Life has been rather out of sync these past few weeks and, for many of us, such drastic changes to our normal routines will undoubtedly have affected our skincare regime. With increasingly talk of our emergence from lockdown, now is the time to re-discover that essential routine (and introduce some key additions) to ensure that your skin is fully prepped to combat the elements when the time comes. Cleanse, tone and moisturise twice a day is a given, but let’s discuss the finer details.
It’s no secret that hydrated skin makes for a youthful glow but as we prepare to return to air-conned offices (notorious for wreaking havoc on our skin’s moisture levels) it’s important we are armed against these effects. One of the rising stars of skincare is squalene – an exceptional hydrator which prevents ongoing loss of hydration and suppleness. My personal favourite (rich in olive squalene and the holy grail of my skincare cupboard) is Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream.
TOP TIP: Ensure that your moisturiser is penetrating the skin as much as possible by rinsing your face with warm water before applying. The water temperature causes your pores to dilate and increases the skin’s surface area, allowing for maximum absorption.
It’s not exactly re-assuring to read the word ‘acid’ on a skincare product, but facial acids have revolutionised our skincare routines. Glycolic acid is by far the most effective product for creating that sought-after glow. The mild, water-soluable acid works by exfoliating the very top layer of dead skin thus drastically improving the skin’s luminosity. Meanwhile, Hyaluronic Acid is being increasingly hailed as the ultimate product for reducing fine lines. Its extremely hydrating properties penetrate deep into the skin and plump out unwanted lines. I’ve tried and tested many but, by far, the best results are from Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner and The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid.
FORTIFY YOUR SKIN
Having spent so long indoors, many of us will inevitably have forgotten the dangers of the naturally-occurring external aggressors of ‘the outside’. Now is the time to re-familiarise yourself with the enemy – UV & HEV rays, free radicals and pollutants. All have a detrimental effect on our skin’s protective barrier so it’s imperative that you are prepped with the appropriate protection. Overexposure to the sun’s UV rays is a known precursor to deep-set wrinkles and, in some very unfortunate cases, skin cancer. HEV light (more commonly known as ‘blue light’) radiates from our everyday screens and is thought to contribute to wrinkle formation and enhanced skin discolouration. To protect against both most effectively, wear an SPF daily that contains Zinc Oxide or Cocoa Seed Extract. The Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense Sunscreen would be my recommendation as it’s lightweight enough to blend with your normal moisturiser if desired.
Pollution and free radicals are another constant danger to our skin. In a nutshell, not only do these bring unwanted dirt to your skin (I stress again the need for a thorough cleanse twice a day) but also damage the fragile DNA of our skin cells. Choose products high in antioxidants to significantly reduce the effects of oxidisation on the skin. Sunday Riley’s CEO Glow Vitamin C and Turmeric Face Oil has the most luxurious consistency and is cruelty, sulfate, paraben and fragrance free.
And for those of you who may be thinking “this necessary routine seems rather extensive”, then you still have no excuse – because Elemis Daily Defence Shield protects against all of the above in one product!
Finally, a healthy diet is paramount when it comes to a fully effective skincare regime. Your skin can’t do all the work itself so ensure that you supplement your skins needs by adding vital nutrients and vitamins to your diet. Choose foods high in healthy fats such as fish, avocados and nuts (to keep your skin supple and moisturised), Vitamin C (to stimulate collagen production) and those high in carotenoids such as tomatoes, broccoli and sweet potatoes. The latter act as a natural sunblock and further prevent premature ageing to your skin.
The time to return to normal life is (hopefully) upon us, so re-introduce yourself to a thorough skincare routine and ensure your skin is ready – even if you’re not!
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