Mairead Robinson suggests some ways to prepare yourself ready for the brighter days ahead
With the worst of winter behind us, we can now get out walking and gardening and absorbing some badly wanted vitamin D from the spring sunshine. It is important to prepare our skin for this exposure and ensure that we hydrate thoroughly after months of central heating and fire-side sitting. Always start with thorough cleaning, and if you don’t like harsh exfoliates, then a mask is gentle way to really moisturise the skin. Some of the best products for revitalizing mature skin at this time of year are from the Clarins Super Restorative range. The Age Replenish Instant Lift serum Mask is a spa treatment in itself, which you can do in the privacy of your own home at a fraction of the cost of an in-salon treatment. At a cost of just €18 per mask, the Anti-Aging sheet with replenishing Harungana extract, visibly lifts, plumps and minimizes the appearance of lines and wrinkles for radiant, younger-looking skin in 15 minutes. The synergy between the powerful, age-defying serum and stretchy, face-hugging sheet mask promotes optimal ingredient delivery. Skin is velvety-smooth, perfectly prepped for make-up application. It is ideal for skin weakened by the natural aging process, and particularly suited to this time of year. To further hydrate mature skin, try using Clarins Super Restorative Treatment Essence This youthfulness-promoting lotion with an active, refreshing and rich texture is applied after make-up removal/cleansing. It absorbs perfectly into the skin and conditions it to be better prepared for the application of skin care products. This can be used on a daily basis, while the mask can be used once a week.
Don’t forget to check your hair condition and colour at this time of year also. A hydrating hair mask will help here also, and if you are feeling cash-strapped you can make your own by mixing coconut oil with caster oil, and applying it to your hair for half an hour before shampooing. If you had your colour done for Christmas, you will undoubtedly be seeing those grey roots appearing by now. Rather than return to the salon, you can buy yourself quite a bit of time by applying L’Oreal Magic Retouch – a fabulous new product which comes in a variety of shades from light blonde to black. You simply spray on to dry styled hair along the parting, and wherever the roots are showing. It provides instant coverage and blends perfectly with your own hair colour. The handy spray cans can be carried in your handbag and cost just €13.99, and even less where it is on special offer. Magic Retouch conceals greys and roots in just one quick spray – when, where and how you need it. It takes just three seconds to give you flawless roots, and so you can spray on just before you leave the house. The colour lasts until it is washed out, and each can gives you up to thirty uses. I found it much easier to use and more effective than compact and brush root concealing treatments. An essential product that does exactly what it says on the can!
The problem of sensitive skin is one that affects many of us nowadays, even those who did not have a sensitivity issue previously. It is said that seven out of ten people now claim to have sensitive skin. Most cosmetic brands are now taking this on board and are developing products without parabens, colorants or perfume. Pampering Spa range Yon-Ka have just expanded their Specifics collection with the SENSITIVE range designed for hyper-reactive sensitive skin and kin prone to redness. They have developed a blend of pre and probiotics together with Sea mayweed which is exceptionally calming and soothing for sensitive skin. It boosts the skin’s natural defences to combat aggressions. They have also developed a colour correcting anti-redness formula which visibly reduces capillaries, skin re-activeness and redness – be it sudden or permanent, diffuse or localized. This is a wonderful product for those afflicted with redness prone skin, and will help to restore confidence and improve quality of life. Both creams cost €55 for a 50 ml tube and should be applied in the morning after cleansing, the calming comforting cream can be applied at night also.
For people with severe redness it is worth noting that April is ROSACEA AWARENESS MONTH, and for those suffering from it, this is a condition that can really deplete your confidence. Rosacea presents as a rash usually affecting the face, occurring predominantly in middle aged, fair skinned people. It presents more frequently in women but is more severe when it occurs in men. Areas commonly affected are the forehead, cheeks, chin and nose. Affected areas are reddened with dilated blood vessels, red bumps and pus filled spots. Inflammation of the eyes or eyelids may be present. It is vital to use active ingredients in products that are fragrance free, which will help to smooth, moisturise, protect and treat Rosacea. Vitamin B and C are very important as Vitamin B protects skin from external irritants by fortifying the skin and Vitamin C will strengthen the wall of delicate vessels. Using Ginseng and Red Algae Extract will help to reinforce your blood vessels, whilst Uriage Roséliane Anti-Redness Cream helps fight against Kallikrein 5 Activity, which causes inflammation and vascular problems. Uriage Roséliane Anti-Redness Cream uses its SK5R complex to provide a highly effective soothing action against Kallikrein 5 Activity. Another cream recently launched on the Irish market for those suffering from Rosacea is Sensifine AR which is an anti-redness cream with a ‘firewall’ effect, lastingly soothing sensations of overheating and redness while preventing their reappearance. SENSIFINE AR Anti-Récidive is highly concentrated in licorice extract and Endothelyol® to soothe, decongest, and lower the temperature of the skin. This cream-gel provides a gradual, long-lasting cooling effect that soothes the skin. Its high tolerance means it is suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive. Available at pharmacies nationwide priced at €19
I am a great fan of oils for both body and face, and a little vitamin C oil mixed with your moisturiser can help hydrate dry skin on a deeper level. Eminence Organic Skin Care brand have just launched a luxury FACIAL RECOVERY OIL in time for Mother’s Day this year. If somebody does not give you a gift of this beautiful oil, I recommend buying one for yourself! You can also pick up one of their Chocolate Mousse Hydration Masks if you really want to spoil yourself. I am also a great fan of their HIBISCUS ULTRA LIFT NECK CREAM – an award winning product that visibly lifts the skin around the neck and décolletage area.
If you find like many of us, that your legs often feel tired and swollen, there is a great new product to put a ‘pep in your step’ and relieve those aching legs. The Payot Fresh Ultra Performance is a relaxing leg and foot cream with centella asiatica extracts. It soothes the skin leaving it feeling refreshed and it delivers a long-lasting sense of wellbeing and lightness to heavy legs, swollen ankles and tired feet. It is ultra-light and is great for massaging as it is absorbed quickly. Legs are left feeling comfortable and soft. Available in pharmacies nationwide, €35
And finally when getting in spring shape this year, don’t forget that it is often how we are on the inside that effects how we look on the outside. The benefits of taking probiotics are well proven and highly effective in balancing the gut microflora. Conditions that benefit include irritable bowel, traveller’s stomach, lactose intolerance and inflammatory bowel. Bio-Kult produce a range of supplements specifically formulated for digestive and immune systems to restore balance in the gut ecosystem. As a probiotic it delivers more ‘good’ bacteria back into the gut which has a direct effect on the immune system. Basically, by taking a probiotic daily, you are strengthening your immune system and trusting your gut to promote general health. Available at pharmacies nationwide, there is a range for the whole family, Infantis for children, Candea specifically for the candida fungus and pro-cyan, an advanced formula for healthy urinary tracts. Finally Bio-Kult Advanced multi-strain formula with 14 probiotic strains which taken daily promotes general good gut health. Step into Spring 2018 with a healthy smile.