Facts: thirty six year old, combination skin that’s prone to dehydration and congestion, first signs of aging (ex smoker, boo hoo), slightly dull (the skin tone, obviously) and always on the hunt for a radiance boosting formula. Read: knows what he wants.
When it comes to treatment perks, I find serums to be the most rewarding. Facial oils are a close second. Creams? I just can’t rock them year round. This winter weather, however, has my skin craving lush, rich dense, and buttery moisturizers. Day and night. My list of prerequisites for a perfect face cream is tight: non-greasy, easily absorbed, and deeply hydrating. With the yoyo effect of indoor heat and outdoor freezing temperatures–the ideal formula needs to feel soothing and comforting. Some recent favorites, in no particular order, are described below:
Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream
At the risk of sounding a bit cheesy, I call this superb moisturizer a cashmere blanket for your face. Spun to perfection, Lala Retro is a flawless blend of six African Oils, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer (a much easier absorbed form of Hyaluronic Acid) and antioxidant rich Fermented Green Tea Extract. Bordering on the consistency of a balm, it melts into the skin like a pro. The cream itself is absolutely traceless and the healthy dewy finish is instant.
Why do I really love it so much? It is rare that a cream works equally well on my skin day or night and this Drunk Elephant formula delivers anytime. If you’re a fan of the brand, layer it over C-Firma during the day or over Framboos at night. The brand’s Virgin Luxury Marula Oil is a great top off to seal the deal. Silicone and fragrance free. Just try it. $60 and it’s been freshly outfitted in an airless jar with a press down lid! Older version pictured. drunkelephant.com, sephora.com
Luzern Laboratories O2 Retinol Night Repair Cream
Most likely the biggest surprise in the night cream department, this Luzern Laboratories masterpiece blew me away on its first application. Two winters ago, the brand’s Pure Cleansing Crème saved my skin. This year, Force de Vie Nuit is canceling out the winter blues with the power of Retinol, Peptides, Ceramides, plant extracts and two types of Hyaluronic Acid with varying molecular weights. Well played.
What to expect? First of all, don’t let the solid texture scare you because this cream turns weightless the second it hits your face. It’s almost like a magic trick. There is no way you won’t fall in love. Overnight, the skin becomes brighter and more energized. Over time, its texture is refined with improved elasticity, giving you a rested, more youthful appearance. At $175 a jar, it’s a splurge and one that I fully support. luzernlabs.com
philosophy renewed hope in a jar overnight
Full disclosure: I am having so much fun rediscovering philosophy skincare. It’s been a while. We’re talking Oprah’s Favorite Things circa 2005. The renewed hope in a jar overnight formula is an all skin types friendly, medium-weight, acid glazed moisturizer, which does some phenomenal work on yours truly.
If you’re after smoother skin with less noticeable pores and you don’t mind a touch of fragrance, the renewed hope in a jar nighttime edition is definitely worth exploring. Perhaps I’m biased but when I see Glycolic Acid high on an ingredient list, my heart skips a beat. Combine it with Mandelic, Hyaluronic and Ascorbic Acids, throw in some deliciously hydrating Squalane, and I officially feel complete. Lush and easily absorbed, this is a philosophy gem I highly recommend. $52, not bad at all. philosophy.com, sephora.com
Clinique Smart Night
Ok, here’s the deal: I love the Clinique Smart Treatment Oil and Eye Repair Treatment so I felt compelled to give the night cream a try. Props to self. Smart move, indeed and yes, the pun is intended. Oil and fragrance free, the formula is available in three skin type specific versions, a signature of Clinique system based approach. Which one did I pick for my winter needs? Dry combination, of course.
No fuss and completely straightforward, Clinique Night Repair Custom-Repair Moisturizer is a fantastic option for anyone looking to boost hydration and help diminish the first signs of aging. Loaded with peptides, amino acids, firming and protecting plant extracts such as Tamarind Seed, Green Tea, Algae, St. Paul’s Wort, Centaury and Caffeine, with a generous helping of Murumuru Seed Butter, this deeply hydrating cream is seriously impressive. $57 and oh-so-worth-it. Clinique.com, sephora.com, Nordstrom.com
m-61 SuperSoothe E Cream
My sk-insurance usually when I travel, the m-61 SuperSoothe E Cream is a standard go-to, especially this time of year. Amazingly lightweight, this oil-free superhero soothes almost on contact. Since my complexion tends to get temperamental during any change in seasons, the m-61 solution helps significantly with the onset of the brutal winter weather. Retinoid users and peel addicts: SuperSoothe E Cream eliminates related dryness or flakiness completely.
What’s in it? Hydrating Aloe Vera, repairing Vitamin E, anti-inflammatory Chamomile, antioxidant rich Goldenberry, firming Seaweed and Licorice Root Extract, and skin plumping peptides with a hint of relaxing Lavender. The impressive medley sinks right into the skin and wears equally well day or night. Pair it with the Bluemercury PowerGlow Peel and you will sport a summer glow all winter long. $68 bluemercury.com