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Five Best all rounders

January 11, 2012 Reviewed by Marta 5 Comments
An email exchange with a TIA reader the other day made me think hard about products that don’t just multitask, but are great all-rounders. Personally, I think micro-targeting different products for different areas is the most optimal (my skin is very different on my forehead than my chin and I also prefer to use expensive serums only where I seriously need them). But this can be a fussy and more expensive approach, not to mention impracticality of traveling with an additional suitcase full of potions and lotions. So if you are in a pinch, away for the weekend, or in a budget crunch, then here are some great all-rounders.

Skin-Lasting Super Hydrator ($28 in the TIA shop). This unusual moisturizer and skin clarifyer is a spray that is designed for face, hands, body and neck. The super simple formula has nothing to dislike. Whilst Skin-Lasting does hydrate with hyaluronic acid and nourish with aloe vera, take note that it majors on glycerin, lactic acid and urea – all of which will exfoliate. These actives keep the skin clear and smooth and they are helpful for breakout control. However, you can have too much of a good thing and you’ll need to judge whether you can handle this for everyday. I would not recommend this for the eye area (consistency isn’t suitable and the exfoliators will be too much for the delicate skin). Bottom line: a great all-rounder but you’ll need a separate eye cream. Read the full review

E’shee Aqua Radiance Hydra Mask ($96 in the TIA shop and also in the Winter Discover box). This clear gel is actually much more than a mask and multitasks as a moisturizer (on its own or over a serum, night cream and after shave lotion. And it really does give the skin a hydrated glow. The base is aloe vera gel, which stimulates collagen and is a protector of healthy cells, and rose distillate. I'm a big fan of witch hazel - as is E'shee (you'll also find it in their serum). Much more than a humble astringent, it is an antioxidant and powerful anti-inflammatory. Another E'shee favorite is fucus vesiculosis, or bladderwrack, a rich source of vitamin C. cucumber, hydrating sodium hyaluronate, antioxidant grape and d-panthenol (vitamin B5). Note, some people may not like that there is also propylene glycol.

La Vie Celeste Day/Night Restorative Face Cream with R-Lipoic Acid ($65 in the TIA shop). This was voted a Five Best Serum for less than $100. This multi-tasking anti-aging moisturizer can be used day or night (or both).  It can also work as an eye cream and a neck cream. It features R-lipoic acid, a chirally correct form (which means the molecules are well absorbed by the skin) of this powerful antioxidant. The star of the show is spirulina, a powerfully antioxidant alga with omegas, amino acids and a boatload of vitamin B.  All natural ingredients and a luxury feel for a reasonable price. This is relatively lightweight so those in need of a heavier moisturizer could take a look at the Extra Rich version.

ReLuma Skin Illuminating Anti-Aging Moisturizer ($85 in the TIA shop) If you don’t want to spring for the potent ReLuma serum, then this would be the next best thing – a moisturizer with same key active. Sensitive skins can use it without breaking-out. It has no detectable odor, absorbs rapidly and leaves a semi-matte finish. Once absorbed you can feel just the slightest bit of moisture/protection on the surface of your skin, but that's all. It's not a moist and dewy moisturizer if this is what you want. After a couple of weeks of daily use, color, tone and texture of skin should be visually improved.

Suntegrity All Natural Moisturizing Face Protection SPF30 ($45 in the TIA shop). This is a high quality sunscreen with powerful antioxidants and it moisturizers. This has one of my favorite ingredients, astaxanthin, a dark red cartenoid pigment. A radical scavenger, analyses have shown that astaxanthin is also an efficient absorber of specific ultraviolet sunlight rays that may contribute to skin aging and cancer. In Suntegrity, it gets an antioxidant boost from red algae and pomegranate. The sunscreen active is 20% zinc oxide. Although the texture is dense, it will rub in without leaving a chalky cast, is suitable for all skin pigments and people I have recommended it to have found – especially 30-somethings – that as their only moisturizer it does help smooth fine lines.

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Ingredients in Skin-Lasting: Water, vegetable glycerin, lactic acid, urea (carbamide), aloe vera leaf juice, hyaluronic acid, green tea leaf extract, vitamin C, sea salt

Ingredients in E’shee: Aqua, Aloe Vera Gel, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Distillate, Propylene Glycol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Distillate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Lecithin, Fucus Vesiculosis (Seaweed) Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Mentha piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Menthol, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin, D-Panthenol, Disodium EDTA, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Menthyl Lactate.


Ingredients in LA Vie Celeste: Aqua (Purified Water), Sweet Almond (Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis) Oil*, Sesame Seed (Sesamum Indium) Oil*, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil*, Emulsifying Wax (Behentrimonium Methosulphate and Cetearyl Alcohol), Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii)*, Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Extract, Spirulina (Spirulina Platensis Geitler) Extract, Sodium Lactate, R-Lipoic Acid, Cosmocil CQ (Polyaminopropyl Biguanide), Grapefruit Seed (Citrus Paradisi) Extract*, Pomegranate (Punica Granatum) Extract, Olive Leaf (Olea Europaca) Extract*, Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Leaf Extract*, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic) Acid.

Ingredients in ReLuma Moisturizer: Human Adipose Derived Stem Cell Conditioned Media, Cetearyl Olivate, Sodium Olivate, Caprilic Capric Triglycerides, Vegetable Glycerin, Jojoba Oil, Jojoba Ester, Sodium L-Pyrrolidone Carboxylate, Sodium Lactate, L-Arginine, L-Aspartic Acid, Glycine, L-Alanine, L-Serine, L-Valine, L-Proline, L-Threonine, L-Leucine, L-Phenylamine, Silica, Vitamin E Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Hyaluronic Acid, Coenzyme Q-10, Methylisothiazolinone and Caprylyl Glycol, Water

Ingredients in Suntegrity: Zinc oxide 20%. Water (Purified), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Capric Caprylic Triglycerides, Sorbitan Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Jojoba Oil, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt), Sunflower Oil, Cucumber Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Tea-Oil Camellia, Pomegranate Oil, Red Algae Extract, Astaxanthin, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Essential Oil, Citrus Reticulata Blanco (Tangerine) Essential Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Essential Oil, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide*, Ethylhexylglycerin* *Paraben-free anti-microbial agent.
  • January 12, 2012

    by Asya

    Hi Marta,

    of course you wouldn't recommend something you've not even tried! I just hope you can manage to get a sample to try out :-)
    Actually they are not available via a phone number - this should be the number of the wholesale representative, who should be able to tell you how are they distributed in the US and what storefront they use. I think that this practice comes from the fact that until very recently they were only available to medical professionals (aesthetic surgeons) via specialised medical distributors and apparently have not updated yet their distribution methods despite the growing business (and yes, this is old Europe for you...) . They are still only available in pharmacies in Europe for example. I am using an online French pharmacy ( They are shipping to the US as well.
    I stocked up on Hyalceutic at Christmas and this is the complete ingredients list:
    Water, Aloe Barbadensis extract (10%), Ethylhexyl palmitate, Sodium hyaluronate (5,5%), Butyrospermum parkii butter (4%), Triticum vulgare germ oil, Isopropyl palmitate, Hydrolysed soy protein, Polyacramide/C13-14 isoparaffin/laureth-7, Simmondsia chinensis oil, DMDM hydantoin, Tocopheryl acetate.

    It is quite simple but it works.

  • January 12, 2012

    by Marta

    Hi Asya, thank you for mentioning Dermaceutic again. We can't really recommend products that are available in the US only via a phone number and without ingredients published online. I'm going to contact the company directly to see if we can get some samples and take it from there.

  • January 12, 2012

    by Dennis

    Marta, I am really glad that you are liking and recommending the skin-lasting. Meanwhile, speaking of needing a separate eye cream, I have been using a new eye cream I got for xmas: the CSI Vivid Eyes Cucumber eye cream. It is loaded with goodies such as Hyaluronic acid, Argireline, Matrixyl, Snap-8, and vit a, c, e. All for eight dollars at Vitacost.

  • January 11, 2012

    by Susan

    Thank you Marta for this excellent post! I have only been a reader for about 2 months and begun to use serums and good products since that time. The dilemma of spot treatment versus overall has thrown me daily. The spot treatments always seem (for me) to leave out parts of my face.
    The alternative, so far, has seemed to layer too many products on by using some product over most if not the entire face. I have been concerned about wasting product or just plain over kill and even diluting the effects of a product by doing this.
    What is your opinion on this? Do we need to give our overall face a dose of serum etc. to be certain no area is left 'alone'?
    The travel dilemma has certainly become more of an issue for me since beginning to take proper care of my skin so I do appreciate that you addressed this as well with this Best 5 list of All Rounders!
    Thank you so much!

  • January 11, 2012

    by Asya

    Thank you, Marta!
    I'm always looking for a product doing a couple of things at a time (and well :-)
    I take the occasion to invite you again to check out Dermaceutic - and their Hyalceutic (the hyaluronic moisturiser) and Serum C25 (vit C serum). They are exactly what you'd call all rounders - an universal base that gives very good results on its own (glowing moisturised skin and antioxidant protection) and goes astoundingly well with everyrthing else (I just received a huge order from TIA's shop and mix the oils and the serums with Hyalceutic - an idea as well to your video on how to make expensive serums last...) I discovered the brand 3 years ago and for the moment nothing can knock these two down (and I it is not that I haven't tried). I haven't seen new wrinkles since I used them, I only had to add sun protection, they are doing a great job really.

    I saw that they are represented in the US by Clarion Medical at tel. 001 905 339 8355, but you can always order them from England or anywhere in Europe and I promise you won't be sorry :-)
    It is really the one product that I can recommend without any reserves because it really works and it is such a pleasure to apply. I would really like to hear what you and the other members of the TIA community would say about them!

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