We're all pretty familiar with the benefit and texture of both serums and moisturisers, but what exactly are these essences, boosters and sprays that we're being told are the new thing in skincare? Used traditionally in Korea between the cleanse/tone and serum/moisturiser stages, essences or boosting products are thinner in texture and contain a relatively concentrated mix of 'active' ingredients that help to enhance the performance of other products. It may be that your moisturiser needs a little help delving deep into the layers of the skin, or your that your body needs a more effective way of clinging onto ingredients; it could also be that your skin needs a little targeted care or a refresh before you apply your makeup. There's so much to choose from and they're really rather addictive, proving that western women are becoming more accustomed to the Korean 'ten step regime' that serves them so well. (Don't worry - nobody expects you to start ten steps every morning!)
Elizabeth Arden's new Superstart Skin Renewal serum (£45.00) is designed to help restore the healthy look of skin’s surface layer, fortifying its natural ability to repair and renew. It enhances the performance of both your serum and moisturiser, thanks to its ability to prep the skin and inject it with goodness - almost like a welcoming party for the next steps in your routine! Kiehls have invested years of scientific research to get their Iris Extract Treatment Essence (£36.00) just right; enriched with Iris Florentina Extract, the formula helps to prep skin to receive the skincare regimen that follows while creating a great base for makeup. It's also clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines, thanks to the inclusion of hydroxy acid, making it an easy step that leaves skin looking and feeling great.
Deciem's new Hylamide Booster series (£18.00) includes three serums which enhance the performance of skincare products by delivering their innovative and effective ingredients deep down into the skin's surface. Containing hyaluronic acid in a broken down form to hydrate the skin from within, a keto-sugar that reacts within the skin to produce a natural golden tone within two days, and an advanced binding agent to optimize the performance of active ingredients delivered after it's applied, this is one serious addition to your routine. Lightweight, effective and easy to use, it's an investment you'll be pleased to make.
In addition, La Roche-Posay's cult SeroZinc spray (£8.50) is specifically designed to target key signs of oily, blemish-prone skin and leave a mattified finish. Just spritz it over your face pre-skincare to help reduce the appearance of pores and keep your makeup looking fresher for longer. Pixi's Hydrating Milky Mist (£18.00) contains a blend of black oat, provitamin A, hyluronic and linoleic acid to make this a rejuvenator to be reckoned with. It provides the perfect first layer of moisture before serums or makeup, plus can offer a little boost afterwards too; I love applying this straight from the shower so I don't get that 'tight' feeling as I dry. SK-II's Mid-Day Essence (£51.00) is one of Cate Blanchett's favourites for a reason; the lightweight mist penetrates skin and makeup to enhance skin's anti-oxidizing function, while helping to reduce fine lines and hydrating skin for up to four hours. Spritz it on before, during or after makeup application for a dewy finish and glowing complexion.
Although these products aren't going to be right for everyone and definitely add another layer to an already time consuming routine, they do genuinely add benefit and help skin to glow. I've been using all these different products for a number of weeks and my complexion is looking pretty good - if I say so myself. I was rather sceptical to begin with, but a little extra step really has paid dividends and left my skin looking better for longer; I don't seem to get that frustrating '4pm slip' or arrive at the end of the day looking cakey. My makeup sits better, the texture of my skin has improved and I feel like the fine lines around my eyes have somewhat reduced since using a handful of these goodies almost daily. It's hard to see the benefit immediately, but if you want to invest in your skin today for the benefit of an improved complexion tomorrow, get thee to Boots now.
What do you think of this new trend and the new portfolio of products popping up on our high streets?