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Build on the basics

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Of course, cleanse, tone and moisturise - but to get more benefits, expand your basic routine with these tips and tricks.

Why take better care of your neck?

Our neck and décolletage are two places we all wish we'd started looking after a little bit earlier - the skin here is much more delicate than elsewhere, produces fewer protective oils and is at the perfect angle to catch a lot of sun damage, meaning it gives away a lot of our secrets.

From now on, make it a golden rule to treat your neck and décolletage with the same care as you do your face. Every morning, extend your cleanse, tone and moisturise routine all the way down to your décolletage (and don't forget to apply your sun protection). In the evening, cleanse and tone as before, then follow with a cream. 

Top tip: Place the cream in front of the cleanser and moisturiser you use every day, so you won't forget to use it. Apply using upward strokes from your chest to your chin.

Why do you need a serum?

A serum should be an absolute delight to add to your skin routine thanks to its ability to deliver a higher concentration of active ingredients deep into the skin. For this reason, apply your serum straight after cleansing, so nothing obscures its active ingredients from getting to work on your skin.

A serum works with your moisturiser so always moisturise after using your serum in order to lock-in hydration. Serums often contain phytoestrogens to help stimulate collagen production and antioxidant vitamins C and E to help protect against environmental damage.

Top tip: Apply serum to slightly damp skin to help aid absorption.

Make-up or no make-up?

When the premise of foundation is so appealing (we all have blemishes, dark circles and uneven skin tone we'd like to disguise), it makes the frustrating reality of colour-matching and greasy textures even more disappointing. Not to mention how many foundations have a habit of settling into our lines and wrinkles, making them more obvious rather than less!

Recent innovations have blurred the line between skincare and cosmetics, meaning we can care for our skin's long-term health as well as instantly improve our skin's appearance. 

Top tip: For even application, apply foundation after moisturising. 

Why do you need a day and a night moisturiser?

A good moisturiser has specific active ingredients which restore or defend your skin against whatever internal or external threats it encounters. In practice, this means a day moisturiser needs to protect the skin from UV damage, improve the immediate appearance of your skin as well as support skin during times of hormonal changes, whereas a night cream can afford a heavier texture and will be packed with ingredients for repair and renewal.

Look for a day cream that nourishes, hydrates and protects your skin with an advanced formulation that includes phytoestrogens, vitamin E to help reduce moisture loss and herbs such as sage, well-known for its antioxidant benefits. UVA and UVB filters should complete the formula, to protect skin against premature ageing.

Night creams work to strengthen and repair skin overnight. Vitamin C can help to strengthen skin's barrier against environmental extract, while vitamin E and other ingredients such as starflower oil to help reduce moisture loss.

Top tip: If you have to rally yourself to do a proper night-time routine, remember that your skin primarily renews itself overnight - if you don't cleanse it properly, or give it the right moisturiser, you're missing out on the full benefits!

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