Even before I worked in the beauty industry, I was totally obsessed with skincare. As a 16-year-old with a Saturday job at Boots, I would spend many an hour searching for a miracle product to cure my teenage acne (spoiler: there wasn't one) while today, as a 30-year-old beauty editor, I spend even more time searching out the best cleansers, serums and moisturisers for every skin type and budget. However, every now and then a new product enters the skincare arena and leaves me totally bewildered about what it is, what it does and whether I actually need to add one to my skincare routine. This year, it's the beauty booster.
From what I could initially gather, skincare boosters seemed to be the beauty equivalent of adding a dusting of turmeric to your morning latte or putting on a bracelet once you get dressed: nice but not wholly essential. However, the sheer number of press releases that I've received for beauty boosters over the past few months has made me think that I might just be missing a trick. And when celebrity-favourite skincare brand 111Skin launched a whole range of boosters, I decided it might just be time to sit up, take notice and ask the experts what all the fuss is about.
Keep scrolling to find out what the heck a beauty booster even is, whether you should be using one and to shop the best skin boosters on the market right now.
What is a beauty booster anyway?
"Skin boosters are fundamentally targeted treatments that focus on a niche skincare condition," explained Dr. Yannis Alexandrides, founder of 111Skin. So in essence, you should think of them as a way to personalise your skincare routine even further.
"Boosters are designed to be slotted in to your existing skincare routine to address the specific concerns as and when they arise. While most skincare products focus on overall skin health, boosters are concentrated formulas that address specific concerns such as pigmentation, dehydration or breakouts."
Where do they fit into our skincare routines?
"Boosters are perhaps the most flexible of all skincare products, as they can be used alone or mixed in with serums, emulsions or moisturisers to (you guessed it) 'boost' them," said Dr. Alexandrides. You'll still get all of the benefits of a beauty booster whether you use it solo or in conjunction with other products—it's really just a case of personal preference when it comes to texture.
"If you want to use a booster by itself, apply it before your serum. Boosters traditionally have a lighter texture as opposed to the heavier, gel-like nature of serums. A good rule of thumb in skincare is to work your way up from the lightest to the most viscous."
So can we skip using serums now?
As I personally opt for serums that contain specific ingredients like salicylic acid and vitamin C to care for my skin, I was keen to find out if beauty boosters could replace this stage of my skincare routine. In a word? No.
"As above, boosters are simply meant to boost a formula or a skincare routine," advised Dr. Alexandrides. "They are not a substitute for serums, which [often] have a more holistic and less-targeted approach to treating the skin."
Which skin type will benefit most from a booster?
"There are as many boosters as there are skin types," explained Dr. Alexandrides. "They were literally designed to cater to each different condition, so everyone can benefit from a booster."
In fact, that's exactly why 111Skin decided to launch its own range of skin boosters. "All of the products developed are created by Dr Yannis Alexandrides in reaction to his [Harley Street] clients' concerns. It is a precise, targeted approach to addressing the skin, which is why launching boosters—an incredibly focused range of products—was a natural extension of the brand philosophy.
Shop the best beauty boosters
Celebs like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley swear by the 111Skin Rose Gold sheet mask for red carpet prep, and this booster is similarly radiance-boosting.
"Taking inspiration from our popular Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask, this booster is formulated with Rosa Damascena and pure Gold Extract to enhance the natural radiance of skin for a coveted, lit-from-within complexion," said Dr. Alexandrides. "It is a skincare approach to highlighter that suits everyone."
A best-seller for Philosophy, this 99.8% vitamin C powder can be mixed with your daily moisturiser to brighten your skin and protect it from environmental aggressors that might try to diminish your glow.
Add a couple of drops of this sweet-smelling beauty booster to your serums or moisturisers to soften dry skin, prevent flakiness and calm sensitivity.
Niacinamide (also known as vitamin B3) is a bit of a wonder ingredient when it comes to reducing the appearance of enlarged pores and evening skin tone. I swear by it for my oily-combination skin, so this 10% booster is right up my street.
Finally—a grown up solution to dealing with blemishes. "Deeply innovative, this booster is designed to tackle spots at all stages— beginning, middle and end—reducing all infection while ensuring no post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation remains," explained Dr. Alexandrides.
This gentle yet effective booster is a great all-rounder for targeting signs of ageing, pollution and an all-around busy lifestyle. It uses skin-friendly probiotics to boost cell renewal and plump fine lines and wrinkles for softer, smoother skin.
A professional-strength, time-released hyaluronic acid booster that deeply hydrates even the most parched of complexions and replenishes moisture levels.
Described by the brand as a shot of liquid oxygen, this booster is basically a wake-up call for tired skin. Instantly refreshing, it contains a cocktail of re-energising ingredients to combat visible fatigue and tiredness on your complexion.