Anti-wrinkle skincare is FOREVER going to be a hot topic on any site or publication aimed at over 40 (and even over 30) women.
I’ve talked before about not being the world’s greatest expert on serums, retinols and general skincare, but if there’s one way to find out more about anti-wrinkle treatments and what products are out there, then blogs really are THE way to learn. I’ve learnt so much about skincare just from reading blogs over the past few years, so I hope to be able to pass on some useful information about a particular skincare range that I’ve been trialling for the past month.
(I resisted the urge to start this with “Once upon a time there was a wrinkly old witch…” – it would have made an entertaining story though, but I don’t think I looked THAT bad to start with!)
Marks & Spencer Beauty asked me to work with them on this campaign as they’ve recently launched their new Formula Absolute Time Capsules within the pre-existing Formula Absolute range. I’ve been covering my trial on my Instagram feed, and judging by the comments it seems that it’s a very popular range to start with (there’s a lot of love for the Ultimate Sleep Cream out there).
But what were my thoughts?
The M&S Formula Absolute Time Capsules
First of all – let’s look at the product itself. A pot of 28 capsules, each one with the perfect amount of hexapeptide to apply daily to cleansed skin before moisturiser. What is hexapeptide, I hear you ask…? It’s a synthetic anti-wrinkle cosmetics ingredient. It principally works in the same way that Botox does: it inhibits the reactions that cause muscles to move or contract. This is just what we want out of our daily serum, isn’t it?
Its other credentials are pretty impressive too: The capsules themselves are made from carrageenan (an extract from red seaweed), corn starch, disodium phosphate and vegetal glycerol. They’re suitable for vegans and vegetarians (which always sounds funny to me, like only vegans are allowed to eat them? Please do NOT do that though!) and completely biodegradable. Plus the range is cruelty-free… even before I’d started using anything all this all screamed WINNER to me.
I used the Time Capsules every evening after cleansing for 28 days, and I also used the Absolute Total Lip & Eye Cream and the aforementioned Ultimate Sleep Cream. M&S recommend that you use the capsules in the morning, but as I like to take my time over my skincare routine in the evening, massaging products into my skin (in the mornings I’m usually rushing), I stuck to the evening because that works for me.
(I’d probably forget to add the capsule to my morning skincare routine to be honest… I’m so #NotAMorningPerson)
The results after 28 days (and my thoughts on the products)
Below is a photo of my (almost) bare skin – just a little concealer and dusting of powder plus eyebrows… the pink flush was my cheeks getting hot in our south-facing bathroom! 😉
And here’s another, slightly more scary close-up:
I have two main things to say about the products: they all go on really well, sinking beautifully into the skin, and they made my skin exceptionally soft. Other plusses: no strong fragrance other than a lovely “hmm that’s a nice cream” smell and the capsules were really easy to tear open with fingers (I was very glad I didn’t have to get scissors out every time). Also the packaging is beautiful so it looks good on your bathroom shelf or window ledge – I like leaving out the odd pot of cream or product on show and I hate to sound Instagram-obsessed, but that stuff makes a difference to me.
If you look at my opening image you’ll see what I mean about the packaging – VERY Instagramable… call me shallow, I don’t care!
The product in the capsules was really, truly… yummy. It had that satisfying quality whereby you’re thinking OMG this is so oily – then it just starts to really work into your skin and very quickly your face ends up feeling perfectly silky smooth. Now M&S do say that you can use the capsules neat on the skin (meaning no moisturiser), but I like the routine of a night cream and really slathering it on. And everyone on Instagram who sang the praises of the Sleep Cream was right: it’s really quite yummy. I do have sensitive skin and it did sting a little on my T-zone every so often, so although it’s meant to be for all skin types I’d probably avoid it if you’ve got very sensitive skin. But maybe it’s just me and was only on the nights of my over-zealous double cleansing… girl’s gotta get that makeup well and truly OFF!
So FINALLY – the million dollar question (no, not why are bloggers so obsessed with avocado on toast, rose gold stationery, or fairy lights draped over everything): Did my new evening skincare routine, namely the capsules, work?
Do anti-wrinkle creams and serums work?
I will say this: I am AMAZED that I don’t look rougher than I actually do due to the busy month I’ve had. This trial coincided with a hugely busy time in our life where we decided to sell our house, get it seriously decluttered and on the market within the space of a couple of weeks… I haven’t had much sleep and I’ve been running around like a headless chicken this month working on the house AND doing my blog work. So although I certainly haven’t ended up looking 10 years younger, I AM very impressed that my skin looks this good despite all that’s been going on.
I would normally expect much darker circles (there’s no under eye concealer on my face in these photos), a more furrowed brow and a general greyish-ness to my face. It does make me wonder: If I’d got lots of sleep as well, what could the results have been like? Luckily I always keep up my water intake and take off ALL my makeup every night, so the products had the best chance of working their magic every time. I think you’ll agree my skin is quite glowy (I started to get a hot flush when I took these photos, I didn’t realise the bathroom would be so hot when the sun came out!) and looks very healthy.
And that, for me, is the number one thing. The actual health of my skin is more important to me than the appearance of wrinkles, but if there’s a way to target both then I’m all in. I need to keep up the water, the double cleansing and the good skincare routine, and then sort out the sleep now that the house is looking Pinterest-worthy.
Now I don’t think that serums and anti-wrinkle creams turn back time dramatically, but I definitely think they do an awful lot to keep your skin plump, super clean and healthy and, therefore, more youthful looking. Like the disclaimers for foods advertised as helping you lose weight (“when eaten as part of a calorie controlled diet”), anti-wrinkle creams and serums will only yield results if you do all the other things that you’re meant to do for your skin AS WELL.
And judging by my skin after 28 days of the M&S Absolute Formula range and a lot less sleep than I should be getting, then I think I can safely say this is a range I’m sure I’ll be continuing to buy myself from now on – if only to see just how good the results COULD have been…!
HAVE YOU USED, OR ARE THINKING OF USING, THE ABSOLUTE FORMULA RANGE? COMMENT BELOW…!
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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by M&S Beauty (click here for my full disclosure). All content is original, however, and opinions are my own and 100% honest.