Beauty Clinic: Which product, in what order...?


Q. I am confused about how to use facial oil and moisturiser? Is it both, or one? If so which? Also, what is the form with anti-cellulite creams, smoothing and firming creams, and body moisturisers? Do you use them together or separately, and in what order? A. Layering, as it is known in the beauty industry, is indeed confusing. So lets look at your queries in order.

First of all, what you need face-wise. The golden rule is to keep in touch, literally, with the state of your skin. If it feels dry, even rough, to the touch and is looking dull, you probably need to think about using more than a moisturiser both am and pm.

The mantra is always lightest first when it comes to layering. So that could be a serum underneath your moisturiser and a facial oil after, to seal in the goodness below. In the summer, you might want to use a serum, moisturiser and SPF in the morning, with an oil after your night cream. (We also like mixing a couple of drops of facial oil into night cream, which makes life simple.)

A point to note with facial oils is that they are suitable for people with oily skins, who often avoid them. In fact, stripping the skin is the worst skin sin provoking the skin to produce more oil to compensate. Applying just a few drops of facial oil helps regulate the skin and persuade it to produce less oil, explains Shimon Kalichman from L’Occitane.

One beauty insider tip is to apply moisturiser quickly after cleansing or using a toner or facial spritz to help lock in moisture. To maximise moisturisation, do the whole process in a hot steamy bathroom just after you shower or bathe. (Orchids love being near a steamy sink and our skins are no different.)

However, do bear in mind that dry skin may also be a question of dehydration. Do you sip-sip-sip through the day, to the tune of about eight large glasses of still water? Do you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – that means five portions of fresh vegetables at meals (a rainbow of seven is tops) and fruit snacks (berries are excellent)? Do you consume enough oily fish, nuts and seeds, and actual oils – or take an Omega-3 supplement?

Now, body products. Good anti-cellulite creams (we had some stupendous Award Winners in the latest edition of The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible, by the way), which invariably need to be used twice daily, should be sufficiently moisturising to fly solo. Smoothing & firming creams (often another way of describing products designed to reduce lumps and bumps) the same. Body lotions are designed to soften skin, not target dimples, but the act of massaging them in may bring about some benefits. So the bottom line is that you would use one product not more.

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 15.24.17Shimon adds, ‘these days we like to treat the skin on our bodies with the same care as our faces, so L’Occitane has recently introduced a body serum – the Almond Velvet Serum – which you apply before the Almond Velvet Balm, to help tackle sun damage and hyperpigmentation as well as firming, toning and smoothing skin.’

Final thought: for cellulite, the one activity you might want to include – before bathing/showering and applying product – is dry skin body brushing. (You can find out more details by doing a Search for previous articles on the Beauty Bible website.) In the shower, we are fans of body scrubbing (exfoliation) either with a dedicated product or a glove such as our favourite Dermasuri, £19.95 from Victoria Health.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 10.31.12PS Don't forget you can find Beauty Bible Award Winners in the categories of products mentioned above in the latest edition of The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible and also – for lovers of natural skincare – in The Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible.