The skin can be so confusing, sometimes it feels like it has a mind of its own and can become super frustrating. I was a skincare therapist for a good few years and so I thought I would try to decode a few things.
- Oily skins should still use a moisturiser! Even though you may suffer from the dreaded midday shine, your skin can still be dehydrated and screaming out for water. Look out for moisturisers that use words like “ultra-matte”, “moisturising fluid” or “micro-sponges”.
- Using soap on your skin is possibly one of the worst things you can do. It is incredibly damaging to your acid mantle (the protective layer of your skin) not to mention how much it dehydrates and strips. If you love the feeling of creamy bubbles on your skin, rather opt for a gentle foaming cleanser.
- You should start using an eye product at about 25 years old. I am obsessive about the little lines around my eyes – I wish they would disappear! I have always maintained that it is better to prevent ageing than to treat and try to reverse ageing. So if you can start to use an eye cream or gel before those pesky crow’s feet start to show, it really will do you the world of good. I would suggest starting with an eye gel and moving onto an eye cream. Most eye products these days also help with puffiness and dark circles – yay!
- Once you find your facial queen, make sure to visit her every single month. This is so important! Skincare therapists have such an in-depth knowledge of what’s what on the skin, and wouldn’t you want an expert to help you keep your skin in tip top condition? Usually the exfoliation during your facial is slightly more aggressive than what you use at home and often, there are concentrates and serums that are only available for professionals that will be used during your facial. It’s like going to kick start your skin once a month and then during the month, you maintain that condition with your homecare products. Not to mention that your therapist will do extractions properly so as not to scar or damage your skin.
- Sunscreen is your friend – apply it everywhere! I find that so often people forget about their ears, but if you have short hair or it’s tied up most of the day, your ears are exposed to the sun. What is also fairly horrifying is that those bright lights in your office can also cause sun damage. Remember not to mix your sunscreen and moisturiser together as it will dilute the SPF.
- Using a serum is always a good idea. If you have a specific concern about your skin, for example dehydration, using a serum will make a huge difference to treating it. Serums (or ampules as they are sometimes known) are extremely concentrated liquids that contain lots of different ingredients to help with a specific concern. You apply it underneath your moisturiser and I like to do a few stimulating movements (little piano movements or little pinches) – I feel like it helps the product to penetrate faster and be absorbed better.
- In most cases, pigmentation is like an ice berg: what you see on the surface of the skin is nothing compared to what lies below. This means that when it is treated, it usually gets worse before it gets better. The same can be said for acne – all of the congestion needs to be “pulled out” of the skin first before you will see a clear skin. A lot of clients get very disheartened half way through the process, and who can blame them when it looks like their skin is getting worse! If this is you, stick it out. If you are having the correct treatments, using the correct products and are religious about them both, you will see the result you are after.
- Exfoliation is one of the best things you can do for your skin. Every skin condition will benefit from a form of exfoliation. If you are unsure of what type of exfoliator you should use, ask a professional to help you – the last thing you want to do is damage your skin. At the moment I love a mask/exfoliator combo. Usually this type of exfoliator is enzymatic: the enzymes are like little pac men (those of us that can remember that video game – giving away my age here!), chomping away at the dead skin cells, leaving my skin silky smooth and soft.
- Water, water, water!
- It is absolutely possible for your skin to plateau. You might have been using a certain product for years and all of a sudden it isn’t doing what it is supposed to do. My advice would be to change one thing in your regime – maybe your serum or your moisturiser. The new ingredients into your skin will knock it back into action and you should see it improve.
I could probably go on and on and on, but that’s where I will stop for today. Everyone’s skin is so different and so what works for one, won’t necessarily work for another. Find what your skin loves and be religious about it.
Happy weekend everyone!