As 2018 marches on and many resolutions already gone by the wayside, it's time to THINK SKIN. Spring isn't far off, the daffodils are waking up and skincare is a subject very close to my heart, especially during our middle years (and indeed always!) and indeed the subject of my forthcoming book: GLOW: Four weeks to better skin.
The following tips, in conjunction with the best skin-loving foods, can help make 2018 the best year yet for the largest organ in your body and the outer you:
Firstly, keep it simple - cull unnecessary steps and products because if you believe all the marketing talk, your days (and indeed your cash) could be spent on products you don't really need. this said, my three non-negotiables are: Cleanse - Tone- Moisturise - without exception. The evening cleanse is crucial for effective skin repair through the night and the earlier this is done (as in when you come home from work or your duties) the more time your skin will have to rejuvenate.
Added to this try the following:
Also known as HA, hyaluron or hyaluronate, this clear, sticky substance occurs naturally in the body, where its main function is hydration. Scientifically, it is a glycosaminoglycan (or GAG) that helps the body build stronger more flexible joints and acts as a shock absorber lubricating the fluid in the joint tissues. HA shows similar benefits on the skin where it works like a massive sponge, pulling moisture from the air into the skin and holding up to 1,000 times its weight in water to soften and plump the skin. Young skin is smooth, elastic and rich in HA, but as our skin ages the natural production of hyaluronic acid slows.
There are many but my go-to choices are meals overflowing with leafy greens, colourful fruits and skincare laden with Vitamins C and E for these reasons:
Also called L-ascorbic acid, Vitamin C in its purest form is a powerful antioxidant and skin brightener and my choice for bringing on the glow. It penetrates into the skin to stimulate fresh collagen, while also helping to smooth, brighten and revitalise the complexion. Available in varying concentrations, from less than one per cent in moisturisers and serums (although serums can support higher levels), to over 20 per cent in professional treatments, it is best used as part of a morning routine in serums and moisturisers to protect skin through the day, while also safe to use at night to boost collagen.
Like all antioxidants, it is vulnerable to damage, so choose light, water-based formulations that penetrate fast, packaged in opaque, airtight containers. Note: if the colour of the formula darkens or the smell changes, it has likely oxidized and should be binned.
This fat-soluble vitamin (also called d-alpha-tocopherol) is a powerful antioxidant and skin healer that occurs naturally in human skin, but is easily depleted with environmental exposure. It helps restore moisture and is suitable for use as a cleanser, while simultaneously working to maintain skin’s oil balance (a feat that many other cleanser-type ingredients fail to achieve). Concentrated Vitamin E capsules are also useful as a top up - simply pierce the capsule with a pin and apply directly over the face, massaging gently around the eyes.
Retinol describes the Vitamin A molecule that is broken down once inside the body into more potent particles that stimulate collagen production, increase cell turnover and exfoliate the outer dead layers of skin to reveal fresh new cells underneath. The potency of retinol-based products varies depending on whether prescribed (the prescription-only Retinoic Acid or Retin-A used to treat severe acne for instance) or purchased over the counter. It is best used as part of a night routine, starting slowly with a weaker strength every other night, before building up to stronger formulation once tolerated. If redness or peeling occurs, use should be discontinued.
Pure Face Oil
I adore pure, natural face oils as is evident here - especially in drier weather - they feel so luxurusly soft and really do repair and nourish the skin. The more natural the better of course so look out for those key words.
Lest I forget SPF! have written much about this in the past so suffice to say that sun protection is the single biggest cause of skin ageing. So, regardless of the season and the weather outside, use broad spectrum (as in UVA and UVB) SPF 30 everyday. Apply under make up - textures are lighter now and some are even tinted too - so perfect to set you up to face whatever comes your way.