We ask the experts for their tricks of the trade to make doing your beauty bits easier.
How to… identify your skin type
Start by cleansing your face and gently patting it dry. Don’t apply any products and return to the mirror in an hour, advises Jennifer Rock founder and CEO of The Skin Nerd.
“This time will allow your skin’s natural oils to be present. Is there a slip to your T-zone (your nose and forehead) when you touch it? Do you notice you are shiny throughout the day? Are your pores large? If yes, you are oily. Is your T-zone rough? Does your skin feel tight? Does your make-up flake, clump and coagulate during the day? If yes, your skin is dry. Is it smooth to the touch and feels comfortable? If yes, you are normal-skinned – congratulations.”
How to… treat acne
“Treating acne comes down to the severity of the acne in question,” says Jennifer. “Those with minor lumps and bumps or with some larger pustules (red, inflamed whiteheads) can see fantastic results with topical skincare and supplements alone, especially when using ingredients like salicylic acid, an exfoliating acid that additionally works to dissolve debris within the pore to prevent spots from forming and worsening.”
One of the best ways to use salicylic acid is in a cleanser, such as the IMAGE Clear Cell Clarifying Gel Cleanser. However, more severe forms of acne, especially cystic acne or nodular acne, the hard, headless, sore kind, often require medication and an examination of what may be going on internally.
“We can’t delay natural, genetic ageing, unfortunately. What we can help to delay is accelerated ageing as caused by environment and lifestyle,” Jennifer explains. “Pollution, smoking, poor diet, alcohol, exposure to UV light and a whole host of other things can actually cause our skin to age faster by causing damage to our skin’s collagen and elastin, as well as affecting the likelihood of things like hyper-pigmentation, which we often refer to as sun spots or age spots.”
Washing your face properly
“The best cleanse is a double-cleanse, which isn’t just cleansing twice. What it entails is cleansing once with something designed to remove make-up and debris and following it up with a cleanser that will either treat the skin or nourish it. Some like to use natural oils, such as coconut oil, or a cleansing milk or balm. For your second cleansing step, use your active cleanser, such as one containing vitamin C, glycolic acid or lactic acid,” says Jennifer.
Start using retinol
“My pro tip for starting to use retinol is to not start with retinol. I am a huge fan of topical vitamin A for the skin but I am a firm believer in retinyl palmitate rather than retinol, especially as a starting point,” says Jennifer. “Start with a beginner-friendly dose of retinyl palmitate, such as in Environ’s Skin EssentiA Vita-Antioxidant AVST Moisturiser, and work your way up gradually. This way, you’ll experience as little skin irritation as possible. Do not neglect to apply a broad-spectrum SPF every day, which you should be doing anyway!”
Tan those patchy bits on the inside of your elbow
“For an even tan, it’s essential to exfoliate regularly in the shower and not just the day before you plan on applying tan,” says Pamela Laird, creator of Moxi Loves. “Dead skin cells build up over time and rough last minute scrubbing won’t remove it all and can cause redness and irritation.
“I like to use exfoliating gloves (which you can pick up in Penneys or pharmacies) with a hydrating shower cream everyday in the shower. I’m not a huge fan of moisturising before tan. Instead, if you do find you get patchy areas, it may be that you should try using a lotion rather than a mousse. Lotion or cream tans are much more hydrating and will nourish the skin.”
Prolong your tan
“Hydration is key for a long lasting tan so try to use a moisturising body lotion after your shower,” Pamela advises. “I love the Chocolate Whip by Cocoa Brown. Another tip for a longer lasting tan is to layer day by day, rather than two to three coats in one application. One layer a day over three days can extend your tan by an extra five days.”
Tan your hands
“Hands are the hardest area to get perfect when you’re applying it at home,” says Pamela. “I am a big fan of using a kabuki/foundation brush rather than a mitt. You can control this much better and blend around the wrists and knuckles. If you are still hesitant, try using the St Tropez face mist, this can be misted over the hands which gives a really even tan that won’t look overdone. Also use on feet too!”
Fix scaly, dry patches of skin
Dry patches on the body are “usually a sign of a slow down in skin cell turnover, when the skin clumps on the surface causing dry patches. This can be caused by feeding the skin too much oil and not exfoliating properly,” confirms Jeanette Dunne, aesthetic nurse specialist at Renew Clinic. “To treat this problem use a fruit acid like glycolic acid or salicylic acid once per day to loosen dry skin. At night use some mild retinol to increase skin cell turnover. Use an oil-free serum full of Vitamin C and an oil-free SPF every morning.”
Grow your nails
“This is a tough one as it does depend on how much time you have,” Pamela explains. “For example, for a bride who is getting married with three months to go, I would advise Shellac with regular appointments two to three weeks apart. Shellac holds the nails together and will protect them which allows quick growth. If you have a bit longer I would suggest Sally Hansen maximum growth treatment, weekly. This contains peptides that encourage nail growth and strengthen the nails.”
Wanna know how to do a cut crease, or tame baby hairs? Find Part 1 of our guide here.