A good value, natural serum


Q. My favourite serum for my 56-year old ageing skin has just gone up again in price and I simply cannot afford it. Can you recommend something reasonably priced and preferably natural, which will hydrate, lift sagging, and help discolouration and open pores? A. We’re huge fans of serums for older skin so we would encourage you to keep using one. However, we note that the serum you mention is now around £180 (although there are some online discounts). Although you only need a few drops of these super-enriched products, that’s a big investment and there are some very good, much more modestly priced products.

We’re very impressed by the French organic range Sanoflore. The product that we think might suit you is Elixir Des Reines Skin-Perfecting Concentrate Serum, normally £36 for 30 ml, but currently £28.80 at feelunique.com. The ‘reines’ refers to queen bees as this contains Royal jelly, as well as hyaluronic acid. We also love Sanoflore Essence Merveilleuse/£31.50 for 30 ml; at time of writing this is temporarily out of stock at feelunique.com but we do recommend leaving your e-mail address so you’ll know when it’s back.

Now, we haven’t tried NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex but it comes from a brand that is scoring lots of beauty points, and it costs just £19 for 30ml. They do emphasise that it is designed to be used with other skin treatment so - just a point here – do remember that while serums are wonderful they won’t do everything.

Looking through the list of things you want from a serum we’d say this. You will also need a day moisturiser and night cream or facial oil to keep your skin hydrated. Some serums we have tried certainly help lift pigmentation – brown patches – and brighten skin generally. Ditto open pores. Applying facial products with upward strokes helps sagging but you have to be realistic about what a topical product can do to ‘lift’ skin.

We suggest looking at a supplement too. What you put ‘in’ is as important as what you put ‘on’ your skin. As well as eating well and drinking lots of still water (you know the drill), dermatologist Dr. Anita Sturnham recommends a collagen supplement called Beauty Complex, which contains marine collagen, hyaluronic acid and phytoceramides from rice. After two weeks, a sceptical Sarah is quite impressed. A daily dose (a pleasant tasting powder that you put in water, smoothies etc) appears to have given a bit more bounce, bloom and suppleness to her dry, mature skin. Not cheap at £39.95 for 21 sachets but Beauty Complex doesn’t contain any artificial colours or flavours and sweetens with stevia, a plant. (Find Beauty Complex at nuriss.co.uk as well as Dr. Sturnham’s Nuriss skincare.)

Finally, please don't forget the importance of fresh air and exercise – and beauty sleep. Nothing beats that and it’s free…