26th September 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos
If you are a woman in your late 20s or 30s, chances are, you’ve tried hundreds of skincare products in your lifetime already.
Every season we are bombarded with new trends. In the last few years, we’ve gone from being obsessed with hot cloth cleansing and whacking coconut oil on our faces and hair, to spending hundreds on snail serums. Surely, all those changes can’t be any good for our now overloaded and confused skin.
So, what SHOULD we do when it comes to our skincare routine? We’ve asked 3 of the UK’s top experts to share their top tips with us:
“Although it’s crucial to remove dead skin cells to speed up cell renewal and to stop skin looking dull, using a heavy scrub too often can damage skin the skin’s protective barrier. This can lead to premature ageing and can leave skin very sensitive. Swap your scrub for a chemical exfoliant such as Glycolic Acid instead that will plump whilst buffing away dead skin. Start by using it a few times a week and build up to daily use to minimise the risk of irritation” suggests Dr Stefanie Williams, dermatologist and founder of Eudelo clinic.
Don’t forget about your neck
Debbie Thomas, celebrity facialist says, “The neck and décolletage are just as important as the hands and face as these delicate areas are often exposed to the sun and free radicals. Regular application of a targeted cream to these areas with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and peptides can help plump and eradicate signs of ageing. Don’t forget to apply SPF to these areas as they are often forgotten!”
What’s mine is mine
According to Dr Maryam Zamani, leading aesthetic Doctor and founder of MZ Skin, “when buying/using eye make-up products, it’s important not only to keep your cosmetics clean but also to not share them! Toss old makeup and do not use mascara that have dried out. Try to use the mascara 1 mm away from the base of the lash so that it’s only on the lash, not the root of the lash. Be careful with the colour of the eye products, particularly if you are using any reds – they often contain significant allergens.”
Gone are the oil days
Coconut, rosehip, castor, argan … you name it, we’ve tried it. But are oils really worth the hype? “Oils are an unnecessary addition to a skincare regime. Instead find a serum containing Hyaluronic or Lactobionic Acid that will work to infuse skin with moisture and encourage skin to hydrate itself, leaving long-lasting results,” says Dr Stefanie.
Not taking makeup off before bed
Dr Stefanie explains, “Overnight, skin goes through an intensive regeneration process and a layer of makeup, or otherwise unclean skin, will clog pores. You’ll wake up with tired and dull looking skin!”. If it becomes a habit on Saturday night, you will regret in future. “This damage may not show up instantly but accumulate and promote early signs of ageing”, adds Debbie.
Can’t touch this!
Unless you are a skincare expert, keep your hands away from those pesky spots. “Not only will squeezing spread bacteria to other areas of the face but, if done incorrectly, will push the bacteria into the spot further down, often causing infection. Instead, try using a salicylic acid product or pressing a warm, clean damp cloth over the area and, if the whitehead is ready, it will pop by itself” Dr Stefanie recommends.
Unless you wash your hands beforehand, touching your face can wreak havoc on skin, causing breakouts, spreading bacteria … Seriously, JUST DON’T.
Special care area
Never forget to apply eye cream! “Eyes are often the first area that shows signs of ageing and so twice daily application of eye cream is a must”, Debbie adds.
Using too hot water
Although steamy hot showers can be a wonderful pleasure, they can have a negative effect on your skin. Dr Stefanie says, “Very hot water can strip skin of its protective oils, leaving it dry and tight”.
Not using sunscreen
The one thing everyone should be doing is applying an SPF daily. It’s crucial to protect skin all year round to maintain a youthful complexion and to keep pigmentation at bay. Debbie explains, “It’s important for all skin, ageing or otherwise, to be protected from the sun by use of an SPF and an Antioxidant serum. Up to 80% of skin ageing is caused by UVA damage! I always recommend an SPF 30 Daily and SPF 50 if you’re outside for the day. Although this won’t correct any existing ageing, it’s the best way to protect skin from future ageing.”
Sleep is the answer
Sleep deprivation wreaks havoc not only on your mind and body but also on your skin. Dr Maryam explains, “Chronic sleep deprivation can cause premature ageing because of the release of the stress hormone, cortisol. It can break down collagen, an essential protein in the skin that creates suppleness and elasticity. Too much cortisol causes sallow, lacklustre skin and makes fine lines and wrinkles more prominent”.
If you are going to invest in one product, choose the one with retinol. Debbie says, “It can penetrate all the layers of the skin, prompting fast cell turnover and exfoliation. In turn, it helps to repair photo-ageing, brown spots, reduce the appearance of large pores, smooth skin and boost collagen production. Retinol is a very active ingredient and can cause some irritation when first used, so start with every 2nd or 3rd night for 2-4 weeks then use it every other night, and when comfortable, use every night.