The 7 new skincare rules you need to follow
Read up on the latest skincare breakthroughs and find out what you need to know to get your most beautiful skin, no matter how Mother Nature treated you.
1. Combat oil with oil
Yes really. The trend for beauty serums and oils shows no sign of abating (hello, coconut, argan and marula), but what about those of us whose complexions are already on the shiny side? ‘Be careful not to strip the skin with harsh cleansers in a bid to combat oiliness, because it will just stimulate the skin to produce more,’ says Victoria Harrison, technical adviser at skincare brand, Dr Organic. ‘Instead, use a mineral mud mask twice a week to regulate oil production and refine pores, and a light formulation like aloe vera.’
2. Get supplement-savvy
Get the best of your supplements by taking them as directed – it sounds obvious, but it makes a big difference. ‘You need to take them with food to aid absorption – they’re active ingredients, so you may feel a little ill without anything else in your stomach,’ says Nikki Cooper founder of supplement brand, Inner Me. ‘The best ingredient I’ve found for glowing skin is MSM, aka the “beauty mineral”. MSM is the nutritional form of sulphur, which is essential for collagen formation. It’s anti-inflammatory, helps support the skin’s structure so prevents lines, wrinkles and sagging, and even helps with acne, eczema and psoriasis.’Read more: How to treat eczema and psoriasis
3. Remember the power of touch
How about a spot of lymphatic drainage for your face? The new massage technique, invented by Martine de Richeville is based on her body-shaping Remodelage technique. ‘A series of specific hand movements “unstick” the fat layer from the muscle fascia to soften it,’ she explains. Oxygenating the tissue this way will stimulate it to regenerate.
4. Keep it simple
Cosmetic dermatologist Dr Mervyn Patterson says we use too many products. ‘We use one for a week, then swap to another,’ he says, ‘ending up with a mix of chemicals that can cause redness and sensitivities. We also exfoliate too much, weakening the skin’s surface, which means it can’t do it’s job of protecting the deeper layers from the environmental damage that causes the signs of ageing.’
5. Eat to prepare and repair
When it comes to sun damage, experts believe eating key foods can help skin repair itself after exposure. One study showed that regular consumption of tomato paste – which is high in lycopene, a phytonutrient that acts as a powerful antioxidant and helps protect skin from environmental damage – increased natural protection against the sun by up to 30%. The perfect excuse for homemade pizza, but don’t forget the side salad. ‘Dark leafy greens are rich in folate, which helps repair UV-damaged skin,’ says nutritionist Vicki Edgson.
6. Get the best active ingredients
Make your moisturiser work for you. For anti-ageing, that means a retinol-based moisturiser, says cosmetic dermatologist Dr Rachael Eckel. ‘It’s our best weapon against the ageing effects of sun damage and pigmentation. Retinol – derived from vitamin A – “wakes up” the skin-cell renewal process and makes skin look clearer and younger by stimulating cell turnover, unclogging pores as it goes.’ Dr Eckel also recommends mineral-based make-up. ‘It’s non-drying and creates a smooth, fresh finish without clogging pores.’
7. Be smarter about suncare
Upgrade your sun cream – all year. Prefer your sun protection chemical-free? Look for products containing zinc oxide, an effective mineral sun-protection ingredient, and homosalate, a commonly used organic compound.
The latest buzz around suncare comes from the humble cuttlefish. Its ink contains melanin, which is so similar to human melanin that scientists can use it to super-charge sun creams. Dr Eckel says, ‘When the sun hits your face, it’s the cuttlefish melanin that reacts and not your own. This ingredient is called fractionated melanin and is tailored to protect against high-energy visible light – the “ageing” rays that damage skin.’ Sophisticated stuff indeed.
Will you be working our expert’s words of wisdom into your tried and tested beauty regimen? Or have any suggestions of your own to add? Tweet and share them with us @healthymag