THE IN-TRAY

How to treat your skin concerns naturally

NO NEED TO PULL OUT THE BIG GUNS WHEN DEALING WITH COMMON SKIN ISSUES. MECCA SKIN SPECIALIST LUCY SIMPSON HAS A SLATE OF NATURAL TREATMENTS THAT SHE PRESCRIBES FOR EVERYTHING FROM REDNESS TO ACNE.

Confronted with an onerous skin issue—acne, redness and dullness to name a few—many of us turn to the most invasive treatments available. Natural products have long been considered less effective than their hard-core brethren. But that’s no longer the case. In the last decade, skin care technology has moved faster than you can get through a tub of Drunk Elephant moisturiser, and the best results often stem from products that bridge science and nature. An increasing number of brands are also editing their ingredient decks, omitting controversial elements and focusing on good-for-you ones. Here, we’ve curated the best mindful beauty products to remedy the most common skin concerns, with a few hacks to help along the way.

Redness

Red, blotchy skin is difficult to diagnose. Causes vary from seasonal changes to fluctuating diets to reactions to medication. It often signifies a lack of balance. French chemist Michele Everard founded her skin care line Cosmetics 27 on the idea of rebalancing the complexion with natural ingredients. The golden rule when trying to combat redness is to avoid heat, temperature fluctuations and overstimulation of the skin. Easy fix: no more washing your face in the shower. Instead, cleanse at the basin with tepid water.

The brand’s Plasma27 mask offers an instant cooling sensation by reducing flushing and drenching skin in nourishing ingredients. The formula is also rinse-free, which means there’s no risk of over-stimulating the skin. Top tip: use the excess serum left in the packet to massage into your chest, neck and even arms, which can also be affected by redness. You can even store them in the fridge for further refreshing effects.

To help mitigate redness long-term, Crème27 is your go-to. The formulation is lightweight but extremely hydrating. It’s an anti-pollution shield, detoxifier (where toxins go, inflammation follows) and helps strengthen the skin’s microbiome with probiotics. The hero ingredient in all Cosmetics 27 products is centella Asiatica, which stimulates your skin cells to repair faster. Best of all, this wonder cream contains 95 percent natural ingredients and is free of mineral oil, silicone and parabens.

Fine lines and wrinkles

As we age, skin cells don’t uptake oxygen and vitamins as effectively, which slows their repair. Oxygen, a key ingredient when it comes to a more youthful complexion, helps skin cells bounce back. Omorovicza Oxygen Booster delivers oxygen molecules to the epidermis. It also targets and plumps lines with hyaluronic acid and strengthens the skin with the brand’s mineral-rich “healing concentrate”. For lines around the mouth, forehead or eyes, this product packs a punch. You can mix it with your moisturiser or serum and apply it all over, twice daily or when your skin just needs a boost.

To improve the oxygenation of your skin, and increase circulation, use your forefinger and thumb to pinch the skin in repetitive outward motions, moving directly along targeted lines. This will relieve tension in the muscles and also stimulate blood flow to the area to repair from the inside out.

Acne

Too often we assume that when it comes to blemishes and breakouts we need to be aggressive in our approach. In fact, the opposite is true. Acne and breakouts telegraph irritation or inflammation, so a better approach is to help skin defend itself against bacteria. Dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldfaden developed his own clean and effective treatments to heal blemishes and also prevent them occurring in the first place. Goldfaden MD Detox Clarifying Wash and Facial Detox Clarifying + Clear Mask are a potent pair, util ising the healing benefits of zinc, the anti-bacterial properties of sulphur and the natural astringent actions of camphor. When flare-ups happen, use this routine: hold an ice cube over the area to take the heat out of it. Then, apply the mask as a spot treatment, leaving for ten minutes before washing off. Do this up to four times per week or whenever it’s needed.

Uneven texture

Skin can become rough or bumpy when it’s not being exfoliated regularly as dead skin cells start to build up or cling to the skin’s surface. These skin cells also collect inside and around our pores, combining with oil to create small bumps on the skin. Anything that you apply on top, particularly if it is illuminating, will only emphasise an uneven texture, making it more obvious.

To smooth skin in under 10 minutes, treat yourself to a resurfacing mask like Juice Beauty’s Green Apple Peel Exfoliating Mask. Offering spa-strength exfoliation, the formula combines malic acid (from green apples, of course) lactic, glycolic and salicylic acid to clear out pores and remove the offending dead skin cells. A dose of vitamin C means it will brighten and even out any areas that have been left with marks or scars. Use it up to two nights a week for best results.

Another skin hack for getting better, smoother skin is to add an Eve Lom muslin cloth into your cleansing routine. No matter your cleanser preference—balm, gel or milk—using this damp woven cloth will give extra gentle exfoliation. Once you’re finished, hang it on your towel rack so that it’s dry for your next use, and pop it in the washing machine once a week.

Dullness

Dullness and discolouration can occur for many reasons, but often it’s a reflection of poor health. Not sleeping? Stressed? Eating badly? More often than not you’ll see it in your complexion. Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant and immunity booster. It tightens, brightens and renews your complexion. Kat Burki’s Vitamin C products are a standout. Her Vitamin C Intensive Face Cream has 15 percent of the super ingredient (the maximum strength) in a stable form, allowing your skin to get the most from the active without irritation. The other notable thing about Burki’s products is that they are filler-free (no water or alcohol) and nutrient-dense. The brand’s patented KB5 complex, a blend of skin-benefiting actives, is the base for these game-changing products.

Dark circles and puffiness

Dark circles can be super stubborn, difficult to treat and a real downer. Triggers include sleep deprivation, hereditary issues and a lack of circulation in the eye area. A potent eye cream is essential. Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream uses a blend of eight peptides and Vitamin C to rebuild and refresh the delicate skin in the orbital area. Take the time to apply your eye cream with gentle, long sweeping movements using your ring finger. Next, use the Angela Caglia La Vie En Rose Face Roller and roll in outward motions starting at the forehead, then directly across the eyes, slowly working your way down and out. You don’t need to use a lot of pressure, as these outward repetitions stimulate lymphatic drainage (your skin’s own plumbing system) that will release the toxins and excess fluid which lead to puffiness. One eye-opening trick is to store your rose quartz roller in the fridge and hold over the eyes for five to 10 seconds. It’s supremely cooling.

Words by Lucy Simpson
April 2019

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