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How to establish a skincare regime

Up until a few months ago, if someone asked me if I had a proper skincare regime established, I would have (misguidedly) said yes. I…

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Up until a few months ago, if someone asked me if I had a proper skincare regime established, I would have (misguidedly) said yes. I had invested in a fancy face wash and moisturiser and always primed my skin before makeup. But in reality, my skincare routine was less than adequate.

When asked about how they care for their skin, people tend to fall into two categories; the ‘oh I just use a bit of soap and water’ camp and the ‘yeah, my skin care is as good as it gets’. Unfortunately, both are lacking considerably. Establishing a proper skin regime (alongside sleeping enough, eating a nutrient rich diet, and exercising) will make a huge difference to the overall health, appearance, and glow of your skin and will be come as evident in a few days as it will 30+ years in the future.

Before you begin, you really need to identify what type of skin you have, or you will fall at the first hurdle. Much like knowing your bra size, most people are woefully uneducated in knowing what skin type they have (nearly everyone, when asked, will claim they have ‘sensitive’ skin, when in reality only a very small percentage of people truly have sensitive skin). Find your skin type through a consultation in places like your nearest Estee Laundee counter or Space NK whose teams are skincare experts or look into the pointers and key signs online. Once you know which kind of skin you have, you can tailor your skincare regime and shop accordingly.

Cleanse

Why? To remove the grime and dirt from your pores as well, as an excess of oil which leads to blackheads and spots.

What with? A face wash is the most popular option (Neutrogena pink grapefruit is dermatologist recommended) but liquid cleansers that require a flannel (like Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish) are the best at removing the dirt.

How often? Every morning and evening. If you have extra time on your hands whilst getting ready, double cleanse – you simply won’t regret it.

Exfoliate

Why? To remove dead skin cells and some of the deeper set grime.

What with? A scrub is more bank account friendly and will do the job, but chemical exfoliators like Pixi Glow Tonic are by far the best. If choosing a chemical toner, go for one with BCAAS.

How often? Every few days, or even less if necessary.

Serum

Why? Serums targets issues such as dull skin and irregular complexion that moisturisers don’t. They do this by penetrating into the deeper layers of your epidermis through the ingredients’ active structures and thus are more effective than a moisturiser or oil. Often marketed with anti-aging ingredients, they are beneficial from any age.

What with? There are a million different options out there, but whatever you choose go for one containing hyaluronic acid. Cult favourites range from the Superdrug Hydrating serum, which is only a few pounds, to Alpha H’s liquid gold which sits above the £30 region. It is worth getting a lighter formula during the day and a slightly heavier one at night.

How often? Every morning and evening after cleanser and/or toner and before moisturiser.

Moisturiser

Why? To moisturise and hydrate your skin, duh. This may put off those with naturally oilier skin, but oily skin does not necessarily mean it is moisturised and hydrated.

What with? Preferably you should have a day cream (that contains SPF) and then a slightly richer night cream. Using a night cream with more ingredients is more effective at night time as your skin absorbs more ingredients and cell regeneration is higher when you are asleep. There will usually be both in the skin care brand of your choice, but the same brand is not a requirement.

How often? A day cream in the morning, and a night cream just before you get into bed.

Optional extras:

·Eye makeup remover: your cleanser should be sufficient for removing makeup, but if you have a lot on, sometimes it is better to remove the bulk of it and let your cleanser wash off the rest.

·Face mask: Not to be done too often, but an intense face mask once a week can work wonders for the general health and regulation of your skin.

·Toner: This tends to divide the beauty experts. As I am not completely convinced myself, I use rose water in a spray bottle after my cleanser and before serum, but feel free to experiment or skip it altogether.

·Spot treatment: for some, not all, this will be the most important step in your routine, especially if you are on a prescribed treatment or have some particularly spot prone. I am blessed with fairly clear skin, but if I do have a nasty break out, I go for tea tree oil on a cotton bud as it is cheap, natural, pure, and very effective.