The start of the new year is the perfect time to set your goals for the year ahead and the same applies to your skincare regime. Like exercise, new hobbies, and balancing a healthy diet, a good skincare regime is about establishing positive daily habits. To help you on your way, we bring you the lowdown on the best habits to embrace now for better skin all year long…
Rule One: Ditch The Face Wipes
The foundation of any good skincare regime is an effective cleansing ritual to help rid skin of impurities, dirt and grime that have built up during the day. Our number one tip for healthy new year skin? Ditch the face wipes. The reality is that a quick once over won’t ever effectively remove lingering pollutants, environmental aggressors or long-wearing makeup. To take your skincare to the next level, it’s time to embrace a double cleanse.
Round one of the cleanse should properly cleanse skin as well as remove makeup and surface level grime, while round two exfoliates and brightens. An oil-based cleanser or micellar water like Nuxe Micellar Cleansing Water helps ease away makeup without tugging and for a second stage we recommend following with a balm or foam like Dr Sebagh’s Foaming Cleanser or a targeted cleanser like Glamglow’s new Tropical Cleanse that uses fruit acids to gently refine skin’s surface.
Rule Two: Make Friends With Acids
If acids sound intimidating, hear us out, because they can completely revolutionise your regime. Widely celebrated for their acne-busting, exfoliating and anti-inflammatory abilities they are the quickest way to achieve a clearer, healthier looking complexion. The most common types of acids are glycolic, which is a type of AHA and one of the most popular exfoliating acids, salicylic, a BHA acid that helps to break down grime and dirt that can accumulate in the pores. Also widely used is lactic acid; another AHA with exfoliating properties that is slightly gentler than glycolic so is well suited for more sensitive skin or acid first-timers.
To prevent breakouts and slough off dead skin, we love DCL’s Penta Peel which combines five different types of acid; for those who prefer a lightweight serum-like texture, you only need a few drops of Omorovicza’s Acid Fix to tackle pigmentation and brighten. If it’s your first foray into acids, begin by using them twice a week to build up tolerance and always test first to check how your skin responds.
Rule Three: Layer Your Skincare
Layering your skincare is one of the best ways to increase the efficacy of your favourite products and essences, with their ultra-lightweight textures, make easy work of this. Easily identifiable by their water-like texture and potent active ingredients, essences help to prepare your skin for the next steps of your regime, hydrate the upper layers of the dermis and can treat a number of concerns including dullness or dehydration. The general application rule to follow is to consider the textures of products when layering so work your way from the thinnest and lightest up to the thickest.
Three favourites include Eve Lom’s new Time Retreat Radiance Essence which combines nine different active ingredients to smooth and moisturise, Caudalie’s radiance boosting, antioxidant rich Vinoperfect Brightening Essence, that also contains glycolic acid to help aid skin renewal, and Kat Burki’s pH balancing Enzyme Essence for supple, well hydrated skin.
Rule Four: Try A Targeted Serum
If you’re not au-fait with serums, now’s the chance to get to know them properly and start incorporating them into your daily regime. The power of a serum lies in their inclusion of potent actives and “the small molecules that allow them to penetrate deeper into the dermal layer, allowing the formulations to reach exactly where they need to,” says brand Founder and CEO Kat Burki. Pick a targeted serum to suit your skincare concern with ingredients tailored to your specific needs and apply by patting on to skin after your essence and before your moisturiser. To brighten and intensely moisturise lacklustre skin, Kat advises looking out for ingredients including vitamin C, rose hip seed oil and camu camu berry all of which are found in her Rose Hip Revitalizing Serum.
To soften and smooth the complexion we love cult US brand Drunk Elephant’s B-Hydra Serum, which is fortified with vitamin B5, or if pigmentation is your primary concern, Sunday Riley’s C.E.O Rapid Flash Brightening Serum is a game changer to minimise uneven tone and dark spots.
Rule Five: Experiment With Retinol
Hero skincare ingredient and Dermatologists’ favourite retinol is renowned for its ability to tackle visible signs of ageing such as fine lines, scarring, brown spots and uneven skin tone. When first used retinol can cause mild irritation such as redness, dryness and tightness but with time skin will adapt so ease your skin in slowly. Clark’s Botanicals Founder, Francesco Clark advises testing any products before use to check your skin’s reaction and then starting with use every other day or every two days applied at night to allow skin the time to adjust before building up to daily use. “To avoid an adverse reaction, you may want to start with a mild concentration of retinol and increase gradually. I also recommend using a time-release formula like the one we use in Clark’s Botanicals Retinol Rescue Overnight Cream so not to overwhelm your skin upon application.”
Other low percentage formulations we love for first-time users include Drunk Elephant’s A-Passioni, a brand new 1% formulation, and Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Overnight Serum that combines it with ferulic acid and niacinamide to improve the appearance of fine lines and firm skin. When using retinol, whether it’s part of an established regime or for the first-time it’s important to always remember SPF afterwards as it can make skin photosensitive.