Something has happened in the last few years; we’ve all become skincare obsessed and the new term Skincare Heroes were born. It started in South Korea where the desire for ‘glass skin’ (think translucent, blemish free skin) created the double cleanse method which soon gained popularity around the world. Now we might ask someone when we meet them for the first time is what acid toner they use, not to mention influencers love to share their ten step skincare routines with us. I think it’s safe to say we’ve moved on from the early days of cleanse, tone, moisturise.
But knowing what products to use and how to use them can be confusing. With so many options available to us figuring out what your skin really needs can be a challenge. If you’re not sure where to start here are five products everyone should have in their bathroom cabinet- the skincare heroes.
5 skincare heroes
1. Hyaluronic Acid
The key to good skin is hydration which is why no other product beats hyaluronic acid in its ability to retain moisture.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural sugar found in the skin and is key to keeping it lush and plump. It can retain moisture a thousand times worth its weight and is what helps keep our skin and joints moisturised – i.e skincare hero. Hyaluronic acid acts as a natural filler, plumping out fine lines and wrinkles. Like collagen and elastin, hyaluronic acid production slows down as we age which is why it’s important to incorporate it into our skin care routine.
Hyaluronic acid can be used alongside serums, peels and masks making it a true skincare hero. Use both morning and evening alongside your favourite moisturiser for optimal results. High street favourites like The Ordinary, La Roche Posay and Vichy all have some great hyaluronic products to suit every budget.
It’s important to choose a hyaluronic acid that has varying molecular weights that will help penetrate the skin. Choose a hyaluronic acid that also contains sodium hyaluronate which has the same benefits as hyaluronic acid but is absorbed much easier by the skin.
As we all need hydration hyaluronic acid a key product for everyone regardless of skin type.
2. Vitamin c
Vitamin C isn’t just great for warding off coughs and colds it’s great for your skin too. As our bodies don’t naturally produce vitamin C it’s important to make sure we get enough either from our diet or by applying it topically to our skin.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and protects the skin from free radical damage. It’s also essential in the body’s natural collagen synthesis as well as helping prevent dry skin making it an essential anti ageing product.
It can help revive and brighten dull skin and stops melanin production which lightens hyperpigmentation and brown spots giving you a clear, even skin tone.
Vitamin C can be found in a range of skincare products but you’ll feel its benefit most in a serum. Use twice a day after toning and before moisturising and, to really pack a punch, combine with vitamin E.
You can get a great vitamin C serum from Paula’s Choice and SkinCeuticals. The Body Shop also has a great vitamin C range that includes peels, masks and moisturisers.
Another anti ageing miracle worker, retinoids helps reduce lines and wrinkles, even skin tone and decrease the size of your pores.
You do need to do your research before you start using it as your skin needs to build up a tolerance; it’s not unusual that when you first use a retinoid you might notice some redness or a tingling sensation. Incorporate it slowly into your skincare routine, using once or twice a week in the evening making sure to avoid your eye area.
Once you get to grips and find a retinoid you like the benefits will speak for themselves. You’ll notice smoother, firmer, fresher looking skin, more so than any other product you’ve used.
The Ordinary have different strength retinoids you can start with and a great cost. Olay has a great retinol night serum and you can’t go wrong with retinoids by La Roche Posay, Nip + Fab and Pixi.
4. Argan oil
When you think of Argan oil you might think of haircare but while Argan oil is great for keeping your hair healthy it’s also great for your skin.
Argan oil is great for all skin types; it’s not too heavy and it’s not too light making it perfect for nearly everyone. It’s full of omega fatty acids, and Vitamin E which not only moisturise your skin, but also help reduce dry patches and soothe acne. It also works as a protective barrier for your skin without clogging your pores.
To get the best results use face oils on damp skin or after you’ve used a moisturiser in order to really lock in moisture. Because Argan oil is so lightweight its absorbed easily by your skin meaning you’re not left looking slick or greasy making it great for both day and night application.
Dr Organic and Neal’s Yard both offer great, nourishing Argan oils at affordable prices.
If you do one thing for your skin make sure you use sunscreen on your face. Sunscreen protects us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays; both UVA and UVB. UVB rays are responsible for sunburn while UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin causing long term effects like wrinkling and premature ageing. Using a sunscreen will create a shield against both UVA and UVB rays by either absorbing, scattering or reflecting the light.
Whilst your other skincare essentials are working hard reverse damage caused by the sun, sunscreen will stop that damage happening in the first place.
Wearing sunscreen should be part of your skincare routine all year round, even in the autumn and winter when the sun’s rays can still penetrate and harm your skin.
There’s some debate when in your skincare routine you should add a sunscreen; some argue sunscreen should added before a moisturiser to ensure heavy moisturisers don’t affect the sunscreen penetrating the skin and doing its job. Others argue adding a sunscreen after a moisturiser is best as a moisturiser on top of a sunscreen can dilute it, affecting its properties and potency.
The best way around this is to find a sunscreen that can work as a moisturiser. Try Cetaphil’s daily defence moisturiser which has an SPF of 50 and is incredibly moisturising without being heavy. Avène also have a great tinted mineral option that is SPF 50.
Whichever way you do it make sure you’re using a daily sunscreen of at least 30 SPF, everyday without fail.
DOING THE BEST things FOR YOUR SKIN
Whilst these skincare heroes are a great place to start on your journey to great skin we need to make sure we’re being vigilant with what we’re putting in our bodies and what we’re exposing our skin to.
Make sure you also:
- Don’t smoke
- Drink plenty of water
- Remove your make up thoroughly at the end of each day
- Avoid caffeine
- Get enough sleep
- Get regular facials
- Eat a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables
Also remember that you skin can change through out your menstrual cycle and so choosing the right product for each stage is a great tip.
With a healthy balanced lifestyle coupled with a solid skincare routine including our skincare heroes obtaining great skin is easier than you think.