There's a logic that exists with many of us, thanks to marketeers, that if something is expensive - it's going to be good.
Sometimes this is true, after all, quality ingredients cost more than cheaper ones.
But it's not always the case, there have been oh so many times I've bought into expensive face creams, having been sold a dream of waking-up looking c.15 years old within the next 6 months of use - "and this 30ml pot of cream will last you aaaages!" says the enthusiastic salesperson...
- If my face was the size of Barbie's, it might. But lets not get ahead of ourselves.
I'm quite a simple being when it comes to skincare now. My method is; if it works, I'll use it. If it doesn't, I won't.
I don't continue to buy products in the hope I'll find something better than what I'm already seeing a benefit from. As such, 80% of what I'm going to talk to you about I've been using for over 4 years, and so can verify - it's good and it works.
In my opinion, No.7 at Boots have this tied-up. If you haven't tried microdermabrasion before, I can tell you now that you WILL see beneficial and immediate results, and I would say that any skin-type, gender or age will benefit. Imagine exfoliation and times it by 1,000 - fine lines appear reduced, skin looks truly glowing, acne and blackheads massively reduced, enlarged pores, stretch marks and crepey skin improved (I actually 'fixed' my enlarged pores for good using this with glycolic peel).
It's pretty much a no-brainer, I do it twice a week, sometimes three times. If you have extremely dry skin, to the point of having broken skin, this probably isn't for you - but everyone else can benefit.
Retinol is one of those rare products that scientists actually agree, works. I first started using retinol at age 27, and combined with microdermabrasion and glycolic peels, I noticed a pretty immediate result. Retinol is effectively Vitamin A - it is excellent for conditioning the skin and addressing enlarged pores and fine lines. I'm oily/combination-skinned, and in fact noticed that the use of retinol helped to manage my excess oil in the day. My favourite retinol products are from Sunday Riley & StriVectin, I use StiVectin's night treatment (which I sleep in each night, and have done for 5 years now). I also use their eye cream - the one here I don't advise you use in the day, as I find the retinol in it can cause eyes to water a little.
If you've got damaged skin, lines & wrinkles and large pores and need something with a little more oomph, Sunday Riley's Luna sleeping night oil is the way to go. Retinol and Blue Tansy together correct damage caused by the sun, time, pollution and stress. I find that the morning after using this product, my skin feels rough and a little scaly, where the active ingredients have been doing their thing. Therefore, I advise gently exfoliating your face with a mitt before applying the day's makeup and/or skin creams.
Stress, pollution, time, lack of sleep, diet - can all contribute to dull and poor conditioned skin. I'm a big advocate for a 'once a week skin detox' (a.k.a a good deep cleansing face mask). Whether you are oily, combination or dry skinned, a deep cleansing mask can do wonders for your skin, and you'll notice your makeup looks so much better too!
My favourites are:
The body - something that's always an afterthought where skincare is concerned, and I bet that's the case for most of us! Just like your face, the skin on your body is going to age; backs of the hands, knees, decolletage, thighs - all areas that can succumb to the dreaded crepey skin look.
Just like your face, it's really important you exfoliate your body. Doing so removes dead skin (thus giving a more youthful and glowing appearance), but exfoliation is also known for benefitting the circulation and skin texture. I recommend No.7's Microdermabrasion for the body, which at only £11.00 is quite frankly, an absolute bargain.
Body moisturisers need to be quick and easy, I also don't want anything too greasy on my legs that'll have me break a sweat later when trying to get my skinny jeans on.
Use a dry oil on legs for silky smooth and hydrated pins - plus, your jeans will literally slide-on after! I love Jo Malone Dry Body Oil in 'Velvet Rose & Oud', £50.00 for 100ml and Nuxe Dry Body Oil in Gold, £19.00 for 50ml (perfect for summer, as this oil adds just a hint of iridescence, without anything too garish or glittery).
And by far, my favourite moisturiser of all time for the rest of my body, has to be Caudalie's Vine Body Butter, £21.00 for 225ml. It has the most beautiful scent, it's quite literally 'bouncy' to the touch, and extreamly hydrating and fast to absorb.