LAURA BER­MING­HAM

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - CONTENTS -

Part two of your win­ter skin tu­to­rial

Last Sun­day we looked at a skin com­plaint com­mon in the chilly days of Jan­uary — that dry, dull skin that is partly caused by the weather and per­haps also from the fes­tive sea­son’s ex­cesses. We learnt how hy­drat­ing prod­ucts can pump much needed mois­ture back into the skin to get it look­ing healthier, and how they work for ev­ery age and skin type. This week, we go a step fur­ther: we are go­ing to smooth and re­gen­er­ate the skin to make it glow... and much of the work can hap­pen at night while we’re asleep!

First things first: to get the best from any treat­ment, dry, parched skin must be elim­i­nated. It might sound coun­ter­in­tu­itive to ex­fo­li­ate skin that is dry and flaky, but gen­tle re­moval of this skin al­lows for bet­ter ab­sorp­tion of your mois­turiser by day and treat­ment prod­uct by night. The re­moval method is your choice, but steer clear of scrubs with small abra­sive par­ti­cles — women’s skin is del­i­cate, so why risk bro­ken cap­il­lar­ies just to get it smoother?

Top of the ex­fo­lia­tors is the Clar­isonic (€149, Brown Thomas) or Olay’s Su­per Cleansing Sys­tem (€49.99, Boots). Th­ese high-speed brush de­vices keep the skin swept clean of all dead skin and cer­tainly ben­e­fit oily com­plex­ions and ma­ture skin need­ing a glow. Fail­ing that, choose a fruit acid, gly­colic acid or AHA (al­pha hy­droxy acid) peel over a face scrub. Th­ese acids are the agents that ‘unglue’ dead cells to give you smoother skin in min­utes.

If you pre­fer to ex­fo­li­ate as part of your day­time rou­tine, try Ori­gins’ Mod­ern Fric­tion (€32, Boots), a zesty wash that uses rice starch and le­mon oil to get rid of that dull, dry skin. But if you’d rather smooth and re­gen­er­ate skin be­fore bed, now is a good time to do it. Jan­uary days are short on sun­light, and any skin-boost­ing treat­ments must be fol­lowed dur­ing the day with qual­ity UV pro­tec­tion to avoid dam­ag­ing the newer skin, so the less sun­light, the bet­ter. Also when you treat the skin at night, the ac­tive acid has a chance to work and not be im­peded by makeup or daily grime. A good ex­am­ple of a fast-act­ing gly­colic acid is Nip & Fab’s Gly­colic Pad (€11.50/60 pads, Sam McCauley). For an AHA, try Neos­trata (see be­low right), and if you want skin re­gen­er­a­tion in com­fort while you sleep, No7’s Pro­tect & Per­fect In­tense Night Cream en­cour­ages cell turnover while mois­tur­is­ing (€ 32, Boots). When you opt for th­ese gen­tle acids, not only are you smooth­ing rough tex­ture and fine lines in­stantly; in time the skin sheds dead cells more ef­fi­ciently and fresher skin ap­pears!

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