Perfect Your Pre-Game
Turns out one simple step can totally transform your skin. Result? A stronger, healthier dermis
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.