Over the past year I have tested dozens of products for mature skin from all price ranges. The requirements for us older dames are quite specific as skin dries out, loses its elasticity and gets wrinkled. The basic tenets are: exfoliate, moisturise and protect. These are my favourites:
Body Shop Body Butter , £12, is brilliant and much better than some very expensive ones I tested, so they should stop sneaking the price up. Right now please! I also swear by Darphin's Aromatic Bath and Body Oil , £21.94 stockists 0870 034 2566, and This Works Dry Leg Oil , £32, www.thisworks.com - silken nourishment.
It's important to exfoliate the dead cells that accentuate old, dry skin.
Body Shop Body Scrub , £12. Not too harsh but works. Good smell too. Ren Guerande Salt Exfoliating Body Balm , £19.50, 020 7724 2900. Both come in good scoopy pots. Apply with a loofah for extra whoomph.
Estee Lauder's Idealist Micro-D Deep Thermal Refinisher , £32, is the best fun because it warms up when wet. Comfortingly brilliant.
DDF Glycolic Exfoliating Wash, use lots and really massage in. Sloughs off dead cells and lasts for a long time. £32, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges 0800 0371600.
An extra layer of moisture. I use in the morning at least five minutes before applying moisturiser. You could use at night as well. Skinceuticals' Vitamin C plus Vitamin E Ferulic , £60, firstname.lastname@example.org. Expensive, but you only need a tiny bit and it is instantly absorbed. You can virtually feel your skin drink it up and has high anti-oxidant content.
Elizabeth Arden's Ceramide Gold Ultra Restorative Capsules, £52 for 60 capsules. Wonderful nourishment in a dear little capsule that you pop. Instantly absorbed. Absolutely brilliant and the popping's the best.
Caudalie Moisturising Concentrate , £23 from the Garden Pharmacy at www.garden.co.uk. Another quickly absorbed, excellently nourishing oil.
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair (£65. A serious hard-hitter that works on its own as a night cream but is miraculous at restoring dried-out skin. Fushi's A4 Cell Rejuvenator 24h Face Cream (£95, www.fushi.co.uk. Produced by a small holistic beauty company, but is a huge pot and lasts for ages.
Environ Mild Day Cream with SPF 4. Formulated in South Africa where they know a thing or two about sun damage and claims to boost skin production. I love it - £25, email@example.com. L'Oreal Age Re-perfect, Anti-slackening Intensive Restoring Cream spf 15 (£11.24, Superdrug. I double-checked this with a 75-year-old who will now use nothing else.
Elizabeth Arden's Prevage £74.99. You only need a tiny bit and go easy if you're prone to eyebags.
L'Oreal Revitalift Double Lifting Eye Cream £13.99. Rather like Signal toothpaste, two colours combine from different channels.
Alpha H anti-ageing hand cream (200ml, £24, www.beautyexpert.co.uk. Hard-hitting night cream for hands. Atrixo Regenerating Treatment (18), £4.75 Boots, Superdrug. Great little workhorse.
Vital for oldies. Diamancel (£29, is what they use in Bliss. It's horribly expensive but the toughest file I've found that works. Champneys (£12.50 selected Sainsbury's is good for gentler attacks.
DDF Pedi-Cream (£30, Harvey Nichols, is really good for cracked heels. Apply at night otherwise you slip over and Sanctuary Intensive Rescue Heel Balm (£6.95, www.sanctuary.co.uk, softens skin.