When No 7 first introduced its Protect & Perfect Serum, the beauty world went mad for its results-driven formula. With independent reports proving that it visibly improved the appearance of wrinkles, word soon got out with women putting their names down on waiting lists for the product after it sold out across the UK. It’s been a best-seller ever since (until the Advanced Serum was launched, which changed the industry even further with its ability to deliver anti-ageing results that get even better over time).
Ten years on, and the latest serum is one that interests me the most – targeting both face and neck (an area that is usually overlooked, but which can be the most problematic showing the most tell-tale signs of ageing).
The Restore & Renew Face & Neck Multi Action Serum (from £28) essentially targets sagging skin and loss of firmness. On top of its complex protein-strengthening ingredient (that all the brand’s serums contain), the new launch has an active complex of calcium amino acids and ceramides. Don’t worry if you have no idea what this means: essentially they work on firming up skin that needs a bit of help.
I’ve been using it every morning – and my skin looks smoother and more uplifted. As well as the core complex of magical ingredients, it also has hibiscus seed extract, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C and Indian gooseberry – a combination which helps collagen production and works to even out skin tone. The changes appear gradually – you look in the mirror and after a few days, you notice that y our skin looks simply better… younger. It’s a gem.
Next up is a really exciting product from Icelandic organic brand Sóley Organics. Founded in 2007, by the Icelandic actress Sóley Elíasdóttir, the range harnesses the healing properties of Iceland’s native herbs.
The company’s signature facial mineral mask, steinEY, £25, is made from mineral rich volcanic clay and herbs, such as wild birch. You mix the powder with half a teaspoon of water and spread it over the face. Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse off. As well as removing toxins and dead skin cells, it regulates and balances skin and leaves it clear and radiant.
I love products that feel like you are partaking in a little bit of apothecary – it goes on like a dream and rinses off to reveal baby-smooth and uber clean skin. It’s magic.
Meanwhile, brand new British brand Kinn, is also making waves with its clean beauty ethos. As well as recyclable packaging, its plant-based products are vegan, cruelty-free and kind to skin and, based on heritage aromatherapy family recipes researched by the three female owners.
Packed with essential oils of ylang ylang, tangerine and lavender (it smells divine), the Body Wash, £14, also uses coconut oil as a cleanser and aloe vera extract to help repair and moisturise the skin. It’s a dreamy way to start the day.
Follow up with the Body Lotion, £18, which also uses essential oils, as well as sunflower oil, shea butter, cacao butter and aloe vera to soak into skin and deeply moisturise. I like the way the texture leaves limbs with a soft sheen but it is non-sticky and sinks in quickly. What’s more, the bottles are light and easy to carry with you, making them perfect for holiday must-haves (super soothing, too, so ideal for care after days in the sun).
The brand was launched in March this year, and aims to put a contemporary spin on the world of organic beauty. Despite it being forward-looking, the brand prides itself on its heritage and longevity, with family recipes passed down through generations. It’s the best of both worlds.