boost. Lab Series’ acclaimed BB cream comes in a universal shade for all skin types and gives undetectable coverage. It doesn’t hide spots as well as a concealer, but it’s excellent at masking redness, uneven pigmentation and light blemishes such as broken capillaries. It has added SPF too, as a bonus.