No-nos and must-haves for a gorgeous year ahead.
From squeezing pimples to plucking grey hairs to peeling off your nail varnish, a panel of UAE experts tell Louise Emma Clarke which beauty no-nos we should stop in 2017
It’s January, which makes it the perfect time to turn over a new leaf – so now is the time to stop those bad beauty habits that are ruining our skin, hair and nails, say the experts. We’ve made it our mission to find out exactly why.
1. Squeezing spots
‘A spot is a little bag under the skin that contains oil, bacteria and inflammation,’ explains Rebecca Treston, founder of Rebecca Treston Aesthetics at Euromed Clinic Center, Dubai (04 394 5422). ‘Squeezing it can result in the contents being pushed into the surrounding skin, making the problem worse. It can also lead to infection and temporary darkening of the skin in that area. And perhaps worst of all, the inflammation can become so bad that permanent scarring is left behind when the pimple finally disappears.’
Aly Rahimtoola of Herbal Essentials advises, ‘It’s best to let a pimple run through its lifespan, which could be anywhere from two to seven days. Acne creams can help treat the spot, too, as they typically contain antibacterial ingredients, so that’s worth a try if you want it to clear up quickly.’ Shopping list: Shiseido Pureness Blemish Targeting Gel (Dh129, Basharacare.com).
2. Plucking grey hairs
‘Grey hairs are caused by a lack of pigment in the hair follicle,’ explains Catherine Hawkes, artistic director of Marquee salon in Dubai. ‘Plucking out the hairs is a really bad idea, as you’re just going to cause damage to the follicle and the hair will continue to grow back grey.’
She continues, ‘If you continually pluck out grey hairs, it will cause more and more damage to the follicle and the hair will start to grow out with a frizzy and coarse texture, becoming even more noticeable. Eventually you will damage the follicle so badly it will die and leave a bald spot – and that’s definitely not a good look.’
So what does she suggest we do? ‘Dealing with grey hairs is just part of life and they can be easily covered these days with a semi-permanent hair colour,’ Catherine explains. ‘Alternatively, you can disguise greys with hair make-up, which you apply with a small brush and will last until you next wash your hair.’ Shopping list: Color Wow Root Cover Up (Dh210, glamazle.com).
3. Sleeping with your make-up on
‘If you sleep with make-up on, you are effectively slowing down the process of skin renewal as skin cells do their repair work most effectively at night,’ explains Aly. She continues, ‘Research shows that skin-cell regeneration almost doubles at night, peaking between 11pm-4am. Production of collagen is boosted, harmful free radicals are destroyed and cell damage is rectified. If you have a layer of make-up on during that time, then it’s much harder for the skin to rejuvenate and breathe – and your skin will not look as fresh or rested in the morning.’
Rebecca adds, ‘The best night-time skincare routine is to double cleanse, which means cleansing the skin twice. First, use a gentle cleanser that is specific for make-up removal. Once you have removed all your make-up, next use a cleanser that is specific to your skin’s actual needs.’ Shopping list: Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Milk (Dh170, counters nationwide).
4. Over-plucking eyebrows
‘Over-plucking is possibly the worst thing you can do to your brows,’ warns Chloe Walsh, a Dubai-based brow and semi-permanent make-up artist (chloewalshcmua.com). ‘Brows are all about symmetry for your face – and if they are shaped correctly, they frame your face and make a huge difference to your overall look.’
She continues, ‘If you must tweeze, just take away a few random hair underneath where you know it won’t affect the shape of the brow – and to ensure you don’t end up with a huge gap in the middle, line up a thin make-up brush vertically with your inner tear duct to use as a guide. You shouldn’t pluck beyond this line.’ And when it comes to defining brows? ‘Pick a brow pencil a
shade lighter than your eyebrows,’ advises brow expert Santi Garay of the brand Browhaus.
‘Brows that are too dark look harsh and fake. Use light strokes to shade in any patchy areas, and trace the natural shape of your brows. The point is to shadow, not draw in your brows.’ Shopping list: Nars Brow Perfector (Dh115, the UAE’s first Nars store opens in The Dubai Mall on January 24).
5. Picking off nail polish
‘Picking off nail polish, especially gel polish, is one of the quickest ways to destroy your nails,’ warns Shabana Karim, founder of The Nail Spa. ‘It actually takes part of your nail with it – and if you do it repeatedly, you will have really weak and brittle nails.’
Tabassum Kassim of UK nail polish brand Ciaté, explains, ‘The part of the nail you lose if you pick at your nails is a protective layer that keeps the nail strong, so peeling this will weaken your nails. The best way to remove nail polish is with an acetone-free polish remover and cotton wool.’
Nadia Briggs, owner of The Cure Beauty Spas, adds, ‘If you do not want to carry cotton discs and liquid remover with you to avoid mess and spillage, you can use a nail-polish remover jar in which you can have your nail varnish removed in one dip.’ Shopping list: Sephora Express Nail Polish Remover (Dh49, Sephora.ae).
6. Skipping on SPF
‘The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone – regardless of skin colour – protect their skin by wearing sunscreen,’ says Aly. ‘It helps prevent premature ageng and sunburn – but it’s really important to remember to reapply it regularly while you’re out in the sun, as perspiring or swimming will wash it off and you will no longer be protected.’
And it isn’t just for the health of the skin, but for cosmetic reasons, too. Rebecca explains, ‘You will regret not having worn sunscreen when you look at your skin compared to friends who have worn daily sunscreen 20 years from now. Harmful UV rays not only accelerate the ageing process, but they account for 80 per cent of skin ageing, which includes the appearance of facial brown spots, skin discolouration, as well as lines and wrinkles.’
She adds, ‘Sunscreen should always be the final step in your daytime skincare routine. Apply at least half a teaspoon of sunscreen to your face and neck and wait at least 15 minutes before going outside.’ Shopping list: Murad Oil-Free Sunblock (Dh165, thebeautyfloor.com).