peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Perfect pairs may put you in mind of blackjack, or those of you have led more sheltered lives might go with peanut butter and jelly. Now me, I have a bit of a one-track-mind and so I immediately pair the perfect beauty products. There’s a method to this seemingly frivolous notion because the performance of one product can be vastly boosted by pairing it with another. To see what I mean, read on.

Kenneth Mark and Amarte BB

The perfect pair may be the most unlikely and I hope I have got your attention with this one. But here’s the thing, astaxanthin boosts the power of sunscreen. And so, if you are a BB cream lover, you boost not only the SPF performance but also the antiaging effects with a great serum by Kenneth Mark MD Antioxidant Hydrating Cream ($120) that has astaxanthin (as well as other great anti-agers such as super oxide dismutase and copper. Astaxanthin is 6,000 times more effective than vitamin C and scientists have found that it can prevent sunburn. And Amarte Natural Finish BB Cream ($57) with SPF36 gets accolades for the natural, youthful glow that it gives.

Ultra Clear and BRAD Sea Minerals Purify Healing Detoxifying Gel Cleanser

Invariably, fear of cleansing brushes is due to sensitive skin. If you are prone to irritation, dryness and redness then this is the perfect pair for you. BRAD’s healing and detoxifying cleanser ($45 in the shop) is designed for dry, blemished, and sensitive skin. Unlike other cleansers, you won’t find yourself itching to reach for a moisturizer. Ultra Clear Facial Cleansing System was designed specifically for sensitive skin and has 1800 micro-rotations per second so that your skin is gently whisked clean without any brushing or scrubbing.

La Vie Celeste Eclairage and a Medik8 CE-Tetra

Ferulic acid is an antioxidant that is useful in its own right, but it really comes into its own when combined with vitamins C and E, acting synergistically to render them more powerful. A Duke University study found it particularly good for preventing sun damage, and studies elsewhere have demonstrated that exposure to ultraviolet light actually increases the antioxidant power of ferulic acid. You’ll find ferulic acid in the excellent La Vie Celeste Eclairage Restorative Serum ($98.50 in the shop) with skin brighteners and you can layer it with Medik8 C-Tetra ($70 in the shop) for that ferulic/vitamin C combo.

Arcona Pumpkin Lotion 10% and The Organic Pharmacy

Anti-aging solutions can’t stop at the neck. I have come to appreciate the benefits of glycolic exfoliation for the whole body and a couple of times a week, Arcona’s Pumpkin Lotion 10% ($35 in the shop) really has an impact on younger looking skin. The 10% refers to glycolic and there’s pumpkin enzymes for additional exfoliation. The rest of the week, your newly exfoliated skin is going to appreciate a deliciously nourishing body lotion such as The Organic Pharmacy Body Lotion ($79) with its lovely smell of rose. It's light, non-greasy and dominated by emollient oils and hydrating phospholipids.

Lumavera Glycolic Night Cream and Prana Reishi Mushroom Shield

Lumavera Glycolic Night Cream ($80) does a great job of tightening the skin and evening out discoloration. Not for the faint-hearted, it has 10% glycolic and some retinyl palmitate and vitamin C. The exfoliating effects are noticeable, but will also make your skin more sun sensitive. I like that Lumavera has included a “veggie blend” of antioxidants, especially as broccoli has sun protection qualities. But to be on the safe side, I would pair this night cream with an antioxidant day cream with an SPF, such as Prana Reishi Mushroom Shield ($42 in the shop). Prana’s magic mushrooms include a compound called astragalus that repairs DNA.

AQ Lash and AQ Eye Serum

If you really want to bat your lashes irresistibly (well it is Valentine’s Day), you need more than a curling tong and mascara. AQ Eye Serum ($99 in the shop) is made with growth factors that repair wrinkles but also have the added bonus of making eyelashes darker and stronger. But for lash length building, AQ Lash ($135 in the shop) has a more finally honed growth factor formula that will have you mascara free on some days. A perfect pair to keep your eye on.