When it comes to skincare, you can trust Donna Glazer. She will never, ever plump for the simple answer to niggling issues, choosing instead to look at your lifestyle and history before recommending a personalised treatment, and regime, to fortify skin.
The Highgate clinic from which she practises is a mecca for those in need of sound advice and recommendations of skincare that’ll improve skin for life, and I’ve managed to wangle a 10% discount for readers on first treatments with Donna at Face It (just mention this site when booking). In case you can’t go there anytime soon, here’s some of Donna’s skin wisdom…
Ren Evercalm Cleansing Milk, £16 here
– The question should not be what ingredients to look for but what ingredients you should avoid. The cleanse is the most important part of any skin care routine; using the wrong cleanser will upset the skin’s natural barrier which will, over a period of time, cause long term skin complaints.
– Cleansers should NOT: foam, leave skin tight, contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (this will remove too many of the skin’s natural oils), contain poor quality mineral oils, or contain perfume. Wipes aren’t a good idea as they are full of preservative chemicals that irritate the skin and disturb the barrier.
– If you are taking off make up, your skin deserves two cleanses using damp cotton wool or a skin flannel to remove all residue. The friction of the flannel can naturally desquamate the skin at the same time.
– Acne, ageing skins and all skins over eighteen should be using a light cream cleanser. No matter what your skin type a cleanser is not on the skin long enough to change a skin condition and using abrasive products will do the skin more harm.
– I would suggest you only cleanse in the morning unless: you sweat a lot at night, you forgot to take off your make up (not advised!) or if you wake up with a visible oily film on the face. Otherwise you can just splash with water or use a toner to refresh the skin.
– The fewer ingredients contained within, the better. It should be gentle and natural.
– Toners were originally introduced to balance the pH of the skin after cleansing and remove a residue. If you are using a good quality cleanser, however, this shouldn’t be necessary. I offer clients refreshing toners for use to cool the skin after exercise or treatment toners to correct a skin concern.
– When toning, do so after a cleanse or use as a refresher/moisture boost during the day.
– Ingredients to look for: any type of antioxidants and Vitamins A, C and B, which are all active ingredients. Copper peptide and hyaluronic work wonders on ageing skin. Omega 3 and 6 are also others to keep a look out for as they are essential fatty acids that the skin doesn’t naturally produce.
– Massage it on in circular motions. Generally, apply it before a cream as serums tend to be water based and creams tend to be oil based, but you can mix the two together if you’d like.
Omorovicza Balancing Moisturiser, £80 here
– Moisturiser should be applied every day, both morning and night. I look at oil as an add-on or extra, and not as a replacement for a cream. It is something to be used when the skin is especially parched in the colder months or for massage at night to increase the circulation.
– An oil does not contain humectants which hold on to water within the skin. A cream does and therefore helps the skin hold on to its natural moisture. Over a period of time, using just an oil will dry the skin out.
– Avoid: perfume, cheap mineral oils (i.e petroleum jelly), liquid paraffin, preservatives (which can be found by checking the shelf life – stay away from products with a shelf life that is over three years).
On caring for eyes…
– Use a cream over gel. Once you are over 20, gels really only work on dark circles and aren’t particularly anti-ageing. Creams are essential as they are almost always the best, offering more hydration and long term anti-ageing effects.
– Apply a pea-sized amount under and over the eye and do not forget the eye lid. Massage in gently with circular motions to boost circulation and help with dark circles.
– I often compare this to hair care. While people take avid care of their hair, buying shampoos, conditioners, and treatments, they still see a stylist for a cut and maintenance, after which it feels amazing. The same applies for professional skin treatments. You maintain the skin at home with your cleanse, serum and cream routines and visit the salon for extra oomph.
– Twenty years of experience in skin care has shown me that clinical treatments can slow down the ageing process and correct skin problems much more quickly than with a home regime, in part thanks to advanced machinery that can penetrate the skin with high quality ingredients and reach deeper layers than applying a topical cream.
– I would recommend exfoliating with a Clarisonic and muslin face cloths. The skin should not be over-exfoliated and should just be encouraged to naturally shed its dead cells. Use a face cloth whilst cleansing every day to help promote this. Incorporate the Clarisonic a maximum of three times a week to shift the dead cells.
On knowing what’s best for your skin…
– It is hard for the consumer to know what the correct skin care is for them. I often compare it to buying a bra and thinking you know your size without being measured. Asking for advice from someone who knows is key.
– It is best to get into a routine during teenage years; skin prevention is far greater than a cure. In an ideal world you would go to a skin therapist that would advise you on the best course of action for your skin and then generate a relationship with them.
On marketing hype…
– Stop believing a product will be the miracle cure! It is all about expectations and working with your skin. Sleep, drinking water, a balanced diet and balancing stress all have an impact. I would always boost the appearance of my skin by cutting out caffeine and alcohol, getting a good night sleep, and incorporating some drainage massages in weekly. Weekly treats such as at home masks, massages and regular treatments help to boost the appearance of skin.
– Acne is not caused by dirty skin, so do not over wash the skin. It is important to still be gentle whilst feeding the skin with anti-inflammatory products such as linseed oil, aloe vera and vitamin B. Vitamin A is also a great one for acne, helping to normalise cells and regulate oil production.
– Do not squeeze – you will upset the skin. This can cause the spot to become a wound which is then vulnerable to infection and can lead to problems in the future.
– There is also a lot of research available on the effectiveness of antibiotics and how you can become resistant to its effects, so beware of longterm use!
– Recent research has also made us aware that acne is an inflammatory disorder rather than an excess oil problem. It’s important to look into your personal diet and stress levels to see if there is a correlation.
– With the correct skin care, the symptoms of eczema can be diminished. Look for products that do not contain preservatives, perfumes, mineral oils and other ingredients that can aggravate the condition.
– Food and lifestyle factors are also important things to consider. Again, it is important not to over strip the skin so stick to gentle, surfactant free products.
– Moisturising ingredients such as shea butter, kiwi seed oil and omega 3 are perfect for scaling and irritated skin.
– In most cases, Rosacea is a hereditary condition that is worsened with lifestyle triggers. It’s important to document what triggers a rosacea flare up and to then stay away from it e.g. hot temperatures, alcohol or spicy food. Antibiotics can help in severe cases but always try and look for topical products and lifestyle changes you can make before seeking medication.
– Look at skin care that can fix the skins barrier function. Once the barrier is working well, it should help allleviate problems.