Beauty editor Megan Bedford sheds light on the new quest for perfect skin – it’s all about radiance – and how to achieve it
Showing fine lines a giant stop sign used to be the number-one wish for most women, but there’s a new holy grail in the pursuit of complexion perfection: seriously radiant skin. There’s a roll call of reasons yours is not exactly ‘lit from within’ – dryness, stress, sensitivity, reactions, pigmentation and sun damage, to name a few. This multitude of reasons is why a one-product-solves-all approach is almost impossible, but with significant research and development in this area, a wealth of new products and treatments are aiming to give it a shot. Japan’s Shiseido has long been at the forefront of developing radiance-boosting skincare, launching its first whitening product in 1917. The brand’s hugely popular White Lucent range is designed to nix excess melanin production and treat pigmentation and dark spots, rather than actually change your skin colour. Here’s some other ways to get your glow on:
SCRUB ‘A’ DUB
Acid-based exfoliation sounds intense, but you can vanquish visions of your skin peeling like an onion. In reality, a gel or cream containing alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic, sallicyclic or lactic or a combination of them) or enzymes is applied to the skin to dissolve dead skin cells and reveal the fresh new skin hidden beneath. You’ll notice brighter, smoother-looking skin and you’ll be able to forgo foundation for a lighter BB or mineral powder. Dermalogica’s c-12 pure bright serum, $166 (1.), contains rice-derived Phytic Acid, long used to brighten skin, and is also found in many treatment peels. Clinique’s Turnaround range kickstarts cell renewal that gets sluggish when you’re stressed or tired. The face oil is excellent and uses a gentle exfoliation agent suspended in a hydrating oil, which is a luxurious way to use it. Due to its active nature, you’ll still need to use a moisturiser afterward. For a more traditional skin-smoothing process, use Clinique’s sonic brush with a gel cleanser a couple of times a week to lightly skim the surface of skin and remove any flaky patches hanging around.
That Sugar Film provides water-cooler fodder for weeks, so while you’re on the topic, be sure to share the detriment refined sugar and unhealthy foods have on your skin. To get your glow on, keep on top of hydration by drinking an adequate amount of water and ditch processed junk for more nutritious whole foods and vegetables.
TAKE YOUR VITAMINS
You might be diligent about your kale and carrot intake, but topical vitamins will still make an impact on your radiance and luminosity levels. The big one is Vitamin A (retinol is one form), proven to be very effective in tackling a list of age-related skin complaints, not least of which is the ability to look all bright and bushy tailed. Beauty therapists generally recommend that it’s applied in ascending strengths so skin doesn’t overreact. Your other essential brightening vitamin is C, and while a big glass of orange juice might be good for general health, it’s still worth finding a serum or moisturiser with a good dose to pep things up.
SHELTER FROM THE SUN
There are two reasons this is important – brightening products with active ingredients are best applied at night, when skin enters its repair cycle, and they can leave skin more susceptible to the sun’s rays, so sunscreen is essential.
LASER LIGHT SHOW
A course of laser treatments like Clear and Brilliant at About Face can be beneficial for a host of skin concerns, and the resulting youthful complexion will definitely assist in radiating a picture of good health. When you’re done with those, you’ll need to put your face in front of a light therapy lamp like Omnilux for an added dose of plumpness and tone. The light stimulates cellular activity, collagen production and increases blood flow to skin.
LUMINISE YOUR MAKEUP
Look for eye creams and moisturisers that have a super-subtle sheen to lift dull skin. Dewy-finish foundations, particularly those infused with serum, are less aging than their full-coverage counterparts. Pat cream blush over the apples of your cheeks to mimic a fresh-from-the-gym glow. Highlighting powders with a finely milled pearlescent finish are also great for swirling over the high planes of the face. The finish should be almost imperceptible, rather than any glimmer or glitz.
2. MAC Skinfinish Powder in Lightscapade, $64. 3. Estée Lauder Crescent White Spot Correcting Essence, $165. 4. MAC Lightful C 2-in-1 Tint and Serum with Radiance Booster, $120. 5. Clinique Turnaround Treatment Oil, $59. 6. Shiseido All Day Brightener, $81. 7. La Mer, Illuminating Eye Gel, $220. 8. Environ C-boost, $87. 9. Shiseido Glow Revival Serum, $128. 10. Innoxa Restore Brightening & Even Complexion Creme, $33. 11. Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating serum, $155.