Undress your skin: how to look good without makeup
Some of us are lucky enough to have perfectly clear, healthy skin, without even trying. But for the rest of us (who regularly wake up looking like a character from Night of the Living Dead) a little helping hand is needed to get our skin looking its best.
That needn’t mean spending hours applying makeup every morning. Makeup is great; but instead of fixing your skin issues, it simply covers them up. The secret to a glowing complexion before you even put your makeup on, is a strict skincare regime, with professional products that actually work.
Now, we don’t mean just rubbing your makeup off with a wipe and slapping a bit of moisturiser on before you go to bed. A skincare regime that will really make a difference to the quality, tone and texture of your skin takes a bit of time, effort and research – but it’s all worth it.
Here, we take you through the key principles of skincare, step-by-step, with suggestions from our top five selling products.
Step 1: Cleanse – properly!
First and foremost: invest in a cleanser that really cleanses, but doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils – and make sure you use it! Failing to remove your makeup properly at night is a real no-no: it can clog pores, leading to blemishes and blackheads, and can aggravate sensitive skin. Our best-selling cleansing product is the sk:n Facial Exfoliating Cleanser – all skin types 200ml. The creamy formula glides on to gently remove makeup, whilst glycolic acid and glycerine remove dead skin cells, clear out pores and moisturise. This nifty product combines two of your key skincare steps into one (cleanse and exfoliate) so there’s no excuses, even for the laziest of skin preppers.
Step 2: Get serious about serum
If you’re not much of a skincare buff, serums might be a bit of a mystery to you. The general rule with skincare products is to apply lighter-weight products, like serums and gels, first, and heavier products, like moisturisers, after. If you’re wondering if serums really do anything for your skin, you only need to have a quick look at the online beauty community to see the answer is a resounding YES. These potent little potions deliver skin-loving ingredients deep-down and get to work on the quality and underlying structure of the skin. Try Dermaquest’s Essential B5 Hydrating Serum 1oz, which uses liposome technology to quench skin cells, enhancing firmness and elasticity for skin with real bounce-back.
Step 3: Retinol, retinol, retinol
No skincare regime is complete without this vital active ingredient. Want to wake up with that fresh-faced glow every day? Then you’ll need to get tough on those problem areas with a retinol-based, targeted treatment product. We can’t get enough of SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3% 30ml. Apply a few drops every night before bedtime so it can really get to work on fine lines, uneven skin tone and dark spots. It will also promote natural collagen production for plumper, younger-looking skin, and it fights wrinkle-causing free radicals too. Trust us: you won’t know how you lived without it.
Step 4: Tailor your hydration
Finding the right moisturising product for your skin type is like the holy grail of skincare. Too greasy and you’ll break out; not hydrating enough and you’ll be left with those unsightly dry patches that make applying your makeup impossible. So, do some research; take a look at sk:n’s online shop, which (helpfully) separates its products by skin type so you can find the right fit for you. Also, don’t make the mistake of thinking you don’t need to moisturise if you have oily skin. It might sound counterproductive, but using a moisturiser can actually help balance out sebum production and help old blemishes to heal. We love the sk:n Hydrator for Oily/Blemish Prone Skin which is hydrating, but light.
Step 5: Protect
This one is for your morning routine, before you apply your makeup. The most effective way to prevent dark spots, wrinkles and redness caused by sun damage is to wear a premium, high SPF sunscreen. Yes, some sun creams can be really unpleasant to wear. But, if you treat your sun protection like you would any other part of your skincare regime – i.e. buy a product that’s right for your skin type, uses premium ingredients and is recommended by dermatologists – it will feel like any other skincare product: hydrating, nourishing and good for your skin. For an oil-free, lightweight product that still packs a punch when it comes to SPF protection, try Heliocare 360° Oil Free Gel SPF50 50ml.