Beauty In Bloom by Charlotte Hawkins

It was only the other day I was asked what moisturiser I’d recommend for very dry skin and as there are so many on the market offering such a variety of benefits even as a beautician it can be hard to specify one. I can only suggest the products that I have tried and tested myself whether that be in a facial or on my own skin. I have worked with a number of skincare brands and of course we all have our favourites, but unfortunately not all are as affordable as we’d like. So as well as explaining what a good general skin care routine is, I’d like to help you determine your own skin type (if you don’t already know) and give a little advice on some of my preferred products.

Taking care of your skin is important, we all know that! It protects our bodies from the elements, it helps keep us warm and cool but having healthy skin can make us feel better about ourselves. Having had a period of time as a teenager where I suffered with terrible skin, I know only too well how this can affect your self esteem. After seeing my GP and being diagnosed with acne I was prescribed a variety of tablets, creams and even antibiotics, but unfortunately nothing gave me the 100% clear skin I desired. It was a matter of my age, a healthy lifestyle and good skincare products that have helped my skin stay clearer. In theory my skin type is oily, worse in warmer climates and more manageable in the British cooler weather, but that doesn’t mean my skin won’t dry out, if I’m dehydrated or been out in cold temperatures the occasional dry patch will appear. What I’m trying to say is our skin doesn’t always fit into one of the four categories exact. You will probably find that your skin will be more dry or more oily but it can also have times when its both. Some may argue that this would be called combination skin type but technically combination skin is where the T-zone is oiler and the rest of the face is dry.
There can be many reasons why our skin fluctuates; our health, medication, the weather, our age, a change in products and many more, so care for your skin as it appears not for a skin type that you may’ve been told you have. To determine what your skin needs examine it closely, here are some elements to look out for when trying to decide the best way to treat your skin:

Drier Skin

  • Dull and rougher patches
  • White flaky areas
  • Red patches may appear
  • Elasticity lessened and pores less visible

If your skin becomes more irritated than normal it could start to crack, flake, become itchy and inflamed. It would be advisable to seek advice from your GP or a pharmacist.

Oiler Skin

  • Blemishes and blackheads
  • Shinier complexion
  • Enlarged pores

Once you have a good idea how your skin is behaving and what your skin needs most right now you will need to use a good routine to take care of it. Here I’ll run through some of the basics for day to day and week to week care.

I’d always start with a cleanse, I like to remove my makeup with a cleanser but this can also be done first thing in the morning too. There are many varieties of cleansers; gels, creams, lotions etc, but my favourite for my oiler skin has been REN Clarimatte T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel, it worked wonders to clear up my blemishes without being too harsh and drying out my skin. After cleansing you should tone, toning if often a step that is missed out but especially important for oiler skin as it closes your pores after you’ve just given your face a good clean. Find a toner that suits you best, I’ve found this harder and would suggest visiting the brand you choose to use for samples or a tester there and then. And finally, for your day to day routine a moisturiser. Whether you choose to use day cream or a night cream or both this part will nourish your skin, help sustain your elasticity and prevent dryness. For oiler skin you will benefit also because in time your skin will not need to produce as much sebum, which should mean you have less blemishes. I like to use a Clarins day cream as my moisturiser and would highly recommend their Extra-Firming Day Wrinkle Lifting Cream and their Super Restorative Day Cream for maturer skin, there is also Elemis Marine Cream that is a fantastic anti-ageing moisturiser that feels super luxurious and smells wonderful too.

This very simple routine will help keep your skin stay healthy and hopefully treat any complaints you may have if you’re using the right products for you and your skin. In addition to this daily routine you can try exfoliating once or twice a week and/or using a mask. Exfoliating is beneficial for all skin types but will have a negative affect if done too often, for a softer approach to this step try Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator, a great product for mature skin, slightly irritated dry skin or sensitive skin. I also love Clarins Gentle Peeling Smooth Away Cream, this feels fantastic when you scrub off all your dead skin! I have recently discovered The Body Shop for skincare products and loved what I saw so once tried and tested I will sure enough have some new favourites.