Super-Hero Salves

by Susanah Cheok

Why that decadent anti-ageing cult cream will save you time, money, and your skin.

The skin is the largest organ in the human body, a protective one at that, so precious indeed. Stands to reason I subscribe to skincare that gives as much as it costs, to take the best care of mine.

Not all skin creams are created equal. In most cases, what you pay for is what you get. And there are many reasons why some cost as much as designer accessories and jewellery. You know the ones: usually $500 and up a pop, refined and light to the touch, with a swoon-worthy scent reminiscent of rich old women.

I learnt in my early days as a beauty journalist that the more research and technology go into making a skin cream, the costlier it tends to be. Little wonder that many reputable formulations with a cult reputation for being effective, the ones with the ongoing rave reviews, don’t come cheap.

If you have the benefit of speaking to the scientists and researchers who work on creating skin creams that target specific needs like firmness, hydration, smoothness and general anti-ageing, you’ll find that they share this in common: the years they spend to get the formulations right through research, and the countless trials they do on human and lab-grown skin.

If it doesn’t achieve what it’s supposed to, if it doesn’t work in the end, it won’t see the light of day on your beauty shelves.

In my 20s, as much as I loved (still do) the delicate, light-as-butter textures and fine scents of luxurious anti-ageing creams, I shied away from them for fear of adding more shine to my then-oily T-zone, and because breakouts were a bigger concern for me than saggy skin.

But I witnessed how these creams kept my mother’s skin plump, line-free and radiant, right through to her 80s, proof of their efficacy.

So when my hormones finally calmed down and the breakouts disappeared for good, and when I started seeing the first signs of a tired-looking complexion, especially during stressful periods in my life, I too entrusted my skin to these hopes in a jar and dipped my fingers into these exquisite emollients and potted dreams. Here’s why.

Time-back guarantee

You know what beauty brands say about anti-ageing skincare, that it can “turn back the clock”? Well, it’s all true. When you have three minutes or less for your skincare routine on early-call mornings and fall-asleep-while-showering nights, you’ll appreciate the fact that these skin savers are so powerful and chockful of active ingredients that they allow you to trim your five-step routine down to a quick two-step cleanse-and-cream one that leaves your skin none-the-worse-for-wear, but firm, clear and hydrated the next morning and all through the day.

As much as I believe in not being lazy with skincare, and usually have between four and six steps in mine, using a super-hero moisturiser buys me more time in the morning, so I won’t be late, and helps me get to bed earlier when I’m exhausted on long days and late nights.

Less is more

Thanks to the rationing philosophy of super-cream usage, an expensive but effective cream can help you save not just time, but money.

You don’t need a lot of super-hero salve to treat your skin right. One pearl-drop size amount is enough for the entire face, neck and décolletage. This amount, twice a day, will see your precious jar go a fairly long way, depending on the amount of cream in each jar, because even though each jar costs way more than a garden variety moisturiser, you use less of it each time and end up stretching out the expense.

Come to that, unleashing the super powers of these creams also means you don’t need other more time-zapping and invasive skin enhancing treatments, as they keep your complexion as good and glowing as it gets in a natural way.

Regular and sustained use of these exceptional emollients, whether as part of a long regime or a short and clever cheat sheet means a glowing complexion that does not require any or much face makeup. But should you want to wear heavier coverage, it’ll look good too, since good skin is the perfect canvas for both light and heavy makeup.

Graceful ageing

As much as I believe in ageing naturally, it always helps the process when we can do it gracefully. I like how these exceptional creams help my complexion carry the years better, in a way that makes me look well-rested, stress-free, and like I have a skincare secret to share.

I see them as a pampering everyday extravagance, decadent topical supplements for the skin to keep it looking re-texturised, radiant, hydrated, and firm at any age.

Check out my recommendations of anti-ageing creams in the gallery below:

Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream Ex

Super-power ingredients:

A 50-year-old ginseng heritage comprising ginseng’s anti-ageing essence compound K and ginsenocide re, which come from the ginseng root and flower.


La Créme by Clé de Peau Beauté

Super-power ingredients:

Contains Illuminating Complex EX, a combination of antioxidants that moisturises, retexturises and improves communication between skin cells based on its patented Intuitive Skin Theory.  Also Retinol ACE, which has been proven to be effective against fine lines and wrinkles.

Chanel Sublimage La Crème


Vanilla Planifolia from Madagascar that, among the 117 varieties of vanilla plants in the world, has the most exceptional concentration of active anti-ageing molecules, which are extracted using the process of Chrono-Extraction, a delicate procedure developed by CHANEL Research. This is done at a precise moment during the plant’s fruit growth cycle, that is just before it disappears.

Chanel’s Sublimage range has just launched its super precious emollient, Chanel L’Extrait de Crème, which offers “an unprecedented concentration” and the ultimate in sensorial addictiveness.


Chanel L’Extrait de Crème

Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Cream

Super-power ingredients: Abyssinian oil rich in omega 3, 6 and 9 that have remarkable lipid-replenishing properties, and orchids, known for their longevity and for being the most developed species in the plant kingdom.

La Mer Crème de la Mer

La Mer Crème de la MerSuper-power ingredients:

Its famed miracle broth contains a kind of nutrient-rich sea kelp found in the ocean in California. This is infused with the energy of light and sound to optimally intensify and stimulate their activity and potency.

The formulation was created by Dr Max Huber, a German-born aerospace physicist, who suffered severe burns in a laboratory explosion in the 1950s, while working on a rocket stabiliser. It took him 12 years to perfect the sea kelp formulation that ultimately healed his burn wounds and erased his scars.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream

Super-power ingredients:

The Exclusive Cellular Complex and Nourishing Caviar Extract, all of which work to enhance skin’s natural process of renewal and rejuvenation.


Related links:

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