With hundreds of creams, lotions and serums on the shelves, it can be hard to know where to start your beauty regime.
Here, Trudi Brewer cuts through the clutter to reveal the 20 rules you should follow for younger-looking skin:
It’s the number one beauty commandment – but did you know you should be cleansing morning and night? Skin goes through a natural repair process while you sleep, so prep it well with a creamy antioxidant cleanser before bed to remove make-up and environmental pollution. In the morning, use a foam or gel cleanser to sweep away the serums and night creams you layer onto skin overnight. Use soap-free cleansers in winter to ensure skin stays hydrated, says Dr Adam Geyer, Kiehl’s product development consulting dermatologist, adding that soap-based cleansers can damage the skin’s protective barrier. “Once there are tiny cracks in the skin’s barrier, it increases the possibility of irritation and allergies.”
TRY: O Cosmedics Gentle Antioxidant Cleanser, $67; Jurlique Herbal Recovery Antioxidant Cleansing Mousse, $63; Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Facial Wash, $62; Priori Gentle Facial Cleanser, $87.
2. WEAR A MULTI-TASKING BASE
Foundation can do more than just cover blemishes. Choose a base that is rich in minerals, antioxidants and hydrators, like new Dr Hauschka Foundation, $63, which contains pomegranate essence as well as macadamia and coconut oils for maximum moisture. Apply downwards to avoid emphasising pores and fine hairs.
3. MAKE A SPLASH
Water is the latest backstage beauty trend to hit our shores – but this is not your average H20. Micellar water is a gentle, post-cleanse product which contains tiny micelle particles to draw impurities away from skin. Soak a cotton pad and wipe over your face.
TRY: Decléor Aroma Cleanse Soothing Micellar Water, $60; Sothys Micellar Cleansing Water, $62.50; and Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, $13.
4. EMBRACE OILS
Face oils are loved for their heavenly scents and their power to hydrate and balance any skin type. The latest crop from some of beauty’s big hitters offer all-
important anti-ageing benefits too.
TRY: Estée Lauder Resilience Lift Restorative Radiance Oil, $133; Lancôme Absolue Precious Oil Nourishing Luminous Oil, $335.
5. TAKE A SUPPLEMENT
Omega fatty acids, such as those found in salmon, walnuts and flaxseeds, are great for hydrating your skin from the inside out. To ensure you’re getting enough, try taking a supplement such as Imedeen Classic Tablets 60, $99, which brim with fish proteins, natural sugars, zinc and vitamin C to promote healthy, firm skin.
6. USE A SERUM
Serums are a wonder shot for skin and treat everything from wrinkles to redness. New Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Powered by Ceramide Serum, $121, helps brighten dull skin. Radical Skincare Brightening Serum, $220, tackles brown spots and restores an even complexion over time. To give wrinkles an extra firming jolt, Joyce Blok Super Serum, $150, works to improve skin’s texture and tone. Wear By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi-Serum, $149, as a tinted primer to give skin a radiant boost – there are four shades. Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum, $159, is packed with micro-droplets of water-soluble camellia that burst upon touching skin to give deep and lasting hydration.
7. ERASE BROWN SPOTS
The brown spots standing in the way of an even complexion may have been under the surface of your skin for years. Fortunately there are a raft of new remedies to the rescue. According to new research from the University of Cincinnati, hyperpigmentation is due to more than just sun exposure. Slow or sluggish skin turnover, stress-induced inflammation, environmental damage and dehydration are also to blame. One star in the battle to banish brown spots is Avène D-Pigment Dark Spot Lightener, $55. It has 10 times the skin-lightening effectiveness of kojic acid (a natural bleaching agent used in many brightening creams) and combines the pigment-inhibiting ingredient melanyde with a gentle retinoid (vitamin A ) to stimulate cell turnover. You also get a dose of vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant, to soothe any irritation. Verso Dark Spot Fix with Retinol 8, $234, contains potent doses of retinol and niacinamide to inhibit brown patches before they reach the skin’s surface. The experts at L’Oréal Paris have developed the Revitalift Laser X3 Dark Spot range, from $45. The serum in this range is a peeling lotion for use at night, so it can treat those problem brown spots while you sleep.
8. BRIGHTEN YOUR COMPLEXION
Scientists at Estée Lauder have discovered a new ingredient to help clear and brighten the complexion. The Enlighten Skintone Correcting Collection contains baicalin, which helps fight the effects of UV damage and restores smoothness and clarity. There are three products in the range: Enlighten Serum, $129; Dark Spot Correcting Crème, $124; and EE Skintone Corrector SPF 30, $83, which doubles as a foundation.
9. ZAP IMPERFECTIONS
Dermatologists swear by the complexion-perfecting power of fractional lasers, but the post-treatment downtime can be a problem. Enter Clear + Brilliant, a fractional laser which promises to treat the signs of ageing without the need to go into hiding. It uses low-energy wavelengths that focus on visible surface damage like brown spots and fine lines, resulting in smoother skin with minimal redness or swelling. Three treatments, spaced a month apart, will dramatically freshen and improve your complexion and any evidence can be quickly covered by mineral powder. About Face’s Forever Young package includes three Clear + Brilliant treatments and three Omnilux Light Therapy treatments. Expect to pay $1,500.
10. PUT ON A MASK
Use a hydrating mask twice a week to improve dryness and minimise the appearance of fine lines. Try Environ Intensive Revival Masque, $95, which contains a powerful combination of the anti-inflammatory ingredient mandelic acid, in addition to plant-derived asiatic acid to stimulate the production of collagen, and lactic acid to increase hydration. “I developed the mask to be a ‘face lift in a bottle’,” says Environ founder Dr Des Fernandes. When using this mask, remember to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen before venturing outside.
11. DISMISS DARK CIRCLES
Dark circles and red, puffy eyes can often be put down to sleep deprivation and our hectic lifestyles – but there are a few tweaks you can make to your beauty routine to help restore a youthful appearance. The thin skin around the eyes can be sensitive to many sunscreens. Try using balm or stick formulas that won’t migrate into the eyes, or use an eye cream with a built-in SPF, such as Clinique Super Defence Age Defence SPF20 Eye Cream, $69. Sagging upper eyelids will make eyes look smaller and age your face. Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Eye-Opening Serum, $72, was developed to address ageing around the entire eye area with ingredients that specifically target sagging and wrinkles. Rubbing eyes to remove make-up can cause inflammation and tiny capillary damage, so use an oil-based remover to minimise redness. You may love the feeling of a hot facecloth but this will exacerbate puffiness and accentuate dark circles. Instead, apply a cooling eye cream after cleansing, such as La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Eye Cream, $333.
12. SHIELD YOUR HANDS
The skin on our hands rarely gets the same care and attention as our face but it is equally susceptible to UV damage and dryness from frequent washing. Zap brown spots with intense pulsed light treatment and be sure to wear sunscreen every day. A hand cream containing hyaluronic acid will give instant and lasting moisture.
TRY: Lancôme Nutrix Royal Hand Cream, $69.
A white smile will do wonders for wiping years off your appearance but, until now, spending hours in the dentist’s chair was the only way to achieve sparkling teeth. Opalescence Go, $175, is an at-home whitening treatment available in 6 per cent and 15 per cent strengths and found only at dental surgeries. Disposable trays are loaded with a combination of hydrogen peroxide, a desensitising gel and minty flavouring. Once in place on the upper and lower teeth, the trays shrink to mould to the teeth and start the whitening process. The 6 per cent version can be worn for an hour, while the 15 per cent version is worn for just 15 minutes. Each pack contains 10 sets of trays and can be used daily for 10 days.
14. BANISH BLEMISHES
Lipo-hydroxy acid is a powerhouse when it comes to gentle exfoliation for blemished or ageing skin. Both LHA and salicylic acid work to dissolve blackheads, reduce pore size and correct uneven, blotchy skin.
TRY: Garnier Miracle Sleeping Cream, $10, and SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defence Serum, $111, available at Ashleigh Scott Facialist.
15. LIFT AND SCULPT
There are countless creams, gels and serums to reduce puffiness, dark circles and fine lines around the eyes. But to address more serious signs of ageing, a little hit of Botox or Dysport will relax the muscles around the eye area, while hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvéderm or Restylane smooth deeper lines to melt away the years. Here’s what to use for the most common problems: Crow’s feet – or laughter lines as we like to refer to them, can be relaxed with tiny amounts of Botox, while deeper lines fanning out onto the cheeks can be plumped up with a lightweight filler, such as Restylane Vital, which sits under the skin’s surface. Hollows – under-eye hollows give the impression of dark circles. A small amount of filler in the tear trough area will instantly smooth and improve your appearance. Sagging brows – a sagging eyebrow can be lifted and reshaped using Botox, while small amounts of filler can increase fullness at the temple and under the brow to reinstate a plump, youthful complexion.
16. SUPERCHARGE YOUR MOISTURISER
To get the most out of your moisturiser apply it soon after cleansing while skin is still slightly damp, so the cream pulls in some of the water that’s sitting on the surface of your skin. Press, rather than rub moisturiser into skin for a dewy look that will last for hours.
TRY: Eve Lom Moisturiser + SPF15, $106; O Cosmedics Immortal Cream, $130; This Works No Wrinkles Sensitive Moisturiser, $105.
17. PROTECT YOUR DECOLLETAGE
It’s no good having a flawless face if your décolletage lets you down. Apply SPF daily to exposed skin and avoid spraying perfume directly onto this area, as the alcohol will cause skin to pigment faster. Instead, spray fragrance in your hair or into the air and then walk through the scented mist.
18. GO COCONUT CRAZY
Celebrities like Emma Stone count coconut oil as one of their favourite natural ingredients and we’re with her. Rich in saturated fats and boasting anti-bacterial benefits, coconut oil is ideal as a cuticle conditioner – a little goes a long way.
19. SOOTHE ON THE MOVE
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream has long been a must for every woman’s handbag. Now, the brand’s Eight Hour Cream Intensive Daily Moisturiser with SPF15, $58, is our go-to cream for winter. If your skin feels dry during the day, press a little of this lightweight yet nourishing formula over the top of your make-up.
20. USE SUNSCREEN EVERY DAY
Sunscreen isn’t just for summer, a broad spectrum SPF should be used year-round to protect skin from ageing UV rays, says Dr Joanna Romanowska of Clinic 42 in Auckland. “We absolutely need to apply sunscreen in winter, in fact every day – even those of us who work indoors. We still get incidental exposure from driving and walking and also some from fluorescent lighting.” TIP: When travelling by plane, avoid the window seat. The higher altitude means you are exposed to higher than normal doses of UV radiation.
TRY: Ultraceuticals SPF30+ Protective Daily Moisturiser, $74.
From the editors of Simply You.
Photo: Jennifer Avelo/Snapper Media