Does your skin look a little lacklustre in the morning, despite cleansing, toning and moisturising every night? It might be time to step your evening routine up a notch.
Instead of using off-the-shelf skincare, consider making the move to medical-grade. “These products contain active nutrients in much higher doses than any over-the-counter products,” says Dr Catherine Stone of Auckland’s The Face Place. You’ll need to see a skin clinician to have them prescribed for you, but ultimately, you may get more bang for your buck.
Try: the CosMedix range, from $80 at clinics nationwide.
Add Vitamin A
If you’re going to use a serum, make sure it’s one that contains vitamin A. This powerhouse ingredient promotes the production of collagen and elastin, normalises oil production, smooths the texture of the skin and can also minimise hyperpigmentation. “Vitamin A skincare products, otherwise known as retinoids, are the go-to for making changes to the skin at a DNA level,” says clinical educator for advanced skin technology Tania McKenzie. “They’re all about regulating and optimising skin function; if the skin’s underperforming, they can enhance its function, and if the skin is overactive, they can down-regulatethe cells to an acceptable level, right at their core.”
Try: Aspect Dr Exfol A Plus Serum, $130.
Pat & de-puff
When applying eye cream, use your ring finger so you won’t press too hard, and pat it around your orbital bones. Owner of Auckland’s The Facialist, Ashleigh Scott, says you can use this pre-bedtime for some quick de-puffing action too. “Make gentle tapping movements under the eye, followed by light stroking movements, working from the outer corner of the eye towards the centre.”
Shower, then slather
To get the most out of your products, Ashleigh says it’s a good idea to apply them as soon as you get out of the shower. This is when your skin is softened and hydrated, so it’s able to absorb those important nutrients more easily.
Aspect Dr Exfol A Plus Serum, $130; Environ Youth EssentiA Vita-Peptide Intensive Serum 4 Plus, $319; Lancôme Énergie de Vie Nuit, $80; Clarisonic MIA 2, $229
Pep up THOSE peptides
Peptides have been a hot ingredient in beauty products for a while now and what they’re really good at is revitalising the skin’s building blocks so it becomes much more resilient to ageing environmental aggressors. Environ’s technical manager Karen Wilson believes you can maximise their benefits by mixing a few pumps of a peptide-heavy serum with your moisturiser. “The addition of peptides will help to boost collagen production and therefore strengthen the skin, increase hydration and generally improve the overall architecture of the skin,” she says.
Try: Environ Youth EssentiA Vita-Peptide Intensive Serum 4 Plus, $319.
Give your skin an extra hit overnight with a sleeping mask. Just apply, then hop straight into bed — job done! “Sleeping masks are often full of energising ingredients that soothe, calm, energise, hydrate and smooth, all at the same time,” says Karen Barlow, national education manager for L’Oréal Luxe. “I recommend applying them two or three times a week.”
Try: Lancôme Énergie de Vie Nuit, $80.
Use every last drop
If you’re a little heavy-handed when dispensing your products, that’s a good thing, as you can use the excess for other areas of your body. “Smooth the residue down your neck and chest, and finish with the back of your hands. This helps these sun-exposed areas become healthier as well,” says Dr Catherine Stone.
“Smooth the residue down your neck and chest, and finish with the back of your hands. This helps these sun-exposed areas become healthier as well”
Slumber on silk
Cotton pillowcases are fine, but silk ones are fabulous. What’s the difference? Silk won’t absorb your skin’s natural oils. This means your face will stay more hydrated overnight, resulting in fewer facial creases. It may not seem like a big deal, but these creases can turn into permanent wrinkles over time. It’s good for your hair too, as silk creates less friction, meaning reduced frizz and kinks.
Try: Go-To Face Case, $70.
Mix a cocktail
No, not the alcoholic variety — this is about mixing a few different products together before applying the concoction to your face. Instead of layering skincare products, which is effective but can feel arduous in the evening, cocktailing gives maximum impact in minimal time. Marianna Glucina, owner of Auckland’s About Face says, “Adding boosters such as hydrating serums to your moisturiser is your best bet, especially at this time of year.”
WAIT! Make sure you don’t mix too many actives (such as alpha-hydroxy acid, vitamin A and vitamin C) together, as it could cause a reaction.
Try combining: Environ Skin EssentiA Vita-Antioxidant AVST Moisturiser, from $81, with Environ Intensive Antioxidant Gel, $81.
Go with gadgets
Maximise your routine with the help of some machinery. The Clarisonic facial cleansing brush took the world by storm a few years ago and it’s still a popular choice if you want to get the best out of your cleanser. “I combine cleansing with my Clarisonic device because it’s six times more effective as a cleansing tool than your fingertips,” says Karen. Or try a roller, which pricks the skin with micro-needles to tighten it and enhance the effectiveness of the products you use afterwards. Try: Clarisonic MIA 2, $229 (pictured above), or Environ CIT Roller, $390.