Skintelligence: 9 Ways to Get Radiant and Healthy Skin
Keep your skin feeling nourished and looking fresh with these top skincare tips.
Get your nutrients
Vitamin C is a great vitamin for skin health and helps with producing collagen. Good sources are blueberries, broccoli and oranges. Vitamin E also plays a key role in skin protection – top up with avocadoes, hazelnuts, and almonds. Zinc helps keep skin supple. Get your zinc from fish, lean red meat, shellfish and seeds. Consider your probiotics, which support gut health: when the gut is imbalanced, it can be reflected in skin health. Margot Robbie was advised, among other things, to have kefir and sauerkraut as part of her regimen for flawless skin for the Barbie movie. And keep hydrated – the jury is out on whether upping water intake really has direct skincare benefits but drinking the regular amount is good for your overall health.
Collagen declines as we age, causing wrinkles and sagging. Try a supplement, which you can get in tablet, powder or liquid form, which can also provide other benefits for hair, nails and helping with joint pain. Keep stress under control as high levels of cortisol could damage collagen production. As for the rest of the advice – it’s the same as general health anyway – sleep well, don’t smoke, avoid too much alcohol. Exercise may also have benefits for slowing down skin ageing. Boost you collagen with a salon treatment such as microneedling or laser resurfacing. Read our review of microneedling at Dermalogica in Elys Wimbledon – our reviewer loved the results. Infra red treatment or red light treatment is also very effective for collagen stimulation.
Hyaluronic acid is one of the best known skincare superheroes to give you plump hydrated skin – a molecule can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water so it acts like a sponge, pulling in moisture to the skin – apply to damp skin and lock in with a moisturiser. Or try it as a face mask – we tested Croma’s Skincare Masks, with hyaluronic acid – the Firming Laugh Line Mask had a lovely texture and plumped up skin. Another powerhouse to look out for is niacinamide, Vitamin B3, which has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It can also work to strengthen the skin barrier to keep moisture in. We also love the soothing Ilapothecary Vitamin Rich A C D E Face Oil (at Elys Wimbledon), which is a fave of Demi Moore and features a mix of vitamins, nutrient rich oils including arnica, calendula, borage and rose hip combined with plant stem cells.
A regular cleansing routine is key to good skin but it need not be arduous. Cecilia Ross, skincare expert and founder of Cecilia London, says it is particularly important in the evening. Cleaning off makeup, debris and dirt at the end of a day means your skin can breathe through the night and regulate oil production. “Always cleanse in the evening, this can be a double cleanse if you are wearing makeup or if for your second cleanse you’re using a different product to treat a specific concern such as acne. In the morning, you don’t have to cleanse, unless you have extremely oily skin. Don’t wait for bedtime to cleanse your skin, do it as soon as you get home. It will feel like much less of a chore.” If your cleanser leaves skin feeling tight or ‘squeaky’ clean then your cleanser is too harsh for your skin and is stripping it of all its natural oils and moisture. This can cause your skin to flood with natural oils creating excess shine or breakouts.
Keep germs away
Avoid touching your face as you can spread bacteria from your hands. Also remember to wash makeup applicators regularly. Shower after exercise to wash off sweat. You may also be introducing bacteria on to your face via your mobile phone screen so keep it clean. Also, use a spatula rather than your fingers for pots as every time you put your fingers in there you add more germs. And keep your towels and bedding clean too. If you really want to treat your skin – and hair – sleep on a silk pillowcase (choose machine-washable). Silk causes less friction, is thermo-regulating and anti-microbial. It will also ensure that you don’t wake up with a bad case of pillow wrinkles.
Ask the experts on exfoliation
Exfoliating will brighten your skin and help with cellular turnover but check with a skincare pro as to the best approach for your skin type. Mechanical (such as a scrub) may be too harsh. Look for gentler ones containing the likes of rice powder. If you’re looking at a chemical exfoliator, such as salicylic acid, get the right strength for your skin. A monthly facial will provide deeper exfoliation.
Protect your skin from the elements
Don’t forget your UVA/UVB protection year-round to protect your skin against UV rays and to offer extra protection against the wind and cold weather. Rays can also penetrate through glass so something to consider if you’re exposed to the glare of the sun when driving or in a plane.
Keep your products cool
There is no point in going to the expense of getting the best products for you skin, if you aren’t careful about where you store them. Kate Kerr, aesthetic facialist and director of Kate Kerr London explains that a bathroom, with its fluctuating temperatures, is not ideal. Retinol, Vitamin C and SPFs are all sensitive to light and heat. Store skincare in a cool dark place and any product that has gone lumpy and yellow is past its best. All products have a little pot sign with a number and the letter ‘M’ underneath. The number indicates the number of months a product is good for from the time of opening, less if the product is not kept well.
Many beauty gurus swear by a gua sha massage tool or a jade or quartz roller, great for reducing puffiness – keep your roller in the fridge for a really glow-inducing massage.