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8 best skincare boosters

Give your go-to products a helping hand with one of our top picks

Everyone's skin is different, and we all need different things at different times. Enter the latest skincare personalisation trend: boosters. 

These are serum-like products that are designed to address specific problems – hormonal acne, ageing, roughness, dullness, dryness – as and when you face them. We have also found that, much like your hair benefits from a change in shampoo every now and again, our skin responds well to having the routine changed up every now and again. 

Simply add a couple of drops of your chosen booster to your moisturiser, once or twice a day as suggested below, for targeted care that works on your immediate concerns.

Lixirskin Night Switch PHA/AHA 10%, 15ml: £20, Cult Beauty

This millennial pink skincare range is more than just Instagram-friendly. We love its minimalist approach. The range contains just six products: three basic building blocks (Universal Emulsion moisturiser, Vitamin C paste and Electrogel cleanser) and three “Night Switch” boosters that you add to moisturiser in the evening to make it more targeted: anti-ageing Retinol 1%, exfoliating PHA/AHA 10% and clarifying and renewing BHA/AHA 10%. We love them all, but if we had to pick just one it would be PHA/AHA for softer, even-toned, plump and radiant skin.

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Indeed Laboratories Q10 Booster, 30ml: £16.99, Boots

Already being big fans of Indeed's low-cost Hydraluron and Retinol Reface, we were excited to spy the brand's range of six boosters on the shelves. Pick from Resistance, Radiance, Mineral, Hydration, Collagen and our favourite, Q10, a blend of vitamins E, C and coenzyme Q10, a vitamin-like substance that occurs naturally in the body and that can lessen the visible signs of ageing as well as being an antioxidant. Mixed into her moisturiser in the morning and before bed, our tester saw a reduction in the lines around her mouth and discoloration on her cheeks.

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Dior Capture Youth Matte Maximiser, 30ml: £75, Feel Unique

Dior's range of five optimistically titled boosters is technically designed to be used with its Capture Youth cream, but we found they work just fine with Nivea, for example. Your options are Glow Booster, Plump Filler, Lift Sculptor, Redness Soother and Matte Maximiser – our pick. We tested this while on holiday in temperatures higher than 30C and it was a saviour for reducing shine caused by excess oil and keeping skin smooth and satin-y.

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Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster, 4 x 8.5ml: £58, Clinique

Vitamin C, with its collagen-boosting, damage-reducing, antioxidant powers, is a boost that's definitely worth adding to your routine. Add a couple of drops of Clinique's booster to your regular moisturiser morning and evening for a brilliant brightening effect. As vitamin C begins to break down when it is opened, the price is cleverly for four small bottles, so that you use finish using it before it degrades.

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Clarins Repair Booster, 15ml: £30, Clarins

Clarins offers three boosters: Energy, Repair and Detox. Our favourite is Repair, which is designed to soothe irritated skin and help it recover from damage caused by extreme climates , chlorine and sunburn. Whether you're heading skiing or for a beach in the Bahamas, this is essential holiday packing. We found applying just once a day was enough. 

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ESPA Tri-Active Advanced Night Booster, 20ml: £42, ESPA

This, from the luxury spa brand, is added to your usual night product (be that serum, oil or cream) to boost its anti-ageing effects. It contains a bio-retinol, which is a naturally available ingredient that mimics many of the effects of synthetic retinol, but without the irritation. It is less effective, but an excellent option for sensitive skin.

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Sarah Chapman Skinesis Intense Hydrating Booster, 30ml: £59, Space.NK

Celebrity- and glossy-magazine-favourite facialist Sarah Chapman's skincare line offers four boosters: Hydrating, Recovery, Perfecting and Exfoliating. As tempting as “Perfecting” sounds, we suggest you opt for the hyaluronic acid-pumped Hydrating formula. It is thinner and lighter than many hyaluronic serums, which can be thick and gloopy, but is still soothing relief for parched, crepey stressed out skin and boosts the moisturising power of your day cream.

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Hylamide Booster Sensitive Fix, 30ml: £18, Look Fantastic

Hylamide, part of the Deciem family along with The Ordinary and Niod, offers four serum-like boosters: the hydrating Low-Molecular HA, brightening Glow, sebum-regulating Pore Control and our choice Sensitive Fix, which reportedly calms irritation and reduces redness for those effected by rosacea or eczema. We love it for restoring our skin to its normal state when it has disagreed with a product we’re testing.

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The Verdict: Skincare boosters

For its simple approach, effective ingredients, accessible prices and, yes, that gorgeous packaging, our vote goes to Lixirskin.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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