Two Generations Swapped Skincare, and This Is What Happened

My mum is 62, and I'm 29. Generationally, we have completely different approaches to shopping for skincare. All I know is that her skin looks so amazing that she's regularly told she looks younger despite never having Botox, fillers or the like.

The woman that taught me everything I know about caring for my skin (and everything else) loves a department store and is a regular at the beauty counters of brands she's been loyal to for years. She's found what works and has stuck to it. I'm more likely to shop my skincare online, happily hunting down a product because I liked the look of it on a beauty influencer's Instagram #shelfie.

Whilst I'm daring with treatments and trends, my mum's classic through and through. As an internet-dwelling millennial, department beauty counters slightly intimidate me, and to be perfectly honest, I’d written off more prestigious brands as only catering for anti-ageing customers. I naively suspected there was nothing there for my acne-prone self.

On realising this, we set ourselves a challenge: to step out of our set skincare ways and swap our favourite beauty brands. We’d each introduce one another to products we think we’d benefit from but never usually try.

This was one Glossier obsessive versus 60+ years of skincare wisdom here. And whilst we definitely have different skincare needs, trending ingredients like retinol, vitamin C and A, glycolic and salicylic acids actually benefit both our skin types. For her, they exfoliate and rejuvenate mature skin, but for me, they encourage my acne-scarred complexion to renew.

I was surprised that quite a few of my mum’s cult favourites have become a permanent fixture in my makeup bag. (I guess that means she's right… again.) I, too, got my mum on board with some cult newbies. What made it into our makeup bags permanently? Keep scrolling to find out…


Glossier Priming Moisturiser (£18)

Whilst Mrs. Brownlees had heard of Glossier, she probably wouldn't have tried it without my prompting. To be honest, the whole priming stage was missing from her routine (but no more). This moisturiser creates a glowing canvas for makeup by plumping up the skin.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum (£76)

Whilst I was counting the minutes that this cult brand came to the UK, my mum was yet to hear of it. After using this night serum, she more than gets the hype. The glycolic formula is both of our favourites, as it helps exfoliate away dead skin cells, giving a youthful glow to her mature skin. Meanwhile, the acid helps my acne prone complexion appear clear and healthy-looking.

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream (£57)

Now she's a Drunk Elephant super-fan, this Protini moisturiser is a firm fixture in her bathroom cabinet. The protein powder ingredients encourage the production of collagen and prevent its breakdown.

BareMinerals Double Cleansing Brush (£16)

I have a drawer full of skincare tools, while my mum had none. I soon introduced her to this double-cleansing brush, and the rest, as they say, is history.

BYBI Prime Time Facial Polish (£14)

I noted a lack of exfoliator in my mum's skincare routine, and soon changed that. I love this BYBI polish, as you only need a pea-sized amount. When mixed with water, it exfoliates the skin beautifully. We're both equally as impressed that the entire range is vegan and cruelty-free.

Glossier Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser (£15)

I banished Mum's cleansing wipes in favour of this skincare hero, and even she admits I was right. Use on dry skin to dissolve away makeup and grime, or on wet skin to cleanse. The pH-balanced formula is made with a blend of five skin conditioners so your face is left feeling healthy and soft.

LixirSkin Night Switch Retinol 1% Serum (£29)

I have an obsession with each and every one of LixirSkin's products, and now my mum does too. She particularly favours this retinol-powered serum that refines skins texture, helps reverse sun damage and boost firmness.

LixirSkin Vitamic C Paste (£32)

Mum's the one who got me to drink my orange juice for vitamin C, but now I'm the one preaching the benefits of it (for the skin, that is). Upon trying this paste, she saw what all the fuss was about.

Sunday Riley Autocorrect Brightening and Depuffing Eye Contour Cream (£60)

My new favourite eye cream is now the same as my mum's. We're both applying this super-luxe cream day and night for the brightening and de-puffing qualities. The caffeine, horse chestnut and Brazilian ginseng root extract make for a smoother, more radiant under-eye area—no matter your age.

Medik8 Crystal Retinal 10 Stable Retinal Night Serum (£79)

Having discovered Medik8, mum is keen to try the entire range (which I know is equally as impressive as this). Crystal Retinal 10 boosts skin’s natural collagen production to resurface and renew. It boasts high-performance retinaldehyde to smooth and hydrate the complexion. This serum is paraben free, with no alcohol and is vegan-friendly.

Medik8 C-Tetra Lipid Vitamin C Antioxidant Serum (£35)

This brightening vitamin C serum helps combat sun-induced damage to the skin and triggers collagen synthesis. Mum reports her skin feeling firmer yet soft after use. Plus, the serum has a gorgeous orange scent, thanks to the nourishing maracuja oil.

The Inkey List Glycolic Acid Liquid Toner (£7)

Whilst at first my mum feared an acid (too many visions of extreme chemical peels) she is now a convert. I explained the glycolic toner is simply a gentle exfoliator that will minimise the appearance of pores and brighten skin. We both benefit from its removal of dead, dull skin cells and encouraging cell turnover. I stockpile The Inkey List's products, as they are the kings of advanced skincare and offer heavy-hitting ingredients at bargain prices.

The Inkey List Collagen Serum (£9)

Anything with the word collagen in it isn't hard to get my mum to try. Mature skin will love the plumping effect of this serum. We both agree the price of this brand for the product quality is phenomenal.

Lumene Nutri-Recharging Purifying Peat-to-Foam Cleanser (£20)

I'm a huge fan of this Nordic skincare brand, and with one use of this cleanser, my mum could see why. This transforms into a foaming lather to dissolve oil, dirt and makeup, rinsing away impurities.

Galinee Youthful Serum (£45)

I first discovered Galinee via a beauty influencers' Instagram and have been so impressed by the brand's probiotics skincare because it nourishes and supports the skin’s good bacteria. To quote their newest fan, my mum: "My skin felt hydrated and glowing. I love applying this before my makeup. Plus, the packaging is gorgeous."

Galinee Body Milk (£28)

This body milk soothes, repairs and hydrates the skin. My mum had never bought skincare online before, but now, she's a believer.

Votary Cleansing Oil in Rose Geranium and Apricot (£45)

What's the use in a fab skincare brand find if you can't share it? That's exactly what I did with Votary. Co-created by British makeup artist Arabella Preston, the brand harnesses the power of premium plant oils. This cleansing oil is made from 100% natural oils, with an uplifting rose geranium and chamomile fragrance.

The Ordinary Buffet (£13)

Like any millennial, I'm devoted to The Ordinary. I convinced my mum to try it, and I'm not sure what she likes more—the results or the price.

BYBI Supercharge Serum (£32)

Another favourite from vegan brand BYBI, this potent oil-based serum that feels really light when you apply it to the skin yet energises and repairs any dull or tired complexion. My mum loves that you can use this both day and night. It works hard to repair and protect the skin, and leaves her with a "bright, healthy glow."

Yu Ling Rollers Jade Facial Double Roller (£22)

Mum's taken my lead when it comes to skincare tools. Applying any cream or serum is made even better when met with the cooling and de-puffing effect of a jade roller. Like mother, like daughter.

Dr. Sam Bunting Flawless Cleanser (£16)

A newbie even to my bathroom shelf, Dr. Sam's skincare range is trending right now—and for good reason. This cleanser suits all skin types, even those with redness-prone complexions.

Dr. Sam Bunting Flawless Moisturiser (£25)

I love this as it doesn't clog my pores. Mum loves the intense hydration and the fact you can use it on your eyes and neck. No need for three separate creams here.

Dr. Dennis Gross Pore Perfecting Cleanser (£46)

This foaming cleanser gently exfoliates to reveal smoother, tighter skin (great for her). It also diminishes the appearance of pores (great for me). The result—no matter your age group—is refined and radiant skin.

Sarah Chapman Skinesis Intense Hydrating Booster (£59)

Mum's mature skin loves this Intense Hydrating Booster, which is made with beta glucan to protect the skin from airborne bacteria and irritants. The low-molecular hyaluronic acid, moisture magnets and hint of rosewater make for a dewy radiant glow. Mum was also impressed to hear that Victoria Beckham heads to Sarah Chapman for her radiance-boosting facials.

By Sarah London Organic Body Oil (£28)

I've got my mum hooked on this body oil from my favourite organic brand, By Sarah London. It features a blend of deeply nourishing, cold-pressed oils (including sweet almond, jojoba and evening primrose) to soften and hydrate the skin.


Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II (£53)

This was my first foray into the world of Estée Lauder skincare, but I'm now preaching the benefits of this night repair complex. I had often neglected my nighttime routine, but no more. If you're looking to add an anti-ageing product to your skincare, know that this will have you waking up to softer- and smoother-looking skin every day.

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex II (£42)

I've started taking care of my under eyes nightly instead of once in a blue moon when I remember. This eye complex is my new BFF.

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery PowerFoil Mask (£17)

As I near 30, I've realised prevention will be better than cure when it comes to lines and wrinkles. As well as my acne-busting masks I've begun using these concentrated moisturisers, too. Each mask boasts a firming and brightening serum that's infused with hyaluronic acid. My uneven skintone has improved after just a few uses.

Clarins Double Serum (£57)

Clarins wasn't a brand I used previous to my mum's advice (she's been a long-time devotee), but I've been so impressed by this serum that I'll be re-buying long after the skincare swap.

Clarins Extra-Comfort Toning Lotion (£21)

Okay, so one skincare step my mum got me to include that I was skipping was toner. Since adding this to my routine, my skin's felt less oily but not dry. Ideal.

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm (£32)

Any multitasking product gets my attention. As well as immediately eliminating signs of fatigue, this clever balm can also be used as a facial mask two or three times a week. When I apply before my makeup, my skin looks luminous.

Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil for Dehydrated Skin (£34)

A life-saving oil. With extracts of rosewood, patchouli and blue orchid tone, this Clarins gem has become my go-to for revitalising my skin this winter.

Clinique Pore Refining Solution Stay-Matte Hydrator (£36)

Confession: This was my first time using Clinique (I know, where have I been?). Anything that keeps my oily skin matte throughout the day—as this one did—is a re-buy for me.

Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster With Pure Vitamin C Pack of Four (£58)

I've invested in this four-pack, and my skin is thanking me for it.

Lancome Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate (£59)

When it comes to anti-ageing, my mum's advice to me is "Prevention is better than a cure," so I'm starting to reap the benefits of this cult buy now rather than later.

Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel (£16)

Whilst I'm taking my mum's advice on anti-ageing, I still need to deal with my pesky acne. She introduced me to this—via her love of Origins products—and I haven't looked back.

Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Treatment Lotion Mist (£18)

I can't believe I'd been missing out on the delights of Origin. Well, not anymore, thanks to my mum. Misting my skin with this leaves me refreshed but not sticky.

Chanel Multi-Protection Daily Defender UV Pollution SPF 30 (£44)

My mum always taught me the necessity of a great SPF. I always thought Chanel skincare would be out of my price range, but I'm investing in this for my future skin's benefit.

No. 7 Early Defence Glow Activating Serum (£25)

I had mistakenly thought No.7 was a brand only suited to more mature skin. Mum has been a devotee for years and introduced me to their Early Defence range. The glow this serum promises well and truly delivers.

No.7 Laboratories Resurfacing Skin Paste (£18)

Anything resurfacing gets a thumbs up from me. My acne scars are my skin bugbear, so I like to think whatever I'm using is adding to their demise.

No.7 Laboratories Line Correcting Booster Serum (£38)

This is hugely popular for a reason. If you've never tried No.7 before, it'll have you converted. Tell your friends (I am).

No.7 Early Defence Night Cream (£20)

Early defence against wrinkles is exactly what I was after, and No.7 has you covered. This sumptuous night cream absorbs quickly and is frankly an overnight miracle worker.

We've have both found new favourites thanks to our very own generational beauty swap. The lesson here? Don’t rest on your beauty laurels.

Up Next: Here's Why Influencers Are Loving L'Occitane Right Now

Read More from Byrdie