When it comes to skin care, more does not equal more. Go back to basics – your skin will thank you for it.
Once upon a time (specifically between 2016 and 2018) we looked to Koreans and their 10 step regime as the gold standard for skin care. Magazines spoke of diligently applying 10 products every day to reap the benefits of glowing skin, K-beauty style.
If it sounds like a lot, that’s only because it is.
We have good news for your bank account and your skin barrier: armed with the right products, you don’t need to drop your life savings on a 10+ step regime to have really healthy, youthful-looking skin. In fact, four or five products should do the trick. Here, Robyn McAlpine, Skin Therapist and Founder of Skintifix, and Fiona Pereira, La Mer National Education Manager take us back to basics.
“Our skin is not here to ‘perform’ – ie. to be something that it’s genetically not,” McAlpine tells Gritty Pretty. “Skin is a rather complex, yet simple organ and it can be tempting to go crazy with the amount of products we use. Many of the skin concerns I see are caused by an over use of skin care products that haven’t been the perfect fit or from mixing and matching too many ingredients that overload the skin.”
When a client walks in Skintifix with acne, rosacea or any other condition, McAlpine’s first item of business is to look at his or her routine and simplify the line up, bringing skin back to its base line.
If your skin is ‘okay’ but could be better, Pereira recommends speaking with an expert who can help you understand your skin goals and work back from there. Personalisation is key.
The skin essentials every woman needs? Thought you’d never ask:
Look for a high quality cleanser that won’t strip the skin’s microbiome while still providing a thorough cleanse. Avoid cleansers that create a ‘squeaky clean’ feeling: it means your skin has been over cleansed. “When a skin is clean and not traumatised from over cleansing, everything else applied after can focus on playing its part without having to repair and restore the aftermath left behind from a stripping cleanser.”
Gritty Pretty loves: Dermaviduals Customised Cleanser (“a unique cleanser that is specific to your skin,” available in clinic only), Apot.Care Anti-Pollution Jelly Cleanser ($52), CeraVe Foaming Cleanser ($14.99).
Now, for the heavy lifting. With a myriad of options to choose from, pick a serum best suited to your age group (more on that below) or skin concern. “This is a sure fire way to reach your skin care goals faster,” says Pereira.
A moisturiser helps lock in moisture – a non-negotiable, particularly at this time of year. (Winter is coming.) As McAlpine explains: “A moisturiser both locks in the serum or tonic applied before it but also provides a layer of protection to prevent moisture evaporating from the skin.”
We couldn’t talk about moisturiser without mentioning Crème de la Mer. (For a full rundown on the product’s skin-changing formula, see here.) At $665 per 100ml, it’s one of the pricier formulations on the market – however, this product is an investment. Ideal for both sensitive and dry skin, Crème de la Mer heals skin using the brand’s famous Miracle Broth. This ‘Broth’ is created from fermented sea kelp, which has been sustainably harvested by hand twice a year, placed on ice and rushed to the La Mer labs to ensure it remains as potent as possible. Vitamins C, E and B12 help seal the deal, delivering moisture right where your skin needs it most.
Because, obviously. “I’m a big believer in prevention being better than a cure and sunscreen is the number one product for future proofing your skin,” McAlpine says.
As we age, our skin’s needs change. While there are some principles that apply to all, your serum should be tailored to your age group and/or skin type.
Oil production starts to normalise (meaning, less breakouts) but you might start experiencing dehydration. Look for a serum containing hyaluronic acid, such as Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair ($100) to draw moisture into your skin. McAlpine recommends a serum containing lipids (like avocado, rosehip and jojoba oils) from your 20s onwards.
Ward off pigmentation and protect your skin against environmental aggressors with Vitamin C. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($210) has both brightening and anti-ageing effects.
Introduce a retinol-based serum in the evening to enhance cell turnover, and improve texture and tone. Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream ($119) has a cult following.
Tell us, do you have a 10 step skin care regime? Or are you a simple kind of gal?