Give your skin a new cheer

Katie Wright asks skin­care spe­cial­ists how to re­vive a dull, dry com­plex­ion fol­low­ing the ex­cesses of the sea­son

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Beauty -

AF­TER De­cem­ber’s boozy, party-filled weeks, many of us em­bark on Dry Jan­uary, quit­ting al­co­hol, eat­ing healthily and hit­ting the gym - hard.

Have you ever con­sid­ered, how­ever, that you should be detox­ing your skin, not just your liver?

“It’s com­mon for peo­ple to overindulge dur­ing the fes­tive pe­riod,” says Tracey Wil­mot, below, train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion di­rec­tor at Mu­rad.

But, she warns, all those glasses of fizz and tins of Qual­ity Street take their toll: “Ex­cess al­co­hol and high-How­ever, you might be see­ing more blem­ishes or blotchy patches.

“If you’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing oilier skin, break­outs or the skin shows signs of red­ness or sen­si­tiv­ity, it could be time for a detox.”

That doesn’t mean go­ing cold turkey on skin­care — far from it — though there are some prod­ucts you may want to ease off on.

“De­pend­ing on your skin type and the con­cerns you are look­ing to ad­dress, there are a va­ri­ety of things you can do that will help cleanse and re­boot your sys­tem in­ter­nally and ex­ter­nally, to get your skin back in shape,” says Wil­mot.

Here are seven ideas from skin­care ex­perts to get you started...

1. Use a clay mask twice a week

“A good clay mask can help draw the im­pu­ri­ties out of your skin, un­clog blocked pores, and re­vi­talise a dull com­plex­ion,” says Wil­mot.

“Look for kaolin clay or vol­canic clay, which con­trols ex­cess oil and deep cleanses the skin.”

2. Drink lots of wa­ter — and eat it too

“De­hy­dra­tion is of­ten the big­gest cul­prit dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son,” Wil­mot says. “Be­cause al­co­hol not only de­hy­drates our cells but also causes blotchy red skin and ex­ac­er­bates sen­si­tiv­ity and red­ness.”

That’s why it’s im­por­tant to boost mois­ture lev­els from the in­side by drink­ing plenty of wa­ter, and ‘eat­ing’ it in the form of wa­ter-rich foods.

“Eat­ing wa­ter-rich foods, such as ap­ples and broc­coli, not only hy­drates the skin at the cel­lu­lar level, but also de­liv­ers the nu­tri­ents needed for health­ier skin. Add lemon to your wa­ter for a good cleanse and to help diges­tion.”

3. Take a break from dry­ing prod­ucts

“Since the new year will be the dead of win­ter for those of us in the north­ern hemi­sphere, most in­di­vid­u­als need to add hy­dra­tion and mois­tur­i­sa­tion,” says Dr Gre­gory Bays Brown, founder of Re­Vive Skin­care.

“As such, I would sug­gest de­creas­ing the fre­quency of prod­ucts that can con­trib­ute to dry­ing, such as retin-A or retinol creams and peels.”

That way, your skin cells can hold onto all that ex­tra wa­ter you’re giv­ing them.

4. De­clut­ter your skin­care

“Start by detox­ing your prod­ucts and makeup,” rec­om­mends celebrity fa­cial­ist and and laser spe­cial­ist Debbie Thomas.

“Check useby dates and throw away out-of-date prod­ucts, as they lose their ef­fec­tive­ness and have higher like­li­hood of har­bour­ing bac­te­ria.

“Then check if you have prod­ucts you just don’t use — they can ei­ther be used on other body ar­eas, or give them to a friend who’s more suited to them.”

5. Add an ex­tra mois­tur­is­ing step

“We lose most of our hy­dra­tion when we are sleep­ing, so it’s es­sen­tial to add a good mois­turiser to your regime to help re­plen­ish and re­pair the skin,” Wil­mot ad­vises.

If you don’t al­ready use a serum af­ter you cleanse in the evening, con­sider ad­ding one that con­tains hyaluronic acid (an in­gre­di­ent which helps your skin re­tain mois­ture), be­fore your usual night cream.

Al­ter­na­tively, a face oil can make a huge dif­fer­ence — all it takes is a few drops rubbed be­tween your palms and smoothed over your face to get rid of those an­noy­ing flaky patches, with­out leav­ing a greasy fin­ish.

6. Ex­fo­li­ate gen­tly

“Ex­fo­li­a­tion is key to a good detox, stim­u­lat­ing skin cell turnover and un­clog­ging blocked pores,” Wil­mot says.

“If you nor­mally ex­fo­li­ate weekly, now is the time to step up to twice a week, to re­ally ac­cel­er­ate the ben­e­fits.

“Look for for­mu­las that have nat­u­ral pol­ished beads, such as jo­joba, and a com­bi­na­tion of hy­droxy acids, to help con­di­tion the skin and re­store that glow.”

7. Don’t for­get SPF

“It’s also im­por­tant to not for­get sun­screen,” says Dr Brown.

“Even though the sun is less present, it can still have dele­te­ri­ous ef­fects in the win­ter months.”

So, make sure a cream that’s at least SPF 30 is part of your morn­ing rou­tine. ■ Detox es­sen­tials: Your skin­care shop­ping list

■ De­cleor Deep Cleans­ing Clar­i­fy­ing Clay Mask, €27, Feelu­nique

■ Mu­rad Multi-Vi­ta­min In­fu­sion Oil, €77, Deben­hams

■ Re­vi­tal­ixir Re­cov­ery Serum, €98, Deben­hams

■ Ren Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic, €32, Meahger­sphar­macy.ie

■ Malin+Goetz AHA Treat­ment So­lu­tion, €46, Re­volve.com

■ A’kin In­vig­o­rat­ing Fa­cial Scrub (for­merly Jo­joba & Corn Fa­cial Scrub), €18.45, LookFan­tas­tic

■ Elemis Gen­tle Rose Ex­fo­lia­tor, €39, Sam McCauley Chemists

■ Re­Vive Soleil Su­perieur SPF 50, €139, Fru­ugo.ie

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