The past year has seen a rise in the number of launches focused on the fundamentals – not super serums, but good old cream masks; not lunchtime aesthetic procedures, but facials and massages. No, it’s not the end of the high-tech race to produce the next power-packed Insta-salve, but getting the essentials right is once again important – and shouldn’t it always be? We break it all down.

The star must-have: Moisturiser

Nope, you cannot and should not do without this. Here, five of the latest essentials to test (for keeps).


Before we start: When has moisturiser not been considered the most important product in a skincare routine? Well, with the steady rise of serums, treatment lotions and ampoules boasting lighter textures and the promise of better results, a moisturiser has somehow become – you know – just another part of the system.

But if simple is the aim here, there’s no denying how crucial a part it plays in hydrating and protecting. Factor in new textures and improved ingredients, and you’ll be asking this time: When has moisturiser not been considered the most important product in a skincare routine?

#1: Lancome Absolue Precious Cells Recovery Night Cream, $410

A balm that helps to refresh tired complexions, it has rose extracts that reportedly soften fine lines, repair damage and boost skin’s protective barrier. Skin also feels nourished, thanks to a cold cream complex that treats sensitivity and tightness.

#2: Kiehl’s Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream, $95

With a 99.6 per cent naturally derived formula, it has New Zealand manuka honey and Korean red ginseng root, which supposedly fight inflammation and bacteria, improve cell turnover, and stimulate collagen production for a radiant, healthy-looking complexion.

#3: Kenzoki Moisturizing Jelly To Mattify, $73

Perfect for our humid weather, this light gel marries the moisture of a cream, freshness of water and mattifying effect of blotting paper. White lotus extract promises to soothe sensitivity, fight free radicals, and strengthen skin’s protective barrier to prevent moisture loss.

#4: Dior Prestige La Creme Texture Riche, $505

Think of its Skin Overcoat technology (hollow silica spheres that prevent skin from losing heat and cell function) as an airy duvet that protects against thermal shock, which stresses skin and causes premature ageing.

#5: Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Oil in Cream, $175

Infused with eight essential oils including Japanese camellia and golden bamboo, this silky cream supposedly boosts elasticity and helps control the production of fat cells, resulting in a slimmer, more contoured face. Chock-full of vitamins and antioxidants, it also softens, calms and plumps skin.


This story first appeared in Female‘s February 2017 issue.

Like this? Check out the best face masks to add to your skincare routine, 5 reasons why you should invest in an overnight face mask and the best facial cleansers for your skin type