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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.
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
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 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
viewing of products
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.”
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
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.
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
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.”