Mairead Robinson recommends some products to keep your skin looking its best
Whatever your beauty routine, and of all the products you use on your skin, cleansing your face correctly is without doubt the most important step. There is no point in applying the most expensive and luxurious serums and moisturisers to your skin, if the base is not clean and clear enough to be able to absorb them. Facial skin cleansing is the most vital part of your skin care routine, keeping your skin healthy and looking radiant. Every night before bedtime, it is important to clean your face and neck thoroughly to remove make-up, dead skin cells, excess oil and any bacteria and pollution you have picked up through out the day. This is very important as a key anti-ageing step, as then you can apply your rich night-time moisturisers to nourish your skin while you sleep.
Morning time is also important to cleanse your skin, as the pores can become blocked, especially if you sweat during the night. And if you wake up with your skin feeling tight, this is a sign that you have not moisturised enough before going to sleep, so cleanse thoroughly and then apply your night creams.
When it comes to cleansers, there are many types, so you must choose one that will suit your skin best. If you are a fan of the old-fashioned soap and water routine, a facial wash might suit you. If you wear makeup during the day however, you must remove that first, as the facial wash will not completely remove your foundation, powder and eye make-up. I find a good facial wash can work well in the morning, leaving your skin feeling fresh and ready to absorb your moisturising products. Some people like to use a face cloth, but if you do, make sure that you do not drag the delicate skin around your eyes.
There are several alternatives to soap and water cleansing – facial cleansers which have been developed to deal with cleansing different skin types, and to avoid drying the skin as traditional bar soaps tended to do. These can be in any form such as creams, milks, liquids, foams, oils, gels and lotions. All are basically a mixture of an oil, wax and water but manufacturers modify the formula to suit different skin types – those for dry skins remove less oil from the skin, and may even add some, whilst cleansers for oily skins are designed to remove more oil and add none to the skin. Cream, milk or lotion cleansers are particularly suitable for removing make-up and other solid residues from dry skin. All these are emulsions. They use the dissolving action of oils to remove make-up and other products left on the skin’s surface. At the same time they can be formulated to leave behind a moisturising (emollient) film, which prevents too drastic a removal of fats from the skin. Facial cleansers should remove oils and other fatty secretions from the sebaceous glands in the skin, but at the same time they should not remove the natural lipids like ceramides, which have an important role in preventing an excessive loss of water from the skin.
For mature skin, I favour cleansing milks, creams or lotions. For sensitive skin, a Micellaire or Micellar water is often the best product and foam cleansers are also effective and gentle on the skin. NUXE have a lovely range for cleansing both face and eyes with Cleansing Milk, Cleansing Water and Foam Cleanser, all made with rose petals and in 200 ml bottles (150ml for the foam cleanser) and all well priced around the €14 mark. My personal favourite is the Cleansing Milk.
NIVEA is a very popular range and having been around for generations now it is still as popular as ever. They now have a full range of cleansing products, all exceptional value and include a Daily Essentials range for sensitive skin with Sensitive Cleansing Milk which helps prevent redness, tightness and dryness. Sensitive Caring Micellar Water is a three in one cleanser for face and eyes with Grape Seed Oil.
BIODERMA is a leading brand for sensitive skin, and have two cleansing waters for oily and for dry skin. Both are non-rinse and paraben free and designed for sensitive skin in mind.
Peels and Exfoliating products will offer a deeper clean for your skin, as they remove dead skin cells to reveal more youthful brighter skin. But do choose one that is gentle, as some are too harsh for mature skin. Again, go for a product designed for sensitive skin and for frequent use, and keep it in the shower to use once a week, no more than that. If you have a favourite cleansing brand, check if they also have an Exfoliating product, as if the cleanser suits you, this will probably work for you too.
And finally, a mask is a great way to get a really good deep clean along with a relaxing experience. It is not necessary to visit a spa for this, as there are products that you can use at home and get the same effect. ROGER & GALLET are renowned for their beautiful fragrances and oils, and their AURA MIRABILIS skincare regime was recently launched with four skincare products; the Extra-Fine Cleansing Mask, Beauty Vinegar, Double Extract and Legendary Cream – moisturiser. The first part of this face care ritual is to detoxify using the Extra-Fine Cleansing Mask. This part of the face care ritual is inspired by the virginal milk used to create marvellous skin and oil-based formulas that are known for their numerous skincare benefits and their makeup removing efficacy. This efficacy in removing makeup enables the mask to provide a double use – it can be used as a makeup remover or a detoxifying mask. It concentrates all the natural powers of 18 officinal plants combined with extra fine Helianthus flower oil, which is rich in essential fatty acids. The Extra-Fine Cleansing Mask is suitable and gentle enough for sensitive skin. A beautiful product, this is designed to detoxify, refine, restore and renew your skin. Available in Marks & Spencer nationwide at €20
So choose your products carefully to suit your skin, and do not skimp on cleansing to ensure that you have the freshest brightest and most youthful skin on which to apply your make-up.
Finally when choosing your favourite products for your skin-care rituals, it is comforting to know that you can also be helping those less fortunate your yourself. CLARINS have formed a partnership with Arthritis Ireland. And in 2017, for every Tonic Body Treatment Oil sold, CLARINS will make a donation to Arthritis Ireland to fund research in Ireland. The Tonic Beauty Treatment Oil is a beautiful product which leaves you skin feeling like silk.
Also CLARINS has supported the FEED project for the past 6 years and during this time, helped provide nutritious meals to thousands of children in developing countries. Invested in several economic and social projects, Clarins has never stopped striving to make the world a better place for children. Now you can get involved by purchasing a FEED bag (containing 3 products – 30ml Hand & Nail Treatment Cream, 30ml Foot Treatment Cream, 30ml Exfoliating Body Scrub). Every FEED bag purchased will provide ten meals for school children in developing countries. When you spend €65 on Clarins products, you will receive a free FEED bag. Check it out at your Clarins beauty counter this summer. Now you can feel good, and do good at the same time!