Whether your skin is dry or oily, it is likely it will be dehydrated too. This can be form of a lack of water intake, which differs from dry skin which is lacking in oil. Most of us do not consume enough water and should aim to drink around two litres a day. Dehydrated skin appears dull and can often have fine lines that come and go. If increasing your intake of water does not seem to aid the dehydration, incorporate a moisturiser or serum containing high levels of humectants such as glycerine or hyaluronic acid into your routine – these will help bind water to the skin. Try Vichy’s Aqualia Thermal skincare range .
Always take off make up before bed
The temptation to fall straight into bed after a heavy night is always compelling, but removing your makeup is so beneficial that even the use of a simple wipe will do in such situations. Habitually sleeping in makeup can cause spots, eye irritation and premature ageing, not to mention those frustrating stains on your pillowcase. Leave a bottle of Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (£4.99) and cotton pads next to your bed to avoid the panda-eyed situation you may be faced with in the morning.
Cleanse twice a day
This is easily one of the most important steps in anyone’s skincare regime. Cleansing removes makeup, grime and oil, and needs to be done twice a day, morning and night. Makeup wipes will not suffice! They are drying and should only be used in desperate times. Creams, balms or oil cleansers are the most effective, especially when used with a muslin cloth or flannel, and will clarify your skin ready for any other products used afterwards. Try The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil (£10).
There’s a common misconception that if you have oily skin, you don’t need to moisturise. WRONG! All skin needs moisture. Denying oily skin moisture can actually have an adverse effect, as skin that lacks oil produces more sebum to compensate. Try La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat (£14) for an oil free formula, or something richer like Simple Kind to Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturiser (£4.50) for those with a drier complexion.
Wear an SPF everyday
Whether you decide to use beauty products or cosmetics containing sun protection, or apply it separately, SPF is a crucial part of your skincare. Although it may feel a little premature, it will protect the skin from the early signs of ageing. A high factor broad spectrum UVA and UVB will protect from ageing and burning, and most modern facial sunblocks, such as Clinique’s Super City Block SPF40 (£18), sit perfectly under makeup.
Wash your makeup brushes
A personal resolution of mine, and a habit that all make-up users need to get into. Especially with problem skin, make-up brushes and sponges are harbourers of bacteria, dirt and grime, and can potentially cause more of those pesky spots. Once a week should do the trick, using a gentle shampoo, like Johnson’s Baby Shampoo (£2.20), and leaving to air-dry overnight. One more trick: try not to get water into the base of the bristles – it shortens their lifespan as it dislodges the adhesive holding the brush together.
Declutter your makeup
Now I’m not by any means suggesting that you throw away that £60 Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad just because it’s been lurking in your draw since 2009! Powders are usually fine until they run out, but its liquid and cream products you need to be checking the expiry date on. Mascaras and liquid eyeliners – keep between 6 and 9 months. Foundations and other liquid base products are generally okay for a couple of years maximum, but you’ll soon work out if your favourite base belongs in the bin if it begins to oxidise – this is when it reacts with the air and consequently darkens in colour.