It all started innocently enough - I needed a new cleanser, and was feeling uninspired by the selection on offer in Boots. My eye fell upon the No 7 display, where they had an impressive range including a cleansing balm and also a hot cloth cleanser. As they had a free gift worth £22 if you spent over £20, I decided to buy the Age Defence Cleansing Balm (£8.50), Purifying Toner (£7.50) and the Cleanse and Care Eye Make Up Remover (£7). I also picked up the Total Renwal Microdermabrasian Exfoliator (£10.50) as I needed a new scrub.
So far, I've been impressed with all of these products, however it was something that came in the free gift pack - the famous Protect and Perfect Intense serum (the newest version of the cult product) - which has really wowed me.
We've all heard the raves about Protect and Perfect and the scientific research that proved its effectiveness - for some reason I'd never got around to trying it, but now I totally understand the hype. It glides on and absorbs in an instant, and really does leave my skin velvety soft and radiant. I've been using it for two weeks now, under my SPF moisturiser in the daytime and on its own at night, and I think the condition of my skin has improved visibly. It looks smoother and, dare I say it, younger, though it's too soon to assess impact on lines. I far prefer this to my Estee Lauder Night Repair, which is double the price (Protect and Perfect costs £19.75 for 30 ml wherease Night Repair is £36). The No 7 serum seems to work with my skin much more than Night Repair, controlling shine and acting as a perfect base for make up.
Anyway, huge thumbs up from me and I'm going to purchase the full size asap. Has anyone compared the Protect and Perfect Intense with the original version? Would be interested to see how they compare.
The other products I've tried too I rate very highly. The Cleansing Balm feels lovely to apply and cleans well - although it does NOT remove make up adequately - the only way I can get my make up off completely, especially eye, is with cleansing milk and cotton wool pads. The eye make up remover is good - on a par with Clarins, Lancome ete - personally I find them all much of a muchness and again prefer to use cleansing milk or even vaseline, but it works okay. The toner is fantastic, far better than the Clarins one I used previously and definitely seems to be controlling my shine. The Microdermabrasian exfoliator is excellent - my skin looks clear for days afterwards.
After using and liking these products I then went back to purchase the Hot Cloth Cleanser (£8.75). I adore the Liz Earle cleanser - it really does make skin radiant and squeaky clean - but I find it expensive considering it doesn't last too long - I always find after a few squooshes it's almost empty. With the No 7 you get 200ml for £8.75 - the Liz Earle costs about £23 for the same amount! Admittedly, I don't think the No 7 is as good as the Lize Earle - it doesn't leave my skin quite so fresh looking - and it doesn't have the glorious smell of the LE. However it is a good, effective cleanser - I'm not sure I'll be forking out the extra £15 for the Liz Earle in future. Again though you'll need something separate to take all your make up off - I like the cleansing balm and the hot cloth cleanser in the morning when my skin is quite clean anyway, but always use a cleansing milk and cotton wool in the pm.
If you're thinking of changing your skincare routine it's definitely worth checking out Boots No 7 - especially when Boots have their offers on - at the moment you get a £5 No 7 voucher when you spend £5, so you could pick up a cleanser, toner or even one of their make up brushes which get excellent reviews for just two or three pounds (I have the foundation and concealer brushes and love them both). Overall, very pleasantly surprised indeed.