Something has happened in the last few years; we’ve all become skincare obsessed. It started in South Korea where the desire for ‘glass skin’ (think translucent, blemish free skin) created the double cleanse method which soon gained popularity around the world. Now we’re desperate to know everyone’s skincare routine and always on the hunt for new ways to keep our skin glowing; it’s safe to say we’ve moved on from the early days of cleanse, tone and moisturise.
But knowing what products to use and how to use them can be confusing. With so many options available figuring out what our skin really needs can be a challenge. If you’re not sure where to start here are five products everyone should have in their bathroom cabinet- the skincare heroes.
5 Skincare Heroes
1. Hyaluronic Acid
The key to good skin is hydration which is why hyaluronic acid is our number one hero when it comes to retaining moisture.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural sugar found in the skin and is key to keeping it lush and plump. It can retain moisture a thousand times worth its weight and helps keep our skin and joints moisturised; a real skincare hero. Hyaluronic acid acts as a natural filler, plumping out fine lines and wrinkles. Like collagen and elastin, hyaluronic acid production slows down as we age which is why it’s important to incorporate it into our skin care routine. As we all need hydration hyaluronic acid a key product for everyone regardless of skin type.
Hyaluronic acid can be used alongside serums, peels and masks making it a true skincare hero. Use both morning and evening alongside your favourite moisturiser for optimal results. High street favourites like The Ordinary, La Roche Posay and Vichy all have great hyaluronic products to suit every budget.
It’s important to choose a hyaluronic acid that has varying molecular weights that will help penetrate the skin. Choose a hyaluronic acid that also contains sodium hyaluronate which has the same benefits as hyaluronic acid but is absorbed much easier by the skin.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C isn’t just great for warding off coughs and colds it’s great for your skin too. As our bodies don’t naturally produce vitamin C it’s important to make sure we get enough of it either through diet or by applying it topically to our skin.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage. It’s essential in helping the body create collagen and helps prevent dry skin. It can help revive and brighten dull skin and stops melanin production lightening hyperpigmentation and brown spots which gives you a clear and even skin tone; all of which makes it a real skincare hero when it comes to combatting the signs of ageing.
Vitamin C can be found in a range of skincare products but you’ll feel its benefit most in a serum. Use twice a day after toning and before moisturising and, to really pack a punch, combine it with vitamin E oil.
You can get a great vitamin C serum from Paula’s Choice and SkinCeuticals. The Body Shop also has a great vitamin C range that includes peels, masks and moisturisers.
Another anti ageing miracle worker, retinol helps reduce lines and wrinkles, evens out skin tone and decrease the size of pores.
Do your research before using using retinol as your skin needs to build up a tolerance to the product first; it’s not unusual to experience some redness or a tingling sensation when you first start using a retinol. Incorporate it slowly into your skincare routine, using once or twice a week in the evening making sure to avoid your eye area.
Once you get to grips and find a retinol you like the benefits will speak for themselves. You’ll notice smoother, firmer, fresher looking skin, more so than any other product you’ve used before.
The Ordinary have different strength retinols which are a great place to start and a great cost too. Olay has a great retinol night serum and you can’t go wrong with retinoids by La Roche Posay, Nip + Fab and Pixi.
4. Argan Oil
When you think of Argan oil you might think of haircare and while Argan oil is great for keeping your hair healthy it’s also great for your skin.
Argan oil is great for all skin types; it’s not too heavy making it perfect for nearly everyone. Because it’s so lightweight it’s absorbed easily by the skin meaning you’re not left looking slick or greasy making it great for both day and night application.
It’s full of omega fatty acids and Vitamin E which not only moisturise your skin but help reduce dry patches and soothe acne. It also works as a protective barrier for your skin without clogging your pores. To get the best results use face oils on damp skin or after you’ve used a moisturiser to really help lock in moisture.
Dr Organic and Neal’s Yard both offer great, nourishing Argan oils at affordable prices.
If you do one thing for your skin make sure it’s using sunscreen on your face.
Sunscreen protects us from both the sun’s harmful UVB and UVA rays. UVB rays are responsible for sunburn while UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin causing long term effects like wrinkling and premature ageing. Using a sunscreen will create a shield against both UVA and UVB rays by either absorbing, scattering or reflecting the light.
Whilst your other skincare essentials are working hard reverse damage caused by the sun, sunscreen will stop that damage happening in the first place. Wearing sunscreen should be part of your skincare routine all year round, even in the autumn and winter when the sun’s rays can still penetrate your skin.
There’s some debate when in your skincare routine you should add a sunscreen; whether before or after moisturiser. The best way around this dilemma is to find a sunscreen that can work as a moisturiser. Try Cetaphil’s daily defence moisturiser which has an SPF of 50 and is incredibly moisturising without being heavy. Avène also have a great tinted mineral option that is SPF 50.
Whichever way you do it make sure you’re using a daily sunscreen of at least 30 SPF, everyday without fail.
Doing The Best For Your Skin
While these skincare heroes are a great place to start on your journey to great skin we need to make sure we’re being vigilant with what we’re putting in our bodies and what we’re exposing our skin to.
Make sure you also:
- Don’t smoke
- Drink plenty of water
- Remove your make up thoroughly at the end of each day
- Avoid caffeine
- Get enough sleep
- Get regular facials
- Eat a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables
Also remember that you skin can change through out your menstrual cycle so make sure you’re choosing the right products depending on where you are in your cycle.
With a healthy balanced lifestyle coupled with a solid skincare routine, including our skincare heroes, getting great skin is easier than you think.