One of my cardinal skin sins is buying a product simply because a celebrity has endorsed it. Celebrity endorsements make the beauty industry go round. The difficulty is deciphering which products are being touted for no good reason, and which are true mainstays in the stars’ regimes.
I believe that a celebrity actually likes a beauty product when a) I see the proof of a half-empty bottle or tube on their social media, or b) they say that it was recommended to them by a dermatologist or beauty editor.
A handful of products have so much hype there has to be something to it, but they are expensive. Thankfully, there are dupes, products with formulations just similar enough for us to feel like we could walk down a red carpet.
Skinceuticals C E Ferulic
Allegedly beloved by Sienna Miller, right, and Kristen Stewart. Everyone swears by it, including myself. The Skinceuticals C E Ferulic is a vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid serum that is the original bearer of glow. At €150.00, it is not cheap, but it does contain 15% of L-ascorbic acid, pure vitamin C, and their formula is patented to deter cheaper dupes. It’s serious business.
Ferulic acid is the ingredient that you know the least about. It is a potent antioxidant found in the cell walls of plants and fruit seeds. Ferulic acid is fantastic, but there are other fantastic antioxidants. In my opinion, we can easily trade it out for other high-potency antioxidants.
The IMAGE Skincare Vital C A C E Hydrating Antioxidant Serum
(€67, selected salons nationwide and store.theskinnerd.com), is just under half the price, and contains three forms of more stable vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E, plus potent antioxidants, green-tea extract and centella-asiatica extract.
If you want cheaper, opt for one of the internet’s favourite dupes of C E Ferulic, the Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum (£24.99, timeless-uk.com), which contains 20% l-ascorbic acid, vitamin E, and ferulic acid. The negative of both this serum and the Skinceuticals serum is that l-ascorbic acid is only at its most effective within 10 days of opening. Once it goes brown, that vitamin C has oxidised and it’s no good.
La Mer Crème de La Mer Moisturising Cream
Personally, I haven’t been won over by La Mer. If a brand doesn’t know how it has wondrous skin properties, it’s usually not a brand for me. La Mer is adored by the Kardashians, Halle Berry, Rachel Bilson, and Serena Williams, among so many others, and the classic Crème de La Mer is one of the most beloved in the line-up.
The ‘Miracle Broth’, the core ingredient, is a cocktail of seaweed and minerals, left to ferment for three months. It is paired with plant oils and extracts, such as sesame seed oil, eucalyptus leaf oil, sunflower seedcake, beta-carotene, and tonnes of minerals. They’re all lovely ingredients to have in any skincare product, if it comes in under the €50 mark. However, the La Mer Moisturising Cream retails at €140.00 for a 30ml pot.
Although formulation-wise they aren’t that similar, the effects of Weleda’s Skin Food
(available from Boots, pharmacies and health food stores) are apparently pretty close to those of La Mer. And Skin Food comes in at (wait for it) a teeny, tiny €15.99 for 75ml, in a much more practical and hygienic tube. Skin Food contains sunflower seed oil, sweet almond oil, rosemary leaf extract and calendula extract, for deliciously rich nourishment.
What do Blake Lively, Katy Perry, Holly Willoughby, Rosie Huntington Whiteley, Cara Delevigne, Victoria Beckham and Liv Tyler have in common? They all adore Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir, a natural mist that will have been on the market 22 years come August.
With glycerin and flower oil, it hydrates, sets make-up, helps to temporarily tighten pores, and provides you with an automatic radiance that will have everyone asking you for your autograph.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir (30ml, €13.50, store.theskinnerd.com, selected department stores and pharmacies nationwide)