I Swear by This British Beauty Brand for Glowing Skin and Way Fewer Wrinkles
As a busy, thirty-something constantly seeking the fountain of youth known as wrinkle-free and glowing skin, I've been perfecting my easy yet effective skincare routine for years. And it wasn't effortless. I've spent countless hours hunting down anti-aging skincare products that actually work, and as a shopping editor, I have tried numerous serums, toners, cleansers, and moisturizers.
However, one brand that's consistently won me over to become a mainstay in my lineup? Elemis. If you haven't yet come across this award-winning wellness brand, that's likely because it's based out of London. Formerly a travel editor for a U.K.-based media brand, I was first introduced to this luxury British beauty brand via an old coworker.
One dab of the lightweight and extremely hydrating face moisturizer she offered me and I was hooked. That was more than four years ago and I still use that same Pro-Collagen Marine Cream daily. Since then, I've added several other Elemis skincare products to my rotation, including the Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm and Superfood Facial Oil.
It's no secret that British, French, Korean, and other foreign beauty brands make some of the best skincare products on the market, but they're often hard to get in the U.S. Luckily, you won't need to wait months or spend a fortune on overseas shipping since you can find Elemis on Amazon as part of its Premium Beauty offerings. (Pro tip: You can also now score items from the line at Ulta and the Elemis U.S. site.)
Curious as to why this foreign beauty brand is my best-kept skincare secret? (To be fair, it's not so under the radar abroad: Elemis won the title of Best Premium Skincare Brand by the Sunday Times Style in the U.K. in 2020.) Keep reading for why these Elemis skincare products have become staples in my routine, plus how the ingredients can seriously benefit your skin.
Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF 30
According to the company, Elemis is the number one anti-aging skincare brand in the U.K., and this popular marine cream is one of their best-sellers for good reason. As a daily face lotion, it delivers instant hydration, and I've found it to be one of the best moisturizers with SPF. It's super lightweight, odorless, and doesn't leave any film or residue behind, meaning I practically forget I'm wearing it minutes after applying it. I also noticed a visible difference in my forehead's fine lines after using it every day for a few weeks, and I credit my still mostly wrinkle-free skin in part to my religious use of this product.
That's because this 3-in-1 product works to hydrate, firm, and protect skin while also reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This is all credited to a potent combination of marine and plant ingredients including padina pavonica, chlorella, and antioxidant-rich ginkgo biloba (translation: brown algae, green microalgae, and a tree native to China, respectively).
While there's also a version of this cream without sun protection, I always opt for the one with SPF since I know wearing sunscreen daily is the first step in any good anti-aging routine. In fact, "much of the sun damage that accumulates in our skin is the result of daily incidental sun exposure," New York-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Hadley King tells Travel + Leisure. Not only does sunscreen lower UV exposure, but it also lowers your risk of skin cancer.
Dr. King recommends daily use of an SPF of at least 15, but notes that 30 is even better. "It also helps prevent premature skin aging caused by the sun, including wrinkles, sagging and age spots," she adds. So if you're looking for a one-step morning product that does it all, check out my multitasking "hero" moisturizer with sun protection.
Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm
I traded in my drugstore makeup remover wipes for this cleansing balm a few years ago and have noticed a significant improvement in my skin since. It removes everything from daily dirt and grime to full glam makeup with the gentle swipe of a washcloth (I even used it to easily remove my heavy wedding makeup). Plus, it leaves my face baby-soft and feeling extra hydrated thanks to moisturizing elderberry oil and starflower oil.
What makes it so good? It transitions from a nourishing balm to a cleansing oil to a moisturizing milk in the span of seconds and is formulated with nine essential oils. Specifically, elderberry oil is "rich in antioxidants and helps protect the skin from oxidative damage from free radicals, sun exposure, and pollution," while starflower oil is "the best plant source of the omega-6 essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid, which is helpful for skin hydration," Dr. King explains.
If your current cleanser isn't hacking it, or if makeup wipes don't give you that squeaky-clean feeling, it might be time for a change. "Some wipes can leave a residue of chemicals that can potentially be irritating," Dr. King warns And if you do typically experience skin sensitivities, a gentle balm could be the solution. "Cleansing oils and balms are best suited for dry and sensitive skin types because they won't strip the skin of its natural oils and cause drying," she notes. Plus, this one is made without mineral oils, so it won't break you out.
I keep a full-size tub of the Elemis balm at home and take a travel-sized version with me on every trip. Both the $14 and $38 jars are less than 3 ounces, making them TSA friendly.
Elemis Superfood Facial Oil
I first got this face oil as a sample during a sale promotion, but as soon as I used a couple of drops and witnessed the instant glow it delivered, I knew I'd be going back to buy the full size. It leaves my face super smooth and dewy, but absorbs quickly enough that I don't feel greasy. It also smells heavenly, with a calming aroma I can only describe as reminiscent of your favorite upscale hotel spa.
The Elemis facial oil is made up of a blend of nine antioxidant-packed superfoods, including flax seed oil and daikon radish, that lend it its name. "The essential fatty acids in flaxseed oil help to moisturize the skin and support the skin barrier," Dr. King says. Meanwhile, daikon radish is "rich in vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties and can help protect the skin from damage from free radicals," she adds.
A good face oil is "able to support the skin barrier and lock in moisture," according to Dr. King. She points out that it can have additional benefits too, such as protecting and soothing the skin since "many botanical oils are naturally rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties."
While this is a staple in my morning routine, I also often apply it before bed in the winter or when my skin is extra flaky and scaly — due to dry plane and hotel air or dry travel destinations — to lock in moisture overnight. Fortunately, it's available in two travel-friendly sizes that'll ensure a radiant complexion every day and wherever your travels take you.
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