I was recently contacted by a brand new arrival in South Africa – Claire Hill. This anti-aging Ozzie brand had me at their packaging; simple, chic and understated. I’m not one to be sold on packaging, but the airless pumps and simple design really caught my eye (also, my new bathroom is white, so…)
The ethos behind the brand is that we all want to look our best, but that doesn’t mean we have to slather ourselves in makeup or endure painful procedures if we don’t want to (obviously, if that’s your thing, carry right on). But for those of us who don’t want to go that route, don’t have the time or inclination, or even the budget for it, we can look for simple solutions that will enhance what we have and make the best of it. This is where an elegant 3-step routine comes in.
Inspired by the botanicals of their homeland, the founders looked to combine the best of nature with science to deliver effective, safe products that would work for all women. By taking the best of both, the products can deliver the absolute best of each component without compromising on safety, efficacy or results.
The range is made-up of just 3 products:
Claire Hill Micellar Water with Desert Lime (R550) is my least favourite of the 3. It’s a beautifully hydrating micellar water that removes all traces of makeup and sunscreen, but it sadly made my eyes sting, so I had to reach for another eye makeup remover.
It contains antioxidants thanks to the Desert Lime extract, but even though they say it’s rinse-free, I’m in the rinsing camp when it comes to micellar waters, which means the antioxidants aren’t on my skin long enough to do anything beneficial.
Most micellar waters claim to be rinse-free, but if Dr Smith, the head of the Dermatology Society of SA, as well as any other derm I’ve spoken to, say you should rinse, I rinse.
The Claire Hill S8-28 Assist Anti Ageing Serum (R950) on the other hand, is an absolute dream to use (even around the eyes). It’s primarily a vitamin C based serum, and while I had my doubts about its clear packaging, it delivered noticeable results. It contains a water-soluble form of vitamin C, so technically shouldn’t be as effective as oil-encapsulated formulas, but I was still impressed. After 3 weeks of use, my skin was plumper and the appearance of my pigmentation was lighter. If you are looking for a good-quality antioxidant serum, this is a great option to try. Just use it quickly as I’m not sure about the clear bottle and the long-term stability of the formula. They recommend storing it in the fridge or a dark cupboard – which is what I did.
The Claire Hill S8-28 Anti Ageing Moisturiser (R1300) contains an amino acid called Snap-8, which is meant to mimic the effects of Botox. Well, I’ll get into that below, but it is a lovely moisturiser that definitely reduced the appearance of my fine lines, especially around my eyes. It absorbed quickly, leaving no greasy residue behind, but still left my skin feeling soft and supple. I’m delighted to report that it also played well under all 4 of the sunscreens I tested over it (and the serum underneath that), as well as foundation. The pilling test is the ultimate one for me – I don’t want my skincare and foundation flaking off my face during the day. Thankfully not a hint of it here.
Now, my thoughts on the ‘new-Botox’ idea…
I get why they (not just Claire Hill – many brands are doing it) are comparing it to Botox, but I also feel it’s a little cheeky because it isn’t entirely true. Botox not only immobilizes the muscles, it also helps to boost elastin and collagen in the area, while Snap-8 destabilises SNARE proteins to prevent muscle movement – so basically, if you can’t move a particular muscle, it won’t create wrinkles.
But, having said that, studies have shown that it can vastly reduce the depth of wrinkles and fine lines, but with everything (including Botox), consistency is key. This is another important point to note with skincare – you cannot use a product a few times and expect long-term results. Your skin is alive and experiences internal and external damage on a daily basis, which is why a solid, consistent routine, like this one, is vital for skin health.
Anyway, that’s my two cents on that. But back to the Claire Hill trio. Overall, I like the brand. I love the serum and the moisturiser, but feel they missed the mark a little on the micellar water. I would have loved to have just used their products without having to reach for another product. It is super hydrating, though, so if you have dry or older skin, or don’t wear eye makeup, absolutely give it a try.
You can buy Claire Hill products online from Me’Nique here and if you use the code FIRST20, you get 20% off your first order.