Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Boots No7 Men Anti-Ageing Balm SPF 15 (review)

Boots No7 Anti-Ageing Balm
Boots is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in skincare. Does No7 Men Anti-Ageing Balm live up to their reputation? Yes, I think so.

This balm protects against sun damage with SPF 15 and five-star ultra UVA protection. It claims to 'work on the appearance of lines and wrinkles', which, as far as statements go, is fairly non-commital (some days I work on the ironing for hours and come out of it with clothes that have as many creases and lines as I started with). To me, that kind of statement says, well, this is an anti-ageing product, and it might work, but we don't have the proof to back it up. Perhaps it is just badly worded, because if you look at the ingredients list, you can see that this product might just do the trick.

I approached this product with a little dread. I have super-sensitive skin, and with a list of ingredients as large as this, and a massive dose of fragrance, I predicted the worst, despite their claim that it is hypoallergenic. To further damage initial impressions, Anti-Ageing Balm has a thick, emulsion-like texture which feels like it'll be an uncomfortable, greasy wear. Based on the testers you'll find at the No7 counters, I fail to see how this product could be even remotely appealing. Truth be told, if it wasn't for the 3-for-2 offer and an already low price tag (£12.50 for 50ml), I probably wouldn't have tried this. I'm so glad I did, because I have worn it daily, since, for a very long time. 

Although Anti-Ageing Balm only packs SPF 15, that's more than enough for daily wear. This is something you can use every day, after all, even during winter, so anything stronger would probably be overkill, and would turn the product into one with a thicker, greasier consistency. There are plenty of SPF products you can use mid-summer to protect from the sun, on top of this, as daily moisturisers aren't recommended as adequate protection for sunbathing. The product's five-star ultra UVA protection is what's really exciting, because it means that it is one of the best products on the market for preventing sun-related ageing (one of the biggest causes of skin ageing). This is a product that you can use to prevent ageing before it even occurs. 

Anti-Ageing Balm feels odd when you first squeeze it from the bottle, but once it's on, it is great. It isn't greasy or tacky and it leaves a thin, unnoticeable film, which works by softening the outer layer of skin and helping to prevent moisture loss. Since using it, my skin has become softer, less rough-feeling, more elastic, and far, far more comfortable. Despite the texture, I haven't had any spots come up (which I usually find is a problem as my skin is a little oily). One thing I haven't felt comfortable doing, however, is wearing it at night, as recommended on the packaging. To me, it just doesn't feel right wearing a product with sun protection to bed. It seems unnecessary, and as if my skin might not be able to 'breathe' properly (this gut feeling of mine might be totally scientifically incorrect, however, so please don't read too much into my own thoughts on this). For that reason, at nights, I wear Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion+. In doing so, I might miss out on some of the anti-ageing benefits of Anti-Ageing Balm, but I don't mind. It suits perfectly for daytime wear.

For the product's price tag, it has quite an impressive array of ingredients. There is moisturising shea butter and glycerine, conditioning agent isononyl isononaoate, smoothing, line-filling dimethicone, anti-ageing retinyl palmitate, and much more (see full ingredients list below). Those interested in only buying natural products might want to shun this one, but my own opinion is that in anti-ageing cosmetics, science has an important part to play, and each ingredient should be taken on its own merit (to read more about my views on natural skincare, go here). That said, the ingredients listing did make me laugh a little, as it reads like a novel. 

The anti-ageing effects of this product are noticeable, but they aren't super-powered. That's not a bad thing, necessarily, because for a moisturiser this already out-performs many others I have tried. Often true anti-ageng effects are noticeable only in serums, which work deeper, and are used under moisturisers. That this product is so effective alone is a great thing. If you're looking for a stronger, more effective product, you can turn to the pricer No7 Men Protect and Perfect products, which have anti-ageing ingredients in higher concentration. This works well for beginners, however. 

To tell you the truth, I'm not particularly comfortable, as I've written before, with the whole concept of anti-ageing cosmetics (to read why, go here). However, my thoughts on the product name and concept aside, this is a great product which has many positive, healthful effects on the skin. For that reason, I think that in terms of efficacy and value, bearing in mind that this is a moisturiser rather than a specific anti-ageing treatment, this is a brilliant product that's definitely worth trying. 

Great price
Unappealing texture
Skin softening, moisturising, and anti-ageing
Overdose of parfum
Five-star ultra UVA protection


Brand: Boots No7

Size: 50 ml
Price: £12.50 (£25.00/100 ml)

Manufactured: United Kingdom

Ingredients: Aqua, Butylene Glycol, C12-15 alyl benzoate, Isononyl isonanoate, Octocrylene, Butyl methoxybenxoylmethane, Butyrospermum parkii, Dimethicone, Cetearyl glucoside, Tribehenin, Cetearyl alcohol, Ethylhexyl saliclate, Mica, Glycerin, Polyacrylamine, Phenoxyethanol, Potassion cetyl phosphate, Parfum, Bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyohenyl triazine, C13-14 isoparafin, Dimethiconol, Methylparabin, Ethylparabin, Sodium ascorbyl phosphate, Diethylhexyl butamido triazone, Laureth-7, Xanthan gum, Retinyl palmitate, Dipsopylene glycol, Citric acid, Lupinus albus seed extract, Tertasodium EDTA, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Simethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocepherol, Palmitoyl oligopeptide, Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, CI 77891

Alternative: The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturiser SPF 30


  1. Great post, I love the No7 range of male moisturing products. I've just reviewed No7 Men Energising Moisturiser here

    1. Thanks, Nick. I think that with No. 7 you can always guarantee quality. It was good to read your review to get someone else's opinion--great blog! Oh, and happy birthday.

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