Young, glowy skin in a jar! Best peels and creams for instant radiance, smoothness and bare-faced confidence

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Like it or not, it can take time to turn back time. Hard-hitting anti-ageing ingredients like retinol and vitamin C require commitment and patience for optimum results… but sometimes we just want to look better right NOW.

That’s where flash fixes come in. Firstly, there are creams and serums offering an instant glow boost via optical blurs and flattering particles. The very best of these combine instant gratification with a long-term improvement in skin radiance.

Secondly, we have at-home mini-peels, created to slough off dead skin and reveal the younger, fresher cells underneath.

These flash fixes have been everywhere this year, thanks to the salon shut-down, but which ones are the best buys for a professional effect?

That’s what we asked our panel of real women to find out for this year’s Real Beauty Awards, a 100% independent trial where hundreds of real women reveal the best anti-ageing face creams, eye creams,serums and many more.

The OK! beauty team handpicked a host of radiance boosting creams and peels, and sent each one on the shortlist to five real women to try at home for a month.

Here are the products that got them good to glow.

Radiance booster

JOINT WINNER: Murad Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum, buy it here for £72

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This combines the long-term boost of vitamin C with the flash fix of exfoliating glycolic acid, delivered in a pearlescent gleam cream.

Tester says: “When this product arrived I was away from home for a couple of weeks, and my partner – who is very craggy – cheekily started using it first. When I got back I quickly nabbed it back off him as he looked miles better! I have been using it consistently and can honestly say it has worked just as well for me as it did for him. My skin looked radiant instantly, and now my skin is softer and fine lines are less noticeable.”

JOINT WINNER: OLEHENRIKSEN C-Rush Brightening Double Crème, buy it here for £36

Another universal hit among our testers, giving an incredible instant boost, plus a host of extra long-term benefits.

Tester says: “This cream made my skin feel bright and refreshed as soon as I put it on. I particularly love this cream in the morning as it takes away the red puffiness around my eyes. By the end of the trial I was positively glowing! My skin was firmer and plumper. My only regret is that I have never used this cream before. It has changed my life.”

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Origins Ginzing Glow-Boosting Gel Moisturizer, buy it here for £26.50

  • The best anti-ageing eye creams for smoothing wrinkles – tested by real women

This scored especially highly for the immediate boost it gave to every tester’s complexion.

Tester says: “Excellent instant boost – it gave me a natural glow and made my skin feel hydrated. I loved the sparkle it gave to my skin. Even in the evening, after washing my face, I can still see that glow, it really luminates the skin. I just loved the freshness it gave. People said I looked less tired and ‘younger’ – I will take that!”

Peel

JOINT WINNER: Luneia Radiance Ritual, buy it here for £40

This once-a-week acid peel was a real confidence booster for our impressed testers.

Tester says: “Brilliant instant result. My skin felt smooth and silky – so much so I got my family to feel. This product felt special and luxurious. It certainly has given that extra boost my skin needed to feel brighter and fresher. I love it.”

JOINT WINNER: The INKEY List Apple Cider Vinegar Acid Peel, buy it here for £14.99

  • Anti-ageing serums that make ‘a massive difference to lines and wrinkles’ – tried and tested by real women 

This peel gave great smoothing results at a really affordable price.

Tester says: “My skin felt amazingly smoother and softer, and looked a lot brighter. My make-up was easier to apply and lasted the whole day without me needing to retouch. I noticed a few of my wrinkles looked less noticeable. My skin has never looked or felt this good in years.’

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Decree Weekly Decree, buy it here for £120

Testers loved the professional effect of this two-step treatment, with a peel plus hydrating mask.

Tester says: “Wow! Amazing exfoliating peel with great long lasting results. I found it extremely easy to use, perfect amount of product in the pods for each weekly peel. It gave my skin a real boost and left it glowing, which in turn left it looking younger and brighter. My partner said my skin looked really healthy, and he asked to try it too. This product is worth every penny.”

Like the sound of our radiance boosters? You’ll find a selection of them in our incredible giveaway, where three lucky people will each win £1,800 of skincare from The Real Beauty Awards – enter it here.

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