If there’s one kind of podcast I love to listen to, it’s a beauty one. With beauty as my day job, you’d think that by the time I leave the office I’m done with all things make-up, hair and skincare for the day.
But in a tie with a good book, beauty podcasts are my favourite thing to consume on my journey home. (They’re also great for the bath or a Sunday afternoon, FYI.)
With this in mind, I’ve rounded up a handful of the most popular beauty podcasts below for you to peruse and download. Between them, they’ve got pretty much everything you could possibly want to know about beauty covered. Happy listening!
A relative newcomer to the beauty pod game, beauty journalist and blogger Madeleine Spencer launched Beauty Full Lives earlier this year and boy, is it a good’un. Focusing on our emotional relationship with beauty and with our favourite products, Madeleine already has an amazing guest roster that includes Sam & Nic Chapman, Holly Willoughby and Millie Mackintosh, as well as upcoming guests Kylie Minogue, Zoella, Mary Greenwell and Caroline Hirons. Each guest discusses the most poignant beauty moments from their life, reminding us all that beauty is about so much more than what we put on our face or in our hair. Five stars.
Hosted by two US beauty directors, Jessica Matlin and Jennifer Goldstein, Fat Mascara discusses topical beauty news, trends, product recommendations, industry goss and more. Most episodes feature a lengthy beauty-related interview, with previous guests including the likes of Bobbi Brown, Charlotte Tilbury, Jo Malone CBE and Aerin Lauder, to name but a few.
Expect tips and anecdotes from world class make-up artists, hair stylists and beauty brand founders to fuel your obsession, as well as a LOT of lols. Plus, Jen and Jess put links to the people, places and products mentioned in each episode on the Fat Mascara website afterwards. There are now over 130 episodes for you to download and tune into, so now’s as good as time as any to get cracking.
The Emma Guns Show by Emma Gunavardhana is a one-on-one chat with brilliant famous faces from all walks of life, but predominantly with a link to the beauty industry. Beauty journalist and presenter Emma really does cover it all: One episode she’ll be sat down with Beck Dorey-Stein, author of From the Corner of the Oval Office, the next she’ll be with world-renowned dermatologist Dr Dennis Gross talking all things skin. Other top guests from the nearly 200-episode strong pod include Nadine Baggot, Ruth Crilly, Claudia Winkleman, Lily Pebbles and more. Get plugged in.
Hosted by Harriet Hadfield and Lindsay Kelk, Full Coverage is basically everything a beauty junkie can ask for in podcast form: Brand new launches, cult products, how-tos, empties and industry interviews galore. It’s a gold mine. Great guests include the founders of top brands like Elemis and Ciaté London, and equally famous beauty faces like Sali Hughes. There’s even a crossover episode with The Emma Guns Show above. What more could you ask for, really?
‘Behind every beauty product there’s a damn good story’ – instantly you’re drawn in, right? Breaking Beauty, hosted by former magazine editors Jill Dunn and Carlene Higgins chat to ‘icons and icons in the making’ about all things beauty. The premise is all about the best-selling beauty products and the stories that make them, so you’ll learn a lot of make-up and skincare anecdotes along the way. Top guests include the Bobbi Brown, Caroline Hirons, celeb hairstylist and Ouai founder Jen Atkin, Glossier founder Emily Weiss, and so many more…
Try out one of these to reduce dimpled skin and smooth your legs, bum, stomach, arms…
Let’s get one thing clear from the off – there is no magic cure for cellulite. None. Nada. Zip. Scientists are yet to invent a pill you can pop to banish dimpled skin (oh, how much easier our lives would be if they did), but all is not lost. Thereare various lotions, potions and the best cellulite creams that you can use to reduce its appearance, and quite significantly at that.
Depending on the desired outcome – to sculpt your legs, tone your bum or flatten your tum – there is a cream that can help get rid of cellulite. But don’t expect miracles right away; stick at it and combine your cream application with exercise, drinking enough water and eating a balanced diet and you’ll be able to notice a marked difference in a matter of weeks.
Caffeine is the most common ingredient in the best cellulite creams because, in short, it works. Not only does it immediately tighten the appearance of your skin, it can improve circulation and shrink fat cells. This is thanks to antioxidants that penetrate the top layers of skin to stimulate fat cells and help break them down so that they aren’t visible from pushing against our skin.
The result? Smoother looking skin on the surface. So whatever pesky area you’re looking to target, there’s a cellulite-smoothing treatment for that.
So what could be better than a cellulite gel that helps firm you up while you’re sat on them?
This is a great buy if you’re in a job that involves being sat at a desk for most of the day (office workers, we salute you in solidarity), because it works through compression of the skin. Plus, the roller ball applicator helps to massage your bum and backs of your thighs while you sit… well, tight. You’ll feel the burn while it works but it’s not unpleasant, rather a warming, tingling sensation instead.
Dry body brushing is known to help with dimpled skin, especially when used after exercise, as it stimulates problem areas and break sdown stubborn cellulite (in fact body brushing can be used to combat a wide range of skin problems, from eczema to acne).
The method behind the madness, if you will, is that it’s thought the combination of massage and exfoliation helps stimulate lymphatic drainage; low lymph flow causes connective tissue to push down on fat cells, resulting in that dimpled skin we all know and love (read: loathe).
While cellulite is perfectly natural, most of us will admit we want to see it gone for good
Although there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, most women want to know how to get rid of cellulite. It can be tricky to shift completely, but by following a few steps you can reduce it and at the very least minimise the appearance.
But first, it’s important to know what cellulite actually is and how it forms in the first place.
Remember, it’s a natural thing. It’s estimated that about 90% of women will experience cellulite at some stage in their life. It’s caused by hormones, diet and lifestyle. Cellulite formation is thought to be linked to oestrogen, insulin and prolactin hormones.
Fat, salt and carbohydrate-rich diet are also associated with cellulite and those who lead a non-active lifestyle are thought to be at higher risk.
Genetics also play a key part, as certain genes are required for cellulite formation. So the chances are, if your mum has had cellulite, at some point you will too. Cheers for that, mum.
Ways to reduce the appearance of cellulite:
Get rid of cellulite with a body brush
Body brushing has long been hailed as an effective method of minimising the look of cellulite.
A recent study that aired as part of BBC documentary The Truth About Looking Good found that, over a five week period, body brushing was significantly more effective than toning exercises and the best cellulite cream.
It’s thought that dry body brushing works because it stimulates circulation and that in turn kick starts your lympathic drainage system. Toxins, which can build up in your layers of fat, are then eliminated in your waste. This discourages the orange peel appearance so many of us know and love.
Use a body brush at least three times a week and then rub one of the best cellulite creams into your skin afterwards.
A sturdy brush made from natural cactus bristles, like Elemis’s, will not only help improve your circulation and reduce the appearance of cellulite but can also exfoliate your skin simultaneously. Win-win situation.
The most effective way to get rid of cellulite on your legs is to do more exercise. Try thigh raises, high kicks, sitting against the wall and pony kicks. These all use your leg muscles, which burns off cellulite. All of these can be done at home.
Never underestimate the power of a squat. Yes, they’re time consuming. Yes, they hurt. But yes, they do the job. Make sure you’re doing your squat right.
Try and do arm weights each morning too. They don’t have to be heavy – a 1kg weight will do the trick. Hold your arms out to your side and rotate backwards in small circles for 1 minute. Then, rotate your arms forwards for 1 minute.
Get rid of cellulite by drinking water
Drink lots of water. If you start drinking more than 2 litres of water daily, you’ll reduce your cellulite faster – because dehydration exacerbates existing cellulite. When you wake up, drink half a litre of water with lemon, then continue to drink throughout the day.
‘It’s a breakdown of the underlying girdle of collagen in the thighs,’ says Marcia. ‘This then allows over-sized fat cells to poke through more readily, creating a bulging, orange-peel look.’
Exercise and diet reduce the size of the fat cells and drinking lots of water will make the collagen stay supple.
Get rid of cellulite with your diet
You should also consider a few diet changes to help get rid of cellulite; watch your sodium intake (salt encourages your fat cells to swell, making them more pronounced) and eat plenty of detoxifying fibre-rich and whole-grain foods.
Consume foods that are high in nutrients: whole grains, beans, lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy products, fruits and vegetables.
Oh, and you should definitely quite smoking! Cutting down or quitting smoking will not only cut your risk of developing cellulite but boost your health overall, as will leading a more active lifestyle.
Goodbye face washes, because we’re all about the oil
While we’re sure that cream cleanser you’re using is very nice, it might be worth switching it out for a cleansing oil.
Why? Nothing removes make-up, surface impurities and dirt from your pores quite as well as an oily formula will. You’ll find you barely have to rub at your eyes to shift even waterproof mascara.
Using an oil cleanser on an already oily complexion might seem counter-intuitive, but the best thing to remove oil is in fact, oil. It’s one of the biggest beauty myths that oil will make you break out if you have oily skin; this is simply not true, as in fact it’s probably the best cleanser for your skin type.
Binding easily to dirt and grime to remove it from your skin, cleansing oil goes on to dry skin, emulsifies with a little water and washes off as a milk, leaving your skin feeling clean and soft, not stripped.
Much like a cleansing balm, it can be used as the first step in your double cleanse.
Read on as we break down the best that money can buy…
If you have oily, acne prone skin and still can’t get your head around using an oil cleanser then opt for one that is specific to your needs. This Votary one heals and comforts skin that’s in need of a bit of TLC.
One of the most popular Japanese beauty products in the world, this olive-oil based cleansing oil is super thick and nourishing for a really thorough cleansing treatment. It leaves your face feeling soft and never greasy, and has a gentle and natural scent.
It’s bang on in terms of thickness (not too thick and gloopy, not so thin it seeps between your fingers), smells delicious and, most importantly, doesn’t leave your eyes super blurry when removing eye make-up.
The body shop offer some of the best cleansers on the high street, with the Camomile Cleansing oil a firm favourite in the offices. Efficient and bang for your buck, this one takes off all of your make-up gently with the comforting smell of chamomile to help you wind down at the end of a long day. The Sumptuous Cleansing Butter from the same range is also excellent.
This one is a luxurious treat, but the price tag is worth it. It massages into the skin nicely to remove all make-up, and like many of Tata’s all-natural products, it smells a little like Chocolate Orange (but way better for your skin).
Shiseido’s cleansing oil is so fluid that it’s almost water-like, but don’t let that fool you; its cleaning power is exceptional. As well as being an great cleanser, it has a really comforting smell, like fresh laundry in an airing cupboard.
There have been some pretty boujee beauty trends over the years, but we think this one may just take the biscuit: washing your face with sparkling water.
A trend which has been bubbling under the surface for months (geddit?) on YouTube, the ‘technique’ hails from where most genius-yet-slightly-insane trends hail from: Korea and Japan.
While in our opinion tap water is perfectly sufficient, K and J beauty have declared that carbonated is the way to go. But why?!
Well, apparently rinsing with sparkling water is better for skin as it offers a more effective cleanse which results in firmer skin and tighter pores. Sure…
A dermatologist speaking to The Cut also revealed that carbonated water dilutes blood vessels which increases circulation and blood flow – both of which are great for your skin.
The main problem with this trend? Practicality. We don’t fancy stocking up on spenny bottles of sparkling water, much less wasting so much plastic. There are devices which fizz up your water for you, but TBH they don’t come cheap. You can also buy ‘carbonated face bath’ products, such as the one Australian YouTuber Tina Yong tried in her video. They claim to deliver oxygen to the skin to boost circulation for an extra glow. We can’t seem to see anywhere in the UK that sells these however, and they require you to use an, er, snorkel.
So, in short, washing your face with sparkling water seems to have its benefits, but it’s not exactly the easiest technique to try…
Because nobody wants to waste money on a jar of empty promises…
In an ideal world, none of us would worry about the visible signs of ageing and would simply be content with the (clichéd) notion of ‘growing old gracefully’. But, sadly, we don’t live in an ideal world and when the time comes, most of us will reach for anti-ageing beauty products faster than you can say, well, anti-ageing beauty products. The trouble is the market is flooded with products that claim to do so much.
When parting with your hard-earned cash for said beauty buys, you want formulas that live up to all the things they promises on the bottle – that means smoother skin texture, softened wrinkles and an overall more radiant complexion. Doesn’t seem like that much to ask, does it?
You’d be forgiven for feeling bombarded by all the lotions and potions out there that promise to turn back the hands of time; at first glance, the anti-ageing beauty products market does seem a bit overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you and scoured the beauty market to bring you the trusted products that won’t let you down. So sit tight as we walk you through the Marie Claire-approved anti-ageing beauty products – trust us when we say you won’t regret buying any of them.
Proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles in just 14 days, Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is without doubt one of the most famous face creams in the country (and the world), and it’s certainly a strong contender for ELEMIS’ best ever product. The key ingredient here is Mediterranean algae which, when combined with Mimosa Absolutes and precious rose, works to smooth and refine the skin. The brand recently added ever-important SPF 30, so you no longer have to apply a separate SPF product along with your very best moisturiser. Marine Cream has rightfully achieved cult status and won’t be relegated any time soon.
The skin around your eyes is super delicate and as you age, it becomes thinner which is why your dark circles are more obvious and the skin can tend to sag slightly. This really gentle eye cream has 100% natural active ingredients that firm up the area, which visibly reduces the appearance of fine lines and also brightens the area. It truly is one of the best eye cream formulas out there.
This little bottle was breaking the internet long before the term became synonymous with the Kardashians. In 2007, a BBC documentary testing the wrinkle-busting power of various anti-ageing products aired in the UK. The one that came out on top? No7’s Protect & Perfect Beautiful Serum, then priced at a modest £17. By the next day, it had sold out – according to the BBC, Boots sold five months’ worth of stock in just one day. The product has since been upgraded to an ‘Intense Advanced’ version and the price has crept up a little in the last 10 years; but you can still get your hands on it for less than £30 and trust that it’s still just as effective (if not more so) as the day that famous doc aired. Wrinkles will be smoothed out and less visible – science says so.
Dr Lancer is a trailblazer in the world of dermatology and has been known, for years now, for his ability to change the actual quality of people’s skin. This smooth water-free cream formula boosts radiance and collagen production, as well as the signs of UV damage and wrinkles. It has 10% vitamin C which, not only produces collagen but, is a antioxidant and retinol which can change the skin’s tone and smoothness by improving the elasticity and texture. It’s best to use on a cleansed face morning and evening, and you’ll really see the difference over the weeks that follow.
You know how they say a glass of red wine is actually good for your health?! Well there’s clearly something in that, because resveratrol is essentially wine for your face. Hooray! OK, not exactly. It’s actually found in the skin of grapes. The reason that it’s used in anti-ageing beauty products is that it helps improve skin elasticity, firmness and radiance by boosting the skin’s internal antioxidant defense. This Caudalie cream also has grape seed oil for nourishment and shea butter extract, bitter orange flower water and vitamin E for diffusing the appearance of wrinkles.
Technically a night serum rather than the best night cream, but we had to give this one a mention. Touted by beauty editors and bloggers all over the land as a must-have for your PM skincare routine, Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair is world-famous due to its unique ChronoluxCB complex that transforms your skin while you sleep. Apply at night and you’ll wake up with smoother skin, with wrinkles significantly softened and a super-soft – which is why you’ll find it in the bathroom cupboard of 99.9% of skincare enthusiasts.
Cosmetic surgeon Dr Marko Lens is famous for his ‘red carpet facials’ given to a whole host of A-list clients, and so formulated his skincare range based around the notion of a flawless, celebrity-worthy complexion. The Transformer Mask is a supercharged formula packed with 16 amino acids, polysaccharides and proteins for the ultimate restoring and repairing treatment. Skin feels firmer with more elasticity and, after continued use, its radiance levels will skyrocket. Consider this mask the closest thing to getting a face lift without, you know, actually getting a face lift.
The first thing you need to know is that this stuff is so good that you’ll find it on board the Orient Express. We could leave it there, but if that alone doesn’t sell it to you then know that this brightens and smooths out the skin of your hands, as well as working to even out complexion (so long, age spots). Described as a ‘multivitamin cocktail’, it contains essential oils of bergamot, lemon and lavender, as well as extracts of jojoba and aloe vera, to restore and soften the skin, and forms a protective barrier to prevent further skin damage. It’s pretty much a time machine in a tube and truly one of the best hand creams out there – rough hands, be gone.
If you’re looking to combat the signs of ageing then it’s definitely worth adding one or two skin supplements into your daily routine; Murad’s new Hydro-Glow supplements work by ‘hydrating your skin from within’. Now for the sciencey bit: The key ingredient here is Glucosamine, which works to up water levels and create a bank of hydration in skin cells, while also boosting collagen and hyaluronic acid levels – in short, creating very hydrated and healthy skin. With a 30-day supply in the box, you’ll be glowing in just a few short weeks.
This clever little cleanser works to enhance the effects of your other anti-ageing beauty products by prepping the skin for treatment. Pretty great, no? It’ll dissolve make-up and grime that builds up throughout the day while also getting rid of any surface pollution to prevent environmental damage – and best of all, it won’t leave your skin with that uncomfortable, tight feeling.
Any fan of Kiehl’s loves their Midnight Recovery complex, without question, and the brand has since branched out to put its power into a serum for the eye area. The superhero ingredients here are lavender and evening primrose, as well as Butcher’s Broom to de-puff. Apply at night time for firmed-up eyes and softened crow’s feet come morning. You’ll look and feel fresh as a daisy.
Whether it’s a late night, commute getting to you or you simply just didn’t get anywhere near 8 hours of Zs, wrinkly under eye bags and dark circles can happen to us all – regardless of our age. The under-eye mask market is totally saturated, but one buy that stands out from the crowd are these Skyn Iceland firming gels. In the resealable pack comes eight pairs of the gels that, in just 15 minutes, take away dark purplish shadows, take the edge off wrinkles and lift the entire under eye area, which is particularly delicate. They’re truly nothing short of incredible, and great value for money.
This product caused quite the stir when it launched in early 2018. And when we say a stir, we mean one unit being sold every two seconds and a waiting list of 17,000+. The reason behind the hysteria was the outstanding clinic trial claims – it’s said to reduce wrinkles by five years. Some have even compared (and preferred) it to Botox. No7 are no strangers to being at the forefront of anti-ageing; their 2007 Protect and Perfect serum was another huge sellout for the brand. So what’s so special about this serum? Well, it has 7 x more Matrixyl 3000 Plus in it’s formula than any of No7’s others. Don’t worry, we know that sounds complex, but all you need to know is that it’s made up of super duper peptides that work really effectively at reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Retinol is an anti-ageing hero that’s exploded in popularity over the last year or so. The best retinol products can transform skin texture and tone, essential for someone keen to prevent and combat the visible signs of ageing. Olay has long been held as one of the most trustworthy names in anti-ageing skincare, so it’s no surprise that they’ve joined the retinol ranks. Their new Pro-Retinol Eye Treatment is also packed with niacinamde, a hydrating and regenerating ingredient, and pentapeptides, which protects the skin against free radicals and minimise the look of fine lines and deep wrinkles.
When you feel you’re about to get a cold, what does your mum always say? ‘Have some vitamin C.’ It’s a pretty punchy ingredient to ward off illness, but that’s not all it’s good at. It’s been said by industry experts that the combination of one of the best vitamin c serums and a high SPF during the day, paired with a retinol cream or serum at night is the only arsenal you need to fight the signs of aging.
Vitamin C is something of a mega ingredient – it encourages collagen production, helps brighten dark spots and pigmentation from sun damage and protects the skin from free radicals. Not only that, but it’s also great at reducing inflammation, softens rough skin texture and gives you one hell of a natural glow (meaning you can forgo even the best highlighter).
As it’s such an active ingredient, it can take your skin a little bit of time to get used to it. Don’t worry, introduce it slowly by applying it every couple of days to start with and then gradually upping your use. This also means that using a high SPF during the day is also essential. Whilst in the past it was annoying to have to add another step into your routine, nowadays you can find some of the best SPF moisturisers that you can use in lieu of your normal day cream.
You can see why one of the best vitamin c serums should be an essential in your skincare regimen. Nailing your skincare routine ensures that your make-up has the best possible canvas to start on. It doesn’t matter if you have the best foundation for your skin type and the best blusher shade for your complexion, if you’re not putting the right skincare ingredients on your skin, then you’ve fallen at the first hurdle.
Keep scrolling to find our edit of the best vitamin C serum the beauty industry has to offer…
Sometimes it seems near impossible to combat skin issues. You can slather on your best moisturiser to tackle dry skin and use mattifying lotions to absorb excess oil, but unless you’re starting your skin care routine right, all of this is null and void. Enter the best toner, which will not only help rebalance your skin, but will leave it glowing.
What is a facial toner?
The purpose of a toner in any regular skincare routine is to cleanse skin and refine pores, giving your complexion a more even tone, as they’re packed with extra skincare benefits, like hydrating and soothing ingredients.
Firstly, a toner will help shrink the appearance of pores. Wiping your face with toner removes oil build up, which gives the appearance of smaller pores.
Secondly, it balances out your skin’s pH. Due to the alkaline nature of soap and most of the best face washes, the pH balance of our skin gets disturbed. This makes your skin work in overtime to try and balance it again, which can result in excess oil. Using a toner stops this in its tracks.
Thirdly, it can be a great moisturiser – even if you’ve got an arsenal of the best moisturisers already. Toners these days have humectant properties, which means they help bind moisture to the skin.
The key to finding the right product for you is to identify your skin type and your main skin needs. Oily and spot-prone skin will benefit from exfoliating, balancing toners, while dry or combination skin types will need hydrating, moisturising properties. And if you have sensitive skin, look out for added ingredients like aloe vera, which soothe skin and reduce inflammation. If you’re unsure, check out our guide on how to find the perfect toner for your skin type.
If you’re worried about a toner drying out your skin, make sure you choose a formula that is alcohol-free. Likewise, excessively oily skin types may benefit from the drying effects of a natural alcohol ingredient.
Scroll through to find the best toner for your skin type.
Oily skin and enlarged pores are massive pains in the arse. But if you use a clarifying toner, you can keep them in check. This clears away excess dirt and dead skin cells for a deep clean, and helps maintain clearer skin.
With glycolic and salicylic acid working together, this medicated formula gets right down into the pores to break apart dirt, bacteria and dead skin, treating acne and preventing it from appearing again.
When you’ve got dry skin, you need to ensure that all products don’t strip the skin of it’s natural moisture. This alcohol-free, softening and hydrating toner will work well at boosting hydration levels.
As probably one of the most beloved toners on the market, Pixi’s Glow Tonic does exactly what it says on the bottle. With 5% glycolic to exfoliate, ginseng to revitalise, and aloe to soothe and revitalise, it really does unveil glowing, brighter skin, tackling acne scars and dark marks in its wake. If you only choose one toner, you’d better make it this one…
Welcome back to our Marie Claire Masters series, a regular beauty franchise that celebrates and utilizes the expertise of women who are bossing it in their fields. Each month these Masters will educate, demonstrate and impart some of their industry wisdom to you the dedicated Marie Claire reader. From current trends and hot topics to how tos and how not tos, these beauty whizz kids are at our beckon call. So get reading, you never know what you tips you might pick up. KT – Digital Beauty Editor
Hello, I’m Paula Begoun, founder of the skincare line Paula’s Choice, and I’m back with my next column as the Marie Claire Skincare Master. In my columns I will de-bunk skin myths, let you in on skincare secrets and tell you exactly which ingredients the skincare industry is currently obsessed with and why.
In the world of skincare, ingredients that have “acid” in the name shouldn’t be considered scary. Decades of research has shown that regular use of acidic ingredients like glycolic, lactic or salicylic acid make a remarkable difference for common skincare concerns like acne, wrinkles, dryness, oiliness, and clogged pores.
There are many special, skin-compatible acids used in skincare products, but these are the ones with the most established research. Once you understand what they can do and begin using them, you will notice a change for the better in your skin, possibly overnight.
Glycolic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). Among the AHAs, it’s considered the gold standard because it has the most research and the best track record of impressive results for all ages and skin types.
What makes glycolic acid so special is its size and ability to penetrate the uppermost layers of built-up skin to reveal the fresh new skin hiding beneath. It also has a natural ability to hydrate skin, “teaching” it to become better at retaining its own moisture.
Glycolic acid, at concentrations of 5% and above, helps enhance skin’s firmness and resilience while reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Generally, a leave-on exfoliant with glycolic acid is best for normal to dry, sun-damaged skin. It can be a trickier choice for those with extra-sensitive skin.
Lactic acid does everything glycolic acid does, but just a bit slower because it’s a larger molecule. Lactic acid in concentrations of 2% and above can hydrate skin; it begins working as an exfoliant at a 5% concentration, with amounts between 5% and 10% considered ideal for skincare products meant to exfoliate.
Just as with glycolic acid, lactic acid is best for normal to dry, sun-damaged skin. Those with extra-sensitive skin may find lactic acid stings upon application, but many formulas contain soothing ingredients to counter this.
Salicylic acid, also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA, works on the uppermost layers of skin’s surface and inside the pore lining, making it ideal for those with normal to oily, clog-prone or milia-prone skin of any age.
Salicylic acid also has natural anti-inflammatory properties due to its relationship to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). This makes BHA preferred for sensitive, redness-prone skin, including rosacea.
Salicylic acid is also mildly antibacterial, another reason it’s perfect for acne-prone skin, both teenage and adult acne.
A 2% concentration of salicylic acid is considered ideal for routine exfoliation.
This is a unique type of acid that can work wonders on all skin types in concentration of 10% or more. Researchers aren’t quite sure how azelaic acid works; they suspect it has radar-like ability to target various pathways in skin that correct brown patches, post-blemish marks, dull skin tone, and redness. Misbehaving elements in skin “hear” the message azelaic acid sends and respond favorably, so skin looks remarkably better.
Although azelaic acid can exfoliate skin when properly formulated, it doesn’t exfoliate the same way or with the same level of effectiveness as glycolic, lactic or salicylic acids.
On the other hand, azelaic acid offers benefits these ingredients lack, like improving a markedly uneven skin tone and brown spots. I recommend using both if you’re struggling with breakouts and discolorations.
Because non-greasy, non pore-clogging moisturisers DO exist and we have the proof
The best moisturiser for oily skin may seem counter-intuitive, but believe it or not, oily skin can still get dehydrated. You’ll need a different set of ingredients to someone with dry or flaky skin.
Although your skin is overdoing it on the oil front, it still needs some hydration to maintain skin barrier health. ‘Many anti-acne products dry out skin, so it is important to rehydrate it to prevent overproduction of sebum to combat the dryness,’ consultant dermatologist Dr Sharon Wong says.
Be sure to also tailor your skincare routine to your skin type: take your pick from our best cleansers and fighting shine will become a whole lot simpler. Then for make-up, add one of our best foundations for oily skin to your beauty routine.
So what should you look for when buying products? ‘Avoid heavy moisturisers and opt for oil-free creams or serums instead,’ says Dr Wong. With this in mind, we’ve sourced different types of moisturiser for oily skin below.
Enlarged pores are unlikely to completely shrink down – their size is down to a combination of things like skin type and genetics – but there are some steps you can take to minimise them. Some moisturisers can help to encourage pores to shrink a little; Kiehl’s lightweight lotion is one such formula, containing Amazonian white clay, that reduces the appearance of pores without simply drying the life out of your skin. If your pores are very large it may be worth looking into microdermabrasion if you’re keen to reduce their noticeability for the long-term.
It can be a real struggle to find a moisturiser with a good SPF that’s simultaneously not too greasy or heavy – which SPF notoriously can be. Fortunately, there are a few carefully formulated moisturisers that both benefit oily skin and protect it from sun damage. Dermalogica is known to cater for the needs of oily-skinned people, and their mattifying SPF 30 lotion works to mop up excess oil, while also shielding against sun damage. No more oily sun cream problems.
Trust us when we say the price tag is totally worth it here. 100% natural and made with 40 high-performance ingredients, the lightweight formula works to clarify the surface layers of your skin, which is why it’s so great for oily complexions. If you are looking for something on the more affordable side though, keep your eye out for Simple’s offering in our gallery below.