Monday, 5 August 2013

The Anti-Ageing Prescription

Anti-Ageing isn't a word I like to use, but it is a word that is constantly being thrown around in the cosmetic industry. You cannot stop ageing, it is inevitable and in fact it is a privilege that not everyone gets (I heard that from Caroline and it is so true, next time your moaning about ageing think about that). What we can do however, is help the ageing process and slow it down. Most cosmetics you will pick up will have the words "anti-ageing" on it, take that with a grain of salt. If loss of skin firmness, lines, wrinkles or sun damage are of concern to you here's what you should be looking for in your products.

SPF - more of a preventative, you should be using everyday of your life no matter what the weather or climate. This will help prevent premature photo-ageing.

Vitamin A - reverses the signs of ageing by rebuilding collagen and repairing environmental damage. There are many different forms and strengths of vitamin A, the strongest being retinol. Start off small and gradually increase intensity and frequency.

AHAs - glycolic and lactic acids applied topically help to increase call turnover and resurface the epidermis, allowing better penetration of products. Don't overdo it, let your skin get used to this and work your way up to a higher strength and frequency.

Vitamin C and E - both antioxidants so again fall into the prevention category. Vitamin C, traditionally water based, helps to even out skin colour, strengthen the capillary wall, and produce collagen. Vitamin E is oil soluble so when used together you are protecting both parts of the cell.

Niacinimide - also known as Vitamin B3, acts as a barrier between skin and the environment, to block out external damaging agents. Used to stimulate the dermis, which in turn increases the fatty content of the cells and aids in water retention and enhancing the barrier function.

The main thing to remember when using any of these ingredients is to use your SPF daily.
Of course all this is dependent on your lifestyle, if you smoke, worship the sun or have a high sugar diet you will age faster and should start doing everything you can NOW to help preserve your skin.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The Dry/Dull Skin Prescription

Dull skin is a common concern for people, especially those with a dry skin type or those lacking moisture. Exfoliation and hydration is the key and this is a job for chemical exfoliants; AKA alpha hydroxy acids. Glycolic and Lactic acids a great for resurfacing the skin, and taking away any dull or dry patches. They also help attract moisture to the skin. By removing this build up of dead skin you are revealing a brighter, more healthier skin and helping other products penetrate better. Priori Advanced AHA Gentle Facial Cleanser and Clarins Exfoliating Toner both contain these AHA's and are gentle enough for daily use.

Now that the skin is primed and ready to receive further products, we want to lock moisture into the skin. Look for moisturisers containing hyaluronic acid, this little gem holds 1000x it's own weight in water and is great for helping to lock in moisture whilst also increasing cell turnover. The SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator is a great serum for this. It does what it says and resurfaces the skin whilst the hyaluronic acid works to hydrate deeper.

A once per week mask is also great to help skin up it's game when it's looking a little lack-lusture. Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal mask helps to give a much deeper exfoliation, whilst also helping to thicken the dermis to prevent moisture loss. Follow this with a moisture boosting mask for best results. Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight mask is great for really nourishing the skin and helping you to wake up with a brighter complexion.

Result = bye bye dullness. Hello glowing, radiant skin.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Oily Skin Prescription

The biggest beauty faux pas has to be oily skin gals being too afraid to use oil on their skin. It's a fact; oil dissolves oil. It doesn't clog pores, cause breakouts, or make the skin greasy. If you have oily skin, you need a facial oil! When you use harsh products that strip the skin of it's natural oils it forces the skin to overproduce more oil in order to repair itself, leaving you with a never ending, vicious cycle of oilyness. Clarins Lotus oil is fabulous for keeping oil at bay and getting rid of breakouts and impurities. Also Trilogy Rosehip oil is great for getting rid of blackheads and minimising pores and scarring.

Throw away your foaming cleansers and wipes, cleansing balms and oils are your friend. These will break down oil and impurities in your ski without stripping the skins natural oil and will leave your skin clean, hydrated and and ready for moisture. The key with using these products is to remove it properly so you aren't left with a greasy residue. Use a warm flannel to remove thoroughly. Try the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm or Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm.

Acids are also key. Bacteria loves an alkaline surface to grow on, so by keeping your skin acidic you are helping to prevent breakouts from appearing and spreading. Instead of using manual exfoliants (you know those horrible granular ones that hurt your skin), use exfoliating toners or serums that contain AHA's. REN Clarifying toner contains glycolic acid and is gentle enough to use everyday after cleansing.

Lastly don't be afraid of moisturiser, look for a light gel type texture that won't be too heavy for your skin. The biggest thing I see with oily skin is dehydration. Dehydration is incredibly ageing and dulling on the skin so a hydrating moisturiser is so important. Look for something containing hyaluronic acid to hydrate and increase cell turnover.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

SPF Update

Now that the sun looks like it (may) be here to stay, it's time to be all the more vigilant with applying SPF's. Sunday was apparently the hottest day of the year so far, lets hope it hasn't peaked too early and there will be plenty more of them!

Sun is the biggest cause of photo-ageing in the skin. SPF is such an important step in your daily regime and should feature everyday no matter the weather. UVA, the rays that cause ageing, penetrate through clouds, windows and even light clothing so the importance of using a broad spectrum sunscreen is so important. Your SPF needs to come from an independent product, not just what is found in your day cream or foundation. Often the sun protection factor is just thrown in as an "added benefit" and is more often than not only protecting against UVB. This will not protect against photo-ageing and therefore cannot be relied upon to fully protect your skin. Fortunately the EU are onto this and from now on you will find the symbol below, on all SPF products that are proven to provide at least a third of it's protection against UVA.

If you have sensitive or acneic skins and find SPF to be irritating I recommend trying a physical protection rather than a chemical. Skin Ceuticals do a fabulous one; Sheer Mineral UV Defence SPF 50 will give you full protection whilst not irritating the skin.

Skin Ceuticals in general do great sunscreens, some of my other favourites include Clinique City Block, La Roche Posay Anthelios range, Vichy Laboratories Capital Soleil SPF 50, UltraCeuticals Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 30. If it has the UVA logo, use it.

Also take into consideration that SPF's do have an expiry date of 1 year. You should get through a bottle in that time, if not please replace it.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Holiday Skin Care

Last week Scott and I jetted off to Morocco for some much needed sunshine, rest and relaxation. With the limits of carry on only luggage and a max of 100ml bottles for liquid items I find it can be a tad difficult when it comes to packing products and I have to severely cut down my daily routine. Going to a hot country like Morocco, sun protection and antioxidants are a must. So for a week, I'm going back to basics and multi taskers are the key.

One cleanser that does it all is the Elemis Tri Enzyme Cleanser, great for removing make-up, exfoliating the skin and maintaining the acid mantle. Another favourite multi tasking product is the Caudilae Beauty Elixer which for this week will double as my toner and refresher throughout the day. In such a hot climate it is essential to carry something like this around with you to re-fresh and perk up the skin.

I managed to grab a couple of Skin Ceuticals samples which are actually a very generous size and enough to last a week. The Phloretin CF is already a staple in my daily routine. A powerful antioxidant to help prevent against photoageing and even out skin complexion. The Hydrating B5 is another fabulous serum packed to the brim with hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to pump the skin with moisture. I find these two serums with an SPF on top is enough for my skin during the day, especially when in such a hot climate. My SPF of choice is the Vichy Laboratories Capital Soleil SPF 50. This tinted SPF is just perfect for day time use, I don't like wearing a lot of make-up on holiday but I find this is just perfect for evening out skin tone and giving skin a hint of colour.

My eye cream of choice at the moment is the Origins VitaZing eye cream and the dinky size is perfect for travelling. Origins is also my port of call for night cream when I turn to Night-A-Mins. A current favourite that will be a permanent in my evening routine for a while to come.

What are your holiday essentials?

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Summer Skin Prepping


After a long, long winter I'm on a mission to banish my fuzzy white pins and whip them into shape for my upcoming holiday. Admittedly my legs don't see the light of day all that often, living in the less than sunny English climate has meant I'm almost permanently covered up. However in a bid to get them summer ready I'm pulling out all the stops.

Firstly dry body brushing everyday before I shower ensures an increase of blood circulation and keeps skin smooth. Brushing the whole body towards the heart also gets lymph moving, draining any toxins helping to tone the skin. Admitedly when it comes to body scrubs I can be a little lazy but when I do make the effort to scrub down, the difference in my skin is amazing. The Pure Fiji Coconut Sugar Rub has been a constant in my life for years. It leaves a layer of oil on the skin so it's absolutely ideal for dry skin, really getting rid of any dead skin and hydrating at the same time. Because it's oil based its not ideal before tanning so do this the day before. A new discovery of mine is Soap and Glory The Daily Smooth Body Butter, I love the smell of this, and the texture is lovely and rich but sinks into the skin without leaving a greasy residue. Perfect for everyday use.

Lastly to take care of my pasty winter skin is the Xen Tan Dark Lotion. This is a lovely olive colour with no hint of orange. The key to perfect application is to use a tanning mit. Prevents orange palms and keeps the tan streak-free and even finished.

What are you using to get summer ready?