MEET THE SKINCARE SUPERSTARS – Oils v Serums v Gels

JOIN THE OIL RUSH

Have you joined the oil rush yet? Or, like many women, do you think oil is just for your body or hair and far too greasy for your face. Well, forget everything you thought you knew about oil because the latest formulations are actually the hidden jewel in the skin care crown. Though not a new idea — the ancient Romans used to rub themselves down with oil after exercise to get clean —the new generation of oils are real multi taskers and can be used as a miracle treatment for everything from your face to your feet.

 And no, they don’t bring you out in spots or make your hair limp and greasy because these e bottles of precious oils are far too sophisticated for that. Although they can be pricey, a little goes a long way and another big bonus  they contain countless vitamins and minerals, can be used by all skin types and the benefits are endless. No wonder. oils have become the must have ingredient in skin products and even the A listers, including Kate Moss and   Cate Blanchett swear by them.

Far richer than your average day cream, a couple of drops of facial oil a day will instantly revitalise, balance and calm skin without leaving greasy side effects, and are a valuable weapon in the wrinkle war. They will also add a glossy sheen to the skin as well as create a natural protective barrier. And, yes, even oily skin can benefit from the right oil as it can help counteract imbalance – the key is to pick the right oil for your skin concern and when it comes to that, there’s no shortage of choice

Once produced only by small specialist aromatherapy brands, facial oils are now on most beauty shelves at a price for every budget and covering the needs of every skin type.  Because oils are lipophilic, or fat loving, they pass though the lipid layer of the skin faster, preventing water loss and plumping skin with moisture. In the morning massage in a couple of drops of oil on clean, damp skin before you use your usual anti-aging cream or serum or use on its own, You can also mix a drop of oil with your favourite moisturiser or foundation when you want sheer coverage, smooth any residue on hands over your hairline to prevent flyaways and leave a glossy halo around your face.   Use again at night, before a night cream. If you use a retinoid cream smooth a drop gently after applying help prevent any dryness and flaking.

Myth: Oils cause breakouts
Truth:  The skin needs its natural oils for protection. If we strip the oil away, the skin will produce more oil to compensate. Then the imbalances will cause breakouts.
Myth: Oil is oily and will make face shiny;
Truth: Facial oil is not oily. A good facial oil should be absorbed by skin and should give dewy look. Look out for base oils like such as jojoba, apricot or almond.
3. Myth: Oils are not for anti ageing.
Truth: Facial oils are chemical free anti-oxidant powerhouses Since oils are not water-based, they don’t need synthetic preservatives. They are pure unadulterated botanical oils and superb for anti ageing benefits.

 

WHICH OIL

*Argan, yangu, and borage-seed oils all decrease inflammation.

*Lavendar, Passion fruit, and African marula oils, are potent antioxidants helping protect skin from oxidative stress and free radicals

*Rose – great for anti ageing, improving smoothing scars/wrinkles

*Lava din, orange peel –, helps protect collagen

*Chamomile helps calm skin after irritation

*Rosemary, marjoram and Geranium are all good skin soothers and ideal for oily and combination skin

HERO OILS

A round up of some of the best oils offering a targeted approach to skincare.

*Rosina Lotions& Potions Rose Perfecting Oil £22 rosinaslotionspotions.comc

A lightweight super nourishing oil delicately scented with the finest Rose oil. Rose is an ancient anti ageing remedy that is high in vitamin C, a powerful anti oxidant. Vitamin C can help protect skin cells from damage, locks in moisture and helps to keep skin smooth. Rose is perfect for all skin types including sensitive skin.

After cleansing and toning, apply Rose Perfecting Oil in upwards strokes, avoid delicate eye area. You can use this under a serum.

 

*L’Oreal Age Perfect Extraordinary Facial Oil £24.99 boots.com

Ideal for oily skin, it contains a blend of eight essential oils including antioxidant Lavender, soothing Chamomile and anti ageing Orange Peel, Designed to boost skin’s natural radiance and provide all-day hydration, Use two or three drops every day and you’ll soon notice a difference in texture and appearance of your skin

*Jan Marini C-ESTA Serum £76 harleystreetskinclinic.com

With the extraordinary anti-ageing benefits of Jan Marini’s regular C-ESTA Serum but with remarkable oil-control properties. Jan Marini C-ESTA Serum Oil Control achieves glowing refined luminosity while significantly inhibiting oil breakthrough. It also creates conditions in the skin that enable dramatic rejuvenation benefits.Skin’s texture will quickly begin to appear smoother and suppler.

 

*Weleda’s Almond Soothing Facial Oil  £14.95 weleda.co.uk

A firm favourite of celebrities, Jessica Alba and Erin O’Connor, this  award-winning Almond Facial Oil offers incredible versatility, from eye makeup remover to a hand, face, neck and décolletage oil. It reduces irritations, soothes and moisturises skin ,calms sensitive skin reducing irritation and redness and replenishing skin’s protective barrier.

*StriVectin Labs High Performance Booster £40 

A nourishing professional strength facial oil with patented skin strengthening NI-114 technology, proven to accelerate the performance of your skincare routine for superior results. Rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins has great anti ageing benefits. After four weeks a panel of users agreed an improvement in skin firmness, tone with fewer age spots and a reduction if fine lines and wrinkle s

 

SUPER SERUMS

A few years ago no one used serums but now they are everywhere, in fact, you probably have quite a few on your dressing table.  If you haven’t then, regardless of your age, it’s about time you started incorporating one into your skincare routine. So what exactly is a serum and how does it differ from other skin-care products.

Lightweight and thinner and runnier than creams or lotions, allowing them to sink in more quickly, serums can tackle just about any beauty concern and are the skin’s equivalent of strength training.  Unlike moisturisers which act as a form of protection, serums are designed to actually do something and keep your skin on its toes.  They tend to have a higher concentration of potent and powerful ingredients, including vitamins, peptides and antioxidants and because they are made up much small molecules can get to work on a whole range of deep set problems.  A good serum will help protect the delicate skin from all the assaults we are exposed to on a daily basis like the sun, pollution, smoke and stress while working overtime to boost collagen, smooth wrinkles and fight signs of ageing. If you’re new to serums choose a hydrating serum or an anti ageing serum which will benefit all skin types.  A hydrating serum is perfect for this time of the year when skin is  often dehydrated  and will quickly deliver water boosting ingredients, like hyaluronic acid , deep into the skin. Anti ageing serums   generally focus on free radical damage to the skin’s collagen and usually contain my hero ingredient Vitamin C, which will help boost collagen synthesis and increase the skin’s elasticity.

Most serums, however,  don’t hydrate so it is essential to use a moisturiser with a serum.  How do  you get the best results? After thorough cleansing, apply a couple of drops of serum, massage into your skin and   let it sink in so the key ingredients can penetrate deeper (putting on moisturiser too soon could potentially affect the penetration of the ingredients.) Leave for at least five minutes, up to fifteen minutes if you can before following with a moisturise which will act like a seal and keep all those fabulous ingredients working overtime to correct and rejuvenate.

KEY INGREDIENTS TO LOOK FOR 
Here are some of the more potent ingredients you should look for in serum formulations.

* Coenzyme Q10- an antioxidant to boost skin repair and rejuvenation

* Vitamins A, C and E show up in many serums – look for them in formulas targeting aging.
* Willow bark and rose extracts are key skin brightening ingredients to target dull-looking skin.
*Hyaluronic Acid In addition to hydrating, hyaluronic acid allows serums to penetrate deeper and stimulate new cell growth 
*Peptides and growth factors  – both are water-soluble and will ward off signs of aging

*Exfoliators – AHAs like lactic and glycolic acid remove dead skin.

*Niacinamide is a great ingredient for sensitive, reactive skin. It boosts barrier function by enhancing production of ceramides and delivers a real hydration boost

HERO SERUMS

*OriginalPlantscription Anti-Ageing Power Serum £40 origins.co.uk

If your skin is looking a bit dull of late, this serum can work wonders. It’ll brighten your skin and give it back its glow as it also targets the skin’s surface too boosting the protective barrier. Best to apply in the morning after cleansing and before your moisturiser.

*BeautyLab Relax Neuropeptide Serum £45 www.beautylab.co.uk

This quick absorbing high performance serum is a fab alternative to wrinkle relaxant injections and is designed to work at the epidermis level by relaxing the skin thus reducing facial expressions to soften lines and wrinkles. Formulated with hexapeptide 8 and tripeptide 1 it will also stimulate collagen and is perfect for all skin types

 

 

Super Facialist by Una Brenna Intense Facial Serum £14.99 boots.com

Containing a stem cell component derived from apples and collagen boosting tripeptides this gives a juicy, plumping glow to skin and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Indeed Lab Fillume Volumising Serum £29.99 boots.com

This clever serum targets specific areas plumping skin and making crow’s feet and lines fuller and brighter as well as improving elasticity and tone.

Caudalie Premiere Cru The Elixir  £49 caudalie.co.uk

Elixirs are hot news this year. Not quite serum not quite oil, this new breed of essences delivers powerful anti ageing benefits… This one boasts whopping 99.5 per cent natural ingredients and packed with moisturising jojoba and prickly pear seed oil Ideal for dry skins to boost radiance and soften fine lines

*Nuriss Illuminis Alpha Arbutin Lightening Serum  £100 nuriss.co.uk

Using innovative technology and a blend of natural ingredients to target uneven skin tone and sun damage. The unique formula uses the natural whitening agents of Arbutin from the bearberry plant to fade those annoying age spots restoring skin’s health and radiance

*Sisley Sisleya Global Firming Serum £304 sisley.co.uk

 Designed to combat all aspects of skin slackening, helping to restore the plumpness, curves and contours for a more youthful face. Suitable for all skin types, even sensitive, this fluid contouring serum which contains an exclusive combination of plant extracts redensifies the skin and improves its tone and firmness. After 8 weeks, the oval of the face is redesigned, the neck is firmer boosting the volume of the face

SwissCell CellEctive Ultra Smoothing Plumping Serum £ 300 swisscell.co.uk

A Swiss cosmeceutical brand which integrates Stabilised Bio Integral cells into their highly concentrated products including this ultra powerful serum. The active ingredient cells in the formula are not freeze dried as in many other products, meaning up to 98 per cent of the cells can be utilised to rejuvenate the skin much faster. Suitable for all skin types

 

THAT’S MY GEL

Looking for a new moisturiser? Meet the new kids on the block – moisturising gels. Well not exactly new as they have been quietly around for a few years, but they are currently gaining popularity and, as they say having a moment! It’s easy to see why. Those of us with oily skin often dread the heat because our skin often gets oilier. Foregoing moisturiser isn’t an option as skin often produces excess oil to compensate for being dry and thirsty. So what’s the best way to boost hydration without overwhelming your pores? A gel moisturiser. These water-based hydrations have super-light formulas that absorb almost instantly, won’t clog pores and won’t translate to grease. They are as light as air, deliver instant moisture to the skin and most contain hyaluronic acid, which instantly improves the elasticity in the skin. Top make up artists love them, as they also create the perfect base for makeup application. Most foundations and primers contain oil and when mixed with an oily moisturiser will make make up slide or fade much faster. With a high water content a gel moisturiser will keep make up in place, even in high humidity and another bonus will give a dewy finish. And they’re not just for oily skin  – some women don’ t like the heavy feel of some moisturisers so a gel hydration is a perfect alternative as they are usually free of the fatty, waxy ingredients that make creams, cream. And if you have super dry skin, gels can still play a part in your skin care routine, just layer a richer cream over the gel to trap water into the skin

HERO BUYS

Lancôme Hydra Zen Neurocalm Moisturising Cream Gel 339.50 lancome.co.uk

Ideal for warmer climates, and suits all skin types this gel cream is packed full with botanical extracts to provide 12 hour hydration

SQOOMx Cential H+Gel £84 boots

This new innovative anti-ageing gel contains 100% skin friendly, natural, active ingredients. Small hyaluronic acid particles are transported into the deeper layers of the skin where they fill the hollow spaces caused by the ageing process. It protects against free radicals and provides intensive moisturisation.

L’Oreal Paris Triple Active Fresh Ultra-Hydrating Gel-Cream £6.99 boots.com

Designed for 24-hour hydration. The melting formula contains essential minerals – calcium and magnesium- and Vitamins C, E and B5. It provides an ideal dose of moisture to leave skin feeling perfectly hydrated, fresh and comfortable throughout the day.

Shiseido Moisturising Gel-Cream  £31 houseoffraser.co.uk

Ideal for normal and combination skins, and formulated with Shiseido exclusive ingredient Hydro-Balancing Complex, this light yet rich-feeling cream delivers intensive moisture and helps skin retain moisture and gives skin a healthy radiance

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel-Cream £43.50 kiehls.co.uk

 A new oil–free version of Kiehl’s iconic Ultra Facial cream a non–greasy formula that is specifically developed for normal to oily skin which gives instant hydration.

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