I am a sponge of sorts for beauty tips thanks to the inordinate portion of time I spend cajoling wisdom out of experts, beauty editors and the beautiful*. Mostly, I put these into pieces about the bequeather and their work. When the tips don’t fit in an article, they just get jotted down on the piece of paper headed ‘beauty tips.’ As I am nearing the bottom of the page, I felt the time to share the contents of this note had come:
Wisdom / Oily skin must moisturise.
Why? The purpose of moisturiser is to add water to the skin, not oil. And oily skin needs moisture just as much as any other type – it is entirely possible that skin with an oily surface is deeply dehydrated. By this token, a thick cream may not offer the moisture you crave and will, instead of penetrating the skin, just sit on top of the skin. Look for water-bearing hyaluronic acid on the ingredients list if you’d like to replenish dry skin.
Institut Esthederm Hyaluronic Serum, £49.50 here.
Wisdom / Splurge on serum.
Why? Serum molecules are smaller than moisturiser molecules. Serum will therefore penetrate more deeply into your skin and have a better chance of affecting the condition of your skin on a cellular level – think of moisturiser as a comforting blanket that makes your skin feel soft but serum as the real workhorse. It’s a better investment to buy any old blanket but get the best workhorse you can afford.
Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner can help to restore the acid mantle, £25 here.
Wisdom / Your skin barrier is king.
Why? Looking after the acid mantle of your skin is key to skin health. Not only does it protect you from bacteria and viruses, but by the simple virtue of its existence it also guards against rashes, breakouts and redness. How do you damage it? Harsh, foaming soaps, granular exfoliants and stripping agents such as alcohol will do it every time. The good news is that with care and perseverance it can be reinstated. Use non-foaming cleansers and an acidic toner daily to support it.
Wisdom / Never ‘dry out’ a spot.
Why? Drying the skin on top of a spot with toothpaste or other drying agent will only serve to dry the skin itself – not the spot underneath – and block the plug of the spot from emerging. Drying the skin also encourages excess oil production which leads to more spots in the future. Instead, treat the blockage with an acid (anything containing salicylic is ideal – a little ground up aspirin is an excellent cheap option), then plop a soothing treatment on top. My favourite is Heal Gel.
HealGel Intensive will help to heal a spot far more adeptly than a drying agent, £37.50 here.
Wisdom: Product is the proverbial icing on the cake of skincare.
Why? Everything else happens under the surface. Good diet and salubrious habit will always make more of an impact on the way you look over time than slapping on any cream. Even the one beauty magazines tell you will change your skin entirely. It won’t.
• Unfortunately I didn’t jot names by each tip as I have heard many of them time and time again from different sources. Among contributors are: Dr. Daniel Sisters, Una Brennan, Dr. Murad, Joanne Goodman, Debbie Thomas and many, many other brilliant beauty brains.