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The best day creams

(Image credit: Pixabay)

A quality face cream is far more than a nice-to-have. It’s an essential part of your beauty kit, vital for keeping your skin soft, supple and shielded against the elements. The right moisturiser will plump up your skin, transforming your complexion from dull to radiant and reducing the appearance of wrinkles in the process.

So, how do you find your perfect match? If fighting the signs of ageing is a priority, opt for a formula containing hyaluronic acid, such as Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler day cream. It plumps the skin from within, making fine lines less noticeable. A cream containing SPF, such as Boots No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Day Cream, also gives added protection against powerful UV rays, which can burn skin and damage the fibres. If your skin is super sensitive, try Pevonia Soothing Sensitive Skin Cream, which contains calming aloe vera. It’s worth bearing in mind that dryness can worsen acne and blemishes, as well as emphasising wrinkles, so hydration really is your friend.

To really get the most out of your day cream, apply it after your cleansing routine. This is because makeup, dirt and oil can make it trickier for the formula to penetrate the skin and really do its job properly. Damp skin acts like a sponge so, for max absorption, pat your face and neck dry and then rub your moisturiser gently onto your face and neck. Avoid the temptation to go overboard and slather it on, because you run the risk of blocking your pores, as well as wasting your precious potion.

(Image credit: Nivea)

Nivea Q10 Power Anti-Wrinkle and Firming Day Cream

Smoothing and firming

Reasons to buy
+Rapidly absorbed+SPF 15+Smoothing and firming
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn’t feel very decadent

Nivea Q10 Power Anti-Wrinkle and Firming Day Cream is a light, subtly-scented moisturiser at a positively bargain price. Devoted fans claim it’s every bit as good as some of its pricier alternatives and, after testing it out, we can see why it’s a fantastic budget option. The wrinkle-busting formula contains powerful antioxidant Q10, as well as Creatine, to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help prevent fine lines from forming. 

We found that the non-greasy cream rapidly disappeared into the skin, banishing that uncomfortable tight feeling and leaving it feeling softly hydrated throughout the day. It left no residue or annoying shine, and skin seemed smoother and firmer after a few applications too. We also appreciated the added UVA and UVB protection, which helps shield the skin against sun damage and premature ageing.

(Image credit: Pevonia)

Pevonia Soothing Sensitive Skin Cream

Calming cream for reactive skin

Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid

Those in the know swear by this day cream from luxury spa brand, Pevonia. The eco-friendly skincare range shuns animal testing and its products contain no artificial fragrances or colours, parabens, chemical filters or alcohol. Instead, the focus is very much on soothing and calming ingredients, such as aloe vera and propolis, a resin-like substance produced by bees. It’s believed to have healing, anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties, making this a great choice for those of us with sensitive or easily-irritated skin. 

It’s also rich in natural flavonoids and minerals, which encourage tissue regeneration, and the gentle formulation is designed to strengthen weak capillaries, reducing the appearance of facial redness. We certainly found the formula light, gentle and deliciously cooling, smoothing effortlessly across our skin and sinking instantly in.

(Image credit: Elizabeth Arden)

Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Refining Moisture Cream Complex

A serious hydration boost

Reasons to buy
+Prevents moisture loss+Good value+Elegant packaging
Reasons to avoid
-No SPF protection

Like many Elizabeth Arden products (think Eight Hour Cream), Visible Difference is something of a beauty classic. It was first introduced to the market over 25 years ago, and has since built up an incredibly loyal following. This is a rich, emollient moisturising cream, making it well suited to those of us with dry, flaky skin. It’s designed to give a serious hydration boost, with the ingredients also acting as a barrier to seal in moisture too. 

The cream feels luxuriant to the touch and is very easily-absorbed, leaving skin feeling peachy soft and smooth. It also comes at a purse-friendly price, and the elegant packaging looks good on the bathroom shelf too!

(Image credit: Eucerin)

Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Day Cream For Dry Skin

Plumps and peps up skin

Reasons to buy
+Plumps up skin+Good value+SPF15
Reasons to avoid
-Practical packaging

Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler day cream may look a little utilitarian, but we found it great for smoothing and softening the skin. The real wrinkle-busting ingredient is Hyaluronic Acid, which soaks into the upper and lower epidermis, plumping up wrinkles from within. While Hyaluronic Acid may sound intimidating, it is in fact produced naturally by our own bodies and helps our cells hang onto much-needed moisture. However, as we age the level of production tends to drop, causing our skin to lose volume and form those pesky wrinkles. 

We found that this formula left dry skin looking dewy and fresh, reducing the appearance of fine lines in the process. It’s also good value for money, with the added SPF15 helping shield skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. 

(Image credit: Boots No. 7)

Boots No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Day Cream

Smooths and refreshes skin

Reasons to buy
+5* UVA protection   +Supports cell turnover  +Softens wrinkles  
Reasons to avoid

This anti-ageing skincare range from No.7 regularly earns beauty plaudits, thanks to its scientifically-proven results. The Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Day Cream is packed with a powerful mix of hero ingredients, including retinyl palmitate, which helps speed up cell turnover and supports skin renewal. Put simply, over time users benefit from smoother, fresher-looking skin.

It also contains SPF and 5* UVA protection, which helps defend the skin from the sun’s ageing impact. We found that the mild formula gradually softened wrinkles and gave tired-looking skin a much healthier glow. It was also very gentle, didn’t feel greasy and glided easily on. It doesn’t take much to get the job done!

Sophie Barton

Sophie Barton is a journalist and editor with 18 years’ experience in the national media. She spent 11 years as both Deputy and Executive Editor of Closer magazine, and now specialises in lifestyle, wellbeing and celebrity. She is an experienced product reviewer, with a focus on beauty, family and travel.