Antonia Burrell's top skincare tips

A couple of years ago, we predicted that Antonia Burrell would become one of the new 'stars' in the facialist firmament - and lo, it came to pass. Her secret?  Antonia truly has the healing hands that deliver a non-invasive ‘facelift’.  She has 18 years of skincare experience, used to work as Business Manager at Aveda, lectured at the London College of Fashion for seven years teaching aromatherapy – and has spent years fine-tuning her facial technique (not to mention the last six working on her skincare).

A treatment with her is truly worth waiting for (and sometimes that's what it takes):  almost all hands-on, with deep massage and muscular movement that leaves you looking totally awake, radiant and – well, younger.  Jo insists:  'I leave Antonia's treatment room with my jaw sharper and lines ‘ironed out’.  For details of where to enjoy Antonia's treatments - and more about her skincare - see below.

So at a time of year when faces are often suffering from the 'blahs', we asked Antonia to share her to share her best-ever skincare secrets.  And they're just brilliant.

Keep your routine simple.  Don’t overload on products.  And when you do add a new product, do it gradually so your skin has time to adjust.  Each skincare or make-up product has an average of 20 to 40 ingredients:  you're introducing 20 to 40 potential allergens to your face every time you try something new, so monitor your skin for changes.

Never go to bed without cleaning your skin.  Remember your skin is an organ and absorbs whatever you put on it.  Sometimes, if we don’t clean our skin, the pores get clogged and leads to acne, blackheads and breakouts.

In fact, cleansing is the most important part of your skincare routine - so do it twice.  The first cleanse is to remove your make-up, dirt, dust and debris from the skin. The second cleanse is what really deep cleans your skin.  Only use natural, organic cleansers where possible.  I recommend my 100% Natural Glow Cleansing Oil, rich in brightening lemon, skin perfecting castor seed and pore refining cypress and tea tree extract.  I like it because it emulsifiers with water and leaves the skin super clean, soft, fresh and glowing!  Antonia Burrell 100% Natural Glow Cleansing Oil/£59.50 for 200 ml  - buy here (Jo LOVES this!)

Don’t wash your face until you’ve washed your hands.  If you use a washcloth, make sure it’s a fresh one every time so there’s no bacterial build-up.

Keep your skin moist and hydrated  at all times.  (After cleansing I like to follow with my Forest Dew Skin Tonic, and Cream Supreme, which is a gorgeous anti-ageing, hydrating and problem solving moisturiser:  light, yet comfortably moisturising and 100% natural.)  Personally, I find moisturisers work best when applied while the skin is still damp.  Forest Dew Skin Tonic/£55.40 for 200 ml and Cream Supreme/£58 for 50 ml - buy here

Skin shouldn't feel sticky after you have applied your moisturiser.  If it does, you are using too much or it could be too rich for you;  if you already feel you're using the least amount possible. Either use less or change your moisturiser.

Don't confuse dryness and flaking with wrinkles.  Simply moisturising skin will make wrinkles look better.  The lines are still there, but you won't see them any more.

Knowing and understanding  your skin type is one of the most important skin care tips I can offer.  There are three:  oily, dry and balanced.  Descriptions such as 'sensitivity' and 'dehydration' are skin conditions not skin types.  Skin conditions change according to factors like your health, the weather and the choice of your skincare products, which is why it's important to choose the correct products.  In my experience, all skins are slightly combination, with an oilier zone.

Skin does not know the difference between day and night so you do not necessarily have to buy a day cream and a night cream.  One product that suits your skin type will do quite well for both.

Get plenty of vitamin D.  Around 50% of the adult population in the UK have sub-optimal levels of vitamin D - and about 15 per cent have a ‘severe’ deficiency during winter and spring.  Exposure to the sun is essential for production of Vitamin D by the skin.  It is fine to have 20 minutes of unprotected exposure to the sun two to three times a week;  it has also been shown that oral Vitamin D might be beneficial to guard against melanoma, a potentially lethal form of skin cancer.  (And sunlight is good for bones, too.)

Drink lots of water.  We hear this next tip so often - but it's vital for your skin.  (And many women still don't get enough...)

Laughter, breathing, sleeping and other stress-reducing techniques will do wonders.  When people talk about getting your 'beauty rest' they really mean it!  Sleep balances your nervous system and allows for healing to occur that you will not get during waking hours.  So get your sleep - around seven to eight hours every night.

For information about Antonia Burrell Skincare, visit

Antonia offers her signature facials at Urban Bliss, 333 Portobello Road, London W10 5SA  from £85 for 60 minutes - and cleverly, you can book on-line here  (NB  Our favourite facial is the age-defying Natural Corrective Face Lift Facial/£120 for 90 minutes)