The ingredients list on the back of product bottles is so bloody confusing, unless you’re a scientist or a boffin, it’s unlikely you’ll know what it all means and what each one does to skin. Which is why, we decided to set the record straight and tell you exactly what some of the most common skincare ingredients actually mean. We teamed up with ZO Skin Health to demystify the confusing world of skincare ingredients.
You are most welcome.
Retinol is the big name on campus for effective anti-aging. It is a derivative of vitamin A and if you want to desperately reduce the sight of fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation, nothing will help you do that better than retinol creams and serums. ‘A widely used term within the skincare industry, Retinol based products can help improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles whilst also smoothing the surface area of the skin. You should apply a retinoid once a day, most preferably in the evening as skin will be sensitive to sunlight afterwards – use after cleansing and before applying your moisturiser.’
Because of the world we now live in, we, and our skin, are exposed to some pretty nasty outside aggressors and antioxidants are our defence system. They help combat the effects of free radicals (those nasty external stressers). ‘Antioxidants are an essential ingredient when it comes to anti-ageing and keeping your skin looking youthful and healthy. Antioxidants help target the elements responsible for signs of aging, but can also calm skin and help revitalize dull-looking skin.’
We’d say this is one of the less common skincare ingredients, but keep your eyes peeled, because you’re going to want it. ‘Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid, is a very effective ingredient that offers multiple benefits for aging skin such as improving the appearance of uneven skin tone, large pores, wrinkles and dullness. Niacinamide can be applied on the face of an AM and PM, just a couple of drops patted over the skin after cleansing and before moisturising.’
If you suffer for dull skin and all you really want is to look in the mirror and glow brightly, then this antioxidant should be your first port of call. ‘Vitamin C is most commonly taken orally; however, the ingredient also has varying benefits when applied directly to the skin. Vitamin C provides a range of benefits including evening out your skin tone, protecting your skin against pollution, improving hydration and keeping an overall youthful appearance.’
Oh golly acids for skin are so bloody confusing aren’t they?! There are so many different types and they’re always abbreviated (which we reckon is just to confuse matters more), but it’s worth taking note of what they do, because AHAs will transform your skin. ‘Alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs as they are more commonly known, are natural acids which come from acidic fruits such as lemons and oranges. These acids reduce the look of wrinkles and can prevent future wrinkles whilst also making skin much smoother.’ If you spot glycolic, malic or lactic on packaging – these are all AHAs.
We all know that collagen has something to do with the skin and it’s always mentioned when people talk about fighting the signs of aging, but what exactly is it? ‘Collagen is a naturally occurring protein found in your body. It’s an essential component, providing structural support for your organs, skin, tendons, muscles, cartilage and bones. The skin loses collagen over time, so it is an imperative ingredient to add into your skincare routine, it can be found in many day and night creams as well as face masks.’
The first confusing thing about this skincare ingredient is how to pronounce it. We like to say ho-hoba oil. ‘Jojoba oil has some very powerful antioxidants which help in regenerating the skin cells, leading to a more youthful and glowing complexion. Jojoba oil is not only good for the face, but can also be used over the body instead in replacement of your normal moisturiser.’ Use when skin is warm and slightly damp after a bath or shower.
Probably the one that you’ll see most on product packaging and with good reason. It is the super duper hydrating ingredient that plumps skin and gives it one hell of a moisture boost. ‘The Hyaluronic Acid solution is able to work deep into the skin’s layers to improve and benefit hydration and elasticity. Hyaluronic Acid is commonly used for its ability to combat the signs of ageing and eliminate skin imperfections.’
You probably recognize this most from Nivea adverts. They bang on about Q10 all the time. It’s a super powerful antioxidant. ‘Collagen is highly important because it keeps your skin firm, while elastin gives your skin flexibility, when collagen is lost, this causes the skin to wrinkle and sag. CoQ10 helps the skin by acting as a strong antioxidant. It helps to banish those free radicals that promote premature ageing. It can be ingested, via foods like whole grains and oily fish or though supplements.’
Another punchy, yet really useful skin acid. Salicylic acid is a B Beta Hydroxy Acid or a BHA. It removes dead skin cells from the skin, both on the surface of your skin and deep within your pores, providing a deep exfoliation targeting the more clogged areas of the skin. Skin problems such as zits, blackheads and oiliness are all caused by excess oil and dead skin cells, Salicylic acid works in ridding the cause, which means you’re less likely to suffer with blackheads and spots. Salicylic acid is best applied in the PM, using only a small amount as it is a very strong solution.’
Guys, print this off and take it beauty shopping with you.
From buffing away dry skin to reducing the appearance of cellulite, here’s why you should invest in a body brush, stat
If there’s one thing you should be doing for better looking skin, it’s body brushing.
The skincare trend has surged in popularity this year, probably owing to a recent BBC documentary (more on that later). So how does it work, exactly?
Keep scrolling to find out why body brushing is the key to improved overall skin texture.
Body brushing for cellulite
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having cellulite, a lot of us will admit that we’d be happy to see the back of it. So if you’ve frantically been Googling ‘how to get rid of cellulite‘ this whole time, allow us to step in.
The Truth About Looking Good, which first aired in January, conducted a small five-week experiment with the University of Sunderland comparing the effects of body brushing, toning exercises and a caffeine-based cellulite cream on the appearance of women’s cellulite.
Those in the body brushing group saw 26% improvement in appearance on average, more than 10% more than each of the other two methods, while one woman’s cellulite was 35% less visible.
Although it’s likely that the fat was redistributed rather than got rid of, the proof was very much in the pudding (or pictures).
What’s the best body brush?
This is kind of a trick question, as there’s little differentiation between them: generally speaking, a body brush is a body brush. That said, it’s thought that those with natural cactus bristles are slightly superior. Aromatherapy Associates, Elemis and Hydrea all make great ones. Consider them an investment in yourself.
As well as reducing the appearance of cellulite, using a body brush is a great way of keeping dry skin under control and will help to get rid of pesky ingrown hairs. Body brushing before you apply your best moisturiser will give those results an all-important boost, leaving you silky smooth.
Using a dry brush on the regular is also known to boost your circulation and aid lymphatic drainage, which helps the body expel toxins and avoid fluid retention, leading to healthier looking skin overall.
How to body brush
The key to nailing body brushing is to use a circular motion as you brush to help buff away dead skin cells, stimulate lymphatic drainage and encourage cellulite to budge.
Use the brush in clockwise circles all over the body and, if you’re looking to target cellulite, apply significant pressure but not so much that it’s painful.
Lip fillers are having a bit of a moment – but how much do you really know about them, and what should you expect from the results?
Lip fillers; they’re not everyone’s cup of tea but they are one of the most Googled beauty search terms in the UK. A safe bet that a lot of you are at the very least a little curious.
Yes, lip fillers have a bit of a bad rep, but that’s mostly down to a handful of celebrity plastic surgery incidents. In 2002, Men Behaving Badly star Lesley Ash suffered an incident that left her barely recognisable and a reluctant poster girl for lip fillers gone bad. Even now, more than 15 years on, her lips are still affected. But, to put this into perspective, Ash’s lips were injected with liquid silicone by the mother of a friend, a Venezuelan plastic surgeon. Thankfully, permanent silicone lip fillers are a thing of the past in the UK.
Everyone has their own opinion on aesthetic treatments. What’s OK, what’s not, what justifies a treatment, what doesn’t. Sadly people are quick to criticise and label women who do indulge in a little ‘work’. Worse still, this judgement is usually dished out by other women.
But, lets be clear, choosing to have a filler here-and-there doesn’t mean you can’t be a feminist, nor does it mean that you’re overly vain. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you’re suffering from any underlying emotional issues.
Got a few questions? We spoke to Dr Terry Loong, Lead Medical Director at W1 Knightsbridge, to get the low-down on lip fillers. Not convinved? Read our guide to the best lip plumpers instead.
What are lip fillers?
Today’s sophisticated fillers are made of Hyaluronic Acid (or HA), a substance that’s found naturally in the body. It’s a pretty useful beauty ingredient because it’s able to hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. This is the reason why you’ll find it up front and centre on the back of your skincare products. In a cream, it can only do so much because it can’t penetrate the outer layers of your skin to reach a depth where it can have an instant and noticeable impact. Some brands are using low molecular weight HA, to try and force it deeper into the skin, but even that can only do so much. That’s where the needle comes in.
Because HA is something that our body produces – albeit it in lesser quantities as we age – it’s happily accepted, and once injected into the skin it’s easily broken down over a period of months. It’s far from permanent; which in itself is reassuring. And it’s not only used in the lips; it can plump out wrinkles, restore volume to cheeks and eradicate those vertical lines at the side of your mouth. So if you’re thinking about facial fillers, here’s what you need to know.
The risks with HA over, say, silicone injections are incomparable. But, if something were to go wrong there’s an antidote. Your aesthetician will use another injection that effectively dissolves it and reverse the mistake. Handy.
Are lip fillers safe?
Lip fillers are an aesthetic treatment so there’s always a chance that something could go wrong. This is why it’s incredibly important to only allow a qualified, reputable professional to do it. Don’t ever be tempted to have your lip fillers at a spa or a beauty salon. A beautician hasn’t had the training that a cosmetic doctor has and they are most definitively not able to prescribe medication or treatment if something were to go wrong.
UK legislation for injectables is practically non-existent. In fact, it’s pretty embarrassing compared to the strict regulation that’s enforced throughout the most of Europe.
Research with your doctor and ask to see the before and after shots for their patients. Some doctors will even show a video of them performing the treatment on someone so you can see the results. Very reassuring. What’s more, if you’re unhappy with the results, your doctor is able to dissolve the HA instantly with another injection. Again, this is something a beautician can’t do. If you’re tempted by an offer at a salon, just don’t risk it.
Make sure you see the product you’re being injected with too. During your treatment the product should be taken from the box. Everything should be transparent. You should be able to see exactly what is going on and what is being used.
You might not believe it, but treatment is not painful. There are so many horror stories where people have had to stop proceedings before the treatment can even be completed because the process was too painful. But if the person administering the treatment is good, you won’t be in pain.
Of course, the discomfort level will mostly depend on your doctor’s technique. To put it into perspective; if your practitioner is good, it shouldn’t be any more uncomfortable than getting your eyebrows threaded. Seriously.
‘A local anaesthetic is provided, so speak to your physician before this to see where and how they are going to inject it,’ advises Dr Loong. ‘But don’t book your appointment a week before or the week of your period, as your pain sensitivity is heightened during this time.’
Where should I get lip fillers done?
If you know someone who has had their lips done ask them about their doctor. Would they recommend them? If that’s not an option get onto Google. Find reputable clinics in your area, read their testimonials, check out their before and after pictures. Copy and paste the doctor’s name into Google and see what other people think of their work. If your hair dresser or facialist offers you a little filler, politely decline.
‘Having an understanding of human anatomy is an absolute must, as physicians are able to identify any complications or issues that may arise during the appointment,’ says Dr Loong. ‘Particular products – like hyaluronidase, which can only be dispensed by a physician – can be used in these situations to dissolve the filler should an allergic reaction, ischaemic event or issue occur, but only a physician can legally have these products available.’
You can find a list of registered practitioners in your area on The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) website.
What happens during a consultation for lip fillers?
“Make sure you are offered a consultation prior to your appointment before allowing anyone to go near your lips,’ says Dr Loong. ‘The clinic itself should be extremely clean, preventing chances of infection. But also look at the practitioner’s lips and see if they look like something you would be happy with, as this is a great sign.’
In the spirit of investigative journalism I booked myself in to see Dr Kuldeep Minocha at Absolute Aesthetic’s in London. At 32 I have noticed my top lip thinning-out a little – nothing dramatic – but enough for me to notice, and enough to drive me crazy when I’m putting on my lipstick.
Dr Minocha is a qualified aesthetic doctor and his work leans on the side of subtle – which suited me just fine – an over-inflated pout is not my thing, and thankfully it isn’t his either. Dr Minocha was kind enough to allow us into his clinic with a camera so you can see the treatment for yourself. We went through a thorough consultation where I did my best to explain my issue with my top lip. While I chatted away, Dr Minocha was able to observe how the shape of my lips changed when I was animated.
He explained that the ‘ideal’ ratio for lips is one-third/two-thirds with the bottom lip being the fullest. He explained that he really wouldn’t do much to my lips – he thought they were OK anyway – but agreed that the top lip could benefit from a little filling out.
Is numbing cream used when you get lip fillers?
Dr Minocha talked to me about the product he would be using – in this case Emervel lips which has the right viscosity for lips and as the formula is super smooth it should give a nice, softly plump, finish. He donned his gloves, set up a sterile area, and coated my upper lip with a numbing cream.
After around 5-minutes my top lip was numb enough to get going. He used a cannula (which is like a fine hollow tube) and injected into the lip from just outside its edge – which would minimise bruising – and as he pulled the cannula out he slowly pushed the filler into my lips. I consider myself to have a pretty high pain threshold but I was anticipating this to hurt, a lot. The lips are very vascular and they bruise easily.
What do lip fillers feel like?
Surprisingly it didn’t hurt. There was a sharp pinch as the needle broke the skin and that’s it. The feel of the product pushing its way under my skin felt more weird than uncomfortable.
With the filler in place Dr Minocha firmly massaged my lip so that it was evenly distributed. This, he told me, would help prevent any lumps from forming, which was essential because I didn’t fall into the category of lip fillers gone wrong. One of the main reasons some women may experience bumps in their skin – or granulomas – is because the aesthetician has failed to properly massage it through the lip.
Having finished my top lip, Dr Minocha’s expert eye detected that my bottom lip needed a tiny amount to balance everything out. I decided to forego the numbing cream on the bottom lip (partly to compare it to the minimal pain with the numbing agent, and partly because I’m impatient and couldn’t be bothered to wait for the lip to go numb) and went straight for it. Even without the numbing cream it didn’t hurt. This no doubt has a lot to do with Dr Minocha’s method of injecting into the lip from outside its boarder rather than into the lip directly, but still, you would expect some kind of pain. But no, nothing – my eyes didn’t even water. Not that I was complaining.
Another massage on my bottom lip followed and I was done. My lips were very red, they were fuller – obviously – but I wouldn’t say they were very swollen. Even later that evening, when I expected them to expand in some kind of cartoon-like fashion, they behaved rather well. I was prepared with pain killers and ice packs but, thankfully, I didn’t need them.
How do they look and feel the next day?
‘You will see results straight away, followed by swelling, which is completely normal. This can last from anywhere between 12 and 48 hours, although it’s not unusual for this to continue for up to three days. During this time, an ice pack should be applied to the area to ease swelling.”
But by the next morning, any minor swelling that was there the day before was completely gone. I just had a slightly fuller, plumper mouth. Joy! Smooshing my lips together, everything felt completely normal, albeit for two tiny little lumps marking the areas where the cannula went in. After a couple of days even they were gone too.
On a personal note, I’m overjoyed with the treatment. It’s subtle and completely believable. I developed a tiny bruise that lasted four days and that was the only thing anyone noticed, if you have dark skin, chances are you won’t even bruise. My own family didn’t even guess what I had done – instead colleagues and friends told me I looked ‘refreshed’, ‘healthy’ and ‘glowy’ and a couple of people told me that they liked the way I had done my make-up, though I hadn’t changed it at all. It’s kind of amazing how one tiny ‘tweak’ had such an impact.
Lip fillers before and after
If you’re considering investing in lip fillers but you still had a few questions, we hope we’ve answered them here…
It’s one of the lesser-known skincare conditions, despite so many people having it
Despite its prevelance, a lot of people have never heard of skin pigmentation condition melasma.
Celebrities like Jenna Dewan and Drew Barrymore have opened up about struggling with the skin condition, so what exactly is it? We spoke to the experts to get the low down.
What is melasma, and what causes it?
It’s estimated that 90% of people who get melasma are women, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
‘Melasma is a common disorder of facial pigmentation, which can be recognised by the appearance of blotchy dark brown or grey patches on the face,’ explains consultant dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk.
‘They tend to occur on the forehead, cheeks, upper lip and nose and are usually symmetrical. In some cases, the skin may also be a little bit red at the onset.
‘It typically appears for the first time between the ages of 20 and 40 and is more likely to affect those with darker skin types or tanned skin. In most cases, it’s thought to be triggered by pregnancy, hormonal medication like the contraceptive pill and medical conditions that cause altered hormone levels.’
When it comes to pinpointing an exact cause however, things are a bit more complicated.
‘The exact process isn’t fully understood; however we know that the increase in facial pigmentation seen in melasma is due to excess production of melanin by melanocytes (the pigment-generating cells in our skin),’ says Justine.
‘Exposure to ultraviolet radiation in sunlight deepens the pigmentation by activating the melanocytes to produce more melanin.
‘It is important to remember that there are a number of skin disorders that affect facial pigmentation. Treatment for these other disorders will be different,’ the doctor adds.
‘A consultant dermatologist is the only doctor expert in the diagnosis and treatment of skin disease. Please make sure you are receiving advice from someone qualified to give it.’
Melasma in pregnancy
According to the British Association of Dermatologists, 50% of women may be affected during pregnancy.
‘Because of the association with hormones, especially during pregnancy, it is sometimes referred to as the “mask of pregnancy” or “pregnancy veil”,’ explains Justine.
Dr Dennis Gross, internationally-renowned dermatologist and dermatological surgeon, says that the best course of treatment is a combination of in-office treatments with an optimised skincare regimen.
‘We commonly treat brown spots or patches with chemical peels which exfoliate the outermost layer of skin, removing the dark spots, light therapy and lasers (the energy blasts away pigment),’ he says. ‘At home, I recommend the Alpha Beta peel pads, from £16, Space NK.
‘They have five alpha and beta-hydroxy acids, which improve skin’s texture, firmness, vibrancy and radiance in addition to reducing dark spots, and also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, pores, scars, acne, rosacea and hyperpigmentation.
‘You should also be using products with vitamin C, which prevents the production of melanin. At night, I recommend Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Overnight Serum, £85, Space NK. It boasts a trifecta of retinol, which promotes melanin’s disintegration, ferulic acid and niacinamide to get a more even complexion while diminishing the appearance of wrinkles.
Finally, the doctor orders are to never skip out on your best sun cream, a daily essential.
‘It is imperative to wear SPF – sun is the number one culprit when it comes to hyperpigmentation,’ he explains.
‘Your body produces melanin to protect you from the sun – an over production shows up as brown spots and hyperpigmentation.’
This summer your hair routine is about to get a whole lot easier. Dazzle in the heat with beachy waves and shine intensifying sprays and colour that won’t fade no matter how high temperatures soar.
Want to nail low-maintenance beauty waves? The key is freshly-washed hair and Moroccan Oil’s exciting new styling products for tousled hair and, thank goodness, not a pair of tongs in sight (who has time to tong hair?).
How to get super model hair this summer
The days of the ‘show-dry’ – aka the perfectly coiffed blow-dry – are over. Hairstyles now are more lived-in; in other words, soft, shiny and tousled. For summer 2018, interpret this as flat roots, haphazardly wavy mid-sections and ends that are left straight instead of neatly curled under.
‘The trick is to do a rough blow-dry, working with your natural texture, and using your fingers to loosen the spirals and create zig-zags,’ says Marc Francombe-Painter who styled the hair on this shoot.
Moroccanoil has, hands down, the best products for this type of easy breezy look. The Dry Texture Spray, £17.45, is salt-free, thereby avoiding the dehydrated crunchiness of some texturising sprays, while the Glimmer Shine, £19.95, adds sheen and protects against sun damage but still manages to be lightweight enough that it won’t kill the look on fine hair.
Photographer Jason Hetherington
How to perfect lived in beach hair
The golden rule for summer hair? Fresh, soft layers with tousle-inducing products.
‘Prep the hair first with a good clarifying shampoo and hair nourishing conditioner,’ says Francombe-Painter, who created these looks on our model Tess. ‘Then, apply our favourite Moroccanoil Beach Wave Mousse, £17.45 which leaves hair with a windswept, sun-kissed texture that enhances the natural waves in your hair.
Framcombe-Painter also suggests tweaking the ends with a matte cream like the Texture Clay, £16.35 to create the illusion of a day already spent on the beach.
Photographer: Jason Hetherington
Don’t forget your sun shield
As tempting as it is to bask in the sun, your hair needs as much protection as your skin.
Wear your hair in a ponytail, top-knot or bun to protect the scalp, however, tie loosely as this will put a lot of stress on the hair, particularly those who have afro-textured hair, fine strands or light-coloured locks, which can be more easily damaged.
If you go out between 10am and 4pm, make it a priority to wear a hat or headscarf and stay in the shade. Fortunately for us, hats were all over the summer runways.
After a day at the beach use Moroccanoil Mending Infusion,£26.85, a vitamin-fuelled, quinoa protein-packed formula that reduces visible signs of damaged hair — such as frayed ends, dryness and colour damage — while taming frizz and preventing further damage.
Photographer Jason Hetherington
Give your hair an aura of ocean
Thanks to the latest raft of summery, bright fragrances – all of which feature a strong sunscreen-like note – anyone can smell like they’re lying on the sandy shores of Mauritius.
With its exotic notes of tiaré flower, ylang-ylang and coconut, By Killian’s Love The Way You Feel EDP, £185 for 50ml, instantly conjures up memories of applying Hawaiian Tropic as a teenager. As the name implies, you will love how you feel wearing it – like you’ve stepped out of the ocean and are warming your skin in the sun.
Meanwhile, L’Artisan Parfumer Batucada EDT, £105 for 100ml, features a burst of fresh lime, cachaça and mint combined with a dab of sun cream and sea salt.
Spritz it through your hair and walk into a mist whenever you need to escape the daily grind.
There are moisturisers and then there is the best moisturiser for dry skin – because yes, they differ from regular lotions, especially when it comes to the best moisturisers for oily skin. Packed with things like hyaluronic acid (which can hold 1,000 times its weight in water) and fortifying hydrators, moisturisers for dry skin don’t just inject your skin with the hydration it needs.
These clever formulas also attract moisture from the environment and draw it deep into your dermis as well as defend your skin’s protective barrier against environmental aggressors such as pollution, which then works at locking in any moisture. ‘Choose a good quality light moisturiser that soaks in readily, rather than just sitting on the surface of the skin,’ advises Dr Ross Perry, cosmetic doctor and managing director of Cosmedics Skin Clinics.
But there’s more to keeping your skin hydrated than simply applying moisturiser. One of the common causes of dry patches is due to dead cells adhering to your skin, so invest in a good face cleanser containing ingredients like salicylic acid, then chemically or physically exfoliate to break down the bonds that hold those dead skin cells together. Then, when it comes to putting your moisturiser on, you know it’s going to sink in to your skin and be as effective as it can possibly be. Finish off with one of the best foundations for dry skin and your complexion will stay healthy and glowing throughout the day.
Scroll through for our round-up of the best moisturiser for dry skin and find one that suits your skin, budget and lifestyle…
Simple Kind To Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser, £4.29, Boots
Simple’s Kind To Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser wins hands down as our best budget dry skin product, not even breaking the £5 barrier. Simple does exactly what it promises, delivering a light, fragrance-free cream that gives intense moisture, without making skin greasy. Your skin will be smooth, soft and you can splash out on another beauty buy to boot, thanks to its cheap as chips price tag.
Not just for nappies, E45 has earned its place in every sensible person’s bathroom cupboard – and for good reason. Treating dryness, flakiness, eczema, itches, sunburn and psoriasis, it really does fix a myriad of skin woes.
Aveeno’s ultra-rich formula injects a shot of moisture to any rough, scaly patches your pins might be affected with. Eczema-sufferers should also reach for this one; the colloidal oats soothe any inflammation and help repair broken skin.
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, £19, John Lewis
This has won too many awards to keep count, really, and we have zero doubts as to why. Shea butter is heralded for its ability to nourish and cocoon dry skin, and the inclusion of it in this hero hand cream (along with honey, and almond and coconut oils) means that dry hands are a thing of the past. It really is one of the best hand creams, ever.
Elemis’ Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is backed by impressive scientific evidence which shows that after just two weeks of use, wrinkles can be reduced by up to 78%, thanks to its hero ingredient, the marine extract Padina Pavonica, which mimics the skin’s own function. We’re no scientists, but the light gel-like cream sinks in quickly, skin feels firmer and instantly more supple on application.
The combo of dry skin that also happens to be sensitive is a killer. This pared-down vial from cult-status brand Hylamide will not only fix dry, tired skin, but it’ll be sure to reduce redness and other indicators of sensitivity.
Consider these your go-to products for banishing an angry pimple
We don’t need to tell you that there’s never a good time for a giant, angry spot to pop up on your face. They always appear at the most inconvenient of times, like before an important work event or social occasion. This is exactly why you need the best spot treatments to hand in order to get rid. Fast.
We should stress that these zit-zappers differ from the best acne treatments. The best spot treatments are a different kettle of fish – these are specifically designed to be applied only to angry, red pimples that pop up randomly, rather than as an all-over treatment for skin that’s susceptible to bigger, prolonged breakouts. If this you, whether you’re suffering from teenage acne or adult acne, we feel your pain. Speaking to a dermatologist might ease your stress and in the meantime you should choose a foundation for acne-prone skin.
The best spot treatments – hormones
Have you ever wondered why get that one spot that always appears in the same place just before that time of the month? Hormonal changes can cause the skin’s sebaceous glands to over-produce oil, which can bind with dead skin cells and clog your pores, resulting in a spot or spots. Hence that monthly visitor on your chin, forehead or nose.
So, how do the best spot treatments work to erase an angry pimple, exactly? You’ll notice that the active ingredient in spot treatments is usually salicylic acid, which is a type of beta-hydroxy acid (BHA). This wonder ingredient is a particularly good spot-buster as its structure can penetrate deeper into your pores to loosen any oil or dead skin cell build-up. And what’s more, its anti-inflammatory properties can calm particularly angry spots to stop them hurting like hell.
While a lot of the best spot treatments can be stashed in your handbag for on-the-go application, some formulas work to form a protective, invisible barrier over the spot to treat it all day long. The best bit? Make-up can be applied over the top to disguise any angry blemishes.
Arm yourself with one of the best spot treatments by shopping our top picks below, and rest assured that any flare-ups won’t bother you for long.
The fastest way to treat your skin needs? Bag yourself a good serum
The best serums are potent and powerful (Don’t believe us, just look at eyelash growth serums – they achieve magnificent things.) With roots in Japanese beauty, the best face serum will deliver a more potent dose of skin benefiting ingredients than your day cream. In other words, you definitely need one in your routine. We promise you won’t regret it for the change to your skin is worth it.
With a much lighter consistency than face creams, they contain a higher concentration of active ingredients. The smaller molecular weight can penetrate the skin much deeper than a heavier cream. In fact, serums are the ones that do all the hard work. If you could only use one skincare product for the rest of your life, we’d say grab a serum.
They help combat a number of skin issues, everything from dehydration and wrinkles, to dullness and pigmentation. Once you’re done applying the best face serum, be sure to follow up with one of the best moisturisers for dry skin, or one of the best moisturisers for oily skin, depending on your skin type.
Finding the best face serum for you
There are so many serums out there it’s tricky knowing which one is right for you. You can either look for one that suits your skin type, for example if you have dry skin you ought to opt for one with high levels of hyaluronic acid, whilst if you suffer from breakouts vitamin C will do wonders. Alternately, your serum can help with any specific skin concerns you might have like dullness (vitamin C again) or pollution (in which case – you’ll need one with a dose of antioxidants.) In our opinion it’s good to have serum wardrobe that you can turn to in the morning once you’ve assessed the state of your skin.
We welcomed Korean beauty craze with open arms – why wouldn’t we? It’s given us essences, the best BB creams, and the slightly hilarious, and also slightly terrifying in equal measure: the best sheet masks.
But for the uninitiated, no doubt your first question is…
What are the best sheet masks made of?
Made from cloth or paper that’s saturated with skin-loving ingredients, the best sheet masks are created with the ideal formula for your skin’s needs. The mask is applied to the face, then left on the skin for around 10-15 minutes so it can absorb its fill of the good stuff. (There are handy cutouts for your nose, eyes and mouth so you don’t feel as though your suffocating!) The beauty of the material is that the carefully selected ingredients have nowhere to go but into the skin’s layers, as there’s no risk of evaporation.
The other big draw is you’ll find you won’t need to rinse your face afterwards, because it’s essential the best face serum a gal could ask for. Just work the excess product into your skin with the tips of your fingers. The whole routine really couldn’t be easier.
Lastly, there’s another oft-forgotten added benefit to the ol’ sheet mask: it’s a little more convenient to cart around when you go on holiday compared to packing an absolute arsenal of lotions and potions for the trip. They’re packaged so thinly that you can tuck one away in your bag, taking up virtually no room at all. Beauty bliss. After a day in the drying sun, you want to up your hydration levels, so keep an eye out for water-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid, known for being able to hold 1,000 times its own weight in H2O.
For the more adventurous beauty lover, there are slightly wackier sheet mask options, from the ever Instagrammable bubble masks to fruity slice masks.
Everyone – and every face – can benefit from using a sheet mask, but which is right for you? Keep scrolling to find the best sheet masks for your skin type and needs.