Ecological Compound by Sisley

I struggle not to use this every day. It is one of my top five products and I’m rarely without it

£64, 50ml
£105, 100ml

Launched: 1975
Tested: Almost every day from 2002-2008

Stockists: tel: 020 7591 6380

Ingredients: manufacturer would not provide saying the ingredients are printed on the product.

This compound is made to be used your regular daily or nightly moisturizer, or on its own. But really over the age of 25 or so it won’t, very probably, be enough on its own.

The idea of it is that it protects your skin from environmental factors: pollution, stress, wind, that bitchy girl who works opposite you…

It’s said to boost the performance of any cream you lay on top of it (it also boosts collagen production).

I have no idea if it does, what I do know is that I struggle not to use this every day. Even when I’m meant to be using other serums (that go under moisturisers) I reach for it. It is one of my top five products and I’m rarely without it.

Try this if you suffer from fragile skin, are prone to thread veins or a reddened complexion, coincidence or not but since using this any slight thread veins I had didn’t get any worse and, miraculously (although I’m not claiming this product did it) one particularly visible one disappeared. It comes in a glass bottle which isn’t ideal for light traveling, but you only really need a squirt a day, so it lasts ages. Highly recommended.

Annalisa Barbieri was in fashion PR for five years before going to the Observer to be fashion assistant. She has worked for the Evening Standard and the Times and was one of the fashion editors on the Independent on Sunday for five years, where she wrote the Dear Annie column. She was fishing correspondent of the Independent from 1997-2004.
Photo: Getty
Show Hide image

The big problem for the NHS? Local government cuts

Even a U-Turn on planned cuts to the service itself will still leave the NHS under heavy pressure. 

38Degrees has uncovered a series of grisly plans for the NHS over the coming years. Among the highlights: severe cuts to frontline services at the Midland Metropolitan Hospital, including but limited to the closure of its Accident and Emergency department. Elsewhere, one of three hospitals in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are to be shuttered, while there will be cuts to acute services in Suffolk and North East Essex.

These cuts come despite an additional £8bn annual cash injection into the NHS, characterised as the bare minimum needed by Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England.

The cuts are outlined in draft sustainability and transformation plans (STP) that will be approved in October before kicking off a period of wider consultation.

The problem for the NHS is twofold: although its funding remains ringfenced, healthcare inflation means that in reality, the health service requires above-inflation increases to stand still. But the second, bigger problem aren’t cuts to the NHS but to the rest of government spending, particularly local government cuts.

That has seen more pressure on hospital beds as outpatients who require further non-emergency care have nowhere to go, increasing lifestyle problems as cash-strapped councils either close or increase prices at subsidised local authority gyms, build on green space to make the best out of Britain’s booming property market, and cut other corners to manage the growing backlog of devolved cuts.

All of which means even a bigger supply of cash for the NHS than the £8bn promised at the last election – even the bonanza pledged by Vote Leave in the referendum, in fact – will still find itself disappearing down the cracks left by cuts elsewhere. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.