Do It Yourself
If you can afford the time and money to splash out on a regular facial at your local beauty salon then your skin should be in tip top condition. However, for the majority of us who cannot afford such pampering, the good news is that you can get healthy, glowing skin - that looks like it's been treated at an exclusive salon - at home with the right skincare regime.
Whether you are carrying out your daily, weekly or monthly skincare routine, you need to begin the ritual by ridding the skin of dirt and grime with a thorough cleansing session. If you have combination skin, then you are probably better off using a foaming cleanser that can be washed off with water. Try Kiehl's Gentle Foaming Face Wash (£17.50 from John Lewis), which gently softens and revives skin for a healthy and rosy complexion. If you suffer from spots and oily skin, use Benefit's You Clean Up Nice Facial Wash (£16.50 from Boots nationwide) as it will root out impurities without damaging or dehydrating the skin. For more information on cleansers see our article on 3 Step Skincare Regimes.
To rid the skin of dry, flaky skin and to brighten it up, you must exfoliate at least once a week. For regular sessions, massage in a gentle exfoliator with fine particles so as to not to cause any irritations. The massaging technique will also help to stimulate the facial muscles. Clinique's Exfoliating Scrub (£16.50 from Boots and selected department stores) will brighten dull skin by removing dead surface skin and can be used regularly.
Ideally your skin should feel soft and relaxed after its cleansing session. If it is tight or red-looking, you have probably used harsh products that are not suitable for your skin type or have been over-enthusiastic with the scrubbing.
You can apply a mask as part of your weekly routine in order to restore radiance if you wish, but weekly is not always necessary unless, of course, your skin is looking tired. Face masks are generally used just a couple of times a month to give skin an extra boost. Caudalie's Masque Purifiant (£18.00 from selected Boots) is great at ridding the skin of impurities, as is Sisley's Radiant Glow Express (£64.50 from John Lewis) with extracts of red clay is perfect for regular use since it cleans out the pores while re-hydrating your skin, to leave it looking radiant. After your mask has worked its magic, wipe it off with a warm cloth for better long-term results.
For a deeper exfoliation and brighter skin, use an at-home facial peel once a month after cleansing. With its clinically proven fruit acid ingredients including Blueberry, Goji Berry and Grape Seed Extract, Origins' Brighter By Nature Peel Pads (£28 from selected Boots and department stores nationwide) remove dead skin cells to reveal a softer and more youthful layer of skin. With continued use the appearance of uneven skin tone and discolouration is diminished. The pads allow for an easy and effective at-home peel.
To complete your skincare routine you will need to apply a moisturiser. Remember to massage it in gently so it can infiltrate deep below the epidermis layer, and also press gently around your sinus pressure points to help de-puff your skin. It is also vital to massage moisturiser into your neck in uplifting movements if you want to help firm its appearance.
Neal's Yard's Wild Rose Beauty Balm (£20.00 from www.nealsyardremedies.com and selected Boots nationwide) and L'Occitane's Ultra Rich Face Cream (£29.00 from John Lewis nationwide) are both excellent at hydrating the skin and will keep it looking fresh and conditioned for hours.
Finally, don't forget your eyes - dot an eye cream such as Yes To Carrots’ Eye Can C Clearly Now Eye Contour Cream (£12.99 from beautybay.com and selected Debenhams nationwide) around the eye area to de-puff your eyes and to help reduce dark circles. Moisturisers and eye creams should be used daily for best results.
By Carole Hughes