• Anastasia Pentias

TBN: Super-Creams Edition- One Cream to Address All

Updated: Nov 28, 2019

How the beauty industry has changed. Many of us beauty consumers now fall into the 'skintellectual' category, which means we can read through the claims brands make about their products. We know there's nothing out there to fix wrinkles except for retinol. We know vitamin C brightens our skin. We know hyaluronic acid and glycerin are great friends to dry skin. We know there is no magic trick to make us twenty again. It takes religious consistency and time to get results.

Back in the old days, brands went nuts with their promises. Their (expensive) creams were little pots of magic: 'This will restore your lost tightness, smooth out your crow's feet, rewind time to bring back your youth'. As we became knowledgable, we, the consumers, retorted with a collective 'Oh, honey. No, it won't'.

We learned it's actually serums that penetrate your skin better, so we invested more in those. Creams took a back seat, as just a final step to moisturise and seal all the serum goodness in. There were always creams that made your skin feel good, or even great, but that's about all they did. It is simply not done these days to rely on just a cream for your skincare needs. Serums have been the king for years and a multi-step (multi-serum) beauty routine is common. New serum out? 'Oooooh, let's investigate!' New cream? 'Meh. Not important.'

Well, the joke's on us because the beauty industry seems to have come full circle. Recently, I wrote about noticing an emerging trend: creams that are really, truly effective for addressing serious aging skin concerns. It might be because lab technology has made immense progress; formulas are very sophisticated and able to effectively penetrate the skin. That has coincided with us all beauty enthusiasts getting 'beauty fatigue'. Just how many beauty steps and money can we possibly invest before we say 'Enough is enough. I have other things to do.'

What do I personally think of this trend? Yes, there's absolutely a lot to be said for the ease and simplicity of just one cream to take care of your face. But I think it would not match using different serums at different times of the day, and also different seasons of the year, to address your skin's changing needs. It's less likely one cream will suit your skin concerns like a customised serums-routine might. BUT: if you don't enjoy skincare and end up skipping it because you're bored, then this is the perfect solution for you.

You will also notice that an exorbitant price is a common theme with super-creams and this is a particular sore point for me. The beauty industry has come too far, offering the masses great active ingredients at affordable prices, to return to exclusivity. I cannot fathom that a 230 euro cream, which will last you two months at the most, will have mass appeal. Nor should it. We'll just have to wait until the patents expire and the formulas are available at more reasonable price points.

There were claims of super-creams before of, course, like La Mer (the mystique of which was dispelled when the ingredients revealed nothing extraordinary) and La Prairie (whose equally un-special caviar patent is now available in supermarket ranges). Today, we're talking about new creams that actually deliver quantifiable, clinical results. Below are the most prominent super-creams of late. Right after them, is my own list of creams that follow the same principle of 'one cream for multiple concerns' that I have personally tested and adored, at prices that will not break the bank.


Cult51: This started the latest wave of 'super-creams' a few years ago. I have not tried it. However, friends swear by its potency and say you need nothing else apart from the line's night cream. I can't imagine it's better than high-dose retinol but not all people like that. The price is high- although not as insane as others- so I stay away. But if your interest is piqued, Cult51 is available to buy here

Augustinus Bader The Cream: To say this cream has been popular, is an understatement. Launched just last year, it was a smash hit and the reviews are clear: this gives you *beautiful* skin. Augustinus Bader is a stem-cell scientist who developed his own patented system, called TFC8, that triggers skin to rejuvenate on its own. This is clinically proven to actively anti-age. It is available to buy here

Victoria Beckham Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturiser: when VB launches a new venture, you can be sure it's a) posh (pun intended) and b) high-quality. So who else should the most over-achieving ex-pop icon team up with, other than Augustinus Bader himself? This is supercharged, anti-aging morning skincare, ideal for before makeup. It has clinical trials to back its claims and the price is high but more upper management-level, rather than oligarch-level. I won't lie, when my budget is better toward spring, I will consider it. It's available to buy here on her own US website. European buyers beware, this should incur customs charges, so maybe wait this one out until it's available from an EU retailer?

If these are not a consideration because of their price, an absolutely sane and understandable approach, please find below, in order of preference, my suggested alternatives. I start from my current favourite and work my way down. You do get what you pay for with these, they are seriously good creams that give you results.

Sevenea Protective Anti-Pollution Face Cream this cream is beyond good. It's brilliant. It gave me such good skin, I actually researched all its ingredients and found out that it indeed contains the best of everything. There were some reported problems with their order delivery options, so I hope they sorted that out because their products deserve to spread the joy. You can read the full review here

Goldfaden MD Vital Boost the name should change to 'Super-Duper Skin'. This gives me supreme plumpness and tightness, helps fade my sun spots and packs serious skincare benefits. It would be in the number 1 spot in this list, but came in second place because it doesn't protect from the sun like Sevenea does. I would absolutely recommend wearing just this in the morning, no serums needed. It is available to buy here

Lixirskin Universal Emulsion in case you've been reading this website, you may have noticed my love of this brand. Colette Haydon, dermo-doctor extraordinaire, decided to create one cream for all areas and all concerns. In my book, she was entirely successful. Ever since the line launched two years ago, I have never NOT had this in my kit. It heals, protects, moisturises, smooths, plumps, primes and is available to buy here

Dr. Roebuck's Nuddy this nourishes and moisturises your skin while repairing free-radical damage. It's a cream for those who don't like creams: when you apply it, it literally disappears. You can read the full review here. It also regulates oiliness, a great bonus for me. I prefer it in warmer weather but that's just me. It's available to buy here

Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base this is dreamy to apply but so much more. I would recommend it mostly for dry skin but it's also wonderful on combination skin like mine, mainly in winter. The plumpness and glow you get from this is angelic but the vitamins it contains calm and nourish my skin from retinol angst. It's also the best makeup primer I've ever used. I can't say it's anti-aging, however. It's available to buy here

It Cosmetics Confidence In A Cream although I'm currently testing this and will have more to say in the near future, for now I can assert that this cream falls firmly into the super-cream category. It's definitely different than normal day creams; it achieves a heck of a lot more. I am surprised not more people are talking about it. Well, I will, soon. In the meatime, it is available to buy here

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photos via cultbeauty.com, bobbibrown.com, sevenea.com, victoriabeckhambeauty.com, lookfantastic.com