Chuck out your old creams and try the new approach says skin guru Sarah Jagger
Chuck out your old creams and try the new approach says skin guru Sarah JaggerThere was a time when buying a moisturiser was easy. Your skin type was either dry, combination, oily or normal and according to many skincare companies, all you had to do was pluck a product off the shelf accordingly. Fast forward to the present day when products are more sophisticated than ever and advanced skincare technology means that a great complexion is at everybody’s fingertips. We now know that the key to finding the right skincare is to target your unique ‘skin concerns’ rather than buying an entire range that you believe is right for your ‘skin type’.
When you’re using the correct skincare products your skin should feel completely comfortable. If the complexion feels moist or sticky five minutes after applying moisturiser, it’s probably too heavy for you. Similarly if the skin feels tight then it may not be rich enough. Telltale signs you’re using the wrong products include tingling, burning and stinging, flaking, excessive shine (oiliness), or inflammation.
So, how do we choose the right skincare regime? Well, it may be that you need to treat each area of concern individually. Skincare success starts with asking yourself what you would like to change most about your complexion and spending the best part of your skincare budget on products to treat the areas you wish to target. You may like to address the make-up you’re using too. Many cosmetic companies have started to use active skincare ingredients in their formulas so that make-up can pick up where skincare left off.
For those with a congested complexion the battle against clogged pores seems endless and no amount of squeezing helps to keep blackheads at bay.
The most effective way to clear up the skin is to ‘twice cleanse’ (a technique that has been popular with the clear-skinned Japanese women for centuries). Wash once with a cleanser like Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, £13.75, using Liz’s muslin cloth to remove make-up thoroughly and repeating the process to ensure all impurities are removed. Follow with a clay based mask like MV Organic Skincare Deep Cleansing and Refining Mask, £30.50, at least twice a week. As the clay dries over the surface of the skin it creates a vacuum effect to draw out deeplyimbedded debris. When it comes to make-up try using a primer like Becca Resurfacing Primer, £32, before your foundation to cleverly seal the pores and prevent make-up penetrating into the skin.
If your spot-prone skin feels very inflamed or you’re at all concerned that you may have acne, it’s important to seek advice from a dermatologist however if you’re simply going through a bout of blemishes, look no further than Amala Purifying Blemish Treatment, £28, to target bacteria, absorb excess shine and sooth redness.
When it comes to makeup, be sure that it contains healing minerals (most importantly zinc) like Proto-col Baked Mineral Compact Foundations and Baked Shimmers £27.95. The entire Baked Minerals range contains completely natural ingredients like lavender and jojoba oil to not only hide troubled skin flawlessly but heal it at the same time.
The cosmetic marketplace is full of products that claim to eradicate age spots and pigmentation. Sadly many of these products can be too harsh, using abrasive chemicals to bleach away darkened areas. Antonia Burrell Cream Supreme, £68, is a gentle alternative with a completely natural formula of ‘patented actives’, designed to effectively manage hyper-pigmented disorders. When it comes to concealing you won’t find a more heavy-duty cover up than Jane Iredale Disappear, £14, making age spots do exactly that.
A lacklustre complexion is common place for those who live in polluted cities or live stressful lifestyles. Eating healthily and sleeping well can help no end and thankfully radiance-boosting potions are readily available too. Look out for products containing Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that helps to protect skin from damaging environmental free radicals such as Ren’s Radiance Perfecting Serum, £35. In addition to Vitamin C it also contains licorice to even out the skin tone and magnesium to brighten. A liquid highlighter used beneath your foundation, such as Inika Cosmetics Light Reflective Highlighting crème. £16.35, will give a youthful, radiant glow to any complexion.
Not to be confused with dry skin (which lacks in oil), a dehydrated skin is lacking in water, which results in a complexion that feels taught and when it’s pinched between two fingers appears lined and crêpey.
Of course drinking plenty of water is essential but you could also take a supplement containing hyaluronic acid like Only Natural Hyaluronic Acid Plus, £18.69, which can help to boost skin tissue hydration from within. You could also try spritzing Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence, £52, over the face regularly throughout the day.
It’s safe to say that a complexion prone to flaking all over is technically ‘dry’ and will benefit from products designed for dry skin. When flaking is isolated to patches on an otherwise healthy complexion, help is at hand with one of the new advanced exfoliators. Avoid grainy scrubs as they can scratch and irritate the skin and instead opt for an exfoliant containing fruit acids like Dr Alkaitis Organic Enzyme Exfoliating Mask, £49.55. Using exfoliating enzymes extracted from pineapple and papaya, this mask gently dislodges dead cells from the skins surface. Once the dry skin has been removed any treatment products used will penetrate more deeply. Using a serum beneath your night time moisturiser like Nude Replenishing night oil, £44, which contains the super moisturisers, macadamia nut oil and rose absolute, and is sure to perk up your complexion in next to no time.
A sensitive skin can be hereditary and if so, many family members will find themselves prone to redness or will be hypersensitive to new products and environments. However, a complexion can also become sensitive completely out of the blue – and it’s often caused by a reaction to using the wrong products. Pai Chamomile and Rosehip Moisturiser, £24, immediately calms a tender complexion, where as RMS Beauty Lip and Skin Balm, £17, is fantastic for using beneath makeup to sooth and protect especially irritated areas.
Wrinkles may be a part of growing old gracefully but that doesn’t mean we can’t slow down the rate at which they appear! Ren Resurfacing AHA Concentrate, £30, uses glycolic, lactic, tartaric and citric acids to promote skin-cell turnover while Weleda’s Pomegranate firming eye cream, £17.50, will target crow’s feet and tighten around the entire eye area. Finally, top up your own natural collagen resources and strengthen your complexion with Proto-Col’s Collagen Capsules £29.95. Don’t forget that cosmetics can give the illusion of smoother skin too. Becca Line and Pore Corrector, £30, will temporarily fill fine lines under foundation until you wash it off at the end of the day.
There may not be such a thing as perfect skin but we are lucky enough to live in a time when natural skincare solutions are within our reach. It may still mean that finding the correct products is a process of trial and error but if we remember that like our personalities, our complexions are unique, we can observe our skin’s behavior, ask the right questions and hopefully see the end of all those half-used jars at the back of the bathroom cabinet!
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