Last week, the fashion world was treated to a delectable slice of gossip. Fashion director, Lucinda Chambers, fresh off her shock firing from UK Vogue, was pleased to draw back the curtain in a scathing interview on how the fashion world really operated. Spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t left a rabbit’s burrow: it’s highly dependent on corporations, and nobody really wears those (shamelessly expensive) clothes.

The same of course, has been said about the beauty business. I mean, duh. So much of what is sold to women, is, to paraphrase Chambers, designed to keep us insecure. But with the diet industry, celebrity industrial complex and social media reaching its own nadir, it’s clear that beauty and fashion have by no means cornered the market on women’s insecurity. Or should I say, insecurity sold as empowerment. Nobody is so gauche as to serve insecurity straight up.

And yet. Sometimes, a new dress really can change the way you feel about yourself, the same way a new hairstyle can lift your mood. And while all of us are far too sophisticated to fall for empty promises about what potions can do for our skin, technology is doing its bit to turn some of those promises into a pleasing reality.

Yet, there are creams on the market that can actually minimise wrinkles and decrease dark spots and deep lines. I’m not saying you should use them in place of botox, but I’m not saying it’s snake oil, either. The active ingredient is usually a dash of retinol and or some AHAs (Alpha-hydroxy Acids). Yeah, don’t worry, I’m a little bored by the lingo and I write about it. The point is, these ingredients stimulate cell turn-over, which in turn means more collagen. But too much can cause redness and irritation so it’s best to work up to it, and apply a little at a time.

A little while ago I decided to go and find out what the top dozen anti-ageing creams are. These are the ones on beauty editor’s hot lists; the ones that receive consistently great reviews on major store websites. These are not necessarily the ones being promoted by corporations. I know, I deserve a congressional medal for my boundary-pushing bravery.

Although, there is one caveat: we all have different skin. I know you know this, but it can be hard to remember when someone is falling all over themselves about how a certain cream changed their molecular structure when all it did for you is dry out your forehead.

So, after searching out these creams, I tried them. Some of them really did dry out my forehead, while others gave me a greasy finish. But the three below actually worked. They are also on the expensive side, but I promise, they really did make my skin feel softer while minimising lines and crevices and everything else. I can’t guarantee they will work for you because I have highly sensitive skin that’s also dry and red and generally just really bad news. Why do you think I got into this gig?

Lancôme Visionaire Advanced Skin Corrector $105

This is, in a word, lovely. Minimised wrinkles and even pores! The effects were instant.

Chanel Blue Serum $155 David Jones

I don’t want to swear gratuitously and stain the great brand of Chanel so I will simply say that this cream is the stuff. My eye bags were greatly improved and it smells divine.

Kate Somerville Wrinkle Warrior 2-in-1 Plumping moisturiser and Serum $138 Mecca Cosmetica

This earns rave reviews worldwide and for good reason. Effects were subtle but lasting.

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