Skincare Articles by Product Type
What cleanser should I use? Cleansing the skin is hugely important but using the wrong cleanser can be worse than not using anything at all. Foaming cleansers are great for oily/combination skin as they break down and reduce excess surface oil.
Cream cleansers are great for normal/dry skin as remove impurities without breaking down too much oil; they’re also great for travel as they don’t always need water and can be wiped off. Oil based cleansers are perfect for dry/very dry skin and won’t remove vital skin oils.
What is an Exfoliator/Scrub? Exfoliators and facial scrubs are designed to remove excess, surface dead skin cells. These dead skin cells are one of the major causes of blackheads, spots and blemishes as they can fall into the pore and create a blockage. Exfoliators can either be manual (beads, grains and buffers) or chemical (astringents, acids and bond-breakers).
Chemical exfoliators are better for skin concerns where a manual scrub might cause irritation; just be gentle and don’t wipe over the same area twice, avoiding the eye area. Look to use a manual exfoliator 2/3 times a week and a chemical exfoliator anywhere up to twice a day depending on strength.
What is a Toner? Used on a cotton pad after cleansing, toners are designed to remove excess cleanser as well as acting as a mild astringent to exfoliate surface dead skin, reduce excess surface oil (or even replenish it in some cases) whilst shrinking and ‘toning’ the pores. There are many different kinds of toners from deeply exfoliating astringents; micellar waters; clarifying lotions and new softening lotions from Asia, designed to increase product absorption.
Facial Serums and Treatments
What is a serum? Basically, a serum delivers a targeted treatment designed to help eliminate a specific skin concern to the lower levels of the skin. When should I use a serum? It’s normally recommended that any serum is applied underneath your moisturiser after cleansing and toning.
However, as long as your moisturiser doesn’t contain and sun protection (acts as a barrier) I recommend applying it over your moisturiser as your moisturiser balances the skin, making it more absorbent and responsive to your serum.
Facial Moisturisers and Hydration
Should I use a moisturiser? Everyone should use a moisturiser designed specifically for your own skin type to balance oil and water. Moisturisers for Very Dry/Dry skin will replenish both the oil and water of the skin to nourish, restore and protect. Moisturisers for Normal skin still deliver both oil and water but in smaller amounts and are designed to maintain and protect current skin conditions.
Moisturisers for Combination skin rarely add much oil (only ever tiny amounts) but instead, large amounts of water to hydrate and balance the skin. Moisturisers for Very Oily/Oily skin add no oil and deliver deep hydration. Always look for sun protection for daytime and any other treatment benefit that may target your skin concerns.
What does a face mask do? Face masks suck or push (or sometimes both). Mud style face masks are usually designed to suck impurities out of the skin, unblocking pores and fighting off excess oil. Gel/cream masks are designed to push hydration into the skin and flood the surface levels with moisture. Masks are usually used 1/2 times a week. It’s often debated as to whether masks are as effective in comparison to regular effective skincare treatments but I feel they’re a key element to any skincare regime.
Shaving and Grooming
Any top shaving tips? Loads! Here are my essentials: Always shave with the direction of hair growth and rarely go against it unless absolutely necessary (to correct any mistakes for example). Exfoliate the skin gently beforehand and afterwards make sure you apply a dedicated aftershave lotion to sooth the skin and prevent dryness, redness and blemishes. Regular exfoliation of the neck will help to prevent ingrown hairs and gentle chemical exfoliation of existing ingrown hairs will help to unblock them.
Eye Creams and Treatments
How important is eye care? The skin around the eye is 50% thinner than anywhere else on the face. If you use your regular face moisturiser on the eyes, which is often too rich, over time the the product can be stored behind the skin creating prominent bags. As well as hydrating the eye area, eye treatments can reduce dark circles, shrink eye bags, soothe puffiness and minimise wrinkles.
Lip Balms and Lipcare
What’s in a lip? No one likes to kiss dry, broken, split or chapped lips and equally lips that aren’t caked in greasy petroleum-jelly. Finding good lip care is essential, so look out for sun protection, targeted treatments and even exfoliating benefits when choosing your next lip care product.
Facial Sun Protection
One of the most important and underused skincare products in the market. In the UK sun, you can be exposed for 15 minutes unprotected before the skin starts to burn; after that UVA and UVB is damaging the skin causing it to release an emergency shield of brown melanin – this isn’t good or healthy despite how ‘good’ it looks. With skin cancers on the rise, prevention with an SPF is much easier than the cure.