SKIN SAVIOURS

Whether your complexion is dry or sen­si­tive, there are nat­u­ral ways to glow

Country Living (UK) - - Contents - words by daisy gough

Nat­u­ral ways to bring har­mony to your complexion

DRY SKIN

It’s easy for very dry and eczema-prone skin to get into a vi­cious cir­cle of sen­si­tiv­ity – the dry­ness means its nat­u­ral pro­tec­tive bar­rier is weak­ened, so some prod­ucts can ag­gra­vate it more than they would healthy skin. Keeping it calm and de-stressed is key to sooth­ing your prob­lem. Avoid prod­ucts with syn­thetic fra­grances, which can ir­ri­tate. “Cleans­ing balms can be bet­ter for dry skin as they don’t strip its acid man­tle,” says Kirstie Sher­riff of Pinks Bou­tique. “An or­ganic cleans­ing balm is great for your face, but also amaz­ing as a body wash.” Skin saviour: Pinks Bou­tique Rose Face and Body Balm (£31, pinks­bou­tique.com).

FINE LINES

As we get older, the body pro­duces less col­la­gen in the skin, which gives it its firm­ness, and less elastin, which pro­vides elas­tic­ity, but the age­ing process can be ex­ac­er­bated by ex­ter­nal fac­tors. “We all have an age­ing clock de­fined by our genes, but we can in­flu­ence it by what we do in life,” says

herbal­ist Tip­per Lewis. “Long-term stress, sun, pol­lu­tion and a high-sugar diet all con­trib­ute to the break­down of col­la­gen and elastin.” Tip­per rec­om­mends us­ing frank­in­cense es­sen­tial oil. “It tack­les so many age-re­lated prob­lems, fight­ing in­flam­ma­tion, speed­ing cel­lu­lar re­cov­ery, plus it is a po­tent an­tiox­i­dant and tones the skin.”

Try mak­ing your own fa­cial oil with 30ml of a car­rier oil. “Jo­joba or ar­gan oil are my favourites, as they’re rich in an­tiox­i­dant vi­ta­min E and es­sen­tial fatty acids,” Tip­per says. Add four drops of frank­in­cense es­sen­tial oil, plus two drops of neroli to speed re­gen­er­a­tion. “Fa­cial oil is won­der­ful used for drier skin, while some­one with oily skin will love it as a night treat­ment. It helps bal­ance oil pro­duc­tion and ac­tu­ally im­proves this.” Skin saviour: Neal’s Yard Reme­dies Frank­in­cense In­tense Cream (£55, neal­syardreme­dies.com).

BLEM­ISHES

We tend to think of trou­ble­some skin as a teenage prob­lem, but it’s es­ti­mated that around a third of women suf­fer from blem­ishes well into their thir­ties and be­yond. Hor­mones are of­ten to blame and it’s not un­com­mon for acne to reap­pear around the menopause when fe­male hor­mones dip and testos­terone in­creases, cre­at­ing an ex­cess of nat­u­ral oils that block pores, en­cour­ag­ing spots. For­tu­nately, there are now prod­ucts that recog­nise ma­turer skin needs a treat­ment to tackle break­outs with­out dry­ing. Don’t be afraid of us­ing an oil on spot-prone skin. “It seems strange, but not all oils block pores. Jo­joba is so sim­i­lar to

the skin’s se­bum that it tricks it into think­ing it has made enough it­self and so bal­ances oil pro­duc­tion,” ex­plains aro­mather­apy ex­pert Deri Wil­son (de­ri­wil­son.com). Add an es­sen­tial oil, such as rose gera­nium, which has hor­mone-bal­anc­ing qual­i­ties, for ex­tra ben­e­fit. Skin saviour: Omorovicza Mir­a­cle Fa­cial Oil (£80, omorovicza.com).

SEN­SI­TIVE SKIN

Whether it’s taut and dry, flaky and sore, or itchy and red, sen­si­tive skin comes in many forms. Ex­perts agree it’s a grow­ing prob­lem, with the prod­ucts we use as much to blame as the life­styles we lead. “Stress can of­ten be the trig­ger,” says Sarah Brown, cre­ator of Pai Skin­care. “Food in­tol­er­ances, hor­mones and cos­metic in­gre­di­ents also play their part and most of­ten take ef­fect when your im­mune sys­tem is im­paired.”

Look for prod­ucts that are gen­tle on your skin, and make sure you keep to a sim­ple rou­tine. “Cleans­ing is the top pri­or­ity to get right. A poor regime with harsh prod­ucts can be the big­gest source of prob­lems,” Sarah says. “Camomile ex­tract (rather than es­sen­tial oil) is my num­ber one in­gre­di­ent due to its an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory ef­fect – look for it on a la­bel.” In the evening, take off your make-up by mas­sag­ing cleanser into skin and re­mov­ing with a damp muslin cloth. Fol­low with a few drops of fa­cial oil pat­ted into slightly damp skin. “In­gre­di­ents with high es­sen­tial fatty acids, like rose­hip oil and sea buck­thorn, help to re­gen­er­ate skin, mak­ing it less sus­cep­ti­ble to flare-ups,” Sarah says. Skin saviour: Pai Rose­hip Biore­gen­er­ate Oil (£22, paiskin­care.com).

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