The A – Z of Great Skin – Part 1

Thought I’d try something a bit different today – rather than my normal ramblings I am stripping back and giving you my very own guide of what’s new, what works, what’s hot, what’s not and all you need to know regarding great skin.  Let’s face it – there is little point in splashing the cash or slapping on the war paint if you haven’t got a good, solid foundation of great skin to begin with!  I’m going to do A – M today and then N – Z next week so not to bore or overwhelm you with too many facts!

A – Anti-oxidants

If you enjoy sipping a glass of rosé wine in the sunshine, make sure your moisturiser is packed with anti-oxidants.  Alcohol reduces protective anti-oxidants in the skin, and even teetotallers should note that stores of anti-oxidant vitamin C are depleted in just 10 minutes of midday sun in fair skinned people – so make sure it is a main ingredient in your daily moisturiser.

B – Be a savvy shopper

Think about face time before parting with your cash.  Products that remain on your skin longest (think moisturisers and serums) deserve more of your budget.

C – CC Creams are the new BB

If you’re only just getting to grips with BB Creams (like me) – moisturisers that combine high factor sunscreen, skincare ingredients and a bit of pigment – meet CC creams (short for complexion corrector).  They do the same job, albeit with a few more or different pigments to give a healthy glow, cover redness or pep up tired skin.  Those that have been tried and tested include :

  • Olay Regenerist CC Cream, from £24.99, which gives a dewy radiance, sheer coverage (more than tinted moisturiser but less than foundation), an SPF15 and built-in anti-ageing serum for longer term benefits.
  • Nip + Fab CC Cream SPF30, £14.99, is wonderfully hydrating and brightens your skin up while giving coverage similar to a tinted moisturiser.
  • L’Oreal Paris Anti-Redness and Anti-Dullness CC Creams, £9.99 each, do just what they say on the tube.
  • Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF30, £28, is super light-reflective, so good for livening up dull, uneven skin while also hydrating.  Even better, it comes in 6 shades, whereas most others only come in 2 or 3.

D – DNA Diagnostics

Using technology developed by experts at Imperial College, The Organic Pharmacy Anti-Ageing DNA test uses your saliva to check your genetic predisposition to collagen breakdown.  The results are then used to provide you with a list of ingredients that would work best for your skin’s needs, whatever your age.  These are, of course, found in The Organics Pharmacy‘s products, but they do appear in other ranges too.  It is expensive at £295, but money saving in the long run if it stops you buying what you don’t need and directs you to those ingredients that could be of most benefit.

E – Exfoliation

Scrubs and peels speed up the removal of dead skin cells and give your skin a glow, but it is easy to overdo it.  Women with dry skin who exfoliate in a bid to get rid of surface flaking can damage the skin barrier.  It would be better to swap to moisturising cleansers instead.  Exfoliating sensitive skin is not advisable, but for all other skin types, twice-weekly gentle exfoliation is a good addition to your skincare routine.

F – Fake It

Skip the anti-ageing moisturiser and foundation and give your skin a healthy glow with Guinot Auto Bronzant Visage D’Ete Summer Radiance Self-Tan for Face, £14.25.  Genius.

G – Gadgets

Thorough cleansing is the cornerstone of any skincare routine, which is why I am a fan of anything that makes the process more effective – a little pricey but I have heard fabulous things about Philips VisaPure, £150.  It has a gentle massaging head and claims 10 times more efficient cleansing than using your fingers.  Regular use improves clarity and radiance.

H – Hyaluronic Acid

Along with glycerin and ceramides, hyaluronic acid is the look-out-for infredient in your moisturiser.  Capable of binding thousands of times its own weight in water, it’s found naturally in our bodies, but starts to decline around the age of 30.  In creams it works on both upper and lower levels of the skin, hydrating, smoothing and plumping.

I – Inside-out Beauty

Low-grade chronic infammation is thought to be the root cause of many diseases – and also skin ageing.  According to US health guru Dr Andrew Weil, following an anti-inflammatory diet can help (first rule, avoid any refined, processed food).  For all-round skin health and anti-ageing benefits, he also recommends supplements of fish oils, vitamin D and, if you have dry skin, evening primrose oil.

J – Jowls

Sagging skin around the jawline?  Book yourself in for a CACI Jowl Lift treatment, which uses probes to transmit a painless current to firm and redefine the area.  A one-off 15-minute session gets you special-occasion ready – a course gives longer lasting results from £40.

K – Kind Buys

More than 50% of us claim some degree of skin sensitivity.  My tip?  Focus on gentle cleansing, moisturising and sun protection.

L – Lovely Legs….and Arms!!

Warmer weather means revealing more skin.  If your limbs are dry and flaky, rescue them with something like Sanctuary Spa’s Long-lasting Moisture Oils collection, from £6.99, which drenches skin with hydration and leaves it with a luminous sheen.

M – Matte….

….is the trend for skin, according to James Wallman of The Future Laboratory, thanks to our love of technology and desire to be screen-ready for all our Facebook/Instagram/Skype moments.

There you go! Part 2 will be published next week – would love to hear what you think to Part 1 in the meantime!

Lots of love and & kisses



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