Eva Mendes’ facialist says this is the only anti-ageing ingredient you should look for in a cream

Kate Somerville suddenly makes shopping for anti-ageing creams easy.

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 16: Eva Mendes attends the grand opening of New York & Company Miami store and the debut of her new collection on March 16, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for New York & Company )
(Image credit: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

Wading through the vast sea of skincare options in the beauty aisle can be daunting  - unless you have Kate Somerville by your side. An aesthetician with over 30 years of, as she puts it, "doing skincare in a clinic" means she's picked up a trick or 10 along the way. 

From antioxidants to hyaluronic acid, retinol and AHAs, we apply so many different ingredients to our skin every day. But how do you know which ones really make a difference? For Somerville the answer is pretty black and white:

"If I had to choose one anti-ageing ingredient, I'd pick peptides over any top ingredient that's trending right now like vitamin C or retinol," she says. "Peptides help with the stimulation of collagen and elasticity. Start early with this ingredient, like in your mid-20s, as it hits all levels of your skin."

Peptides are amino acids and the building blocks for certain proteins needed by skin, like collagen and elastin. Without them, skin has less 'bounce' and loses strength. When applied topically to the skin, via a serum or best eye cream, peptides act like little messengers, triggering skin cells to perform specific functions - like build collagen and elastin, and act younger, all of which can lead to firmer skin. 

For that reason, peptides feature front and centre in Somerville's new line of 'Kateceuticals', high-tech skincare inspired by the most-loved treatments at her iconic Skin Health Experts Clinic in Melrose Place.

The Firming Serum incorporates a combination of peptides unique to Somerville alongside hyaluronic acid and pea extract to help control melanin production in skin prone to hyperpigmentation. 

Meanwhile, the Total Repair Cream features the hero ingredient alongside squalane and macadamia nut oil to really ramp up hydration. And finally the Lifting Eye Cream uses a triple hit of peptides to improve the look of crow's feet and dark circles. 

Fiona Embleton is a beauty writer who is now Acting Beauty Editor at Stylist. She is obsessed with Isabel Marant and cats.