This time of year can be a recipe for disaster for blemished skin. From hay fever allergies to sunburn to sweating, your skin can go through a lot. But experts say we’ve all gotten a little bit better at taking care of our skin thanks to lockdown, where we’ve all had a little more free time.
“Lockdown allowed consumers to really get into self-care, particularly skincare. It gave consumers a chance to rate their skincare routines—or lack thereof! — and discover new products,” says Superdrug Skincare Ambassador Dr. Ewoma Ukeleghe, founder of SKNDOCTOR, a skin care treatment clinic in Soho.
“It was also a time when [people] have completely ruined their skin and compromised their skin barrier in the process.” Whether you’re a newbie or a self-confessed “skin intellectual,” sometimes it helps to go back to basics to remind yourself how to keep your skin healthy and healthy to feel healthy.
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(Image: Dr Ewoma Ukeleghe)
Here we are trained by Dr. Ukeleghe in her five golden rules of skincare…
1. Always wear sunscreen
The ultimate non-negotiable when it comes to your morning beauty routine, SPF30 (or higher) is a must.
“The sun is the main factor in skin aging, so regular sunscreen application is key to limiting the negative effects of the sun,” says Dr. ukuleghe. “My current favorite is the Me+ SPF Booster, which I put in my daily moisturizer.” Me+ Anti-Oxidant SPF Booster is available from Superdrug for £8.99.
2. Don’t follow skincare trends
Just because you see someone on Instagram slathering their face in petroleum jelly before bed — known as “slugging” — or following a 12-step skincare routine, doesn’t mean you have to do the same. It’s more important to understand your skin’s unique needs than simply following the latest trend.
“This is a common skincare sin committed by consumers,” says Dr. ukuleghe. “This can be detrimental to the skin as you are not addressing their needs and concerns. This can manifest itself as skin sensitivity, dermatitis, and breakouts. Be guided by what your skin needs.”
3. Keep it simple
“There’s a trend in skin care to use as many active ingredients as possible in one session,” says Dr. Ukeleghe, who they say could “do more harm than good to the skin” in some cases. Also, you may have trouble figuring out which ingredient is most effective for your specific concerns when using multiple ingredients at the same time.
Serums formulated around a key ingredient by brands like The Ordinary and The Inkey List can help you customize your routine effectively.
4. Use a retinoid
“Retinoids are a must in skin care – unless contraindicated [ie they don’t agree with your skin type]” says Dr. ukuleghe. The vitamin A derivatives are “clinically proven to treat and prevent fine lines/wrinkles and improve skin health in a variety of ways.”
But even if you don’t normally have sensitive skin, retinoid or retinol serums can cause redness or dryness. So start by mixing a small amount into your moisturizer, then work your way up to direct application and only ever use at night. The next morning, follow golden rule number one. dr Ukeleghe recommends the Selfless by Hyram Retinol and Rainbow Algae Repair Serum, which costs £28 from Cult Beauty.
5. Try a treatment
If you’re looking to address issues like acne scars, pigment spots, or wrinkles, it’s important to know your limitations when it comes to at-home skincare and seek professional advice before trying aggressive treatments. dr Ukeleghe says, “Skin care products, especially non-prescription ones, can only take your skin so far. Treatments like microneedling and radio frequency are great options to consider to take your skin to another level.”
dr Ukeleghe is working with the retailer to launch its online hub, Skin School (superdrug.com/skincare-advice), which aims to educate consumers on how to take care of their complexion, after research found 73% of shoppers do don’t always understand the ingredients in the products they use.
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