There are so many different skincare products on the market today. Whilst it may seem infinitely easier to pack in the whole lot and simply stick to what you know, you may be missing out on some gems that really will put the glow back into your skin.
Whatever your skin type, skin age or skin concern, there are five essential steps that no skin care regime should be without. With these base products sorted, you can start to augment your routine with ‘add-ons’ to suit your specific needs – whether that be wrinkles or blemishes, rosecea or dark circles.
Take a look at our break-down of skincare products below, and build up a regime that really works for you…..
A staple product for all skin types, cleansers are available in a range of formulations to suit your skin’s specific needs. For drier and more sensitive skins, creamy, milky cleansers like the Avene Gentle Milk Cleanser, £10.96, offers added hydration without the need to remove the formulation with water, which can often be harsh and drying. Oilier skins work best with oil-free gel formulations that offer a purifying, deep down cleanse to clear and tighten the pores, like the Vichy Normaderm Deep Cleansing Gel, £10.00.
Toners are water or alcohol-based substances that clear away excess cleanser and brighten the complexion. Toners are especially effective if you have oily skin, as they provide a deep-down clean into pores to tone and tighten them up. Your best bet is a more astringent toner such as the Clarins Toning Lotion for Combination/Oily Skin, £16.00. For dry and sensitive skin, a toner with little to no alcohol is always best as they are less likely to sap skin of its natural oils and nutrients. A great choice is the La Roche-Posay Physiological Soothing Toner, £11.00, a soap-free, and alcohol-free formulation.
Day moisturisers infuse skin with hydration following the slightly moisture-depleting cleansing and toning steps. A good moisturiser will ensure that skin stays comfortable, supple and smooth all day long. Its texture tends to be a little lighter for the daytime in order to keep moisture levels balanced, creating an ideal canvas for make-up application without being too oily or too dry.
- Oilier skin types tend to benefit more from mattifying formulations that continually regulate sebum production throughout the day so that skin stays fresh and clear. Vichy Normaderm Tri-Activ Hydrating Care, £9.20, provides healthy, radiant skin all day long.
- Dry and sensitive skin types benefit enormously from richer formulations that will keep skin hydrated all day long without flaking and itching. Try Trilogy Vital Moisturising Cream, £20.00 with added organic rosehip oil.
- Mature skin types would benefit from an anti-pollution formulation, which includes antioxidant ingredients that won’t allow free radicals to settle on the skin, preventing premature aging. Clarins Vital Light Day, £56.00, contains the latest plant and science-based innovation in anti-aging.
- All skin types need SPF protection in their moisturiser to protect them from UV rays. If you’ve already found your favourite and it doesn’t have adequate protection, try Clarins UV Plus Protective Day Screen SPF40, £28.00, over the top of your usual moisturiser to keep skin shielded all day long. Alternatively, plump for a foundation formula with an SPF – you’ll be very hard pressed to find better protection than the HissyFit Saving Face Foundation SPF50+, £18.80.
Why do you need two different moisturisers we hear you ask? Well, a day moisturiser fulfils specific skin needs during the day that just aren’t enough for the skin to renew itself at night. Far richer than its daytime counterpart, night cream intensively looks after the skin during its rejuvenation process at night, keeping it steadily hydrated right through to the next morning. A great all-rounder is the Caudalie Vinexpert Night Infusion Cream, £35.50, complete with Caudalie’s signature plant-based technology.
As all skins need deep down hydration, there tends to be less focus upon skin type for night moisturisers, though there is still a focus upon skin age. Mature skins tend to need a more restorative concentration of ingredients that help skin to recover from the wear and tear of the day, relaxing taut facial muscles and smoothing stubborn wrinkles. Brand new innovation Dior Capture Total Intensive Night Restorative Cream, £88.83, is a wonder in anti-aging skincare, and will really look after your skin.
Using an exfoliator once or twice a week will make a huge difference to the texture and smoothness of your skin, buffing away dead skin cells whilst giving a really deep down clean. Oily skins benefit from regular exfoliation to keep their sebum levels in check, and traditional formulations containing scrubbing particles such as ground shell or microbeads will provide beneficial abrasive action to polish skin. Vichy Normaderm Exfoliating Gel Scrub, £10.00, will keep pores unblocked and smooth out skin irregularities in no time.
Dry and sensitive skins should tend more carefully, using very gentle formulations that will enable them to remove dead skin cells whilst keeping skin supple and comfortable. One method of skin exfoliation doesn’t use any scrubbing agents at all, instead utilising fruit acids known as AHAs to refine and smooth skin. Drier skins benefit more greatly from this form of exfoliation as it doesn’t tug at the skin, and is instead smoothed over skin with a cotton pad akin to toner application. Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner, £23.00 is one of the best, gently renewing the skin to reveal a glowing complexion with minimal effort.