If beauty is only skin deep then that’s exactly the right place to start when it comes to looking and feeling good. Caring for our skin isn’t just a matter of vanity, but as our largest organ it needs special TLC to keep it happy. I think of my skin as one of my best friends; we look out for each other and if she’s pissed she won’t hesitate to show it – usually in the form of a breakout on my chin.
We all have different skin concerns and the magic cream that works wonders for your best friend might make you come out in hives. While it’s well worth discovering your individual skin type and the must-have products that work for your acne/dry skin/pigmentation, there are in fact some one size fits all skincare tricks that everyone should follow, no matter what their skin type. Start these skincare mandates now and you’ll be all set for a happier skincare future.
I spoke to cosmetic doctor Dr. Leah Totton, aesthetic doctor and winner of The Apprentice, to discover what one-size-fits-all skincare steps we should all be taking.
Pause and prevent
Prevention is all about planning and prep. If you want your skin to look healthier for longer, then you need to put in the time.
Dr. Leah says, “Prevention is nearly always better than cure. Many of the signs of ageing we see on our skin are due to extrinsic factors such as exposure to UVA rays, smoking, pollution, diet, lifestyle, stress. Making small changes to our lifestyle can make big changes to our skin.”
She also says that the effects are cumulative, so the sooner you start to make changes the better.
Invest to impress
While having radiant, plump and acne free skin is something that can often come down to great genes, (can we swap parents with you Cara Delevingne?) but all of us are capable of investing in a good skin care routine to make the most of what we’ve got.
Dr. Leah says, “I always recommend patients cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize daily. It’s important to keep your skin hydrated so it can function at its optimum skin health.”
So get your routine in place and stick to it – morning and night. We recommend the Gentle Cleaner and Daily Moisturizer from natural skincare line Peet Rivko all which are made with natural ingredients and suitable for even the most sensitive skin.
Exfoliating is actually one of the most important things for glowing skin – even if you have sensitive skin, there are gentle exfoliators out there, like Liz Earle’s Gentle Face Exfoliator that can clean out clogged pores.
Dr Leah says, “Oil, pollution and dead skin gets trapped inside your pores creating the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive or spots to proliferate.” Her top tip is not to over do it. “Go gentle on exfoliation and to look out for ingredients such as lactic acid and enzymes.”
Drinking more water to keep your skin and body hydrated from the inside out is something all of us can do. Up your intake of water to keep skin plumper and less dehydrated. Dr Leah says roughly two litres a day is ideal for optimal health benefits, “plus it can ensure clear skin and stop it drying out.” If you’re looking for the ultimate moisturizer to quench your skin’s thirst from the outside-in then Dr Leah says “Obagi Hydrate Luxe is extra-moisturizing and contains ingredients to keep your skin looking and feeling supple and firm.”
Protect to perfect
Protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun is a no-brainer. Dr Leah says everyone should cover up in the sun, and should protect their skin with SPF.
“I strongly advise patients to wear SPF products daily under make up. A minimum of SPF30 -50 should be worn. UV has the ability to penetrate the skin even on the cloudiest of days and begin to degrade your support structures.”
Look out for SPF’s that also contain Vitamin C and E for enhanced photo protection. Heliocare Gel Cream SPF50 is a must.
Feed your skin
The American Academy of Dermatology have suggested that consumption of high GI foods such as biscuits, sugary drinks, white rice, bread and pasta can trigger a cascade response that can lead to acne, ageing and inflammation. Dr Leah says that by swapping your favourite snack foods for antioxidant rich yellow and orange foods and those that are high in Vitamin A can help keep your skin healthy and hydrated.
“Also salmon and fresh water fish are high in omega 3 and essential fatty acids which your skin needs to keep it healthy.”
They may sound simple but integrating these into your day to day can take time but your skin will thank you for it. For more information about Dr Leah Clinics visit www.drleah.co.uk
Read more of MBS’s Spotlight column over here.