Urged by a lovely letter from Junko, I am inaugurating a new series of posts called Marta This Month, in which I will give an update on what products I am currently using. Even though I am always testing out new things, there are always products that I gravitate back to and new finds that I am really pleased with make it into my regular routine. I'll give updates on face, hair, neck/decollete and body products, kicking off with potions and tools for my face.

The last update on my skincare picks was last May and, while I am pleased to say that there are still some old faithfuls in my routine, it really has changed quite dramatically. I am still a devotee of the Clarisonic Brush and, of course, the Baby Quasar (available in the TIA store and currently being tested against the Nu Skin Galvanic Spa). I haven't yet found a glycolic serum to beat IMAGE Skincare's Ageless (although I have found some alternatives good enough for a Five Best collection). I have, however, found that I don't need to use IMAGE more than once or twice a week these days as my skin is fairly clear and I don't want to over exfoliate (I am still using it almost daily on the rougher, neglected skin of my neck).

My serums of choice these days include Cellbone Hyper-Peptides. This has four neuropeptides that are supposed to work by sending signals to cells to limit the formation of expression lines. Matrixyl 3000 is boosting the formation of new collagen. Gotu kola (centella asiatica), idebenone and bilberry are providing the antioxidant role. Then there are several alpha hydroxy acids – cane and maple sugars and citrus fruit extracts (another reason to cut back on the IMAGE).

Cellbone Hyper-Peptides is an excellent team player and I like to smear Skin Nutrition's Cell CPR over it. Skin Nutrition’s philosophy is that skin cells are complex things made up of phospholipids, proteins (enzymes, oligopeptides, amino acids), oligosaccharides, oxygen, vitamins and minerals. And so, therefore, is Cell CPR with a whopping 70 or so ingredients. Nonetheless, it is a light and moisturizing serum that I have no doubt that I will buy when this bottle runs out.

I happily alternate Cell CPR with another excellent find. Osmosis Replenish packs a powerful antioxide punch with nothing at all from the Truth In Aging nasties list. There is phosphatidycholine, and always worth a shout out is one of my favorites, spin trap. A signature ingredient of the Your Best Face range, it is a very effective radical scavenger. So too is catalase. This enzyme is super useful in that it is the catalyst that turns hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen, which is naturally occurring but builds up over time. One of the real superheros in Replenish could well be chlorella vulgaris extract. A bright green algae (pictured), it is loaded with amino acids such as lysine, proline, glycine, and alanine.

I am now regularly targeting the lip area with Your Best Face's Define, a new product that we have on sale (at a great discount) in an exclusive TIA bundle with, amongst other things, the eye cream Correct. And, yes, Correct is still my all time favorite eye cream, closely followed by Dermophisiologique's Optyma (also in the TIA store). I also have a new can't live without in the form of Osmotics Lipofill, another new product that, this time, targets the labial nasal lines and does a great job at smoothing them out (and an even better one when used with the Baby Q). It has just been recruited to the TIA store.

I have developed an eccentric habit of using a toner in the early evening, followed by Your Best Face's Restore. This has alpha arbutin to lighten skin tone is great at making the skin look refreshed. It has now become my staple night cream. Finally, sunscreen's of choice are Abella Colorshade and Chella's intelligent Anti-aging Formula.