Award-winning Anti-Ageing Creams
Over the years we have put hundreds and hundreds of ‘dream creams’ through their paces. And our conclusion is: yes, there really are creams and serums that magic the years from your face. The challenge is: how on earth do you find out which ones…? Well, there’s no need for (expensive) trial and error – because our Beauty Bible testers have done the research for you. The diligence of our trials means that we get support for what we do from the whole beauty industry, who happily supply products for our trials – from high street/supermarket anti-agers right through to the priciest creams on the market. Our ten-women tester panels were under strict instructions: use the treatment on one side of your face, observe and note any immediate improvements, then after two weeks, and finally, at the end of the tube or jar. (NB: many of our testers started out cynical – and were converted.)
OK, so no cream is going to make you look 17 again, waving a wand to magic away every line and wrinkle. But the scores here are high. So: there really ARE products which, as well as softening and smoothing your complexion, can help plump out deeper lines, make smaller ones disappear, firm skin tissue – and turbo-charge the glow.
And here's what really, really works... (And do scroll down!)
Temple Spa Skin Truffle Total Face Rejuvenation Score: 9.31/10 A truly stupendous score: the highest we’ve ever had for an all-round, all-singing-and-dancing miracle cream, in 17 years of Beauty Bible testing. (Not that Sarah’s surprised: she’s long been a Skin Truffle-ette.) Diamond powder, gold and silk clearly do illuminate the skin from first application, testers report; other key ingredients include black truffles, grapeseed champagne, purifying strawberries and lush cocoa butter, in a cashmere-soft formulation. Comments: ‘Oh, this is a wonderful cream: I’m so in love with it you can look out for the announcement in The Times! Skintone is brighter and all my nasty lines – even the deeper ones – appear to have lessened’ • ‘face looks younger and not a needle in sight’ • ‘skin looks glowy and dewy, forehead grooves smaller – and husband says I look great’ • ‘the best anti-ageing ,moisturiser I’ve ever used – fantastic miracle product; skin looks like I have a luminising primer on, even when not wearing make-up’ • ‘gives a definite glow to the skin with improvements in brightness, softness, crêpiness, fine lines’ • ‘noticed a difference in texture, smoothness and brightness within days’ • ‘gives an “instant lift” to skin’ • ‘my husband and my mum both said I looked really healthy – fine lines were rendered invisible and I really loved the radiance: a “lit-from-within” effect’.
Pevonia Timeless Repair Cream Score: 9.06/10 Best known through its widespread spa distribution, Pevonia’s age-proofing award-winner also features luxe ingredients like caviar, pearl and something called ‘Escutox™’, alongside green olive squalene, brightening lemon peel oil, chamomile – and an SPF8 (not enough for protection in all but the dingiest months, we’d counsel). It’s got a pretty fragrance – a touch of honeysuckle, we’d say, to further enhance application pleasure. Comments: ‘My face literally felt as if it was drinking it in: after application, one half of my face felt supple and soft and looked rested’ • ‘a Holy grail find’ • ‘After two days, let alone two weeks, I was in love with this product my skin’s brighter, softer, smoother and it has helped with fine lines and skin tone’ • ‘didn’t want to see the bottom of the pot! I love this and hope if I hint strongly enough my husband/sons might be generous enough to buy me some more’ • ‘love this: have never used anything before with such a dramatic effect on my skin – after six weeks my face was starting to look lop-sided – seems to be acting like a facelift on the side I’m using it on’ • ‘fabulously soft skin, much better under chin’ • ‘bigger wrinkles in particular were reduced; I have some large grooves which seemed to improve’ • ‘skin firmer and plumper, even forehead grooves less prominent – and big thumbs-up from my husband!’
L’Occitane Divine Cream Score: 8.98/10 This truly ‘divine’ high-scoring award-winner has gone on – justifiably – to become a global anti-ageing bestseller and a new anti-ageing ‘classic’ since the first edition of this book. (Jo’s a massive convert, too). It’s helped put L’Occitane firmly on the map as a serious skincare brand, with its fabulously aromatic formulation (featuring lavish quantities of Corsican Immortelle, ‘the flower that never dies’), together with myrtle and other key anti-agers. Enriched with 34 per cent plant oils, Divine Cream is formulated to boost cell regeneration and ‘increase cellular vitality’, which translates to enhanced radiance. Comments: ‘Love the texture and smell, it took a little while to sink in but it was worth the wait; skin instantly looked brighter and much smoother and plumped; after two weeks, fine lines around mouth much less noticeable and skin much more supple, and the improvements continued: my husband said my skin was looking nice and for him to notice is quite remarkable’ • ‘my skin hasn’t looked so good for a long time, so much brighter I look as if I’ve had a good night’s sleep; crêpiness, fine lines, grooves all reduced – a fantastic product and I got lots of positive comments’ • ‘lovely thick product with fabulous smell, absorbed very well and skin felt so hydrated and really supple; definitely boosts the skin; but do give it five or ten minutes before applying make-up’ • ‘complexion was more plump, less drawn, less sagging, with really nice bright glow, eyes glowed too and normally ruddy complexion reduced.'
Decléor Excellence de l’Age Sublime Regenerating Cream Score: 8.87/10 A day cream (Decléor like their customers to use oils at night), this meltingly-smooth cream-textured cream works to enhance firmness, smoothness, hydration, and to even out skintone. As you’d expect from an aromatherapy brand, fragrance is an important part of the pleasure factor, although this is powdery/creamy (with notes of sandalwood, amber and peach) rather than ‘botanically-scented’. Comments: ‘I was dubious as this cream looked too rich and thick for my oily combination skin but it is amazing, after five weeks skin looks luminous, almost glass-like, firmer, smoother and springy to the touch – rejuvenated’ • ‘fine lines reduced, deeper grooves too, and crêpiness? There is none! This cream really makes me look better and younger, lots of people have commented’ • ‘immediate discernable improvements, skin felt softer, less dry, fine lines plumped out and after two weeks, skin looks more youthful, fine lines less visible, skin around eyes and lips less dry and crêpy, overall more radiant and fresh-looking – works wonders on an ageing face’ • ‘skin looks brighter and love the texture and scent’.
• Decléor Excellence de l’Age Sublime Regenerating Cream/£94.50 for 50 ml - buy here
Dermalogica Power Rich™ Cream Score: 8.67/10 This is Dermalogica’s state-of-the-art anti-ageing cream. It claims to use a trio of ‘pharmaceutical-strength’ ingredients, and comes in the format of a 35-day supply of (five) sealed metal tubes, complete with a key (think glamorous sardine tin!), to squeeze out every last skin-regenerating, vitamin-and-antioxidant-powered molecule. One poor score was balanced by the majority who loved this product and marked it very highly indeed. Comments: ‘The first night I applied this I woke up and thought the spa fairies had been at work all night: my skin glowed, had a wonderful aliveness and look of youth and vitality; after two weeks complexion was great despite the harsh weather outside and heating inside – wonderful plump, smooth skin; youth in a tube (the only downside was the rather sweet smell)’ • wow! What a product, the holy grail of creams, delivered all it promised and more; massive difference between the tested and not tested side: smaller wrinkles faded, pores so much smaller, skintone so much brighter, I LOVE it’ • ‘skin was much more radiant; people have commented on how smooth and radiant my skin looks: I would use it every few months as a treatment’ • ‘the grooves down the sides of my mouth look as if I have been using a filler, they’re so plumped up and smoothed out, absolutely fabulous product’.
Melvita Naturalift Anti-Ageing Cream Score: 8.67/10 Melvita is a big name in France, now spreading its reach overseas (it’s part of the L’Occitane empire). This Ecocert-certified creation blends oligopeptides from hibiscus seed to protect collagen and elastin, argan (for an instant firming action), revitalising chestnut and New Zealand mamaku (derived from a fern), plus potent antioxidants. Subtle but nice scent from rose and geranium. Comments: ‘A friend noticed that my skin looked firmer and my face slimmer; I had seen my skin get brighter and clearer in tone, with less noticeable fine lines; am very happy with this’ • ‘my fine lines have improved and that’s great, a real visible effect, I enjoyed using the cream because it’s very light and yet moisturises very well, also smells delicious and you don’t need to use much’ • as well as skin being brighter, pores finer and less noticeable, and fine lines slightly reduced, this definitely lessened my hyperpigmentation brown patches: I would buy it’ • ‘fine lines and wrinkles plumped out with continued use, and skin soft; did like the lightweight texture and the lovely lemon smell’ • ‘absolutely wonderful. After finishing the jar, I noted 50 per cent improvement in brightness, 100 per cent in softness and also crêpiness and about 75 per cent reduction in fine lines, plus the two large wrinkles above my eyebrows have reduced in length and depth. I can’t believe it! My friends and family have certainly noticed a difference and paid me compliments on looking younger’.
This Works No Wrinkles Extreme Moisturiser Score: 8.63/10 Hurrah for our beauty editor friend Kathy Phillips’s contender – the hero product in her recent chunkily/chicly-packaged anti-ageing skincare collection. Intensely hydrating, this lush cream is packed with moringa oil and UK-sourced crambe oil, amino acids and time-released retinol (vitamin A), to brighten skin, while plumping with lots of hyaluronic acid (a magic ingredient, in our book…) Comments: ‘Skin felt softer, with a brightness which has been maintained, with fine lines less noticeable’ • ‘I’ve had comments saying my skin is looking nice!’ • ‘skin illuminated and feels “looked-after”’ • ‘no dry patches any more – this really is a miracle cream as fine wrinkles seem to have disappeared; skin looks so much brighter and “cared-for”’ • ‘skin plumper and fresh-looking’ • ‘loved the creamy smooth texture, the slightly lemony smell and how it soaked into my skin’ • ‘I wish I’d heard of this before and introduced it into my regime years ago; lots of people have commented I look better/younger’ • ‘I’ve already recommended this to friends’.
The following ‘miracle’ products did incredibly well - so if you’re having a budget-watching time, they’re really worth considering...
Neal’s Yard Remedies Frankincense Nourishing Cream Score: 8.25/10 Beauty Bible has trialled this natural product over several years and it has always scored spectacularly with some testers (a few found it too heavy). The rich botanical cream has very high levels of frankincense essential oil, which was used in mummification – so no wonder it’s so good at preserving skin. The blend includes oils of wheatgerm, almond and myrrh – renowned for their regenerating and moisturising properties. It can be used under make-up or at night. Comments: ‘I thought it would be too rich for my oily skin but it was miraculous! Skin looked so much younger and plumper and seemed to reduce breakouts: I’ve never seen such initial dramatic effects which were maintained’ • ‘the immediate feeling of plumpness has been replaced by a smooth uplift and youthful tightness’ • ‘I always felt my skin looked colourless and grey until I tested this product’.
• Neal’s Yard Remedies Frankincense Nourishing Cream/£21.25 for 50 ml - buy here
Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful Rejuvenating Face Serum Score: 8.12/10 A triumph for the amazing Ms Marcia Kilgore with this light, sinks-in-fast serum. It is probably all oily skins need (under fifty), but can be layered under something richer if you’re dry-complexioned or post-menopausal. It contains a collagen-stimulating tetrapeptide, a ‘superactive stimulating organic oxygenating complex’, ginseng, shea butter, sweet orange peel essential oil (which gives the lightest of fragrances) and a ‘moisture-trapping complex’. Comments: ‘Glided on the skin wonderfully and sank in quickly; after two weeks a marked improvement to skintone and softness, fine lines slightly less evident, skin had a lovely bright glow’ • ‘significant improvement in radiance in first 24 hours, skin on neck and chest looked smoother, fine lines a little softer’ • ‘skin looks younger because more glowing and well hydrated’.
• Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful Rejuvenating Face Serum/£16 for 50 ml - buy here
Nivea Visage DNAge Cell Renewal Night Cream Score: 7.55/10 Slightly further down the ranking, iconic brand Nivea’s contender targets women from 40-55, seeking to boost firmness and elasticity. Key ingredients are creatine (an amino acid) and folic acid, which work to guard skin cells’ DNA against damage. Comments: ‘After two weeks, fine lines smoother and wrinkles not as deep, skin healthier and plumper, very noticeable between the side I used it on and the other’ • ‘absorbed very quickly with no residue’ • ‘skin looked lovely and clear and definitely brighter and smoother, as if I’d had a good night’s sleep which unfortunately I hadn’t’ • ‘nose to mouth groove greatly improved’ • ‘definite improvement in brightness – really loved the rich, creamy texture’.