SOS skin solutions 5-min face masks Yes, you can have thicker hair!
Just when you thought you had waved goodbye to blemishes and erratic skin behaviour forever, along come fluctuating hormones, sleepless nights and hectic schedules. The result? A barrage of skin conditions ranging from rosacea and eczema to adult acne, alongside the inevitable signs of ageing – gradual loss of radiance and a jawline that’s heading south. Don’t despair, we’ve road-tested the very best rescue remedies – the ones that really do work.
THE LOW-DOWN When we're in our forties and fifties, cell turnover slows down. The result? “Skin becomes duller and less dewy,” says skin expert Kerry Payne. Skin loses the ability to hold water, which decreases plumpness – think of the difference between a grape and a raisin. WHAT’S THE FIX? First up – exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. “Dead skin cells make skin look dull, so buffing creates a smoother surface,” says Kerry. A dose of vitamin C also brightens skin tone, revs up cell turnover, and reduces pigmentation. Look for serums or creams containing at least 10% vitamin C. We’re hooked on Exuviance AF Vitamin C20 Serum Capsules, R1 170 for 60, packed with a whopping 20% vitamin C! ON-THE-SPOT SOLUTION Smooth Stila Stay All
Day 10-in-1 HD Illuminating Beauty Balm, R555 for 40ml, over moisturiser and under foundation for a bronzy glow. Definitely one to keep for dull-skin days.
THE LOW-DOWN As hormone levels dip, adult acne can appear. “Overactive sebaceous glands cause acne,” says dermatologist Dr Emma Wedgeworth.
WHAT’S THE FIX? Switch to a gentle cleanser to avoid skin irritation. Try SVR Sebiaclear Gel Purifying and Exfoliating Soap-free Cleanser, R210 for 200ml. Use a healing moisturiser, such as night cream Lamelle Clarity Corrective PM Plus, R670 for 50ml, with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory tea tree oil.
ON-THE-SPOT SOLUTION Vichy Normaderm Hyaluspot treatment, R245 for 15ml, fights bacteria and reduces blemishes. Apply directly to spots after cleansing, before make-up. >>
Rosacea THE LOW-DOWN This inflammatory skin condition appears on cheeks, nose and forehead, causing redness and, in some cases, acne or severe dryness and itchiness around the eyes. “With 50% of rosacea thought to be genetic, you are more likely to suffer from it if a family member has it,” says Emma. The other 50% is down to lifestyle factors – sun exposure, alcohol, smoking and diet. WHAT’S THE FIX? As well as cutting out alcohol, caffeine and smoking, swap to alcohol-free toners, and ditch harsh foaming washes and abrasive exfoliators. We swear by Payot Eau Micellaire Express, R315,80 for 400ml. It’s alcohol-free, so it won’t irritate your eyes, and it removes make-up without fuss. “Sun protection is key, as UV light exacerbates inflammation and increases redness,” says Emma. Try La Roche-posay Anthelios XL Ultra-light Fluid SPF 50+, R240 for 50ml; or Avène Eau Thermale SPF 20 Antirougeurs Jour Moisturizing Protecting Emulsion, RRSP R229,95 for 40ml, with ruscus extract to aid microcirculation and reduce rosiness. ON-THE-SPOT SOLUTION Treat and conceal on the go with Coverderm Camouflage Concealer, R309 – it's infused with rosehip extract and has a high concentration of pigments to instantly neutralise all signs of redness. Ageing eye area Tackle bags, puffiness, dark circles and crow’s feet: UNDER-EYE BAGS This is one of the first areas to be affected by loss of fat, collagen and elastin. It’s also prone to puffiness, as fluid builds up in the hollows created by the orbital bones. Combat this with gentle massage, morning and night, combined with a lightweight eye gel. One of our favourite go-tos is the cooling Ren Vita Mineral 7 Active Eye Gel, R430 for 15ml, which has the added benefit of skindetoxing ginseng, and can be worn over or under make-up.
CROW’S FEET Nothing (apart from Botox) eliminates lines around the eyes, as they are caused by repeated facial movement. With fewer sebaceous glands, as well as less collagen and elastin than the rest of the face, this area is also prone to dehydration, making lines more visible – something you can control with Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex, R995 for 15ml, with wrinkle-plumping retinol.
DARK CIRCLES Those of us with darker skin tones have more melanin pigment under our eyes, making the area appear shadowy, which becomes more apparent as we age. Under-eye concealers are a fast fix, and a must-try is the
Blackup Radiance Concealer, R390 for 1,5ml. Sagging jowls THE LOW-DOWN Collagen and elastin, which keep the skin ‘springy’, start to deteriorate, and the skinplumping fat pads under our eyes and in our cheeks shrink, with the result that skin begins to 'go south'.
WHAT’S THE FIX? “Sun exposure, smoking and alcohol accelerate sagging, so are best avoided – or kept to a minimum,” says Emma. Retinoid-based skincare can help to stimulate collagen production. Start with lower concentrations, as retinoids can cause irritation. The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane, from R193 for 30ml, reduces fine lines and pigmentation. Plant extracts can superficially ‘lift’ sagging skin by tightening the surface.
Clarins Extra-firming Day Cream SPF 15, R950 for 50ml, contains potent oat kernel extracts, which tone up slack skin. Handheld gadgets that use low-level micro-currents can help firm up the neck and jawline. The Nuface Mini Facial Toner, from R2 725,37, can improve jowl droop, but it does require dedication.
ON-THE-SPOT SOLUTION Daily facial massage can boost the skin’s appearance. Massage in The Body Shop Roots of Strength Firming
Shaping Serum, R260 for 30ml, with tonifying ginger, ginseng and ruscus. Eczema THE LOW-DOWN Eczema is a blanket term for red, itchy and inflamed skin. “Atopic eczema is found in areas where the skin folds, while contact eczema is mostly found on hands and feet,” says Emma. Both are similar to an allergic reaction and are caused by hypersensitivity of the immune system. WHAT’S THE FIX? First, identify triggers and avoid them. Atopic eczema can also flare up due to stress or smoking. “The next step is to maintain your skin’s protective barrier to reduce the risk of reaction to external triggers,” says Emma. Stick to dermatological formulations that are designed to strengthen the skin barrier while reducing inflammation. Dermalex Atopic Eczema Cream, R289,95 for 100g, can be used from top to toe. Avoid products that contain fragrance and SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), a chemical often used in skin washes. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Lotion, R205 for 250ml, cleanses without irritation, and comes highly recommended by dermatologists. ON-THE-SPOT SOLUTION Reach for Mixa
Cica Repair Balm, R79,99 for 50ml, with skinbarrier protecting panthenol to ease discomfort on the face, body and hands, instantly. w&h