The Glass guide to day creams

CAN something as commonplace as a day cream turn out to be a transformative tool in your skincare arsenal? Glass investigates.

Sometimes, owing to the cosmetic confusion so prevalent within the beauty world, we find ourselves neglecting the essentials of skincare in pursuit of the Next Big Thing.

Day creams have long been part of this list. Sandwiched between the far more interesting categories of serum and sunscreen, day creams are the (honestly, sometimes optional) moisturising element of your routine that locks in the goodness of your serum and, in the best-case scenario, keeps your skin hydrated throughout the day.

But can it ever be more than that? As it turns out, yes it can. From multi-tasking creams that take the all-in-one approach to new levels, to a cream that is the closest thing to Botox I’ve ever tried not involving needles, there’s a litany of formulations out there vying to get on that face of yours. Here you’ll find the best of the best, carefully selected by Glass, for your consideration.


Allies Of Skin Peptides & Antioxidants Firming Daily Treatment

Allies Of Skin Peptides & Antioxidants Firming Daily Treatment

£105 for 50ml

Picture it; you’ve overslept, you’re already late for work and you have minus five minutes to get ready – the usual multi-step morning skincare routine simply isn’t happening. Luckily, Allies of Skin has the multi-tasking Peptides & Antioxidants Firming Daily Treatment as your serum, hydrator and moisturiser all in one.

You’ll still need to follow it up with your sunscreen, but I find that on busy days I can skip my usual morning staples of a hydrating essence and vitamin c serum and go straight ahead with this fresh out the shower. Apply it generously over your face and neck, pop on SPF and run out that door – you’re late!

Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturiser

£44 for 50ml

One of the struggles of having oily skin is that, particularly in the summer, it can feel like putting anything at all on the skin results in a shiny, greasy mess within the hour. Not so with Biossance’s Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturiser.

The specifically light gel texture cools and mattifies the skin without any sort of overtly drying action, something many “mattifying” moisturisers cause as a side effect. I actually keep mine in the fridge for extra soothing properties, something that my ever-flushed face thanks me for on a daily basis.

Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte’s Magic Cream

£75 for 50ml

Long famed for her backstage “magic cream” before it was ever a product sold on shelves, Charlotte Tilbury has created a cult beauty product if ever there was one. Jam-packed with a concoction of skin loving ingredients including vitamin C and E, hyaluronic acid and rosehip oil, it’s deeply nourishing and illuminating on the skin while not being too greasy or shine-inducing, even on the T-zone.

There’s also something to be said for the beautiful packaging, which really elevates the morning routine to a far more luxurious experience.


La Prairie Skin Caviar Absolute Filler

£508 for 60ml

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way – this stuff costs more than some people’s rent. In the case of La Prairie’s sublime Skin Caviar Absolute Filler, I strongly believe that its worth comes down to the simple fact that this cream is so unparalleled in its capabilities, many people will simply bite the bullet and pay the price. Put simply, it’s Botox in a jar.

I’ve tried actual Botox, and while it’s effective, the results are gone within three months, so in its needle-y absence I have turned to this. Literally called the Absolute Filler, it absolutely did fill in the lines on my forehead in a manner of seconds – I couldn’t believe the difference. It’s pricey, but it’s a no-needle alternative that actually does what it says on the tin.


Augustinus Bader The Cream

£205 for 50ml

Augustinus Bader took the beauty world by storm with the launch of The Cream a few years ago, shattering the convention of the multi-step skincare routine. Designed to transform your skin by essentially telling the skin’s cells to be better, The Cream uses the patented Trigger Factor Complex (TFC8) to condense your serums and moisturisers into one product.

Simply apply to cleansed skin twice a day, followed by SPF in the morning of course, and you’re good to go. It’ll never fully replace a multi-step skincare routine for a beauty junkie like me who revels in the more-is-more approach when it comes to products, but it’s extremely innovative nonetheless.

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream

£60 for 50g

This is one of those products that, although not the cheapest at first glance, will last you forever as so little goes such a long way. This super thick vitamin C infused cream is a gorgeously comforting and brightening concoction designed to offer antioxidant protection during the day, and luxurious hydration and regeneration at night.

I particularly love this product for those with sensitive skin, as it’s a much gentler way to get your vitamin C fix than traditional serums, which can be very irritating.

Vitamin C Ester Photo-Brightening Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30

£59 for 59ml

This has been one of my holy grail products for such a long time, I remember when it used to be called Photo Plasma. Back when I knew very little about skincare, I kept a jar of this on me for emergency occasions where I needed to look brighter and more radiant in an instant.

Now I understand it is down to the product’s infusion of vitamin C esters, potent brighteners that work to fade dark spots over time as well as give an instant boost of radiance that’s genuinely addictive. The added bonus is that it contains SPF 30 in the form of titanium dioxide – a fantastic mineral UV filter.


Zelens 3t Complex Essential Anti-Aging Cream

£95 for 50ml

Zelens is one of those fabulous doctor brands you know you can rely on for effective skincare. This science-led brand’s 3t Complex Essential Anti-Aging Cream is a favourite among consumers, renowned for being efficiently moisturising yet non-greasy on the skin.

While many anti-aging creams can be too heavy for younger skin, this crosses the spectrum of ages delivering results thanks to its unique triterpenold “3t” complex, namely ursolic acid.

This, paired with 15 precious botanical extracts, five marine algae and 7seven herbal oils, blends science and nature to deeply hydrate, reduce wrinkles and fine lines and promote elasticity and firmness.

Cosrx Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream

£27 for 100ml

I’m a huge fan of the Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence, so it’s no surprise that I like the moisturiser of the same range just as much. More a light gel than a cream as the name would suggest, the viscous formula is quite unlike any moisturiser I’ve tried before. It soaks in quickly leaving behind the slightest sheen, but it doesn’t feel greasy or heavy.

For oilier skin types such as mine it’s absolutely ideal, especially in warmer weather, but despite its light consistency it’s superbly hydrating thanks to its star ingredient.


Sensai Cellular Performance Advanced Day Cream SPF 30

£96 for 50ml

Sensai, the Japanese skincare line utilising rare silk as its signature ingredient, flies relatively under the radar compared to a lot of social-media-driven buzzy brands. Quietly luxurious, this approach is very much reflected in their ethos – to evoke the sense and science of Japan through their products.

Recently reformulated to include a sensible SPF 30, the Day Cream also includes Koishimaru Silk EX and Advanced CPX Vital Extract to not only fight visible signs of ageing, but also to protect the skin and enhance it with a luminous glow that lasts.

Lisa Franklin Men’s Pollution Defence Cream

£80 for 100ml

I often dislike “made for men” skincare ranges, but Lisa Franklin’s is one of the rare exceptions. Formulated to take into consideration the differing thickness and oiliness of men’s skin, this lightweight gel-cream has a silicone-y finish that feels fresh, mattifying and soothing on the skin.

Interestingly it also protects against blue light, so if you’re that person glued to a screen day in day out (and honestly, who isn’t nowadays?), this is the product for you.



Boy De Chanel

£68 for 50ml

Chanel have hit a bit of a home run with their Boy de Chanel range, primarily a collection of make up for men that also happens to include this fabulously understated moisturiser. On the whole, men’s skin is thicker and oilier than women’s due to higher levels of testosterone, meaning heavier creams can be quite unwelcome.

This delightfully cooling and mattifying gel moisturiser helps to deeply hydrate without feeling greasy or heavy thanks to a healthy helping of hyaluronic acid, plus it provides antioxidant benefits thanks to Costa Rican green coffee.

by Thomas Marrington