For many of us, the quest for flawless, firmer skin remains elusive. During the course of 24 hours your skin goes through a number of physical changes and by nourishing it with the right products at the right times you can help to get it looking its best. Follow these top tips to get your skin looking its best all day long.
Wake up to better skin
Skin is dehydrated first thing, which can result in a dull tone. Drinking water provides an instant boost, and a cup of hot water with lemon will detoxify the liver – the body’s main channel for eliminating nasties. The second challenge? Dark circles. ‘Products containing anti-irritation ingredients such as cucumber, lavender and raspberry may be helpful,’ says Candice Gardner, education curriculum manager at The International Dermal Institute. ‘Bisabolol from chamomile is also frequently used for its anti-inflammatory properties.’
Try this: Dermalogica Total Eye Care SPF15 (￡37, 0800 591 818) contains bisabolol to help reduce puffiness.
If you work in an office you’ll be no stranger to the skin-blasting effects of high winds and freezing temperatures outside, alternated with maxed-out central heating indoors. Many topical products end up sucking out more moisture, so to combat the air-con roller-coaster use a creamy cleanser and a gentle oil-based exfoliator.
Try this: The Organic Pharmacy Carrot Butter Cleanser (￡34.96, theorganicpharmacy.com) contains shea butter for a vital moisture hit.
Have a tea break
Time for an afternoon tea break? Go herbal. Sip on a beautifying infusion combining lemon balm, dandelion, chamomile, nettle and burdock root and your pores will thank you for it. These herbs help to stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities by reducing inflammation and cleaning your skin from the inside.
Try this: Dr Stuart Skin Purify Tea (￡1.99, Holland & Barrett) uses active botanicals with no artificial colours or flavours to help soothe the skin.
Beat gym germs
There’s nothing like a post-work gym session to pick you up after a long day, but the gym could be to blame for breakouts. Bacteria from sweat can stick around on gym equipment for several days, so make sure you wipe down machines with paper towels and disinfectant to reduce the risk of a skin flare-up courtesy of another gym-goer’s exertion. ‘Exercise increases oil production so if you can’t shower straight after a workout, clean up with a purifying skin wipe with antibacterial properties. Use this as a quick fix until you can get into the shower, wiping it over your skin to remove surface oil and debris,’ tips Candice.
Try this: Boots Essentials Cucumber Cleansing Wipes (￡1.49, boots.com) will remove traces of sweat.
De-stress with a soak
Levels of the stress hormone cortisol should be high in the morning and low in the evening but if you’ve had a day from hell, your cortisol levels may be higher than normal. ‘When cortisol is elevated, there can be an increase in
oil production, leading to oiliness, congestion, blackheads, clogged pores and breakouts,’ says Candice. Plunge into a steaming bath and add
a few drops of lavender oil to melt away worries. Let the steam open your pores before applying a face mask.
Try this: Comfort Zone Hydramemory Hydramask 24h (￡27.95, comfortzoneskincare.com) helps to restore water content to stressed-out skin within 10 minutes.
3 ways to brighten skin
1 Your skin needs to breathe at night, so make sure you remove all traces of make-up, dirt and grime before you head to bed.
2 Massage creams and serums into skin using soft, circular movements to help stimulate the blood flow to your face and give your skin a natural glow.
3 Exfoliate no more than once a week using a face wash with gentle microbeads to buff away dead skin cells