I Try Tonnes of Skincare Every Year, But This Is My Desert-Island Product

As a beauty editor, I am often asked what my favourite beauty product is. And quite frankly, that’s like asking a mother to choose her favourite child. The truth is there is simply too much to choose from. For instance, I categorically could not settle on one favourite makeup product. However, if you were to ask me my favourite foundation (Nars Radiant Longwear, £32) or perhaps my favourite mascara (L’Oréal Paris Paradise, £12), I could definitely pull out one name. When it comes to skincare, though, I have always had one clear winner.

You see, although it is by no means easy to whittle down my beloved skincare collection to a clear favourite, there is one product that I think everyone could benefit from owning, whatever their skin type. And no, I’m not being paid to say this.


(Image credit: @MONIKH)

When I was first told about the wonders of Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II (£52), I vividly remember walking into my local John Lewis and being stunned at the price. There’s no doubt that Advanced Night Repair was the most expensive skincare product I had ever bought, and I couldn’t fathom that one single product could be worth that money. Six years on and now I actually have backups of the stuff in my cupboard. 

You see, Advanced Night Repair is one of those wonderfully classic beauty products that has become so iconic over time that actually the extent of its wonderfulness has gotten a bit lost. So let me explain. First and foremost, Advanced Night Repair is described as an anti-ageing product. But as a 25-year-old who has used this serum for the last six years, I’d say it’s a little bit more than that.

Its secret ingredient is Estée Lauder’s ChronoluxCB Technology, which promotes the skin’s natural nightly repair process for healthier, more youthful-looking skin come morning. The foundation of this serum, however, is beauty's super ingredient, hyaluronic acid. In fact, it’s full of the stuff. So while the ChronoluxCB Technology works on renewal and helps to counteract the signs of ageing, the HA helps to restore moisture and plump, resulting in a smoother, more hydrated and radiant complexion.

The proof, as they say, is very much in the pudding when it comes to this stuff. As someone who has very sensitive skin (I just have to look at a bottle of glycolic acid for my face to start burning up), Advanced Night Repair has been my saviour. It doesn’t smell fancy, it doesn’t feel luxurious, and it doesn’t give any sort of instant tightening or youthful results. What it does do, however, is make sure skin has everything it needs to be its very best over time.

The minute I break out, I reach for Advanced Night Repair. The minute my skin flares up with a reaction, I reach for Advanced Night Repair. The minute I spot patches of irritation-induced dryness, I reach for Advanced Night Repair. And it works every single time. So whenever someone asks what my skincare secret is, I always say it's ANR, because the truth is, without it, my complexion would be a total mess. And believe me when I say there really isn’t a soul that won’t benefit from this stuff. Morning or night, rain or shine, ANR is always there for me when I need her, like the world’s most patient friend who doesn’t bombard me with texts every day but always picks up the phone when I need her most.

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Freelance Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous. Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics. While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best. When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.