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Skincare tips Skincare 101: Part Three – Extras

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If you’ve been following our skincare series, by now you should be ticking all the boxes for cleansing and moisturising and have the basics down pat. So now it’s time for all the little extras that can really boost the vitality of this organ and take you to the next layer of dermal care.

Toner/Lotion

There is a common misconception that toners are bad for skin, and that they strip away natural oils with alcohol. This isn’t quite right. The truth is that there are many types of alcohol (and we’re not talking about a cocktail list here). The type of alcohol, the way it’s used on the skin, the method of delivery and the ingredients it’s combined with are all very important factors when considering the use of toner. Generally, simple alcohols are used in toners for oily skin because there is an element of the oil stripping in them that toner is known for. However, there are also fatty alcohols for hydrating the skin, and most toners and lotions these days are developed to perform a particular function to enhance a particular skin type, not to harm it.

After cleansing, using a suitable toning lotion continues the preparation of the skin to aid absorption, thereby supporting the rest of your skincare regimen. We highly recommend the Sothys range of toning lotions, which are actually half-strength serums, and so can really boost results with just a single small step.

Exfoliation/deep cleansing

Once a week, a slight tweak to your cleansing routine will smooth the skin and provide a deeper clean of pores. This can be achieved by using an exfoliant instead of your regular cleanser – but remember, use them sparingly or they can do more harm than good.

There are different levels and types of exfoliants:

– Roll-off exfoliants are well suited to sensitive skin and fragile capillaries

– Granular exfoliants are the mainstream variety, suited to most skin types

– Enzyme exfoliants are better for deep cleansing, having what we call a ‘Pacman’ effect on the skin as they gobble up rogue oils

Serum

Serums are concentrated active ingredients in a small, powerful format. They are great if you want to create change or improve a problem, e.g. more hydration, clearer skin, firmer skin, etc. They should be applied under moisturiser for best effect, not in place of moisturiser. Serums are usually very active and specific and absorbed quickly into the skin to go about their work, whereas moisturiser goes over the top to protect the skin and provide your day-to-day hydration.

Eye cream

The skin around the eye is thinner and much more delicate than the rest of our facial skin, so it needs a different kind of care. Active creams can irritate this sensitive area, whereas eye

creams – bizarrely enough – are made for the eye. Another thing that makes eye creams worthwhile is that they target common concerns that are particular only to the eye area, such as dark circles and puffiness, which regular moisturisers would not specifically address.

Mask

Added in weekly, a mask will help support all your other products by purifying, hydrating and brightening the skin. A mask is a great pick-me-up for the face and is a super idea when prepping the skin before a big event or special occasion.

When it comes to all these little extras, you can and should choose to use only what suits your lifestyle and skin type. It’s important to assess the needs of your skin regularly to make sure the products you are purchasing are still the best option for you. For example, the acne you were treating two years ago may no longer be an issue. Instead, the change in seasons might be having an impact on your skin.

By staying in tune with your body, you can adapt your routine to suit it. Our best advice is to start small and see what works, and if you are feeling overwhelmed by the scope of products available on the market, speak to professionals (like us!) who can help you navigate towards the outcomes you would like to achieve.

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