Many of you already know, I’m in my 40s. While I’m happy to reveal my age to anyone, I’m not quite so delighted when it comes to all those wrinkles I see in the mirror. I’d love to look as young as I feel but ageing is pretty inevitable unless you’re prepared to go under the knife. Now, I must admit I don’t plan to do anything this extreme and, if I do, you’ll be the first to know! In fact, I just really want to grow old gracefully. However, a little helping hand in the form of a decent anti-ageing cream or two should certainly not be sniffed at.
The vegan and cruelty-free option
My beauty regime is continually evolving and, since the pandemic, this has given me a chance to actually look more closely at the products I’ve previously bought without much thought. This is why I’m discovering even more about cruelty-free vegan skincare – and I want to find the best anti-ageing creams out there. Now, I’m an animal lover so it makes sense to consider my beauty options more carefully. I’ve done my research and found many big brands may not actually test on animals directly, but I’m discovering they may use by-products which do. It really is a learning curve and this is not something I can dramatically change overnight. But what I am doing is gradually replacing my beauty brands with ones, which appear to be more ethical, when it comes to skincare.
So, I thought I could make my quest for the best anti-ageing cream that little bit easier. I’ve tested a whole host of cruelty-free vegan products out there and I’m going to reveal my favourites and why I’ve picked them right here. I’ve got sensitive skin too, for those of you who have to consider this. So, without further ado, let’s start with…
Best anti-ageing cream cleanser
I tend to wear make-up every day so a ‘heavy duty’ cleanser is a must for me. It needs to remove every last trace of dirt and I’m hoping this important part of my routine will help to prevent dehydration and perhaps slow down ageing.
Winner: Ark Skincare Age Defend conditioning cleanser, £25
They say: This product is an ultra-nourishing cleanser, which helps with skin’s natural exfoliation for a clear, radiant complexion. It effectively removes make-up & excess sebum leaving skin clean, plump and supple. This cleanser is perfect for sensitivities as the natural ingredients soothe redness and inflammation too. We are passionate about using the most innovative natural ingredients to give you effective results whilst caring for the most sensitive skins. We are proud to contain no parabens, SLS, mineral oil, S.D alcohol, artificial colour or fragrance.
My verdict: Congratulations go to Ark Skincare Age Defend conditioning cleanser! Yes, I absolutely love everything about this fabulous product and my skin definitely felt more plump and supple. The cleanser is specifically for those in your 30s and 40s (they have products to suit other age groups, too). It was easy to massage into my skin and wipe away the residue, removing every trace of make-up (including my eye area) in a jiffy. This conditioning cleanser left my face and neck with a velvety soft texture and it has a gorgeous ‘spa-like’ aroma. Overall, this was the best anti-ageing cream cleanser for me, which comes with a handy pump-action, too. It’s really good value for money. Don’t just take my word for it, try it and I think you’ll love it!
Runner-up: Odylique Creamy Coconut Cleanser, 200ml, £20
They say: They describe this cleanser as 100% natural, 87% organic and Soil Association certified. The skin-conditioning creamy blend of extra virgin olive & coconut oils gently but thoroughly lifts away make-up, skin impurities and airborne dirt. Organic rose water and a subtle trio of pure essential oils calm sensitive skin and complete a thorough natural cleanse. This is non-comedogenic cleanser, detergent-free and soothing for sensitive skin, dry skin, oily skin, normal or mature skin types! It is often used on skin prone to rosacea.
My verdict: Expect a slightly watery texture, but don’t let that put you off. I wasn’t a great fan of its subtle scent either, however this cleansing product achieved great results. This is a gentle anti-ageing cream cleanser, which removed my eye make-up well and will not irritate sensitive skin. You can use it on skin, which is prone to rosacea too, which gives it bonus points. It was calming and soothing on my skin and left my face feeling fully cleansed and super soft. I also liked the fact you can buy a 30ml size, which is makes handy for travelling.
Best serum and oil:
Ok, so these are not creams per se, but I do think an oil-based serum or oil is an absolute must in your daily facial beauty regime. Thanks to their consistency, they tend to absorb well into the skin and should be used before moisturising. I must admit I used to use an oil only once or twice a week till I discovered they should be integrated into your daily routine to achieve maximum results. Here, I’ve chosen two winners, because both will nourish your skin in different ways.
Winner: Love Henri beautiful rose facial oil, 25ml £65
Henri says: When I began to formulate bespoke oils for my clients, my intention was clear – to deliver the purest essential oils available anywhere in truly therapeutic amounts. A luxurious, regenerative facial oil for a blooming complexion. Use this exquisite blend of Wild Rosehip, Precious Rose and Essential Neroli to nourish, hydrate and protect.
My verdict: With just seven ingredients, the unique formula in this oil certainly gets the job done. This facial oil has an instant alluring scent and it simply glides on as you massage it into your skin. It comes with a cute face brush too for dry skin removal, which I used before applying the oil. There’s even a short film on their website, which shows you exactly what to do! I loved the packaging and my skin felt more hydrated and looked positively glowing after use.
Winner: Trio Therapeutic Skincare extra sensitive super serum one drop rejuvenating and anti-ageing 12gms, £90
They say: The Super Serum One Drop is a targeted treatment for areas of skin causing concern, such as lines, dark circles and dryness. Harnessing the hydrating and balancing properties of apricot and peach kernel oils this versatile serum deeply nourishes whilst being gentle on ultra-sensitive skin. Designed for those with challenging skin conditions, this organic serum is fragrance-free and 100% natural. This was actually created with the needs of cancer patients in mind. In fact, it’s been designed to combat the aggressive effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy on the skin.
My verdict: Perfect for deeply sensitive skin, this supplement for my skin was a pure joy to sample. I massaged it in and the results felt fantastic. It seemed to absorb beautifully into my dry and lined areas, leaving me with a wonderful sheen. This serum helped to plump up my skin, providing the perfect base for me to apply my day or night cream.
Best anti-ageing day cream:
I feel it’s so important to use a day cream, which will tackle anti-ageing. Look at it as an investment – it will never reverse the ageing process but I’m pretty sure the cream you chose can help to slow it slightly and minimise the look of ageing skin.
Winner: ishga anti-oxidant marine cream, 50ml, £75
They say: A revolutionary organic moisturiser, ishga Anti-oxidant Marine Face Cream is simply full of natural goodness, and will transform any skin type or stubborn problem, while brightening, freshening and smoothing any wrinkles. A powerful blend of clean skincare ingredients, it includes ishga’s unique seaweed extract and legendary Hebridean spring water, which together yield an amazing 86 vitamins and minerals.
My verdict: Now, you can use this day and night and I sampled this as a day cream and was overwhelmed by the incredible results. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the aroma of a product, which used seaweed extract. However, as soon as I lifted the lid, I was pleasantly surprised. The scent is gorgeous and somewhat delicate. Application was easy and it absorbed into my skin quickly. My face and neck felt fully moisturised with a healthy sheen, and no greasy residue, making this the perfect base for applying my make-up. I feel like my skin has visibly improved and it feels firmer. This is the best anti-ageing cream for me.
Runner-up: Rhug Estate protecting day cream with blue tansy oil, 60ml, £95
They say: A deeply nourishing cream that targets wrinkles and dehydration and boosts skin-protecting antioxidants for plumper, smoother looking skin. Best for: Fine lines and wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, dehydration, loss of skin firmness. This is coupled with a unique story of organic security and provenance, blended with modern principles of function and sustainability at the Rhug Estate in north Wales.
My verdict: This cream has a pleasant texture and was easy to spread evenly over the face and neck. This is a fairly light cream, which makes it ideal for daywear and I found it really nourishing and hydrating. The scent was not a personal favourite for me, but I believe it’s meant to be calming and helps to promote a positive mood.
Best anti-ageing night cream:
Do you wonder why night cream should play such an important part of your moisturising routine? Apparently, skin cell repair peaks during the night and it’s higher in the evening than the morning, which means you could suffer from more moisture loss. So, a night cream should help to keep your skin looking healthy and reduce some signs of ageing.
Winner: Angela Langford Thirsty Work, 50ml, £37.50
Angela says: A hero product, this is perfect for dry, dehydrated or mature skin. This is your recipe for improved hydration & elasticity. Rosehip, raspberry & chia seed protect your skin from future damage. Vitamins A & C are blended with Q10 & arctic blackcurrants to repel wrinkles, whilst hyaluronic acid keeps skin hydrated. For best results, it’s suggested for use after face serum.
With a luxurious silky texture, the mixed raspberry and rosehip scent was a delight. Even the husband liked it when I asked for his opinion! I voted this the best anti-ageing cream and it comes in a handy tube with a pump action, which made it easy for me to apply. With a dry (especially in the winter) and combination complexion, my skin definitely felt firmer after use. My neck and décolletage also felt smoother and more hydrated. This product is good value for money and you can enjoy sample packs to try before you buy bigger versions. I really couldn’t fault it.
Runner-up: Green People Fruitful Nights night cream, 50ml, £20
They say: A rejuvenating night treat to even-out texture and minimise wrinkles. Alcohol-free night cream to minimise fine lines and improve skin texture. Extracts from Pineapple, Hibiscus and Raspberry reveal younger, smoother skin, balance oily areas and reduce pigmentation, Rosehip oil has tissue regenerating properties and help reduce wrinkles. Jojoba oil protects against trans-epidermal water loss and helps balance sebum levels. Hemp Seed oil, rich in Omega-3&6 keeps skin soft and supple.
My verdict: This is a rich and soothing cream with a great consistency for an even texture. I loved the exquisite fruity scent and the results were great. I used it sparingly as directed and I definitely felt it achieved a smoother, softer face and neck. Package-wise, this isn’t one I’d display in my bathroom, but it certainly did the job well.
Best anti-ageing eye cream
Did you know the skin around the eye area secretes the least oil? That’s why we need as much help as we can get to minimise the look from all those wrinkles. I also know that the skin around the eye area is more fragile than the rest of my face. So it makes sense to use a specially designed cream which will help to improve smoothness under the eyes and reduce the look of larger wrinkles.
The winner: Organza creamy eye potion, 20ml, £27.99
They say: It’s rich in omega 3 & 6 that helps smooth wrinkles and fine lines improving skin elasticity around the eye area. Its natural alpha lipioc acid encourages healthy cellular function and increases radiance. With natural vitamin c and natural caffeine, eye potion helps to soothe skin irritations around the eye area, reduces puffiness and swelling. The organic cucumber extract soothes, cools, and reduces under-eye bags which helps reduce the appearance of dark circles around the eyes. Proven to significantly increase skin hydration, reduce trains-epidermis water loss and increase skin barrier function in even the driest skin. It gives you a soft velvet feel that also works as a colour correction under the eyes with or without makeup.
My verdict: It has improved the overall appearance of my eye area and it’s really good value for money. In addition, I really liked the ultra creamy potion and the feeling of nourishment under my eyes. It seemed to work like a treat on my fine lines and wrinkles, and gave me a fresh-faced glow. It comes in a pretty frosted glass pot, so it looks good, too.
I then noticed this came from the eczema range. I suffer from a little eczema mixed with psoriasis from time to time on my hands. However, my sister does have a problem with eczema on her eyelids. So, as soon as I saw this, I knew I must recommend the Organza creamy eye potion to her. I’ve tried this morning and night, and the results have really impressed me.
Runner-up: Arbonne AgeWell Enriching eye cream with caffeine and bakuchiol, 15ml, £55
They say: This luxurious Bakuchiol eye cream gives all skin types a youthful glow while reducing the appearance of puffiness, crow’s feet and dark circles, thanks to a special combination of Caffeine, Bakuchiol. This is a vegan retinol alternative that the skin tolerates well – and Stabilised Vitamin C. This innovative anti-ageing eye cream formula also features Sustainable Plant Stem Cell Extract, Peptides and Vitamin B3 (also known as Niacinamide) to improve the appearance of skin tone around the eyes for an overall healthier, younger looking appearance that all skin types (including sensitive) will love.
My verdict: This cream felt slightly lighter in consistency than the previous one. But it still packed a good punch in terms of the results. I found it instantly moisturised and soothed my eye area. I loved the use of Bakuchiol, a plant-based alternative to retinol without the harsh effects on skin. It created a smooth platform for me to apply my make-up in the mornings and I couldn’t fault the actual product. My eye area certainly looked far fresher, however I would have liked a more stylish pot.
AD:- The creams and oils have been gifted for me to carry out the review and choose my favourites.