From how to boost your beauty sleep to the supplements for clearer skin, we caught up with Debbie Thomas, skincare expert and founder of the D.Thomas Clinic, to find out her golden rules for a glowing complexion...
Believe the hype about silk pillowcases – they make a huge difference to the quality of the skin. Over time, squishing your face into a cotton pillowcase will have lasting effects, leading to drooping and a more lacklustre skin tone. Upgrade your pillowcase to silk and you’ll reap the benefits in years to come.
Forget Face Wipes
Face wipes are fine to use in an emergency, but long-term use will lead to clogged pores and dull skin. Why? The majority of face wipes contain oil, which explains why they’re so effective at removing make-up (oil dissolves grime and make-up), but when used as the sole method of cleansing, they will merely leave a layer of dirty oil on the skin. If you can’t ditch your face wipes, be sure to do a second cleanse or use a toner to remove excess oil.
Water Isn’t Everything
Drinking at least two litres of water a day is imperative for healthy skin, but if you notice your complexion is still tight and dry at the end of the day, it could mean you have issues with your skin’s barrier function. Our skin’s barrier – the top layers of the skin – works to protect our complexion from any nasties, but it can be compromised by using the wrong products, stress, hormone issues and pollution.
Inflammation in the body speeds up ageing considerably, explaining why inflammation triggers such as meat, dairy and sugar as well as stress are best kept to a minimum for healthy skin. Antioxidants such as vitamin C and turmeric are a great way to counteract inflammation. Also try Esthechoc (£42.50)– it’s a mix of dark chocolate and algae; the chocolate actually makes the algae more potent and just one square a day can significantly boost antioxidant levels.
Supplements Aren’t Worth The Hype
While it’s common knowledge what you put in your body can have an effect on the skin, it’s not always going to be a dramatic transformation, so don’t be lured by expensive supplements that promise to make you look ten years younger. Supplements are there to support other positive changes in your diet, not to be used instead.
Be Wary Of Intense Exercise
Overall, exercise is fantastic for boosting circulation and lymphatic drainage (more oxygen and nutrients are carried around the body and toxins are removed more effectively) but extreme exercise can trigger inflammation. Moreover, running in the sun or cold will have a negative impact on the skin over time – always cleanse your skin post workout and support your skin with anti-oxidants and an oil free SPF.
Botox Won’t Give You Good Skin
Injectables will never be a replacement for glowing skin. While the likes of fillers and Botox can be used subtly to great effect, the best doctors advise patients to get healthy skin first and make small tweaks second.
Getting tested for food intolerances is key for a healthy complexion – so often we struggle to digest things, which can take its toll on our skin. If you’re concerned about your skin, try cutting back on processed foods, chemically heavy foods (cheap meat is often saturated with antibiotics and steroids), meat, dairy and fish, and eating only organic versions.
Never Pop Your Spots
Popping your spots is never okay – when you squeeze a spot, it’s all too easy to force infection deeper into the pore, meaning the pimple will only come back with a vengeance the next day. Instead, use a spot zapping product like Medik8 Beta Gel (£33) to dry it out.
Retinol – a vitamin A derivative and the most scientifically proven ingredient in skincare – is the ultimate secret to better skin. It will tackle nearly every skin concern: from acne, rosacea and pigmentation to fine lines. But you need to treat retinols with respect, follow the instructions and gradually introduce your skin to it.
Invest In The Best
When it comes to skincare, expensive products aren’t necessarily the best. Instead, invest in quality, cosmeceutical brands, which use active ingredients in high percentages to stimulate, treat, change and protect the skin. Some of the best-performing brands include Neostrata, PCA skin, MediDerma, Exuviance, Medik8, Bioeffect, Dermaceutic and Heliocare.
Be Careful Of Cleansing Brushes
Cleansing brushes can be a helpful tool for deep cleansing the skin, especially for shifting pollution and removing sunscreen build up, but aren’t for everyone. Clarisonics are better for oilier skin types while those with dry and sensitive skin types should seek out the Foreo Luna.