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I’m confused! What is the difference between an Emulsion Infusion, Essence, Booster and an Ampoule? Are they all the same and just simply posh names for moisturisers?
Blame the Eastern beauty influence and no, they are not all the same. Depending on the ingredients, they all have different benefits. An Emulsion is usually a lighter version of a moisturising cream and thinner in texture so ideal for combination or oily skin. An Infusion is actually not a skin care category but usually a description, of the active ingredients, for example, a cream infused with herbs or flowers. An Essence is usually a targeted treatment for a skin issue like wrinkles, dullness or age spots and contains a concentrate of ingredients for that purpose but they are not as concentrated or as thick in texture as a serum. A skin booster product is usually very light in texture and applied before a serum or essence to boost the efficiency of the serum or essence.
Finally an Ampoule is a serum upgrade, usually more targeted and more expensive – light in texture they promise to penetrate the skin and deliver results much faster. If you are planning to buy one of these products always check with the expert where it would fit in your current skin care regime.
Is it okay to mix and match products from different skincare ranges?
Most women do this as we do with make up and fashion but the best advice is to stick with similar products which are right for your skin type from whichever brands you like. Using a Nivea eye cream with a L’Oreal skin product is fine because you are applying the creams on different areas. Likewise if you use different creams morning and night, that’s fine. However, if you are using prescription/cosmeceutical brands for exfoliating or resurfacing skin which contain ingredients like Retina A or glycolic acid, try to avoid using anything on top as it could neutralise the effect. Also doubling up on potent ingredients is a definite no no so as there are skincare ingredients which counteract each other? Vitamin C does not sit well with glycolic or salicylic acid, similarly glycolic and salicylic acid does not mix well with Retinol as they all exfoliate and peel the skin. If unsure, always check with an expert before buying a new product.
The area around my eyes always looks dark and tired no matter what I do. How can I make myself look better and perkier in that area?
Most of us have these and they have many causes including a build up of pigment, hereditary discolouration and blood vessels showing through skin. Sometimes, dark circles can actually be dark shadows – as facial skin sags and loses volume the area above the cheek called the tear trough hollows out causing a shadow. As for treating them, the easiest approach is to brighten the area. Try an eye cream which has a little illuminator – and then top with a dab of concealer. Use a light, creamy texture so it doesn’t settle in lines – if colour is more bluey- black, use a yellow based concealer, more brown or yellowish, choose peach. Try Medik8 Dark Circles, £34 (www.medik8.com) a cover up concealer which also targets all causes of dark circles , evens out skin tone and illuminates with its mineral pigments. If you want to do something more permanent, PRP Therapy, nicknamed the vampire treatment, is a great way to treat dark circles. It entails having blood drawn from the arm, which is then spun in a centrifuge to separate the platelets and growth factors. The growth factors are then injected into the area to stimulate the regeneration of skin cells and new collagen. Results are natural with around 5 days downtime. From £400 per treatment. Results last 6-12 months when one top up required.
My lips keep getting dry and chapped. I do have a habit of biting my lips but how can I get rid of the chapping?
It’s tempting to naturally lick your lips when they are dry, which actually makes them worse as this just dehydrate them even more and removes the natural oils which protects them. Try exfoliating your lips twice a week – use a dry toothbrush (not the one you use for your teeth) with a dab of Vaseline and rub gently in circular motion. Choose a deep-penetrating lip balm that creates a physical barrier to prevent moisture from escaping. Since your lips don’t have any oil glands, you need something super-rich. I like Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Gloss £20, which is enriched with Vitamin E and will treat chapped, dry lips as well as giving them a natural shine. Avoid long wearing lippies as they are often drying. You could also try a simple lip mask with an ultra thick layer of Vaseline – leave it on for at least ten minutes and gently tissue off. For painfully chapped lips a dab of hydrocortisone cream once a day for no more than a week will help.
What is your simple, practical advice for prepping skin before the winter and which is the one type of skin product you would recommend for preventing and saving winter-ravaged skin?
Even people who don’t have dry skin can suffer during the cold months. It is much easier to change your routine in the autumn, before the weather turns really cold, because it’s much easier to prevent dryness and cracking than it is to treat it. Switch to mild cleansers without soap or fragrance (look for hypoallergenic on the label). Avoid over cleansing the skin – use a light touch as scrubbing can cause irritation. Try adding another layer to your skin care routine like a serum to give skin extra support. After, apply a super hydrating moisturiser morning and night, as this will help trap water in skin cells, and stop it from flaking. Start taking fish oil or cod liver oil capsules daily to help keep skin moist, eat more Vitamin C (fruit and veg) and drink at least 1.5 litres water daily. Around half of the UK population are not getting enough Vitamin D – exposure to sunlight is essential for the production of Vitamin D so aim for thirty minutes 2/3 times a week to get outside. Vitamin D capsules might also be beneficial.
The No Scalpel Stomach Shrinker
Up to now, tightening saggy skin on the stomach without going under the knife has always been tricky. What may help is a revolutionary new treatment called Thermi, the latest non-surgical radio frequency skin-tightening device – safe for all skin types- with little or no downtime. Perfect for anyone who has lax skin on their neck, arms, stomach or thighs, the single session procedure takes less than an hour and delivers controlled energy under the skin, instead of topically, to firm and tighten skin. Using local anaesthetic, a small probe is inserted under the skin which heats up the tissue to stimulate collagen production. Tighter skin will be noticed during the first few weeks and improvements continue throughout the following months. Results are immediate but improve over time as new collagen is formed. Expect to pay from £1.5k for a one off treatment. Contact 0207 436 7408
Saving Face Foundations
Look out for the new intelligent foundations that promise to do more for your skin than just add colour as they come with added skin health benefits . Leading the way is Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Ageing Foundation SPF30 (£30.00) infused with Idebone, a powerful antioxidant to help protect skin from free radical damage and Vitamin C to help boost collagen . With studies showing that the effects of pollution on the skin can be as damaging as sun exposure, it’s important to protect yourself (particularly for city-dwellers). The lightweight all in one formula provides medium coverage, evening out skintone, whilst treating lines and wrinkles and protection from pollution. Available in eight shades from today at most department stores nationwide or eliabetharden.co.uk.
Next Level Moisturisers
Meet the new kids on the block – moisturising gels. 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 and deliver instant moisture to the skin. Celebrity 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. Try Bioderma Hydrabio Gel Crème (£14.50) – available from Boots stores.
The Hero Skincare Ingredients
We’re always hearing about trendy skincare ingredients and while there will always be the superstars, like retinoids, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C, one of this years hero ingredients is squalane, which is popping up in all our favourite brands. Squalane is a botanical lipid, mainly derived from the olive fruit tree and helps soften and smooth the skin without irritation. It possesses many similar properties to the natural oils in the skin and can be combined with other ingredients as it does chemically interact. Try Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion, £25 murad.co.uk an ultra light oil free moisturiser which also helps minimise pores. Another ingredient you’ll be hearing more about is green coffee, extracted from raw unroasted green coffee beans and one of the most potent forms of natural antioxidants. It acts like a wake up call for dull, tired skin and helps tighten and tone the complexions. Try Simple Regeneration Age Resisting Day Cream SPF15 £3.50 tesco.com
Move aside Vampire lift. Botox? Old news. Technology moves fast in the anti ageing world. From the new skin plumping 180 needle facial to the fat melting injection, we catch up the latest treatments and trends making an impact.
The 180 needle anti ageing facial
DermaFrac is the next generation of micro needling, designed to resurface and improve the tone and texture of the skin without pain or downtime. The procedure uses a pen-like roller containing 180 super-fine needles which is rolled across the skin to create thousands of tiny channels through which an infusion of epidermal growth factors is simultaneously released. The DermaFrac needles (which range from depths of 0.25mm – 0.5mm) are set at just the precise level to stimulate collagen production while the infusion of growth factors help cell turnover, leaving the skin immediately plumper and more refined. For best results six treatments recommended at two to four week intervals. £150 per treatment or £795 for a course of six – 0845 602 1161
The Spider Web Face Lift
Thread lifts are the fastest growing treatment and this latest version uses multiple threads which are crossed over one another in the deep tissues of the skin to create a spider’s web like frame. The creation of this frame gives the skin and deep tissues a more robust suspension and results are similar to a surgical lift, lifting & tightening the skin and because the threads also boost collagen, the process will have a rejuvenating effect on skin tone. Results are immediate with around a week’s downtime as there may be a little swelling or bruising around the injection site and once the threads are in place results are expected to last around 18 months. From £2k – 0207 436 4441
The Melt Away Chin Firmer
Belkyra is the new fat melting injection designed to reduce fat under the chins. Similar to a substance found naturally in the digestive system that helps dissolve the fats we eat, it works by permanently dissolving the fat cells which are resistant to diet or exercise. Each treatment can consist of up to 50 injections depending on the amount of fat. Most patients will require between three and six treatments, a month apart. Initial results can be seen after only two treatments and as damaged fat cells do not regrow the results are permanent. Following the injection, there can be some stinging or mild discomfort, and some mild swelling can occur for a few days following.
Pain free Wrinkle Smoothers
Juvapen is the latest way to get a jab of wrinkle smoothing Botox. The pen like instrument is actually a mini motorized syringe holder than means injections are less painful and more accurate than using a traditional needle. Research shows that using the pen like device also minimizes redness and bruising and allows total precision and accuracy especially when injecting difficult areas around the eyes and lips. The doctor can focus on the injection technique and location rather than on controlling the dosage injected. The device always injects the preselected dose so there is no chance of injecting too much leading to a frozen look. How it works – expect to pay around £280 – contact 07765 850924
Recently, I’ve noticed the odd long dark hair popping up on my chin and nose. I’m in my fifties. What’s happening?
Many women, especially those going through the menopause, experience hair growth in strange areas. Some women find random hairs on their toes, back and upper lip area. It’s mostly due to an imbalance in the hormones oestrogen and the male hormone testosterone which causes hair to grow darker and longer – sadly, though, not on the head where hair usually thins. Plucking the odd hair is often the easiest solution or depilatory creams are a good alternative as they dissolve the hair at the skin’s surface. Try
Can I use a facial oil on my oily complexion and will I still need a moisturiser?
One of the biggest beauty myths is that facials oils are only suitable for dry skin. 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, yes, even oily skin can benefit from the right oil as you can actually fight oil with oil, as it will help counteract imbalance. The natural ingredients in oil, (look for ingredients like avocado and almond) will trick your skin into thinking it already has enough oil and shut off the production of sebum. But oil should not replace a moisturiser. Oils help seal in moisturise so for good skin hydration you need both. When it comes to layering skin care the golden rule is the lightest ingredient first. So apply moisturise first and then seal by patting in a few drops of oil on top to seal in the goodness. If you’re nervous about using oils try using a cleansing oil first to see how your skin reacts or just use at night, after a night cream – or mix a couple of drops into your night cream.
Having vertical wrinkles above the upper lip, sometimes called smoker’s lines can look very ageing and cause a lot of females distress, particularly if they have never smoked.
The wrinkles and lines between the bottom of the nose and the upper lip are caused by loss of muscle tone and collagen, as we age the skin loses its natural plumpness, leading to fine lines and wrinkles that become deeper with the passage of time. They are made worse by smoking and sun beds. Smoking restricts the blood supply to the skin and the toxins attack the collagen making it break down. Sun beds and or too much sun exposure also decrease the collagen levels. But don’t despair, help is at hand!
The first port of call is usually dermal filler, this is injected into the lines and helps to plump and rehydrate the lines and wrinkles, it lasts for about three to six months. More than one treatment may be needed to get the desired effect. Costs £350 per treatment.
Next in line to reduce the wrinkles try fractional Co2 laser, this takes off the surface layer of the skin and puts heat energy into the deeper layers of the skin which stimulates our bodies natural repair leading to plumping of the skin and new collagen production, may need three to six treatments with three to five days downtime after each treatments, results are long lasting, that’s up to a couple of years. Costs £300 per treatment.
If this does not give the results you are looking for try radio frequency in the form of Fractora Deep. Three milimetre pins are pushed into the skin forming tiny holes, then a radio frequency current is administered across the pins which causes deep heat to the tissues which results in skin shrinkage and regenereation. Three treatments with a downtime of a week each time are usually needed for best results. Costs £600 per treatment.
Good health, vitality and a sense of well being – all essential ingredients in living life to the max. Eating a healthy diet is vital but, with so much often conflicting and confusing advice out there, how do we do it? Mature Times’ Lee Knights talks to Harley Street experts about a new nutritional system that could help.
At Harley Street Skin Clinic, co-founders Dr Aamer Khan and Lesley Reynolds and the team are dedicated to helping patients look better on the outside. Now, they are pioneering the Harley Street 180 Concept – a health plan based on medical and scientific research – helping patients heal from the inside out.
To change your eating habits for the better, here is Harley Street Skin Clinic’s 10-point healthy life plan…
1. Cut out Processed, Convenience, Fast Foods
Choose good quality, single ingredient foods (ie chicken, fish, vegetables, salad, fruit) over packaged foods. Packed with additives, preservatives, salt and sugar, fast foods can lead to leaky gut syndrome – linked to conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, decline in renal function,bowel disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer, not to mention accelerated outward ageing of your appearance, explains Dr Khan.
2. You Are What You Eat – Go Organic
Choose organic produce, pasture raised, free range meat and wild – not farmed – fish, Dr Aamer Khan recommends. Look out for eggs from pastured hens too (eg Duchy brand); with chickens kept as naturally as possible, these are better for human health. Eating non-organic meat and farmed fish means you are eating ‘sick’ animals dosed with antibiotics and hormones to fatten them up. What do you think these antibiotics and hormones, that are present in this type of meat, are doing to you and your metabolism?Cutting out non-organic produce helps you you reduce your risk of hyper-tension, heart disease, cancer, degenerative eye disease, metabolic disease, and kidney problems, Dr Khan advises.
3. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
Set realistic goals that fit into your life, Dr Khan advises. “Choose a ten per cent longer route when you walk to the shops and take the stairs where possible. Swap from white rice to brown basmati rice or from brown to soya & linseed, or rye bread. It all adds up.”
4. Go Low GI & Sugar Free
Dr Khan recommends choosing foods with a low glycemic (GI) index that release their energy slowly and help prevent sugar, and insulin, highs. These foods help protect against diabetes and heart disease, he explains. Low GI foods include: whole foodsand grains, nuts and most fruit, vegetables and beans. Avoid high GI foods like white bread, white rice, corn flakes and refined sugar, including honey. Treat processed fast foods like poison.
5. Have the Guts to Do It – Go Gluten and Lactose Free
Go gluten free as processed wheat products (including bread and pasta) can increase your risk of leaky gut syndrome. As all grains are processed, eat alternatives -like organic brown rice, rye, quinoa, and oats (when guaranteed gluten free) – in moderation. We loose our ability to digest Lactose at about 4 years of age, so a diet high inn lactose can also adversely affect the gut and the gut microbium.
Drink a glass of water every 2 hours – your kidneys will thank you for it! For flavour, add unwaxed, organic lemon, or orange to the mix. Cut out additive laden low calorie drinks and give up fruit juices made from concentrated juice – these are simply like sugar water. Remember you can easily drink 1L. of orange juice, but only eat 1 or 2 oranges. The litre of juice has the equivalent sugar of about 10 oranges, more if made from concentrated juice.
7. Fat Isn’t the Enemy – It’s the Fuel Your Body Needs
“Go for healthy fats – like grass fed, organic beef and butter, free range, organic, outdoor pastured,poultry, organic cheese, organic virgin olive oil (cold pressed, single estate), and coconut oil. Always choose full fat milk and cheese and double cream over low fat foods; these do not satisfy you and usually have higher levels of high GI carbs, or sugars. – you will end up eating more and putting on the pounds,” Dr Khan advises. Avoid all trans-fats (hydrogenated fats),(present in all margarines), including those that are meant to reduce cholesterol. Avoid cooking with seed oils, as they quickly form free radicals when heated. It is best to cook with coconut or olive oil, Dr Khan insists.
Always dress salads – vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble and will be lost otherwise. Other good choices are nut butters – check out Meridian’s range of almond butters.
8. Consider Moo-ving on from Cow’s Milk Products
Choose alternatives to cow’s milk and cow’s milk based products – as explained earlier, we loose our ability to digest lactose around the age of 4 years, so this is hard to digest and lactose intolerance is common. Instead, shop for organic almond milk, or goat’s milk, goat’s and sheep’s cheese. High in phytoestrogens, organic soya milk is suitable for women, less so for men.
9. Cholesterol Isn’t the Baddie It’s Made Out to be
Despite its bad reputation, Dr Khan emphasises we need cholesterol in our diets. New research indicates that good cholesterol – found in good quality olive oil, fish and nuts – can help maintain brain function and health.
10. Let Them Eat Steak…and Butter…and Cheese…and Salt.
“Eating healthy food doesn’t mean being miserable,” Dr Khan says.
Now, you are free to choose foods you thought you weren’t allowed before. A healthy dinner can include red meat, as long as it is reared organically on grass, and not contaminated with antibiotics and growth hormones – if you fancy it, have steak from grass fed, organic beef, a healthy source of protein and good fats, as well as plenty of organic vegetables and salad.
You can also add a pinch of salt to meals with a clear conscious, as you have cut out invisible salt from processed foods. Giving up sugar does not mean you have to give up desserts; use low GI organic dried fruits and dates as sweeteners instead.
“It’s a myth that as we get older we get weaker, more tired and need to rely on medication,” says Dr Khan. “The problem is most of us are up to the eye-balls in toxins. We can’t turn back the clock, but we can make a difference by taking control of what we eat and exercising, going forwards” Dr Khan concludes.
Fancy a glass of wine a day to celebrate your new healthy lifestyle?
Treat yourself to a single glass of wine a day. Good Health! Lee Knights
Abbey Clancy uses cool laser to tone and tighten, Stephanie Beacham has Forma to lift and firm, Lysette Anthony uses radio frequency and massage to glow, Anthea Turner/Jennifer Aniston do facial exercises….
Shape up and face up! Fitness is generally a word that we attribute to our bodies but having a fit face promises to be a key anti ageing trend this year. Facial massage along with gadgets to tone cheek and neck muscles, potent lotions to sculpt and tighten the skin and Pilates-style facials to lift and stretch the complexion to create a more contoured look are now a being seen as an effective anti ageing alternative to surgery.
Model Abbey Clancy, 31, swears by her regular Cool Skin laser sessions to tone and tighten her skin while Hollyoaks star Lysette Anthony, 53, and actress Stephanie Beacham, 69, regularly book in for radio frequency treatments and massage facials to sculpt and restore a radiant glow.
So what is fit skin? We don’t think twice about toning our muscles at the gym, so why think differently about the face? But unlike the ‘real’ gym, when it comes to the face, encouraging plumpness and toned muscles is key to diminishing wrinkles and looking younger. Investing in firming and tightening potions combined with regular skin massage and cutting edge products and treatments that will help train your skin to act differently will all help towards facial fitness. So discover the secret to ageing gracefully… Here’s our face saving guide to fitness – try a combination of treatments to get best results.
Warm Up with Massage Facial massage has been practiced in ancient cultures for centuries – it was once the secret of Chinese Empresses practiced 3,000 years ago to increase circulation of blood and “chi” to the face. Today, the single most important part of a facial is the massage which can instantly breathe new life into the skin and when done properly can give an amazing lift to the face. A good massage is like a stress free workout for the face and eases muscle tension, soothes eyestrain, decreases puffiness and can even alleviates sinus issues. But it’s the lifted appearance that’s most noticeable. Book a professional facial massage once a week for four weeks and see the difference or dry a DIY session at home. Try…
*Decleor Orexcellent Pilates Massage Facial – Decleor’s new Pilates facial helps visibly lift and reshape the contours of the face. The facial includes a back massage to help you completely unwind & release the mind. After a deep cleansing, three facial massage ‘ workouts’, using moves to warm up tone and stretch the facial muscles, leave the skin revived, rejuvenated and glowing with rosy youthfulness. £75 for 75 minutes. To find your nearest salon go to www.decleor.co.uk
DIY Face/neck Massage – * This will help decrease puffiness in the face and neck and boost circulation. Place your fingers on either side of your neck right under your ears, then gently move the skin in a downward motion towards the back of your neck. Repeat ten times, gradually moving your fingers down and further away from your ears. Next place your fingers on top of your shoulders, either side of your neck, and gently massage by bringing the skin closer to your collarbone. Repeat five times once or twice a week.
Have a Facial Workout There are roughly 50 muscles in the face and regular stimulation can lift, tone and tighten the skin, boost blood circulation and collagen production giving a fresh youthful appearance to the skin. Facial muscles can also be trained to be firm and strong through exercise. Try….
*DIY Facial Exercises – You will need to spend at least five to six minutes twice a day- morning and evening – to kick-start a facial toning programme and once muscles are stronger gradually reduce to two days. Results will depend on age and the amount of loose skin but whatever your age, your skin will improve. Repeat the simple exercises below but for more routines and tips, get a copy of The Ultimate Facercise by Carole Maggio, by Pan £12.99.
*Close the eyes and look (cross-eyed) toward the nose, then squint with eyelids still closed – holding for a few seconds.
*Open the lips while clenching the teeth and pulling the corners of the mouth sideways with the index fingers to make the bottom teeth visible. This improves the tone of the mouth and chin.
*Sit up straight and tilt your head back so you’re looking at the ceiling. Keep your lips closed. Next, make your lips round and hold for a count of 20, then relax and bring your head back to the normal position. Aim to do this three to five times.
Tone and Tighten Like strength training for the skin, the new laser skin tightening procedures are much gentler and safe for all skin types. They take around 30 minutes and when used on the face, they can tighten skin in a way that is really natural. With each treatment (around four to six every two weeks to four weeks are recommended) the skin tightens as new collagen is formed, making skin plumper, tighter and more radiant. Try….
*Smart-xide Cool Skin Rejuvenation Laser – Thirty-one year one model Abbey Clancy regularly has 30-minute skin rejuvenating laser sessions to keep her skin toned, tight and line free. The Co2 laser uses fractional dot technology and targets areas of the face with a wand like device – the laser also heats the dermis to boost collagen. No downtime, only slight redness which can easily be covered with mineral make up. From £350 each or £1400 for a course of 5 0207 436 4441
*Forma – Actress Stephanie Beacham and Hollyoaks star Lysette Anthony use new skin fitness treatment Forma to improve skin tone and help lift and sculpt facial contours. The procedure uses radio frequency to stimulate new collagen and for best results a course of 6 weekly sessions required. From £300 per treatment or a course of 6 £1500 0207 436 4441
*Elizabeth Arden Face Firming sessions – The 15 minute session uses a LED device with four lights to help restore a glow and firmer looking skin and is ideal to enhance the results of other facial treatments. £20 and available at selected Elizabeth Arden counters nationwide or see elizabetharden.co.uk
*Crystal Clear Rewind 10 – A new face and neck moisturiser which comes with a sonic neck wand which uses sonic vibrations to firm the skin and help the moisturiser penetrate into the skin £79.99 www.crystalclear.co.uk
Sculpting Skincare If you use the right ingredients, you can’ train ‘your skin to act differently to help renew and firm complexion. Look for products that offer an instant firming effect. Try….
*Origins Plantscription Powerful Lifting Concentrate (£52 origins.co.uk) contains potent plant anti-agers to lift, firm and pump up the skin for more volume. Apply several drops morning and night and you’ll feel a gentle tightening as the serum gets to work.
*Fresh Black Tea Firming Corset Cream (£79 harrods.com) formulated with goji fruit extract and black tea to help firm and strengthen the skin.
*B.Lifted Contouring Cream (£12.99 from Superdrug), a new yoga inspired cream which gives an instant tightening effect on the skin leaving your complexion firmer he formula contains Soy Isoflavones which are clinically proven to increase the skin’s own collagen and elastin production. This in turn helps to sculpt the skin making it look smoother and more youthful in just four weeks.
*Clinique Sculptwear Contouring Massage Cream Mask (£37 boots.com) a creamy mask packed with moisturising ingredients to plump and firm and leave skin- hydrated and radiant.
Go on a Skin Diet By simply changing your diet and including certain super foods you can improve your skin and help slow down the ageing process. While genetics and lifestyle play a major role in skin health, the right foods can also help fight wrinkles, improve hydration and help keep skin firm and elastic. Try to include:
*Whole-grain bread, enriched with B vitamins, will help keep the skin’s circulation strong.
*Vegetables that are high in beta-carotene, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, are the food equivalents of retinol and help promote cell turnover.
*Antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies act as a first line of defence and barrier for the skin.
* Plump up lines with plenty of skin-friendly fats found in plant oils such as olive, rapeseed and flax. Add a spoonful to juices or smoothies, or drizzle neat over soups.
*Boost radiance with oily fish, especially salmon.
The recent cold snap and biting winds means many of us have been left with ‘ winter face’ – that worn out, tired look when skin is pasty and dull. Skin is drier at this time of year because everything slows down. Cell turnover slows down, the blood supply slows down and even hydration of the skin is reduced – it’ almost as if the skin is going into hibernation.
So how to fast track your way to restoring radiance? Enter the new generation of super peels, which can do more to plump up skin, smooth out rough texture and restore luminosity than a month’s worth of lotions and potions.
Over the last few years’ peels have been eclipsed by more modern treatments such as skin resurfacing lasers, Botox, and dermal fillers. They’ve also suffered from an image problem – even the name is scary – conjuring up pictures of a red raw face and flaking skin (remember actress Samantha Jones hiding her face in Sex and the City).
But now they are back in fashion and for good reason. While the old-style peels used very strong concentrations of acids to dissolve the top layers of skin and needed to be carefully supervised by a doctor, the new generation of super peels have been refined using gentler and more natural ingredients like Glycolic and Salicylic acid, are perfectly safe for all skin types, painless, cheaper than hi-tech devices and, even better, can be used at home.
The goal now isn’t so much as to cause visible peeling but to infuse the complexion with ingredients that gradually diminish lines and kick start collagen restoring that natural glossy glow that tends to fade as we age. Your skin-care products will also perform better after a peel because there are no dead cells impeding their penetration. From the new home overnight peels to the new gentler chemical boosters at the clinic, everyone can benefit from a peel, so here’s our pick of the best ones to help you peel back the years.
AT THE CLINIC
Chemical peels can work wonders for your skin. They can clear up acne, lessen the appearance of scars and dark spots, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The right peel is selected for your skin, painted over the complexion with a small brush avoiding the eye area and left for the required time. Within In minutes of applying, acids lift away dead cells and trigger a chain reaction: As that topmost layer is shed, signals are sent to the living cells below to multiply and move up, to increase collagen production and to make more hyaluronic acid.
Afterwards the skin is cleansed again and a moisturiser is applied. The whole process from start to finish can take, on average, around twenty minutes. One treatment can instantly brighten skin, but most clinics now prefer to do a course of six to eight lighter peels to a period of time for longer lasting results.
This is our favourite peel. This acid occurs naturally in sugar cane and gently dissolves the glue-like substance that holds dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. It comes in a variety of strengths – from a salon strength of 20-40% to a clinic version of 70-90%, which must only be performed by a cosmetic doctor. Great for freshening up a tired, jaded complexion, smoothing fine lines and is suitable for all skin types – even sensitive plus there’s no downtime. You’ll need a course of six to get good results, then a top-up every couple of months a course of six to get good results, then for six weeks and then once a month for maintenance. From £70 – 0207 436 4441
*Salicylic Peel – Good for oily skin, fine lines and wrinkles and sensitive skin and ideal for those undergoing acne treatment, as this will accelerate any skincare programme you are using. Depending on the condition of your skin, you may need several treatments. For a noticeable result most people need six-ten sessions. From £70 0207 436 4441
*ESPA Enzyme Renew Facial
A natural alternative, this uses fruit enzymes which are a fabulous peeling agent, to gently dissolve dull and dead cells. This indulgent treatment also combines dry brushing to deeply cleanse, followed by a firming mask, a relaxing facial massage with Rose Quartz Crystals.
From £70 for 90 minutes, www.espaskincare.com
Home peels are designed to work in a similar way to professional treatments but contain a lower percentage of active acids. Most are formulated with alpha and or beta hydroxyl acids, which include glycolic, salicylic and lactic acid. These acids are commonly found in skin care products but are used in slightly higher concentrations than in at-home peels to enable them to dissolve dead skin cells. We’re huge fan as they are a cheap and easy way to perk up the skin. Plus you’ll get even better results if you use them to maintain the benefits of a professional peel. Try these….
* Vichy Idéalia Peeling (£30.00 boots.com) the latest launch and the first overnight peel treatment suitable for the most sensitive of skins. Containing a unique water-light formula with the power of a serum, proven to refine pores, improve skin texture and smooth fine lines in just four weeks. The gentle peeling action [4% Glycolic Acid + 5% Hepes] acts to create long-term radiance and improve skin quality day by day. From the first application, skin is left feeling softer and looking brighter.
* Soap & Glory Fab Pore, 2-in-1 Facial Pore Purifying Mask & Peel (£10 boots.com)
A 15-minute clay-based paste with Soap & Glory’s secret weapon, PORESHRINK-R, a beta-hydroxyl acid that peels away dead skin as well as tightening pores. Use up to three times a week. –-
*Origins GinZing Peel-Of Mask (£24 origins.co.uk)
Best for refining and refreshing the complexion, this refreshing peel-off mask works in minutes and is fortified with coffee beans, ginseng and Origins gentle fruit acid complex. It helps lift away dull, dead skin plus dirt and debris to leave you looking clear and radiant.
Top tips for the perfect peel
*Different skin types require different peels. Have a professional peel first so an expert can determine what sort of peel would suit your skin type.
*Never apply ingredients that can irritate your skin post-peel, such as retinol. Hyaluronic acid will help rehydrate your skin post-peel, so invest in a good moisturiser containing HA.
*If you are using a home peel follow the instructions carefully and use once or twice a week maximum. Using them too often, or the wrong type of peel/ingredients can be a recipe for redness, breakouts and even burns.
*Always wear a sun protection of at least 30SPF after treatment, even when it’s cloudy, as your skin will be extra sensitive to ultraviolet light.
* Don’t forget peels aren’t just for the complexion; they can be uses on the backs of the hands, the neck and décolletage.
Research shows that we can shed up to 10 per cent of hair during winter months – mix this with static from wearing protective hats,colouring, heated styling tools and no wonder hair is stressed and prone to breakage. Try L’Oreal Elvive Colour Protect Low Shampoo £6.99 9 (boots.com) sulphate and foam free, the creamy formula causes minimal friction as it cleanses making it ideal for fragile and weakened hair.
* Changing to silk pillowcases can help brittle, damaged hair as high thread cotton pillowcases can cause more friction as you toss and turn during the night.
*Allow more time between root retouches and use one of the new clever cover-ups like Color Wow Root Cover Up (£28.50 colourwow.com) the first mineral powder formula which stays in place until shampooed out – also covers dark roots in lightened hair without peroxide. Available in six shades
Hair Herbal Essence Herbal Detox
* Olaplex, a salon treatment for coloured, damaged or brittle hair, helps rebuild the strength, structure and rebond damaged follicles, leaving hair smoother, silkier and more manageable. It can either be mixed in with your hair colour by your colourist or afterwards to ‘mend’ the hair. The treatment is left on for 15 minutes and then washed out and lasts until your next colouring process – From around £50 www.olaplex.co.uk.
*To encourage growth, restore density and strength, boost thinning hair with a supplement – try Viviscal, £51, enriched with essential ingredients for optimum healthy hair growth and used by A list celebrities (Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lawrence, Abbey Clancy,) Scientific studies show that there is 111% increase in terminal hairs after 3 months.
*At the clinic try Angel Hair, a new treatment which uses platelet rich plasma from your own blood which is then mixed with growth factors and injected into the scalp to help stimulate hair follicles. A course of 6 monthly treatments recommended to restore health and hair. From £1500 0207 436 4441.
De- stress Yourself
It’s very easy to say reduce stress but we all know it’s not as easy as that but do try and look at your lifestyle – some of the most effective stress banishers can easily be slotted into your daily life.
* Sleep More -stress is the main cause of insomnia – try and unwind before hitting the sheets and sleep more.
*Enjoy Exercise – do something you enjoy for at lease 30 minutes a day – it will help release endorphins, which can banish anxiety, as well as boost circulation to the skin.
*Eat Well – a good balanced diet with plenty of water and try to cut down on sugar. Include more stress reducing foods high in Vitamin C – like oranges, and kiwi– a German study found that this vitamin helps reduce stress and return blood pressure to normal levels after a stressful situation and also boosts the immune system. Tuck into apricots which are rich in magnesium -a natural muscle relaxant.
*Be Kind to Yourself – learn to unwind and do something for yourself, read a book, some deep breathing exercises or have a pamper session with friends.
*Say No More Often – set yourself limits and realistic goals so you’re not trying to do everything for everyone. Don’t try and be perfect in everything you do.
In today’s world few people are exempt from the effects of stress. You can feel it and, even worse, you can actually see it in the mirror too. We all know how stress can damage our health and emotions, but signs of stress can also show up on your hair, skin, and nails. Although, we all have different ways of dealing with it, a new study has confirmed that staying calm and adopting healthier lifestyle habits from eating right to being kind to yourself may add 10 years to your life in a matter of months. Mindfulness, the mental state achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment, can also bring about long-term benefits and positively affects levels of happiness and well-being.
Busy lives often prevent us from thinking about the present and ourselves but fortunately the beauty brands and cosmetic clinics are doing it for us and launching innovative products and treatments to combat the effects of stress.
From mindful massages and spiritual based skincare to calming lotions and potions for distressed hair and tense bodies there are plenty of clever new stress busting beauty buys and rescue treatments to help you keep calm – and look it.
Body and Mind Rescue
More than a thousand years ago, roses were used to treat everything from depression to coughing fits — and with good reason as these beautiful blooms have anti-inflammatory properties as well as emollient qualities. When bathing use Natural Rose Soap (£5.50 rosinaslotionpotions.com) and then take the time to massage in a rich body cream – try Odylique Rose Velvet a Body Lotion (£18 currently on special offer – www.odylique.co.uk) the ultimate treat for the skin and the aroma will uplift the senses too.
* Like hair, nails can become brittle, discoloured and thinner when under stress. Treat yourself to a Mindful Manicure with Nails Inc first anti ageing nail formulation. Powered by Collagen (£14 nailsinc.co.uk) to help restore strength and keep nails looking glossy.
*There’s nothing like a long soak to relax mind and body. For added therapeutic benefits, throw in a handful of Aveda Stress Fix soaking salts (£31 aveda.co.uk) made of sugar and mineral salts with the wonderful comforting smell of lavender.
*The feel- good power of fragrance is often underestimated. Keep a body spray handy and spritz yourself throughout the day. Try Yardley’s new English Freesia Body Spray (£2.49 from Sainsbury’s) an energizing and uplifting contemporary fragrance which smells as good as an expensive French perfume.
* For a special treat book one of the new mindful massage treatments. ESPA Mindful Massage is a 90-minute holistic, deeply relaxing experience which works on the concept of mindfulness, focusing on both mind and body to help you reduce stress and ‘be more in the present’. The therapist skillfully guides you through breathing and visualisation techniques to help relax the mind and release physical or emotional anxieties. The feet are then massaged to help rebalance and ground, before a soothing, deeply therapeutic massage is continued up through the body to promote positivity to the mind, finishing with a re-energising scalp massage using warm rose quartz crystals. From £190. www.espalifeatcorinthia.com
Under stress, everyone‘s skin reacts differently but dehydration, dullness, skin fatigue, breakouts and uneven skin tone are all signs your skin is having a mini breakdown. Ren Ever Calm Global Protection Day Cream (£28 ren.co.uk) contains a powerful blend of antioxidants to soothes irritable skin and eases discomfort.
* The stress hormone cortisol can increase oil production which can cause blocked pores and spots.Try Murad Blemish Spot Treatment £15 – which includes sulphur to zap spots and AHAs to speed up cell turnover
*Anti- Stress Facial – a 60 minute stress busting facial which combines a mix of rose oils and massage therapy using long, lifting strokes to tone and ease away tension from the muscles restoring luminosity to dull, tired skin. From £100 – 0207 436 4441.
* Many precious stones are known for their healing properties and are now being used in ‘spiritual’ skin care – try Aeos Energising Skin Conditioner (£54.99 aesos.net) a potent serum type cream loaded with seven crystals including amethyst, quartz and emerald to restore balance to skin and calm excess oil production.
*If stress is written all over your face a few well-placed injections of Botox will erase worry and frown lines. The treatment can also help Bruxism (jaw grinding) caused through stress and patients have also reported a marked reduction in their general stress level as their grinding disappears. Botox treatment of teeth grinding is painless and quick (5 minutes) and results for both procedures kick in around five days after injections and will last up to six months. From £200 – 0207 436 4441