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Skincare circuit breakers: 3 ways to shake-up and supercharge your existing skincare routine

We’ve all had it – skin that’s been fine, but, could probably be better. Like exercise and daily humdrums of routine, it’s worth changing up your regular skincare routine once in a while with these treatments and tools that will jolt your skin out of its rut.

FIRST STEP: WORK OUT WHAT YOUR SKIN NEEDS

To start, it’s always important to work out what your skin needs, and what it doesn’t like. Remember, it’s not worth changing your skincare for the sake of it, but to really drill down to how your skin is changing or behaving differently from our how it normally would – whether it’s from age, or changes in the season or your lifestyle, or overall health and conditions that we don’t have control over. As Lucy Shaw, MECCA’s skincare education manager advises, “I think the best approach is to really listen to your skin, identify any changes and respond to its individual needs if and when these changes occur. Similar to when the weather changes, you wouldn’t wear the same clothes so it’s no different for your skincare. It’s a good idea to have a skincare wardrobe and a few treatment products up your sleeve that you can adapt and adjust with your skin.”

For Shaw, these are the questions to ask yourself about your skin to determine what it needs:

“How is your skin tone? Is it even, are there areas of redness, is it dull? “

“Then, how is your texture? Does the skin feel rough or smooth? Are there small bumps appearing? Is there flaky or dead skin hanging around on the surface?”

“The third is comfort level – how does your skin feel? Does it feel tight when you smile? Does it feel warm and tingly? Is there heat or stress happening within the skin?”

“All of these are signs that there is some sort of imbalance and that the skin barrier (the skin’s primary function) has been compromised.”

P.S. You should have a consistent maintenance routine, so now it's about switching-up texture and treatments.

Shaw advises that you should always have a reliable cleanser, exfoliator/peels and moisturiser, and add in treatments depending on skin conditions or concerns that aren’t necessarily everyday steps but can provide a high dose of what your skin is craving. Click here for our tips on cleansers, peels and moisturisers.

MASKS: FOR INSTANT GRATIFICATION

“Masks are a really great way to get some instant gratification and as a result, perfect for when you’re feeling run down, you haven’t had enough sleep or maybe you have a special occasion that you want to look extra special for,” advises Shaw.

To address congestion and glow, try a clay mask such as the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask. It uses Hungarian Moor Mud which is rich in magnesium and calcium and other nutrients that your skin may not be getting from your diet, so it draws out impurities from the pores and evens out skin tone. “It gives your skin an instant glow!” says Shaw.

For skin that’s stressed, so showing signs of redness and sometimes dryness, the Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque is a cooling gel mask to give your skin some reprieve.

The Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte Mask is another favourite of Shaw’s since it’s packed full of niacinamide which is essential for overall skin health. This one can be used more regularly as the last step in your routine.

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PEELS: “AN ABSOLUTE ESSENTIAL”

If you’re not using peels already, read this. “Your skin needs to be exfoliated because it is constantly producing new skin cells and when they build up they can really create issues such as breakouts, texture and flaky skin,” says Shaw. “Plus, after using a peel your skin instantly feels better and you won’t be wasting all of your wonderful products on dead skin cells.” Makes sense, right?

To start off, try the Goldfaden Doctor’s Scrub which is a physical exfoliator. You can use this daily too, because of its inclusion of moisturising hyaluronic acid, soothing seaweed and jojoba oil.

There are also more intensive peels that replicate the spa experience at home, particularly when choosing brands that stem from existing physical facialists. The Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive is a cult peel that polishes the skin to remove dead skin cells while restoring the skin’s natural barrier and mimics the experience in the Beverley Hills spa.

For a more intensive chemical peel at-home that can save us a trip to the Fifth Avenue clinic of Dr Dennis Gross, his Professional Grade Resurfacing Peel is one to add to your arsenal. As one of the pioneers of the at-home peel, he has a range of options for varying budgets and skin types.

“After experiencing the Dermalogica Pro Power Peel in clinic treatment, I was so desperate to recreate the result at home, which is exactly why they created the Rapid Reveal Peel,” says Shaw. “You can use it regularly to maintain results, or, if you use it consecutively for three nights in a row you get a result comparable to the professional strength peel, it’s incredible. It is important to keep in mind that the only time that you shouldn’t use a peel is when your skin’s barrier is compromised, irritated or sensitised.”

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DEVICES: LIKE EXERCISE FOR YOUR SKIN

To expand upon the exercise analogy, devices are like reformer pilates for your skin. These tools – whether they’re low-tech like a rose quartz roller or high tech like red and blue light treatment (read our guide on them here) are an additional method to level-up your skincare routine.

For a device beginner, start off with the Lonvitalite Microneedle Derma Roller Face and Body Kit which can easily be used in conjunction with your skincare routine. The microneedling allows your skincare products to sink in even deeper into your skin by creating micro-punctures. They may sound a bit daunting, but the micro-punctions are so ‘micro’ that they only allow for deeper product absorption and also triggers the skin’s natural repair process along with collagen and elastin production.

Many of us have known about the rose quartz roller for a while, so for the next step up, Angela Caglia have released their Vibrating Rose Quartz Roller for even more of a massage effect for the skin. While there are many rose quartz rollers out there, the Angela Caglia-created rose quartz rollers are made with care so that they will always roll smoothly without any friction.

For the next step up in devices, the Nuface Mini Wanderlust Collection contours the face with the help of microcurrents, so it’s exercising the muscles in your face to bring out your natural face shape and to help lift features. The top-the-line at-home device is the Dr Dennis Gross Spectralite Faceware Pro for red and blue light treatment – much like what you’d get at a facialist, but at home. Use daily for just three minutes to reverse the visible signs of ageing or reduce the appearance of discolouration.

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AMPOULE PROGRAMS: “FAST TRACK” FOR YOUR SKIN

When your skin is in dire need of help, turn to an ampoule program which is like a planned-out schedule for your skincare. “They’re designed to dose your skin with high concentrates of active ingredients in order to fast track results that would perhaps take longer using your everyday skincare products,” explains Shaw. “Think of these as a way to mimic salon results. They are often a higher concentration of actives, with advanced delivery systems that help encourage the active ingredients to get to where they need to go and faster.”

Don’t forget though that you don’t want to overwhelm your skin, so don’t do too much on your ampoule program – you want to give it the opportunity to take effect, without the interference of other active products. It’s the old adage of if you’re doing it, do it properly. “Support an ampoule-based routine with your usual cleanser, so nothing super strong or deep cleansing, skip serum and be sure to apply a nourishing and hydrating moisturiser and SPF daily.”

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