You know how important it is to take care of your skin (hint: very important).
But with all the info floating out there, you might also wonder:
Which skin care advice should I follow?
How do I treat a specific condition?
And, most importantly:
What do the experts say?!
Enter: Hira. She’s the resident pharmacist and skin care expert from Lookfantastic.
We asked her our most pressing beauty questions — and for a few tips too (obvi).
Want to know which product you must use with a moisturiser, how often you should really exfoliate and the easy way to make your eyelashes grow longer?
How often should we exfoliate, really?
“I would recommend exfoliating once or twice a week – you can push it to every other day if you have really dry skin. (I personally have one day a week where I do all intensive skin care.) Over-exfoliating can be harsh and damage your skin.
Another thing to consider is the type of exfoliator you’re using; some include walnut shell which can cut your skin, so stick to either sphere beads or a chemical exfoliant.”
What’s the most common mistake people make when it comes to their skin?
“The biggest mistake is over-using products which confuses your skin. That, and not giving a product enough time. Your skin takes at least 4 weeks to rebuild itself and you can’t see real results until after this period. So introduce one product at a time and stick to it.”
BB vs CC creams: what’s the difference?
“To be honest, there isn’t much difference! BB stands for “Beauty Balm” or “Blemish Balm” and was first introduced as a step up from tinted moisturisers. It has additional benefits like SPF, anti-aging ingredients and the skin-smoothing elements of a primer. Because there’s no criteria as to what a BB cream should contain it varies between brands.
A CC cream (Complexion Correction) is normally a more tinted version of a BB cream. It promises better coverage of dark spots and redness but doesn’t have the thick consistency of a traditional foundation. And if these two aren’t enough, there are also DD creams (Dynamic Do-all) which have all the elements of BB/CC cream but with a focus on anti-ageing.”
What’s the best way to treat breakouts in other areas besides the face (chest, neck, shoulders)?
“Breakouts are related to pores and since your body has larger pores than to your face, breakouts can seem much worse. Just like with your face, good hygiene and regular cleansing is at the core of healthy skin.
If you are prone to breakouts in these areas, shower daily (especially after a workout or when you feel sweaty). Use fresh towels and change your bed sheets often as both of these collect dead skin cells and oils, and can make acne worse. Exfoliate too, as that gets rid of skin debris and keeps pores unclogged. There are also body washes that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide which can also help. If you feel your acne is severe, please see a dermatologist for treatment.”
What ingredients in makeup or skincare products should we avoid?
“When it comes to makeup and skincare products, you should avoid parabens, alcohol, perfumes, DEA, MEA, TEA and mineral oils.”
What are the best foods for healthy skin?
“A balanced diet is essential for healthy skin, so eat a bit of everything you like but in moderation. There is a quite a lot of speculation about what is good for us and what we should avoid. Generally stick to products which are high in Vitamins A, C and E. Add antioxidants to your diet with fruits such as berries and plums.
Fatty acids too will keep your skin looking radiant as they help retain moisture – salmon, nuts and canola oil provide these essentials. Another ingredient you need for cell rejuvenation is selenium: it’s a mineral found in bread, cereals and meat.
The most important thing is water. The benefits of staying hydrated are endless so make sure you consume at least 2 litres a day.”
How necessary is it to use a serum alongside a moisturiser?
“Serums are amazing and everyone should invest in one. Unlike moisturisers, they tend to be oil-based and can, therefore, penetrate to the bottom layer of your skin and work their way up. Since moisturisers tend to work by absorbing inwards, using both together is the best solution.
Serums also help with underlying skin issues over time, so choose one that targets a particular concern you have.“
(Hint: If you’re looking to buy a serum but don’t know where to start, check out our health and beauty section for ideas and discounts.)
Is microdermabrasion worth the money?
“Yes! Microdermabrasion is a great treatment as it reduces acne scars, wrinkles and age spots. And it stimulates collagen production which allows healthy, new skin to grow.”
Are there any good tricks you have for preventing or treating ingrown hairs?
“Sometimes the best prevention or treatment for ingrown hairs is to let hair grow naturally and not shave for a while in a particularly sensitive area. You can also try using a sharp, one-blade razor and shave in the direction of hair growth. Make sure your skin is wet and you’re using a shaving gel too.
Exfoliating can help with ingrown hairs, but be careful as sometimes it can also irritate your skin. An alternative is to use a technique such as IPL or laser removal – these tend to reduce the occurrence of ingrown hairs.”
Finally, what is your favourite eye cream?
“My favourite eye product would have to be Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10 Eyes and Lashes. It’s technically a serum and it’s absolutely beautiful. It refreshes your eyes and works against wrinkles, and also promotes eyelash growth!”
Have a question for Hira? Ask in the comments, or find her on Twitter @LFpharmacist!