Every spring, readers ask how to solve skin problems before the start of summer revelries. So I asked leading facialist Sarah Chapman (www. sarahchapman.net) and clinical pharmacist Shabir Daya, who has a special interest in skin (www.victoriahealth.com), to suggest simple ways to get the glow back. Often, you will see a difference within days but skin cell turnover takes about four weeks so keep on with the TLC. In fact, make it a daily habit: look after your skin and it will reward you bountifully.
PROBLEM: Breakouts, oily or combination skin
SOLUTION: Focus on deep cleansing and decongesting
• Use gentle exfoliants or peeling pads to reveal a fresher, brighter complexion. Avoid products containing benzoyl peroxide or mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum), which will clog pores, dry skin, then send it into oily overdrive.
• Twice a week, steam your face over a bowl of very hot water with a towel over your head to warm sebum and draw out toxins.
• Massage breakout-prone areas daily, working out towards the lymph nodes and down the sides of the face – use fingertips or Sarah Chapman Facialist massager (see below).
• Apply a clay-based mask twice weekly to help draw out blockages and blackheads and absorb excess oil production.
• Avoid bacterial build-up in your bathroom: wipe surfaces and basin with a solution of tea tree oil; use a fresh face cloth and face towel daily.
• Keep skin well hydrated with humectants (water-attracting ingredients in moisturisers such as hyaluronic acid, algae extract, aloe vera, honey, lactic acid, glycerine).
• Dairy foods may influence breakouts so swap cow’s milk for almond, rice, coconut or oat milk for 30 days. Avoid spicy foods, which may trigger oil production.
• Sarah Chapman Facialift Massager/£25 at www.sarahchapman.net
• Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser/£8.99 at www.victoriahealth.com
• Origins Brighter By Nature High Potency Brightening Peel/£31 at www.johnlewis.com
• Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator/from £5.50 at www.lizearle.co.uk
• A’kin Kaolin Clay & Lemongrass Purifying Facial Masque/£12 at www.akinbeauty.co.uk
• Elemental Herbology Perfect Clarity Blemish Minimiser/£25 at www.elementalherbology.com
• Melvita Mattifying Balancing Fluid/£26 at www.uk.melvita.com
Green People Multi-Active Pencil Concealer/£14 at www.greenpeople.co.uk
Supplement - Viridian Clear Skin Complex with zinc, probiotics and herbs helps balance hormones and protect against inflammation and remove waste from the liver for a clearer complexion/ £22.20 for 60 capsules at www.victoriahealth.com
Naturopathic doctor Nigma Talib (www.healthydoc.com) advises magnesium to help dry skin retain water. It’s a multitasker, relaxing muscles and mind, too – and most of us are magnesium deficient. Try Dyno-Mins, £14.95 for 90 tablets, www.victoriahealth.com
To sparkle like a summer day, try Gwyneth Paltrow’s favourite Altrient Vitamin C gel (£22.95, www.victoriahealth.com), with Teapigs Organic Matcha Green Tea powder (£26.60, www.teapigs.co.uk) in a little apple juice.
PROBLEM: Dry, dull, droopy skin
SOLUTION; Correct dehydration with intensive moisturising agents
• Massage in an oil-based cleanser twice daily and/or use gentle peeling pads (see left).
• Use a nutrient-charged serum twice daily under your moisturiser and night product: the moisturiser forms a film to prevent water loss.
• Exfoliate twice weekly to removedulling surface dead cells.
• Boost skin glow with hydrating masks.
• At night, massage in a facial oil with fingertips or Facialift (see left).
• Breathe! Do yoga, walk, run, play tennis – dance around the garden!
• Eat omega-3 rich oily fish, eggs, nuts and seeds and dark green vegetables (also consider a supplement, below).
• Avoid alcohol in all forms – both the drink and alcohol based toners – and don’t wash/ shower in very hot water.
DRY COMPLEXION PERFECTORS
• AD Skin Synergy Essential Cleansing Balm/£26 at www.adskinsynergy.com
• Sarah Chapman Age-Repair Serum/£47 at www.sarahchapman.net
• L’Occitane Divine Cream/£72, www.uk.loccitane.com.
• ESPA Replenishing Face Treatment Oil/£53 at www.espaskincare.com
• Liz Earle Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask/from £5.50 at www.uk.lizearle.co.uk
• Darphin Youthful Radiance Camellia Mask anti -ageing treatment/£45 at www.johnlewis.com
Supplements - Hyaluronic Acid by NHS Labs/£35. HA holds hundreds of times its weight in water inside skin cells, helping to hydrate. Also try omega-3 essential fatty acids: pharmepae-epa 90 restore, £29.99. Both from www.victoriahealth.com.
It’s simple (and cheap) to make your own facial oils: find recipes in our new book The Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible, £14.95, www.victoriahealth.com