All skin needs the same things - hydration, protection and most importantly products packed full of active ingredients that help reset and repair your skin cell production. Here are some tips to help you get your best skin!
TIP #1: Meet your Skin Barrier
Your skin is constantly battling the elements everyday - things like “UV light, chemicals, free radicals and oxygen, all attack our body every day, and our skin is there as our barrier to stop it.” explains Professor Derek Richard, Director of the Cancer and Ageing Laboratories in Queensland. Your skin acts as a barrier to keep moisture in, and keep chemicals and nasties out, and how effective your skin is at doing it’s job is directly impacted by the health of your skin.
Professor Richard is a microbiologist, who has dedicated his career to understanding how our body acts and reacts within the world around us, and in particular how we age - “Our skin barrier is really affected by the health of our skin, so keeping your skin healthy is a crucial way to protect you from your external environment.” he explains. It’s important to have a regular skincare regime that helps to protect and repair the damage made to your skin barrier each day.
TIP #2: Cleanse and Exfoliate
The first product that you should reach for is a cleanser, helping to wash away dirt or pollutants that you’ve accumulated throughout the day. Look for a cleanser that’s gentle, like the Hydro Gel Cleanser with ingredients like Aloe Vera and Cucumber, that hydrates while it cleanses. By cleansing your skin, you are also ensuring your skin is in the best position to absorb all the nutrients that you will apply in the rest of your skincare routine.
Following up your cleanser with an exfoliant helps remove dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin. You can use a chemical exfoliant, or a physical scrub like the Detoxifying Exfoliant that has pumice to slough away dead skin and Kaolin Clay to decongest your pores. If you over-exfoliate your skin you can “weaken your skin barrier and reduce how well your skin can keep good things in and bad things out” explains Professor Derek, our skin cells don’t replenish quickly enough to justify exfoliating or scrubbing every few days which is why we recommend doing this step only once or twice a week.
TIP #3: Keep your Skin Balanced with a Toner
Professor Richard knows the importance of keeping our skin balanced “Our skin has a natural pH which is acidic, so that’s a pH below seven. A pH of seven is neutral, anything above that is alkaline and below that is acidic. The acidic nature of our skin is to prevent certain bacteria taking root on your skin, stop pathogens growing that might cause you some problems, and our natural skin pH controls the kind of bacterial cultures on your skin as well as clears up free radicals on our skin.”
Free radicals are important to keep in check because they contribute to the ageing process by causing genetic damage, which in turn ages our skin and makes us appear older.
When we cleanse our skin we can change the skin’s pH, so you always want to follow up your cleanser with a toning product that helps to rebalance your skins pH after cleansing. You could use a liquid toner and swipe across your face with a cotton pad, or a gel toner like the pH Balance Gel Toner which helps to rebalance and hydrate your skin.
TIP #4: Deliver Vital Nutrients to your Skin with a Serum
A serum is a lightweight, non-greasy product designed to penetrate the upper layers of skin, taking the ingredients deep down to create real change and promote long term visible benefits. Professor Richard collaborated with Australian skincare brand Ellus & Krue to create the EPI-gN Serum - a potent, anti-ageing face serum formulated to prevent the signs of aging by revitalizing the appearance of skin. Remember that skincare is a long game, products like serums can take up to 6 weeks to turn over your skin, so keep with it.
TIP #5: Protect your Eyes
Just like wearing sunglasses, you also need skincare to help repair and protect the delicate eye area. For immediate effect—and long term benefits—you’ll want to look out for key actives like retinol and niacinamide, which are proven to clear away dead skin cells (typically the cause of dullness and unwanted texture) smooth wrinkles, increase elasticity and firm up the delicate eye area. The Cellular Eye Repair helps reduce the appearance of fine lines while plumping and boosting skin resilience.
When you’re applying eye creams, remember that this is some of the thinnest and most delicate skin on your whole body, so apply the cream and use a finger to gently tap the product into the area around your eye - using your ring finger will prevent you from tapping too enthusiastically.
TIP #6 Seal in your Skin with Moisturisers
During the day, you want a product that will provide a protective shield against the environment to protect your skin from pollution and the elements. You should look for ingredients like Retinol to support the production of collagen and anti-oxidants to combat free radicals which you’ll find in the Hydrating Day Defence
At nighttime you want a product with actives like Peptides to strengthen skin, Triglycerides to help smooth and repair skin as well as antioxidants to help your skin recover from the damage of the day while you sleep. The Intensive Night Repair is your overnight weapon for anti-ageing skincare, but make sure you pair it with clean pillowcases (you should be changing your pillowcases every few days) to prevent build up of dirt and product which will do more harm than good for your skin.
TIP #7: Set up your Skincare Routines
Getting into a good routine is half the battle when it comes to skincare, a great way to do this is to use ‘habit stacking’ which helps you build new habits by leveraging off existing ones - for example if you already have a great habit of doing your hair each morning, start to do your skincare routine at the same time, and leave a trigger there for you like putting your cleanser right next to your hair products.
In the morning, your focus with your skincare is to prepare your skin for the day ahead and ensure it is hydrated and protected. In Australia, sunlight is one of the main causes of genetic damage and will make your skin age faster than it’s normal rate so round out your morning routine with an SPF.
Recommended morning routine: Cleanse + Tone + Serum + Moisturise + SPF
In the evening, your focus is to cleanse your skin from the day and provide it with potent ingredients so that your skin can heal and restore itself while you sleep.
Recommended morning routine: Cleanse + Tone + Exfoliate + Serum + Moisturise
TIP #8: Look after your Skincare Properly
When you are using active ingredients, you want to store your products out of direct sunlight or extreme temperatures to ensure your ingredients stay potent for longer. You also want to protect your skincare from oxygen, so look for products that are in pump bottles or tubes where the amount of oxygen your product is exposed to is limited - and also means you don’t have to put your fingers into any tubs of product where you can easily contaminate your skincare from the bacteria on your hands.