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We all want to look our best at all times and do everything in our power to achieve clear healthy, luminous skin. As adult acne, pigmentation and sun damage, premature ageing and skin cancer is at its highest levels, I get asked a lot about what can be done to prevent or rectify the current concerns. I like to strip it all back and start with the basic principles.

Cleansing 

Cleansing is the most important part of any skin care regime. Cleansing removes dirt, make up, pollution, dead skin cells, excess oil and helps to control the bacteria load on the surface of the skin. However choosing the correct cleanser for your skin type is equally important, and vital in preventing further irritation and breakouts.

Dry skin needs a cleanser that will cleanse and moistures at the same time. Whereas oily skin needs a well formulated cleanser that will reduce excess oil and pore clogging impurities. Foaming formulas are best suited to normal, combination and oily skins and hydrating emollients are best suited to dry skin types.

There are so many on the market that can confuse the consumer, I advise seeking professional advice from a skin expert such as a registered beauty therapist, aesthetic therapist or a dermatologist.

What about double cleansing? 

Double cleansing is a great addition to your skincare routine, although it is not for everybody as if you have a good cleanser, one cleanse is sufficient enough. However if you wear make-up double cleansing is more ideal, starting with a specific make up removing cleanser followed by a deep pore cleanser. This is to ensure all product is removed and your skin is clean, to get the most benefits from your products which follow. You are also preparing your skin for its regenerative process which happens at night as you sleep. Sleeping with make up or not cleansing properly will not only leave you with a dull and tired complexion the next day but can inhibit the regenerative process as well.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are vital in every stage of your life, and should be part of ones skincare regime. They protect the skin by limiting the production of free radicals, which can damage skin cells. Antioxidants have many skin care benefits such as, reducing the appearance of fine line and wrinkles, reducing the appearance of scare tissue, firms and rejuvenates, acts as an anti-inflammatory which promotes even skin tone and repairs and improves sun damage skin.

Antioxidants come in many forms of delivery, which can include serums, gels and retinol. Finding what suits your skin best is important for optimal results alongside combing it with other product in your routine.

Vitamins A, C and E are powerful antioxidants, eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains helps to ensure that the body is supplied with sufficient antioxidants.

Moisturise and SPF

Moisturising is so overlooked by many and yet a vital part in protecting the largest organ we have is

designed to hydrate and lubricate the outer layers of the skin and prevent moisture loss. There are many types available and they may include ingredients such as humectants that attract water from the atmosphere and occlusive that provide an oily barrier to prevent moisture loss.

Finding the correct product to moisturise with can be difficult, remember to go back to your concerns and your skin care goals. Make sure it in line with your cleanser and antioxidant, as this will enhance your desired results. Ideally your moisturiser should have an SPF, however if not then applying an SPF afterwards is also a suitable option.

Sun screens are important in a skin care regime as they play a number of roles to protect ones skin. A physical protector, protects the skin by using UV filters which reflect light back off the skin. A chemical protector neutralises radiation in the dermis which is the deeper layers of the skin. When choosing your protection look for UVA which will protect you from ageing and UVB which will protect you from burning. I believe sunscreen should be worn all year round, however it is a personal choice. This is because UVA filters through glass so even on a cloudy day you are still getting the UVA rays.

 By Christina Bethany Patchett 

Qualified Beauty and Aesthetic Therapist

Photo credit: Nkima De faria 

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