We all know a professional facial is the fastest way to glowing skin but for many of us, time, money and logistics (school runs, meetings and life admin always seem to get in the way) mean it’s not always possible. With party season fast approaching now’s the time our skin really craves a little TLC, whether it’s a pre-party boost or a post festivities pick-me-up. So read on to discover all the tips the insiders swear by and get ready to reap the rewards (and compliments) of healthy, fresh and glowing skin…
CREATE A SPA-LIKE AMBIENCE
If you can’t get to the spa then at the very least you can invoke the smell and serenity of one in your own bathroom. That means dimming the lights and lighting a candle or two (we love Mauli’s Sundaram & Silence Candle for its zen-like scented flame) or anointing your pulse points with soothing essential oils; Aromatherapy Associates Roller Ball in Inner Strength is a comforting concoction of clary sage, cardamom and frankincense and helps inspire peace and positivity.
CLEANSE AND THEN DOUBLE CLEANSE
To really get your skin scrupulously clean, it’s a good idea to double cleanse – even if you’re doing your facial in the morning. “Your skin produces sebum and dead skin cells while you sleep so a cleansing gel or milk should be an essential part of your morning skincare routine,” says Keiko Mizuno, Education Manager at Ren. Apply your first cleanser to remove the day’s grime, makeup, dirt and pollutants; your second cleanser should actually clean your skin. For your first cleanse try an oil-based, balm cleanser. “They work with your skin’s natural sebum to deeply clean without stripping, removing imperfections and leaving skin deeply clean but not dry and tight,” says facialist Sarah Chapman. To help your cleanser work even harder, spend a few minutes massaging it into the skin each day. “It helps give pores a deep clean, drains toxins, enlivens the skin with a boost of oxygen and works your product deeper into pores to combat congestion,” adds Sarah.
EXFOLIATION IS ESSENTIAL
Exfoliation is a crucial step that the pros never skip. Not only does it remove the top layer of dead skin cells that cause dullness, properly exfoliated skin will allow whatever you put on it afterwards to sink straight in and work as hard as it’s supposed to. As a rule chemical exfoliation with acids is a good option for everyone, especially those with sensitive skin: “Using an exfoliator that includes AHA and BHA, such as our Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic, on a regular basis will be the most effective yet gentle way to exfoliate and maintain the glow,” says Keiko. To make your cleanser work even harder, mix it with your physical scrub. “By mixing these products together you maximise on the effectiveness of both and also save a step in your regimen. Using a facial tool or brush with your cleanser can also help deliver better results,” says dermatologist and brand founder Dr Gary Goldfaden.
MAKE TIME FOR A MASK
Masks are one of the best and fastest ways to target your skin’s specific needs, and the best bit about them is that you can use different ones at the same time to treat a wide range of conditions. Take time to figure out exactly what your skin needs – it may be dehydrated, fatigued or blemish-prone – then choose the appropriate formula accordingly. “To get the best possible results from your masks, always apply on to cleansed, exfoliated skin for maximum absorption” advises Sarah. “To really supercharge your treatment, layer a serum underneath, this way the mask will literally press by osmosis your added serum deeper into the skin.”
DON’T SCRIMP ON SERUM
When it comes to utilising serums in your DIY facial it’s all in the application technique; after you’ve applied your serum to damp skin tap your fingers all over to help it absorb efficiently. “Always apply your serums and moisturisers from forehead to below the bust and round the back of the neck and ears (don’t forget your earlobes!) – this should all be considered as part of the face,” says Sarah. Cocktailing your skincare to make bespoke serums is a great way of boosting your products’ performance. “If you want to boost the efficiency of hydration or anti-ageing properties, add a couple of drops of Ren’s Bio Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate to your serum to enhance the hydration and boost the plumpness of the skin,” says Keiko.
MAXIMISE YOUR ROUTINE
As well as ensuring you have the right products to hand, enlisting the help of extra tools, techniques and devices will ensure even better results.” Massaging your skin will boost blood circulation which will help the product penetrate better and brighten your skin. An easy one is to do circular motions on cheeks and chin, zig zag with both hands on the forehead,” says Keiko. If you can’t get your hands to mimic those of the experts, then try one of the roster of at-home gadgets. “My Facialift tool is designed to mimic the effects of my award-winning Skinesis massage techniques at home, giving you a treatment style massage in minutes,” says Sarah.