Nurture team May 04, 2017

Julia Hart, our expert facialist, has been working in the health and beauty industry for 20 years. We asked her to share her top tips for improving skin health, plus some of the most beneficial ingredients…

Top tips for a lifetime of healthy skin

A great skin routine starts with cleansing. This really is the cornerstone of skincare and many people are not doing it correctly. Firstly, use a cleanser that does not leave skin squeaky! This means it has stripped the skin’s barrier away and will increase transepidermal water loss leading to dehydration and sensitivity. Each cleanse should be at least one minute and I like to give my skin a good massage during this time to increase blood flow to the face.

Exfoliation is also key as we age but don’t overdo it! Over-exfoliating leads to dryness, sensitivity and breakouts. Try a gentle polish and just use gentle movements and rinse.

With serums and moisturisers, apply them directly onto your skin and use just your fingertips to massage them in. This will avoid your hands absorbing a lot of the product.

Don’t forget your neck and chest either! I like to apply a separate product on my neck as the skin does not have as many oil glands and needs something more nourishing.

Finally, daylight defence - this is what sunscreen should be called. It will protect your skin from premature ageing, pigmentation and age spots. Look for more skin-friendly formulas that contain antioxidants.

Consistency is key to a good skincare regime

Your skin needs regular attention, not bouts of sporadic exfoliation or using five different serums in one go! Some ingredients have cumulative results so need to be used over a period of time, meaning that missing a few days does matter. A good skincare regime is a skinvestment!

Ingredients that work

Skincare has never been as scientific as it is now. The most effective products are a combination of scientific and botanical ingredients.

A-list ingredients that are proven and have evidence to back up their claims are retinol (i.e. vitamin A), vitamin C, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, caffeine, peptides (cell communicators) and of course sunscreens.

How nutrition can help your skin

Nutritious, wholesome foods provide the building blocks for great skin. I have been researching the impact of foods for many years and while it is naïve to believe that changing the way you eat is going to wipe out your existing wrinkles, it is just as naïve to think you can eat what you want without any effect on your skin.

Feeding your skin with optimum nutrition will result in clear, radiant, glowing skin and a sparkle in your eye. Better skin is ultimately about better health and nutrition is a major weapon in the battle against ageing. Plenty of fresh and untreated foods are essential for the health of your entire body; the bonus is healthy, smooth, glowing skin with less skin problems like acne, eczema and sensitivity – and definitely less wrinkles. Eat fresh wholefoods like oily fish, chicken, grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy fats, herbs and spices. Anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric are fabulous for skin ageing and health.

Skin supplements

What with modern farming methods and the way food is prepared and cooked, we can’t get every nutrient we need from our food - FACT. We need supplements and I recommend at least a good multivitamin/antioxidant and omega 3 for a good baseline nutrition. In fact, I view supplements as just as important as my topical skincare products as they can get to the lower levels of your skin. Remember the skin is often the last to get its ration of nutrients so you need to give it extra.

What are peptides?

One of my favourite ingredients, they are chemical messengers that travel between the cells and tell them to start making more collagen and elastin. They need to used daily to get the cumulative results.

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