Per­fect Your Pre-Game

Turns out one sim­ple step can to­tally trans­form your skin. Re­sult? A stronger, health­ier der­mis

Women's Health (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - By Am­ber Kal­lor

Se­ri­ously good skin­care tips so your make-up game is even stronger

Be­fore a mois­tur­is­ing serum...

Skin more parched than your mouth af­ter a big night out? Try Clar­ins Hy­dra-Essentiel Bi-Phase Serum (R735) – it quenches ir­ri­tated, dull and un­even skin. Its se­cret? Or­ganic, medic­i­nal kalan­choe ex­tract, a pow­er­ful nat­u­ral hy­dra­tion ac­ti­va­tor that boosts the skin’s hyaluronic acid pro­duc­tion. Win! But dead skin cells could block it, so use a gen­tle ex­fo­lia­tor first. Try Lancôme Vi­sion­naire Crescendo Dual-Phase Night Peel (R1 050). Take note: this peel com­bines two dif­fer­ent for­mu­las each with their own unique in­gre­di­ent com­bi­na­tion to be used over a 28-night pe­riod as part of an in­ter­val skin-train­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Start with Phase 1 for the first 14 nights, it’s for­mu­lated with fruit acids and quinoa-husk ex­tract that work to re­duce the ap­pear­ance of pores and im­prove skin’s tex­ture and radiance. Then, switch to Phase 2 for the last 14 nights. This phase re­duces the ap­pear­ance of fine lines, wrin­kles and dark spots.

Be­fore an acne treat­ment... Use a char­coal mask

It’s good to know that when you have a blem­ish so at­ten­tion-grab­bing it could have its own In­sta, you can zap it with Eucerin Der­moPu­ri­fyer Oil Con­trol Skin Re­newal Treat­ment (R220). Be­fore that, use a char­coal mask, like L’Oréal Pure Clay Detox Mask (R160). These masks act like mag­nets for the pol­lu­tion, tox­ins and ex­cess se­bum that al­low bac­te­ria to thrive, ex­plains der­ma­to­logic sur­geon Dr Dendy En­gel­man. The car­bon in char­coal at­tracts nas­ties and pulls them out. Even bet­ter? It gen­tly ex­fo­li­ates, al­low­ing blem­ish zap­pers to pen­e­trate deeper. Just avoid char­coal for­mu­las con­tain­ing ag­gres­sive in­gre­di­ents, like gly­colic acid, which can ir­ri­tate skin, says En­gel­man.

Be­fore a SPF... Use an an­tiox­i­dant

Sun­screen isn’t bul­let­proof, so an­tiox­i­dants are im­por­tant – es­pe­cially in sunny SA. By neu­tral­is­ing free rad­i­cals, they give your sun­screen a hand in shield­ing against UVA and UVB dam­age (re­spon­si­ble for lines, dis­coloura­tion and some skin can­cers). Bonus: they pro­tect skin from other freerad­i­cal car­nage caused by pol­lu­tion, in­frared and vis­i­ble light rays. Smooth on Bobbi Brown Reme­dies Skin Re­viver No. 91 Power Greens Fer­ment (R695) and wait a minute. Then press in La Roche-Posay Ef­faclar K+ (R250). Packed with vi­ta­min E, it helps pro­tect against photo-age­ing.

Af­ter a retinoid... Add mois­ture

Main­tain­ing skin’s hy­dra­tion lev­els postretinoid is key. Stick a hu­mid­i­fier in the cor­ner of your bed­room at night to help in­fuse the air with mois­ture. Thirsty skin will drink it up like a sponge.

For dry or sen­si­tive skin, ap­ply a ceramide

“Skin can be­come red, raw or flaky in the first month of us­ing a retinoid,” ex­plains der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Joshua Ze­ich­ner. This means those prone to ir­ri­ta­tion might bail be­fore the line-fight­ing in­gre­di­ent can work its magic. But fear not: here a night-time so­lu­tion is at hand. First, prime with El­iz­a­beth Ar­den Retinol Ceramide Cap­sules Line Eras­ing Night Serum (R965), which con­tain bar­rier-re­pair­ing ce­ramides (pro­tec­tive lipid mol­e­cules) that act as a buf­fer. An­other so­lu­tion? “Start slow and use a milder form of vi­ta­min A,” ad­vises der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Mona Go­hara. Try Sk­inCeu­ti­cals Retinol 0.3 (R1 275), it’s suit­able for more sen­si­tive types.

For oily or com­bi­na­tion skin, use a mild cleanser

This vi­ta­min A de­riv­a­tive is ar­guably the most im­por­tant anti-ager (aside from sun­screen, obvs). But for it to do its job (re­gen­er­ate col­la­gen to fade wrin­kles), you need to re­move ex­cess oil from your face. You might be tempted to reach for your trusty acne wash, but be­ware: “Ben­zoyl per­ox­ide can de­ac­ti­vate a retinoid,” says cos­metic der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Robert Ano­lik. In­stead, stick to mild for­mu­las, such as Eau Ther­male Avène Gen­tle Milk Cleanser (R250) – it gen­tly cleanses to elim­i­nate skin im­pu­ri­ties with­out risk of ir­ri­ta­tion. Af­ter pat­ting your face dry, ap­ply a serum­based retinoid, such as En­v­i­ron Fo­cus Care Youth+ Serum (R475). “This en­hances pen­e­tra­tion, mak­ing the retinoid more ef­fec­tive,” ex­plains En­gel­man. Ticks our box.

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