The miracle £18 serum that promises to streamline your skincare regime – by Lisa Armstrong
Sometimes the hardest part about taking care of your skin is knowing where to start. Peptides this, acids that, peels the other. (Actually, forget peels. Unless you have severe acne or other kinds of scarring, you don’t need them, although plenty of others would argue in favour. I say, look at their skin and if you like what you see, go ahead.)
Where was I? Oh yes: keep it simple. Cleanse and moisturise is the measure of it. I throw in a hyaluronic acid, because it’s the biggest moisture-booster since, well, water; and then an oil in the middle, because I absolutely love the feeling of a good organic one and the way it visibly plumps skin. It also provides essential lubrication for some facial massage, with a jade or rose-quartz stone, which makes a difference psychologically and physically.
But since starting this column I’ve also had to get to grips with serums. You apply them straight after cleansing and before anything else – lightest potions first is the general rule.
But oh my heavens, which serum? There are thousands to choose from, they all promise the world, and some of them it cost it. I chuck ’em on – because let’s face it, I can, they just land on my desk – and wait to see if any of them make a visible difference.
Three years in, I’ve found one that does, and it’s ridiculously good value: Garden of Wisdom’s Neurophroline Serum. Neurophroline, for the uninitiated (that’s almost everyone, including, until recently, me) comes from wild indigo, a plant native to North America. The pertinent feature is that it inhibits the skin’s own production of cortisol – and that’s pretty amazing. When the body increases its manufacture of cortisol (usually triggered by some kind of stress, be it hormonal, environmental, mental or physical) it can send sugar levels into overdrive, resulting, ultimately, in inflammation, a major cause of visible signs of ageing such as wrinkles and loss of tone. We need to keep cortisol levels low and steady – which is what Neurophroline promises.
As if that weren’t sufficient, it also contains hyaluronic acid so you don’t have to apply that separately, and various antioxidants designed to protect skin from pollution and blue light – the latest baddie. You can feel it tighten your skin as you pat it in, but that’s not why I like it. Recently, on a walking holiday, I got savage, itchy sun rash on my arms. In May. In Dorset. Who could have anticipated that? Not me and I didn’t have any of my usual antihistamines. I did, however, have some Neurophroline Serum because I’d been testing it on my face. If this is as good as they say it is, it might just take the raging red itchiness on my forearms down, I thought. And it did. Extraordinary. Imagine how effectively it’s scavenging the stress from your face.
Good skincare? Cleanse, Neurophroline, oil, moisturise. Some SPF when it’s sunny. You’re done. Radical.
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