This was meant to be a column on overnight en face masks, but it didn’t work out like that. Over two months, I stabbed 45 examples (costing from under a tenner to 100-odd quid) and create not even three I could bring myself to recommend. A pity, because I love the idea, ease and great promise of a transformative bedtime dose that leaves skin soft, glowing, dramatically mellower and firmer by morning, but in practice I couldn’t see how they brought any uncountable to the party than a decent night cream, and frequently, much petty.
So let’s talk about my favourite night moisturisers instead. Controversially, I’m of the impression that they needn’t be expensive. A night cream’s elementary function is to keep skin moist, balanced and supple without breakout. It doesn’t distress to underlay makeup or protect from the sun. Liken caring for rind to caring for yourself when poorly, and think of serum as the curative nostrum and your night cream as the comfy, cosy blanket junior to which you sneeze through Homes Under The Hammer. Attend ti & Spencer’s (vegetarian, mostly vegan) Formula skincare is rather brilliant for the price (they’ve got a big-deal cosmetic scientist at the presidency, but are shy about saying so), and arguably the best product is Ultimate Catch Cream (£22 for 50ml), a scientifically sound moisturiser with a soft, buttery substance that leaves my face still comfortable and bright get the morning. I use it often on my dry skin, though oilier types should stray it.
Newer and more versatile is Beauty Pie’s superb Jeju Overnight Moisture Superinfusion (£9.69 for 50ml to Looker Pie members), a hydrating, Korean-made whipped balm for all skin groups, from dry to oily, that contains no mineral oils or coarse derivatives. I’m so impressed by the dewy, non-greasy texture, and immediate perkiness of my scrape, that I’ve managed to get through an entire jar – pretty rare when I have in the offing a pile of luxury creams to test.
Also nailing skincare properly now is Superdrug. Every one of its own-brand lines has at least one fantastic offshoot: Naturally Radiant Renewing Night Cream (£5.99 for a bumper 75ml tub) is as gigantic a buy as its stablemate liquid exfoliant. Light and fresh, it contains fruit acids to soften away dull, rough textured skin without irritation. I’ll let you be informed if I ever strike gold on the mask front.