The under-£20 face cream that works

It plumps, it softens and it feels expensive, but it’s only £16. If you are looking for a new moisturiser, then give this a go

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By Frankie Graddon on

When it comes to stuff you slap on your face, the Holy Grail is an affordable moisturiser. Something that makes your skin feel soft and supple, look plump and glowy, but doesn’t cost the earth. There are zillions of supercreams out there – ones packed with golden flakes or ice crystals, which promise to do all sorts of fabulous things – but they tend to come with a super price tag. However, I have uncovered one that does all of the above and costs less than £20.

Marks & Spencer’s beauty offerings have got significantly better over the last year and it is now a bona fide beauty destination. As well as stocking lots of lovely brands (Cowshed, Nuxe, Ren), they also have their own products, which are really rather good. If you haven’t yet, try the Rosie for Autograph range – especially the lipshine. But what I want to talk about today is their Pure Marine Active skincare range, specifically the Marine Active Day Cream. 

Best for mature skin that leans towards the dehydrated/dry spectrum, the cream is formulated to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and make your skin feel soft and look plump. It does this with a combination of glycerin (moisturising) persian silk tree extract (helps retains skin’s elasticity) and blackcurrant oil, which is both antioxidising and anti-redness. The cream itself is luxuriously thick, which is hard to find in cheaper-priced ranges, which are more often than not a bit watery. Once on your skin, it feels velvety yet sinks in quickly, so you can put make-up over the top without any slide. The smell is fresh and perky, so great for the morning. 

I gave both the day and the night cream to a colleague to try and she’s over the moon. However, she’s ditched the night cream (too thin) and uses the day cream both morning and night. Having seen a visible different in her skin’s appearance and texture, she’s now on her third pot. 

The entire Pure Marine Active range uses responsibly sourced ingredients and is made in the UK. It’s not tested on animals and claims to contain 95 per cent natural ingredients. Also in the range is a bag-banishing eye cream, £16, and a face serum, £17, which contains mineral-rich Irish seaweed (that’s the marine bit). Both are next on my list to try. 





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