The secret to great skin? THESE 5 products
Bathroom cabinet groaning under the weight of endless serums, creams and acids? According to the pros the secret to younger-looking skin is these 5 products. Clickety click.
What’s your skincare routine?’ – the beauty question I used to dread. Er… Ummm… Tumbleweed. Once I hit my 40s and feared my face was a few years away from looking like Bassett Hound, it was time to get my head in the beauty game.
But where do you begin? The UK’s beauty industry is worth a bonkers £28billion and, of that, £2.5billion is spent on skincare. So, it’s unsurprising that there’s a minefield of products, brands and promises of eternal youth. So many sciencey and scary names, yet no clue what they actually do. Then I met self-confessed skincare geek Lina Ryan of Bridge Street Skin Clinic in Hungerford, and she revealed the fab five that’ll knock years of you. Kickstart your beauty routine and emerge from lockdown looking 10 years younger.
1/ Daily cleanser
What’s wrong with soap and water? Nothing, but it does leave your face feeling drier than summer heatwave. A daily cleanser is softer on your skin, removes make-up, decongests the skin and leaves it feeling fresh as a daisy. Medik8 Surface Radiance Cleanse, £18 150ml gently renews and purifies skin to reveal a soft, radiant complexion. Suitable for almost everyone, you’ll feel the difference after just one use – and it’s probably the skincare product offering the best value for money.
To ensure you’re skin looks tip-top, twice-weekly exfoliation enables you to slough off dead skin cells a little more aggressively than basic daily cleansing. It can be done by chemicals (acids or enzymes) or mechanically (scrubs, brushes, rough towels). We use Medik8’s Pore Refining Scrub, £29 for 75ml, which combines mechanical and chemical exfoliation.
3/ Vitamin C
Want to know the secret to glow-getting skin? Vitamin C. Use a Vitamin C rich product in the morning and you’ll start the day with a brighter, smoother complexion. It’s great for so many different skin concerns, but people with acne need to be more cautious. Since Vitamin C is a very unstable molecule it needs to be stabilized so it can trigger a flare-up for some people. Also, if not produced in the right way, it can oxidize (and become totally useless). So invest in a premium product, like Obagi’s Professional C Serum. One of the best products on the market comes in three strengths (10%, 15%, 20%) but we would advise you to see which one suits best – for most people, it’s 15%.
4/ Retinol (aka Vitamin A)
Hold back the years while you’re sleeping with the help of vitamin A – aka retinol. Add it to our bedtime beauty routine (with the exception of R-Retinoate which you can use in the day too) as the molecule gets destabilized in sun. It can take 2-4weeks for your skin to settle in but keep on going through the ‘ugly phase’ and you will see amazing results. Medik8 Crystal Retinal is a great entry-level product and particularly good for acne sufferers as it has some antibacterial properties. For something with a bit more ‘bite’ Obagi Retinols achieves outstanding results and Medk8’s R-Retinoate day and night serum is a cult product in a league of its own. You pay for a product this good – £134 for 50ml.
Don’t wait for scorching temperatures and holidays to slap on the SPF. Talk to any dermatologist or skincare professional and they’ll also say you need to wear a minimum protection SPF30. Every. Single. Day. Helio 360 Oil Free Gel SPF 50 is our absolute fave. Forget the white sheen and stickiness of old types of sunscreen. This is so light you won’t feel like you are wearing it. It also contains anti-oxidants so you will get an extra skincare boost in there as well! A 50ml tube (£27) will last you ages.