This month we’ve been trying out mid-priced skincare that stands up when it comes to performance. We want things that work – but without breaking the bank. Here are our medallists, all coming in at under €43 …
On top of the skincare podium is REN Skincare Everhydrate. I don’t know why I was surprised by how good this is – I’ve loved their skincare since it launched back in 2000, back when “clean” skincare just wasn’t a thing. The Rose Otto bath oil was one of the best beauty products you could buy, back then. With Everhydrate, they’re back on form. This range is vegan and Peta-approved, and not outrageously expensive (the Moisture-Replenish Cream is €37, the Serum €42). And both are just really pleasant to use – refreshing textures, light seaside scents, no crap in the formulas and we like the focus on algae and plant extracts to offer good hydration. Apply to (clean) damp skin to seal in the moisture. The fuss-free, gender-free packaging is good, too, and suitable for pretty well everyone, including those with sensitive skin or prone to eczema). A reliable and rather lovely mid-priced range for every day. At pharmacies and www.renskincare.ie.
Now we’re seeing warmer days – sporadically, at least – it’s a good idea to keep a face mist on your desk, or in your bag, to periodically spritz onto skin. A good mist is refreshing, as effective as an espresso to perk you up should you be facing an afternoon slump, and keeps your skin hydrated. Current sprays of choice include Ultraceuticals’ Ultra Hydrating Skin Mist (€42.50, 150ml; www.ultraceuticals.com), and the pricier Sunday Riley’s Pink Drink (€42, 50ml; at Arnotts). In Silver place is G5 The Mist MMST Revitalising Spray. Vegan and cruelty-free, in a recyclable glass bottle, this stands out as it’s made in Ireland (Co Mayo, in fact), has a nice garden-y scent (think geraniums) and provides a light veil of moisture (this is key with a face mist – you don’t want to blast yourself in the eye with an overly powerful jet). G5’s key molecule, MMST (also known as organic silicon, not to be confused with silicones), not only provides hydration but also helps to promote natural collagen production, so it’s a win-win. €25, at www.g5-hc.com.
I rarely find an eye cream I love, or that makes even a slightly discernible difference, so I really notice when something’s good. I prefer a cooling gel formula around the eyes, as a rule, and I’m really into this Skin EssentiA Antioxidant & Peptide Eye Gel (the price seems to vary at different stockists, but it’s €39 for 15ml at www.southwilliamspa.com). Environ advise putting it in the fridge the night before you use it, for extra cooling and de-puffing effects. It’s big on vitamins A, C and E, plus peptides including Argireline, which is gently effective on lines – it’s often compared to Botox without the needle. And this gel does seem to act like a kind of invisible Polyfilla on lines around the eyes, which is handy when you feel particularly exhausted.
(I also like the Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye Revive Mask, a gel formula, for the same reasons, but it’s pricey at €74 for 15ml, www.eu.elemis.com).
Find more mid-range skincare picks here.