I’ve always been a fan of ‘pharmacy’ products – you know what I mean – those classics that are available in chemists, cost next to nothing, have long been a staple of the family home and, ta da!, really work. France does them particularly well, but here in the UK we have enough of our own brands that are worth seeking out, including Vosene Shampoo, Ann French cleanser, Nivea cream and Oil of Olay moisturiser (just a few of my must-haves).
Over the last few months, I have been discovering a new collection of staples, which may not look particularly fancy, but work gloriously well to combat various problems that may need tackling.
First up is this Regenerate Toothpaste, £10, which helps to combat enamel erosion, which can cause yellowing of teeth and sensitivity. The erosion process happens to everyone and is caused by common items such as fizzy drinks, fruit juices and wine. The problem is that when enamel – the outermost protective layer of our teeth – is lost, our body cannot regenerate it. The Advance Toothpaste (and there’s also a serum you can apply on mouth trays) has been scientifically tested and works to reverse the early, invisible stages of the erosion process and regenerate enamel mineral with exactly the same mineral the tooth enamel is made of.
With years of research behind it (scientists took nine years of international research) the result is a patented technology, inspired by the scientific findings in bone repair. I’ve been using the mild minty paste twice a day and am hoping next time I visit the dentist, there will be a discernible improvement. Watch this space!
Next up is Frezyderm’s Dermofilia hand cream, £13.50, which gives sweet relief to dry, chapped hands or if you suffer from eczema. It is a rich and super-hydrating formula, so ideal for this time of the year, which strengthens and restores the skin’s protective outer barrier. Not only does it sink in and leaves hands silky smooth, but the cream can also treat chronic eczema, roughness, dehydration and dryness. It has a medical formula but is not too gloopy or heavy. A real find.
Also from Frezyderm is this Sun Screen Velvet Face SPF50, £17.50, which has become my new must-have for all my travels. Mimicking a moisturiser, it goes on evenly with one touch and dries to be transparent with no traces of white tint or streakiness that you often get with higher factor sunscreens. Thanks to the revolutionary Second Skin Technology, its formula leaves a velvety feel on the skin, gives a matte appearance (as well as the essential sun protection) for six hours and even softens the appearance of wrinkles. It’s the perfect base pre-make-up, and, best of all, of course, it protects against sun exposure. It’s also free of parabens and is fragrance free – so suitable for sensitive skin.
Finally, my most favourite find are these Mix & Fix Colour Drops, £9.99, by Gosh Copenhagen. The genius products means you can now create the ultimate shade of foundation, from your existing products, by adding the pigmented colours and also correcting any colour issues you may have in your complexion.
The Light version, for instance, lightens the colour of any foundation you may have which is too dark to perfectly match your skin. Just add a few drops and mix. The Green, meanwhile, neutralises redness, so is perfect to add to your primer or foundation to combat a mild overall redness in the skin tone. The Purple version neutralises yellow and dull skin. It also correct dark spots and hyper-pigmentation – simply add to your primer. The Dark works to darken the colour of foundation and concealer – so you can custom-make the perfect shade to suit you. The product contain cherry blossom, rich in essential fatty acids, so skin is left smooth and supple, as well as samphire which helps with hydration. Gosh Copenhagen is a cruelty-free range of make-up with some real gems among its range, find it on the shelves of Superdrug (a pharmacy, of course!)