My skin and I sailed through my twenties, delighting in the joys of rich, aromatic cleansing balms, luxe oils and potent organic moisturisers.
As a budding beauty editor I naturally wanted to try every product that landed on my desk, and I did. Introducing exciting new steps and formulations into my skincare regime on a weekly basis. No two evening cleanses or morning moisturising rituals were the same, my skin and I had a lovely old time. Until we didn’t.
Almost overnight (And not at all coincidently after a upsetting break up) my skin and I started to fall out. Trusted products could not longer satisfy the ever-changing needs of my now unbalanced, oily and congested skin. The clear-skinned glow I once took for granted was nowhere to be seen and to be honest, I had no idea what to do about it. For a few months I threw everything any good magazine beauty cupboard could throw at it; exfoliators, peels, new creams, serums, not to mention as many different facials as possible.
As blemishes and blocked pores turned to areas of adult acne (Not a good look when your job is telling people how to have ‘perfect’ skin and you are supposed to have it!) I finally admitted defeat and turned to an experienced dermatologist for advice. Here’s four things I learnt that have changed the way I treat my skin forever.
Cleanse for balance and clarity NOT to nourish or pamper
The first thing I learnt was that in times of trouble, cleansing is king and should be a simple, pH balanced and (Sadly) non aromatic process. Gentle formulations that effectively remove dirt and make up without stripping pores such as Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel replaced my old faithfuls. Combined with a hot flannel morning and night I found this quickly brought my skin back in balance. If like me, you miss the boost of aromatherapy-based cleansers, adding a few drops of an essential oil to your hot flannel is enough of a fix.
Exfoliate with Acids - they keep your skin healthy and clear
Exfoliation had once been a gritty, grainy treat carried out as part of a luxe face mask to boost my ‘glow’ now I learnt that it was to play an important part in keeping my skin cells turning over in order to keep my pores clear . Three, to four times I week I added an extra step to my cleansing regime with an acid-based cleanser. Skinceuticals Blemish & Age Cleanser Gel
contains both Salicylic and Glycolic Acid, a potent pore-clearing combination I’ve come to rely on for the last few years.
Give your skin what it needs, not what you think it needs
Having religiously slathered on thick moisturisers for a long as could remember, I was shocked to learn that my skin neither needed it, or could tolerate it. Instead I was prescribed a powerful antioxidant serum that protected, nourished and perfected my skin without overloading it with moisture. Skinceuticals Phloratin CF Serum
was a real game changer for me thanks to a Vitamin C rich formula that worked to brighten and improve my skin tone during the day. At night, I used a Retinol (Vitamin A)-based serum to boost my skin’s natural regenerative cycle four times a week.
Medik8 Advanced 0.3 Vitamin A Serum
is great for anyone suffering from dull, but congested skin.
SPF is not just for holidays
Oh and it protects your skin when using powerful skincare ingredients
Finally, with a healthy new respect for the balance of my complexion, SPF became an all-important last step in my morning ritual. Favourites include Jan Marani Physical Protectant and Neostrata Sheer Physical Protectant SPF 50 which both sit beautifully on the skin and act as a great base for make up.