The Beauty Products I Don’t Like To Run Out Of!!

Looking for effective skincare can be a minefield of facts and information. It can be so harrowing, steering through the constant claims that brands make and deciding what to buy, and what to disregard.

We really are spoilt for choice. We all want our skin to look the best it can without breaking the bank. And, who has the time or energy for a twenty-step routine at the beginning and end of each and every day?

My box of beauty empties

When I was growing up, I wish more information had been available to my younger self, and, that I had taken more notice…. I may have listened. Of course, nowadays, most of us know the biggest culprit is sun damage. Back then (showing my age, here), we relied on a handful of magazines that were our “holy grail”! My favourites were, “Jackie”, and then, later, of course, “Cosmopolitan”. This was all before “social media”, so you relied on the journalists of these magazines to give you clued-up advice.

Going forward to my forties, I was stuck in a skincare rut. So, I started to adapt my beauty routine. I began to use different products, especially the ones people were shouting about. I was seeking out anti-aging active ingredients that, allegedly, had been proven to work. Some were backed by independent research or scientific studies. I also watched vloggers on You tube, sticking to the ones I thought were giving a good, honest opinion and seemed to know what they were talking about – and didn’t talk endlessly before they got to the point! Plus, I read what the consumers themselves had to say in the reviews/comments.

So, it was time for action! I have tried quite a few products over the years – some have been a waste of time and money, but some have been my staple for a few years, now. I thought I would start to share with you the products I think are effective in my own current ‘anti-aging skincare’ routine, whilst also mentioning the ones I could take or leave!

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser 236ml – £9.50. CeraVe products are not tested on animals and are cruelty free.

I have regularly used this cleanser for approximately four years. I used to buy it on Amazon US, getting it shipped to the UK. So, it was great when Boots UK started to stock it. Thank goodness! I don’t use any soap or harsh detergents on my face.

CeraVe is a mild cleanser that doesn’t foam up and is more like a cleansing gel. It contains moisturising ceramides, hyaluronic acid and glycerine, so it doesn’t strip the moisture barrier. I have learnt that harsh soaps strip away the skin’s natural oils and can change the its natural pH balance.

After I wash my face, I gently pat my it, leaving it slightly damp – never rubbing! I immediately start applying my serum, then moisturising as skin is more absorbent when it’s slightly damp.

Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum 30ml / 1 fl. oz. £24.99 plus shipping. Cruelty free.

I have used this serum for about three years. I’ve tried other vitamin C serums, but always go back to this one. I love the fact the serum is combined with L-Ascorbic acid, vitamin E and Ferulic acid. It claims to be effective for collagen creation, whilst helping to fade age spots and surface roughness. I have found that my skin has improved using this – hence, it’s why I’m still using it, today

The only thing with vitamin C serum is it does oxidise after a little while (goes orange or brown) – it’s then no longer good to use. To avoid this, I always pop it in the fridge when received. I then get an old empty Vit C bottle and deposit one inch in the empty bottle. This is the one I keep by the sink for my morning routine. By separating the serum, I find it can last up to four months.

You can pay quite a lot for a Vitamin C serum. I haven’t tried them all, but, in my opinion, this one is good value for money – mainly for the ingredients, the price (of course), and efficiency. So, it’s still a winner for me.

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm 50ml £32.50

A Clarins cult product, the “Beauty Flash Balm” is defined as the ultimate pick-me-up for tired skin. This is a best-selling radiant skin booster that claims to eliminate signs of fatigue in a flash. It has the accolade of cult status. This wasn’t the reason why I started to use it, many moons ago – as I never believe the hype.

Immediately, it suited my skin type, hence it’s become a staple product for me. It does indeed tighten and brighten the skin – you can feel the tingle on application. It’s one of those products that I quickly re-stock when I run out.

I like to use it after moisturising and before applying my foundation primer, which is the Laura Mercier radiance primer (which I also couldn’t be without).

This beauty balm has a few other advantages. It can also be used as a primer (if you wish) or a face mask – which is supposed to give good results. If you are tempted to give it a try, ask for a sample to see if it suits your skin type as I’ve read reviews where it isn’t suitable for oily skin.

CeraVe Cream Facial Moisturiser 52ml £12.00 – CeraVe products are not tested on animals and are cruelty free.

As you can see from the photographs (lots of empties), I like to try different moisturisers along with my everyday staple products. The only way I would discard a product is if it didn’t suit my skin type. I always use it up until empty.

I really recommend this moisturiser. It doesn’t contain sunscreen, but does have ceramides, niacinamide, glycerine, and hyaluronic acid.

The only negative is, I seem to go through it quickly. It doesn’t help that my family all love it. They ask, “have you got any of that nice cream I can borrow”!!


Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed it.  If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.



This is not a sponsored post.  All items are my own.   Thank you.



  1. Hi Aliison thank you for linking to my Muttonstyle Monday linkup. I also do YouTube as well as my blog and better make sure I get to the point quickly in future:) . I use all of these apart from the clarins balm. Given you like so many products that i do I’d better start using that too as I’m bound to like it as we are skincare sisters. I’ve been buying my cerave from abroad on trips. I didn’t know Boots had started selling it. Great.

    • Thank you Anna, you’re so welcome. I think you know immediately when there’s an improvement through using the right product. This is why, for instance, I always go back to Cerave. I just wish they would do a larger container as my family love it too. I am trying to steer clear of products that aren’t ‘cruelty free’ so, I’m going to look for an alternative to Claris beauty balm. I’ve heard Aldi do a great dupe. It’s a lot cheaper as well. So definitely will be giving it a go.

  2. I love Cerave products! They are affordable and get the job done – so much better than some more expensive alternatives. Thank you so very much for linking up with our Style Six! Hope you come back next Wednesday as well!

    • Thank you Kellyann. I agree with you. Cerave is such a great quality
      product, especially, for the price. Thank you for the invite, I’ll be there!
      Alison xx

  3. I’d never heard of CeraVe before but I’ll have to check it out – I love that these products are cruelty free and a great price point. My husband and daughter use my skincare products too…they never buy replacements though! Thanks for linking up!

    Emma xxx

    • Thank you, Emma. I used to get CeraVe shipped from the US before Boots started to stock it. In the US they do
      a night and day moisturiser. The day moisturiser has an SPF15 which is quite handy in the summer months.
      Alison xx

  4. Thanks for joining in my #linkup Some interesting products, some I’ve not heard about before, others I have used. Have a super week. Jacqui Mummabstylish

    • Thank you, Jacqui. I’m so pleased I’ve introduced new products for you to maybe try in
      your beauty routine!
      Alison x

    • I’ve been using retin-a for just over 3 years now. I started on the 0.05% strength and only recently progressed to the next strength 0.1% using it every night. It can be a slow, tedious journey, as it’s tricky to get used to. Plus, we are unable to buy here in the UK over the counter. I stocked up last time I went to Majorca in June. Let me know if you have any questions?
      Maybe I should write a little follow up.

  5. angela thomson

    Hi firstly can i say you don’t look anywhere near being 60 at the end of the year, can you tell me which one product would you say you cant be without, also do you use a separate sunscreen? as you say your moisturiser does not contain spf ,

    thank you

    • Hi Angie,
      The one product which I definitely couldn’t be without is Retin-A. It’s a brand name for Tretonion. I have used it since the beginning of 2016. Here’s the link explaining how I started to use it and my experience :
      I use it every evening as part of my skincare routine. If you have any questions please let me know.
      Alison xx

      • angela thomson

        Hi Alison

        Thanks for replying so quickly I think I will have to wait till my holidays before I can get hold of some Retin A , I also am turning 60 at the beginning of next year and am always on the look out for new products/tips on what does or doesn’t work. I am new to your blog i think it is is great and love your fashion sense and styling tips and look forward to more.

        Angie x

        • Hi Angie,
          Thank you so much and welcome to my blog I am so pleased you enjoy the various topics discussed. I need to do another beauty product post as I have been trying a few skincare products and gadgets for a little while now. There will be a new fashion post on here in a few hours. I hope you enjoy it.
          Best wishes

  6. Alex

    Now that Clarins have changed the ingredients in beauty flash balm and it is nothing like the old product, do you have any recommendations for an alternative. I’m devastated as had been using it it for 30 years or so…

    • Hi Alex
      Oh no! I too have been using this product for years and years, and that is so disappointing, why do they change things which work so well? I
      only use it a little bit here and there (especially when I look tired, haha)! and as you will know a tube of this lasts for so long. I
      know Aldi does a dupe but I haven’t tried it – I will let you know if I hear of anything which is just as good.

  7. Sarah

    I have seen the Superdrug Radiance Balm recommended as an alternative (if it works, it will be great – much cheaper!). I bought some today – we’ll see.
    I started using Flash Balm in the mid-eighties – in my mid-60s now – and a lot of friends started using it because they saw how it made such a difference to my skin. I have managed to buy a couple of tubes of the old formula but there was a gap when I couldn’t get the old version and, instead of being complimented on my skin, I kept being told I looked tired.
    This is a great blog – so glad I found it. I will try CeraVe for sure.

    • Hi Sarah,
      Thank you for your comment. I’m interested to know if the Superdrug version was any good. What a shame “Clarins” have changed the formula, it certainly brings my tired skin to life. CeraVe is still my favourite though I love to try new skincare, some are good some are definitely not so good. I have bought “Boots Collegen” night cream which falls into the latter category, unfortunately – it’s very thin, so I am using it as a day cream. I’ll be posting later today (fashion) as I haven’t done a clothing one for ages. I hope you enjoy it. xx

  8. Sarah

    I realise I never did get back but I think that is because I never did find an alternative to the old formulation of Flash Balm by Clarins. Until very recently.
    I recently tried Rose Dew by Cosmetics à la Carte. It is more expensive then Flash Balm, but I find it has a similar effect on me.
    Enjoying your blog – thank you
    Sarah x

    • Thank you, Sarah – I’ll look out for this product. There are new products coming onto the market all the time….if the reviews are good they’re always worth a try.x

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