An allergic reaction on my neck and decolletage has been bothering me for a while. As I don’t have a dermatologist on speed-dial, I’ve been taking Piriton and hoping it will settle down. And so when Boots UK asked if they could offer me some skincare expertise, I was happy to oblige. Other concerns on my list include: sensitive skin and eyes, the quest to find the ultimate moisturizer with SPF and age/sun spots that are gradually turning me into a walking tribute to Yayoi Kusama. The skincare advisors assessed the situation, selected the most suitable items and then a box of lovely products arrived (have to admit that was a bit of a relief as there are loads of skincare essentials at Boots).

After a two-week trial, here’s my verdict:

Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser (£10.50 online)

I can’t be bothered faffing around with those thick, gloopy balm cleansers that require several applications and a muslin cloth. Much better off with the easy breezy, wash-and-go variety and I was delighted to see something from Avene in my goodie box. I always use their sunscreen on my sensitive skin, in summer, and this is a beauty brand that I am happy to endorse. A big thumbs up for this gentle, plant-based cleanser.

this works no wrinkles active serum (£39.50 online)

‘Our advice for ageing wisely: stay out of the sun, wear a hat, and SPF’ it says on the back of the tube. Mmm…unfortunately, it’s a bit late for that but this Vitamin C-packed product smells wonderful (it contains bergamot, Damask rose, lemon and cedar wood), helps fight free radicals and is getting to work on my age spots. This is my favourite beauty product from the Boots selection. The serum is light and easy to apply and I think the age spots are fading ever so slightly – either that or it’s my eyesight.

Bioderma Sensibio Light Cream (£10.50 online)

Oh thank you, Boots. To try and alleviate the irritated skin and itchiness around my neck, I have avoided using any cream, for weeks. This lovely, silky moisturiser has soothed my skin and stopped me feeling bad about my neck. Now I’m feeling calm all round. I would definitely buy this.

L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Re-hydrating Lotion Face, Neck & Decolletage SPF15 (£8.66 online)

I often buy L’Oréal moisturiser for travelling. It’s reliable, effective and comes in an airport security-friendly 50ml container. Win-win-win. While this is a perfectly decent product and excellent value for money, I personally prefer something lighter for everyday use and am still searching for the Holy Grail of grown-up moisturisers with SPF. Any suggestions?

Vichy Purete Thermale Relieving Solid Water Mask (£14 online)

To be honest, I have only used this mask once. Obviously, I need to spend more time with my feet up and less time on social media. Five-minutes on the sofa with this cooling, soothing treatment on my face provided a much-needed dose of personal pampering. Until the builders arrived and I had to rush into the bathroom and quickly wash it off.

After what was only a very short email conversation, I am impressed that the product recommendations made by the Boots UK skincare expert were so accurate. There are some lovely skincare essentials here that I’ll definitely be adding to my regime. It’s easy to get stuck in a beauty rut and this trial has made me realise the importance of taking time to research new products, to find what suits your skin and works for you at various stages of your life.

Boots UK has 3 for 2 offers on selected skincare and up to half price on skincare essentials. This is a sponsored post.


18 thoughts on “Stepping out of a skincare rut

  1. I don’t know what cracked me up more your comment about your failing eyesight or the use of particle board in your flatlay 😉
    Hahaha yep sunscreen in everything now!
    I made some changes recently too but mine was due to the fact that menopause & HRT has played havoc with my skin. I really like Caudalie plus it’s all natural & cruelty free.

  2. Lots of things make my face and neck itchy, but I can consistently wear Clinique’s Superdefense and Estee Lauder’s Daywear without irritation. They don’t have a LOT of SP,F but they are a great moisturizer and base layer. I usually add a BB cream or light foundation with SPF over that. And on my hands and the back of my neck, Supergoop. I’m 58 and sadly did not discover sunblock until I was 40. BETTER LATE THAN NEVER.

  3. Would recommend Homeoplasmine, if you have an irritated skin. And, Embryolisse for very dry skin (can def buy the second in Boots). What a great range of French stuff they stock now. (also, M&S is pretty good).

  4. I was using Origins Mega Bright SPF 40 (oil free) but at £40 I wanted something more affordable so I just bought Boots Time Delay anti-ageing day moisturiser with SPF 30 for £5. It’s fab, and not dissimilar to the Origins in texture.

  5. Informative post! Like you, I have sensitive eyes. And I need a moisturizer with sunscreen. I’ve had skin cancer so this is important. The only thing is–I’ve yet to find a moisturizer with sunscreen that doesn’t bother my eyes. The closest I’ve come is a moisturizer by Peter Thomas Roth. It’s good but, as with everything else with a name, it’s pricey.

    My makeup remover/cleanser of choice, Albolene. It’s a lard like substance that literally melts makeup and wipes off with a tissue. I’ve been using it for years and nothing else seems to be as consistently easy!

  6. La Roche-Posay has a great lightweight sunscreen called Anthelios XL Ultra-Light Fluid with SPF 50. It does not leave a white cast, works well under makeup and does not irritate sensitive skin, but it only has one + for UVA rays. The best choice is to have three or four, because the UVA are the ones that create hyperpigmentation and long- term skin damage in deeper layers, that can not be seen instantly.

  7. Thank you for the skin care advice. I cannot a find a shampoo that doesn’t leach the moisture out of my hair. I wish there were some home remedy. Sugar? — no, I’m not joking. But, something everyday and not expensive. Eucerin, available in supermarkets in the U.S., stops winter itching on skin, nothing else compares with this product originally recommended to me at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Any suggestions? I’m a happy, healthy 73-years-old, just got a masters degree and starting a new career.

    1. Congratulations on the degree—what field? I’m around your age and have been thinking of going back to school for a while now. Each semester that passed made it seem more out of reach but you’ve inspired me—Thanks.

    2. Congratulations on the degree Saba—what field? I’m around your age and have been thinking of going back to school for a while now. Each semester that passed made it seem more out of reach but you’ve inspired me—Thanks.

  8. For what it’s worth, my dermatologist (in France) pooh-poohs fancy creams, claiming it’s mostly a matter of marketing (and indeed here in France there’s a new line of pharma-creams just about every month). But she does like La Roche Posay, Bioderma, Uriage and SVR. Meanwhile the surgeon in the same practice has a display of Avène products in her office. They both say try for fragrance-free and the fewest ingredients possible.

  9. I have been using Paula’s Choice skincare for over 10 years. All fragrance free and based on research. My favourite is the Skin Recovery SPF 30 daily moisturizer which is, for me, the only sunscreen that does not irritate my skin and eyes.. I can’t use chemical sunscreens and this is a really stellar product, the best I have ever used for my dry, sensitive eczema prone skin. Though they ship from the Netherlands to the UK the prices are very good, though some might feel the packaging is basic but that is fine for me, I would rather have products that work. The PC sister site Beautypedia tests and recommends products by other manufacturers as well so a great free resource.

  10. I really enjoyed this post, Alyson, thank you, as well as the really informative contributions from your other readers.
    I have a normal/dry + sensitive skin and don’t get on with regular sunscreen products. I found Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Cream to be pleasant on the skin and well tolerated. It is stated to have SPF 30 which is higher than many daily moisturizers. The drawback for me is that there is a good range of shades, but if you like to use your moisturizer on neck and decollete as well, either you risk the colour rubbing off on clothing, or have to use a different product – faff either way. Maybe you could persuade them to make the same product with no colour? 🙂

    You might like to try Dr Aloe sunscreen, available in various SPFs – I’ve found it in store and online at Holland & Barratt.

  11. I recently discovered Bioderma Hydrabio Perfecteur SPF30. Really good day cream and the SPF works very well for me down here in Cape Town!

  12. I have eczema around my eyes and I find La-Roche-Posay Tolarine range eye countour cream has really improved the skin around my eyes I was tired of using steroid creams to clear up condition a pharmacy in Berlin recommended it to me and I have not looked back it’s not expensive either which is wonderful but I did find La-Roche-Posay customer service poor in regards to having testers available for their Toleraine foundations.

  13. Sensitive skin is a pain I have always reacted to everything and aging skin that has been hammered by the sun makes things even more interesting. I invested in the Ageloc me which gives you a phone app that you can set what you need, age, gender, how much SPF you want and cool little vids that you can feed in how many age spots etc. Sounds complicated but trust me easy two minute job that you can change every time you order. Up to 2000 different combinations and arrives with your name on it. Oh and it really works no sun burn age spots fade to the extent others notice. Very light scent. Bit of a phaf to travel with but you can put it in a travel kit so very small.

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