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Skincare routine – what should I really do?

In the old days we were advised to stick to a 3 step cleanse, tone, and moisturise routine. If you read skincare articles or visit the skincare section in any high-street shop, there’s a bewildering choice of products. Current trends include a ten-step Korean regime, the latest “wonder” ingredient, and products with labels requiring a chemistry degree to understand. Some claim to be miraculous, but I’ve known people suffer nasty skin reactions from overzealous use of clinical-grade treatments.

So, where should you really start?

Clean. It’s vital to clean away the dust and dead skin cells from your face even if you don’t wear makeup. This can be a quick refresh in the morning. I love my charcoal soap bar with exfoliating sponge, or a wash-off cleanser in the shower. At night I suggest a soothing balm cleanse with a cloth to remove accumulated dirt, grease, etc. For oily skin use a less rich formula. If you wear heavy makeup, cleanse twice until your cloths/pads come away clean. Washable cloths are much better for the environment than wipes.

Protect. In the morning you can use either a simple moisturiser with a sunscreen (I sell these directly, contact for info!) or a serum, which is an ‘antioxidant’ product protects and repairs, followed by moisturiser. Choose a sunscreen of SPF 30 (plus UV A and B filters) if not included in your moisturiser or foundation. Most skin ageing is caused by sun exposure. It’s that simple.

Evening cleanse again then you can choose a product to work on your skin overnight (oils to repair and soothe, retinol to help with acne, or rejuvenating peptides for example. As an aromatherapist I love rosehip seed oil with its lovely smell, colour and texture is a great pre-sleep ritual.

Rosehip Oil
I use rosehip oil both in my facial treatments and on myself. Available on Neal’s Yard.

Optional extras! I add in an eye cream at night (it’s on my bedside table), hand cream (ditto). You may wish to exfoliate and use a face mask weekly (relax in the bath with a cleansing clay mask, or a melting beauty balm). Professional facials monthly are a godsend. I have monthly Facial Revitalisation Acupuncture and offer it too.

Lastly for great skin forever, drink lots of water and herb teas, eat nutritious food, sleep well, and wear a sun hat in hot weather!