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.