If you’re looking for healthy, glowing skin, it can be tempting to try a little bit of everything but using too many products can actually be counterproductive. “Having a simple routine makes skincare quick and easy, and you’re more likely you are to stick to the routine if it’s simple” says Dr Katy Kasraie from The Well Clinic. “Equally, if you react to something it’s also easier to identify what your skin didn’t like.” To figure out what your skin does need, take skin health expert Annee de Mamiel’s advice, “Observe and really feel your skin – massage and go slowly and deeply to feel where the tension is and what has created it, feel for the sore bits, the puffy bits.” Here, we’ve broken down the basics so just follow these simple rules and get ready to reap the rewards…
ORDER OF THE DAY
If you understand a little about how to use your products – whatever they are – then you stand a better chance of getting results. Progress from thin to thick textures and always allow a couple of minutes between each to give products the best chance of working.
STEP ONE – AM and PM: Cleanser A good cleanser leaves skin ready to receive whatever you apply afterwards. One long, thorough cleanse to remove dirt and make-up is a given, but ideally, double cleanse as it’s this second cleanse that actually cleans your skin. Texture-wise the choice is yours; drier skins may like soothing balm cleansers while oilier skins may enjoy refreshing gel formulas.
STEP TWO – AM: Antioxidant: No skincare routine is complete without a dose of antioxidant-rich vitamin C every morning. To brighten existing pigmentation, protect against new damage and ramp up collagen synthesis for springier skin, apply straight after cleansing to ensure maximum absorption.
STEP THREE – PM: Retinol The gold standard of skincare ingredients, retinol helps increase cell turnover, soften fine lines, stimulate collagen production and brighten. Vitamin C and retinol can degrade each other if applied simultaneously, plus UV exposure can render retinol ineffective, so save it for night-time use. As it’s potentially irritating, use slowly and sparsely at first to allow your skin to acclimatise. One caveat: “It should however be avoided in pregnancy and nursing, and those with eczema, or other skin irritations should avoid it,” warns Dr Kasraie
STEP FOUR – AM and PM: Eye Cream “Use targeted products for your eyes and lips/ The skin in these areas is more delicate and can’t be treated the same as the rest of the face,” advises Dr Kasraie. Look for a targeted cream for your specific needs, whether that’s dark circles, puffiness or dehydration. Press on gently with your ring finger and always apply before any barrier products like rich moisturisers and oils.
STEP FIVE – AM and PM: Day Cream & Night Cream Although it might seem redundant in the face of sophisticated serums, a moisturiser is still a skincare staple because of the way it locks moisture into the skin. Look for ingredients such as ceramides which will help support and strengthen the delicate skin barrier.
STEP SIX – AM: SPF An SPF of 30 or higher is a non-negotiable whatever your skin type. Sun damage is the leading cause of skin ageing but is preventable with diligent use of sunscreen. To offer maximum protection against UV and pollution, always apply as a last step.
STEP SEVEN – PM: Oil Oils aren’t for everyone but contrary to popular belief, they’re as beneficial for oily skins as other types. Packed full of nourishing fatty acids, they work wonders to illuminate and plump dull skin. For added glow, work into your skin with a gua sha tool. “The gua massage not only gives your skin a workout, but also helps products’ nutrients absorb better into skin,” adds Annee. ”Hold with the curved side to your face and glide it gently up and out, using a light to medium pressure [and] slow strokes for the most effective way to see results.”