Something you might not know about me, unless you’re a) my cousin Anna or b) Mr AMR: I love answering questions and filling out forms. Not tax ones, or those hospital ones you get before an operation and have to specify which organs you’d donate if you copped it, but just about all other forms. Online quizzes (“are you a control freak when it comes to raising your dog?”), passport renewals, dentist registrations (no heart conditions, no asthma, some diabetes in the immediate family); I get quite a thrill from spending five minutes writing things in blue or black ink and neat block capitals. Give me an in-room-breakfast ordering slip at a hotel and my heart rate just about doubles – all of those tick boxes! The options! I fill it in even if I have every intention of breakfasting in the communal dining space.
So it was with genuine glee that I accepted an invitation to have my skin analysed by the experts at Eucerin – they promised to ask me many questions (in reality there weren’t too many, the analysis – thankfully – concentrated more on professional assessment and scientific readings) and then put all of my results into a huge database so that I could compare my skin to other people in my age group. And if there’s one thing I love more than forms, it’s getting quietly competitive about my skin and how it compares to other people in my age group. I shouldn’t admit to that, but it’s true – come on, who doesn’t want to be told that they measure up well, or look younger than their true age, or that they have far less sagging or dark spots or creasing than they should have?
Of course there’s always the risk that things could slide the other way, and you leave weeping and promising yourself that you’ll wear sunglasses for the rest of your waking hours, baste yourself continuously in SPF50 and never smile again, but thankfully things went well and after having weird UV photos taken, getting my skin’s moisture and sebum levels analysed and undergoing a full inspection of my eye wrinkles and cheek pigmentation, I was given a verdict of “very good”. I had wanted a sort of “post-pregnancy” skin appraisal and had been expecting my face to be very dry and sensitive, but as it turned out, I had been doing pretty well keeping things moisturised and on an even keel.
So my skincare prescription that followed was more of a maintenance programme than anything drastically different, but that didn’t stop me, you’ll be pleased to know, asking about each and every Eucerin product that had been neatly displayed in the consultation room. I’ve used a few different products from the brand before, but didn’t realise quite how many skin concerns were catered for. Atopic dermatitis, hypersensitivity, acne, redness, uncomfortable dryness; there are specific, clinically-proven products for almost anything you can think of, all of them highly tolerable even for the most sensitive skin. Eucerin is a dermatologically-recommended brand who have been pioneering medical skin science and innovation for over a hundred years, so this shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but I hadn’t before grasped quite how targeted each range was.
As I ploughed through the table of goods (probably being incredibly annoying because I kept leaving the lids off everything and putting bottles and tubes back in the wrong places) I found loads of very interesting products, including an AntiREDNESS Concealing Day Cream with greenish tint for neutralising the redness caused by rosacea; a soothing itch cream for use on irritated, even atopic, skin (AtoControl, it’s here online) and handy little mini-bottles of highly concentrated hydrating serum, Hyaluron-Filler, for plumping out wrinkles and making everything look that bit more youthful.
I’ve been using the Hyaluron-Filler Concentrate before my usual moisturisers and night creams and it is seriously hydrating. I’m always on the lookout for brilliant products with hyaluronic acid and this one is lovely – silky to apply, quick to absorb and completely non-sticky. Used before a BB cream or foundation it gives an amazing, fresh dewiness to the skin and it really boosts the effects of my face creams. I also like that the teeny bottles are travel-friendly. (It’s £31 for six at Boots here.)
I was already using the eye cream from the same range (Hyaluron-Filler Eye Cream) and impressed with its moisturising prowess, but I learnt that it has a broad spectrum SPF15 too, which is a great bonus – many eye creams with SPF sting my eyes, but this one doesn’t. I would never have known that it even had an SPF if I hadn’t been told! And new discovery; the AQUAporin eye cream which is as fresh and light as the other is rich and creamy – brilliant for the summer months, especially as it has a cooling metal applicator.
There’s a very comprehensive range of sun protection, all of it suitable for sensitive skin but with specialist products aimed at either blemish-prone or very dry skin. I like the lightweight, mattifying SPF50 Sun Fluid a lot; water-resistant, photo-stable, broad spectrum and with a formula that manages to be quite hydrating despite the non-greasy finish. I’ll be adding this straight to my “top lightweight SPFs” collection.