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A trained facialist and aesthetician, she is the author of the best-selling beauty book Skincare has launched a new app, Skin Rocks, designed to arm shoppers with the knowledge they need to get the most out of skincare. “I’m truly passionate about good skin. And with three decades of experience under my belt, I know a thing or two about how to get it,” says Caroline. Here she shares her ultimate guide to great skin.
DON’T KEEP IT SIMPLE
The secret to great skin isn’t to keep things simple, but it’s also not a 15-step routine. The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle.
The most basic routine should consist of cleansing, moisturising and SPF. The same for body and face. That for me is the bare minimum.
For some people that’s what works for them – however they may be blessed with good genes as well.
What you use depends on your skin, genes, lifestyle and budget. My routine changes because I have to test new products, but I tend to wash my face, use a mist to hydrate, eye cream, serum, moisturiser and SPF.
In the evening I cleanse, use either a retinoid or an acid, and a facial oil. It takes me two or three minutes max.
WASH YOUR FACE TWICE
One of the most simple ways to get clear, radiant skin is to ensure you cleanse properly in the evening. So do as I do, and wash twice, especially if you’ve been wearing make-up, SPF or both in the day.
Twice you say? Who has time for that? Well try this.
After cleansing once tonight look closely in the mirror – I’ll bet you can still see the day’s make-up lingering.
A second cleanse will remove this, along with any dirt and grime build-up.
BE BUDGET SAVVY
There are so many great budget products out there, but it can take a little research to find the real gems.
Sadly it’s just not true that you always get the same results from a cheap formula as an expensive one.
Read reviews from trusted sources, and look for good skincare ingredients. Get to know the brands doing cheap well, like The Ordinary and The Inkey List.
You can take care of your skin on a budget simply by cleansing, using a moisturiser and an SPF.
However, if you have skin issues like signs of ageing – and let’s face it, those of us who grew up loving the sun in the 1970s and 1980s all do – spending a little more on targeted products such as acids and retinoids will get you the results you’re after.
PREVENT, DON’T CURE
If you prevent skin damage, you won’t have to cure it later. The biggest way to do this is by ensuring you don’t get too much sun, and using an SPF every day. SPF is a beauty product you can buy on a budget and still get quality.
UV light causes sunburn and sun damage by damaging cellular DNA. UVA rays cause ageing and UVBs cause burning.
So find a broad spectrum SPF that protects skin from both. Go high and choose SPF50. Always go for a fake tan. The choice of products – whether you want a mist, a mousse or drops – has never been better.
When it comes down to it, a real tan is a sign of sun damage.
BE ARMED WITH KNOWLEDGE
There’s more choice than ever out there when it comes to skincare. And this can be confusing when you don’t know what you’re looking for.
So arm yourself with knowledge. Get to know your niacinamide from your lactic acid. Also work out your skin type, and get to grips with what works best for it.
GET SKIN POSITIVE
We tend to talk about our skin in a really negative way, especially when we’re younger. I find this heartbreaking. Ask yourself right now – do I really have bad skin?
I bet you don’t.
I try to educate people that skin is supposed to have texture. It’s not supposed to look like glass.
All those filters on social media have given us a fake ideal of what we’re supposed to have.
People think their skin is meant to be completely smooth.
Who do you know who has completely smooth skin? Nobody.
We all have pores, they’re a natural part of our body and not something we can or should get rid of.
Texture, too, is totally normal.
Every skin is individual and has bumps and blackheads.
If you have a magnifying mirror, throw it away. I would encourage you to stand a step back, take your gaze off whatever is bothering you and look at your face as a whole. Your eyes, your cheekbones.
What do you like about it?
TOO HARSH? GET RID
Any beauty product that is too harsh can damage your skin.
So have a little look at your shelf – is there anything that should be consigned to the bin for the sake of your skin?
These are abrasive on the skin, and don’t do a very good job of cleansing anyway.
Cheap gritty scrubs:
These can damage the skin too.
If you want to use a scrub, choose one containing powder exfoliators as these are much more gentle.
At home extractors:
Tools that claim to suck at your pores, along with anything that says “extraction” should be avoided. They will contribute to broken capillaries, and won’t get blackheads out anyway.
EVERYONE GETS SPOTS
I don’t get spots anymore because I’m menopausal, but – despite access to the world’s best skincare – I do get whiteheads.
I get them from testing a cream that is too rich, or eating too much sugar. So I’m here to tell you that if and when you get a spot, it’s fine.
Don’t panic – everyone gets them.
You can help to prevent them by keeping your skin clean, taking an omega oil supplement, using a skin-clearing product with salicylic, lactic or glycolic acid, and eating well, packing your diet with green leaves.
MASSAGE YOUR FACE
I love facial massage. There is a school of thought that says it can stretch skin, but it’s wrong. Massage is amazing for skin. It boosts circulation and can act like a workout for the whole face, helping to sculpt it.
What’s more, it occupies your hands and can be an act of mindfulness – some real ‘me’ time.
Don’t wear gloves or use a machine – your fingers are your best tool.
You can massage either as part of your cleanse or when you’ve already cleansed and are applying an oil or balm before bed.
Five minutes is more than enough for a good facial massage, so have a go while watching your favourite TV show.
- The free Skin Rocks app is available on Apple and Android now
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