#1: The Treatment: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour All-Over Miracle Oil, $53
It’s an offshoot of the Eight Hour Cream, the award-winning balm known to hydrate and soothe even the driest of skins, and concocted by Elizabeth Arden herself. This translates the Cream’s healing and protective properties into a multifunctional oil format. Use it as a body moisturiser, cuticle softener, facial mist to boost radiance, salve for chapped skin, massage oil, and even a frizz tamer (it gives hair a glossy shine too). Mix it with sugar and salt, and you get a scrub. Bonus: the citrusy floral scent that makes you feel like you’re at a spa.
#2: The Sleep Mask: Kenzoki Belle de Jour Dream Night Mask, $136
Slap this marshmallowy light cream on overnight, and you’ll wake up looking as if you’ve spent the last 24 hours at a spa. The key ingredient is white lotus extract, clinically proven to reduce the level of cortisol (a hormone that is released in response to stress), while stimulating the production of beta endorphin (aka the happy molecule). Meant to create a protective bubble over skin, it promises to leave it calm, reduce the look of tension lines and stimulate cellular metabolism (read: it helps skin repair faster). The addition of Belle de Nuit floral extract reduces the harmful effects of damage accumulated in the day, in turn setting skin back to Zen mode.
#3: The Moisturiser: Cle de Peau Beaute La Creme, $875
There’s nothing new about a moisturiser with multiple ingredients that do multiple things. What’s standout about this soft cream, though, is how well it works. A pea-sized amount – twice daily, day and night – is all you need to see softer, more radiant skin in a week; and less obvious fine lines and a more even complexion in a month. How it does so boils down to its contents.
There’s theanine, a tea-derived amino acid that blocks stimulation to NMDA receptors (these make skin remember past injuries, making it weaker and more susceptible to recurring damage). Think of it as Leo DiCaprio in Inception, encouraging skin to “forget” past bruises, while erasing imprints of present ones.
There’s liquorice extract (which supposedly regenerates dermal basement structure), and raspberry and pine tree extract (which promises to control and reduce the size and quantity of fat cells) to prevent sagging and puffiness. There’s citrus unshiu peel extract, rosemary extract and the chemical compound inositol, each working individually to reportedly strengthen the dermis or epidermal stem cells. Together, they are said to make skin healthier, with more defined contours.
In addition, no Class A moisturiser these days would neglect brightening. This has extracts of Thai golden silk and Japanese white silk to boost radiance and protect against UV damage, as well as Japanese pearl extract to increase hydration, resulting in a plumper, stronger protective barrier. Now you know why this mini disco ball of a bottle costs so much.
#4: The Sheet Mask: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Powerfoil Mask, $32 per sheet
It’s the beauty giant’s first sheet mask, so you know there’s a lot riding on it – and it delivers. The “dual-matrix” technology behind it supposedly allows ingredients to penetrate skin 25 times faster than a regular cotton sheet mask. Instead of one layer, there are two: an inner one that releases the ingredients, and an outer one that forms a protective cocoon to make sure they all stay in. Inside its concentrated formula: the skin-repairing ingredients of reportedly nearly half a bottle of the brand’s signature Advanced Night Repair serum. They help calm and hydrate, and are anti-pollution, so your complexion looks fresher, better rested and glows in just 10 minutes. With regular use, skin is said to become less prone to breakouts.
#5: The Oil: SK-II Facial Treatment Oil, $205
The brand’s Facial Treatment Essence is a superstar among cult products, and this has all its anti-ageing and skin-nourishing benefits – just in a more soothing and hydrating formula (and with an awesome lavender and carrot scent to boot). Infused with six oils, including olive, jojoba and avocado, this strengthens skin against environmental stressors (haze, pollution, UV rays etc), and leaves an instantly brighter complexion that doesn’t look oily. Over time, skin looks plumper and feels smoother. Use before or in place of moisturiser, depending on the dryness of your complexion.
Photography Zaphs Zhang Art Direction Leyna Poh
An adapted version first appeared in Female’s February issue, out on newsstands now.