My A-Z guide of beauty, from ingredients and qualities, to products and brands.
A is for… Acne
1 in 20 adult women suffer from acne, and even more get the occasional spot or blemish outbreak. Clay, Charcoal and Oil based products are all great for tackling acne and spots. It is not caused by poor hygiene, contrary to many things you may hear. Outbreaks can be due to your lifestyle; diet, stress etc as much as your skincare regime, so whilst treating or responding to spots with
B is for… BB creams
BB creams are short for beauty balms or blemish balms. They were first developed in Germany by a dermatologist who wanted a single cream that would protect skin and provide coverage after laser treatments.
C is for… Collagen
Collagen. Is responsible for the skin’s plump and youthful appearance, and begins to deplete at the age of 25. Be vary of companies that claim that their products can plump collagen into the skin, as collagen molecules are generally too large to penetrate into the skin. We can feed the skin with nutrients that can trigger production. Treatments such as needling, radio frequency and ‘HIFU – High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound’.
D is for… Dark Circles
We’ve all had dark circles under our eyes, whether we are a bit run down, tired, or naturally have a darker ring under our eyes, it’s a common problem, but there are measures we should take to help. The 3 most important tools to have are; a good eye cream, sleep and a targeted dark circles product for those particularly bad days. The area around the eyes is very thin, a specific cream for your eyes should always be used, not a regular face moisturizer. TIP – use a concealer that is 1-2shades lighter than your foundation to brighten the under eye area.
E is for… Expiry Dates
The expiry date on a product is from the time that the product is opened. This is usually indicated on the back of the product, which will indicate how long the product is viable once opened. It can vary from 6-18 months from time of opening, depending on the product.
F is for…Facials
Facials can have numerous benefits from improvement in skin tone, texture and they are just pure bliss. So go on treat yourself!
G is for…Glycolic Acid
Derived from sugar cane may sound scary, but it can work miracles on the skin. It’s molecular make up is so small, that it works deep into the skin, treating lines and wrinkles, brightening skin and rejuvenates skin cells.
Ren’s Glycolatic Radiance Renewal Mask tackles lines, brightens skin and combats congestion.
H is For… Hyaluronic Acid
This naturally occurring molecule is right up there in the anti-ageing stakes – it works to lubricate the connective tissues in your skin, keeping pores plump and hydrated. Our own reserves reduce as we age so applying this ingredient topically is vital for preserving a youthful glow.
I is For… Inflammation
Symptoms of inflammation in the body can be numerous and vague – ranging from fatigue to headaches – and your skin is no exception. Triggered by poor nutrition, pollution, sunlight and stress, dermatologists agree inflammation is the real culprit behind pretty much every skin issue, including wrinkles. Gluten, dairy and processed foods as well as excessive sugar and alcohol are the biggest offenders.
J is for… Juices
An easy way to give your skin a daily boost, start every day with a fresh fruit or vegetable juice. Berries are packed with antioxidants, while citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C which slows down the skin’s ageing process.
K is for… Keratosis Pilaris
Keratosis Pilaris is a genetic skin disorder and affects 40% of adults (and up to 80% of adolescents). These painless tiny bumps usually on the upper arms, thighs and cheeks, can leave the affected area dry and rough. People often don’t recognise them as a skin condition, but just a case of bad skin. There are many products designed to reduce the appearance such as Creams containing alpha hydroxy acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid or urea help loosen and remove dead skin cells. They also moisturize and soften dry skin. Depending on their strength, these creams are available over-the-counter or with a prescription. Creams derived from vitamin A (topical retinoids) work by promoting cell turnover and preventing plugged hair follicles.
L is for… Lines.
We all hear the expression ‘fine lines and wrinkles’ almost daily. It’s everywhere. You have all heard it but, sun exposure is the biggest culprit in terms of skin ageing. In terms of prevention, SPF is your answer. Retinol will synthesise collagen and elastin and Ingredients like hyaluronic acid will plump up your skin.
M is for… Moisturisers
Moisturisers are one of the most important parts of your skincare routine. Replenishing moisturise and hydration into the skin is the key to healthy skin. Think of all the elements and things you expose your skin to that takes its natural moisture; weather, foods, face washes, make up. Look for ingredients that contain humectants and emollients.
N is for… Natural
Up to 60% of what we put on our skin ends up being absorbed in the body and when the products we use are made from harmful artificial ingredients these place an unnecessary burden on the body’s detoxification processes and on the entire immune system, including the skin. We have lots of home grown natural beauty brands making waves at home and abroad which include Voya, Seavite and newcomer Ripe by Roz. Kinvara’s Absolute Cleansing Oil, another natural product that has won over beauty editors (and acne sufferers too).
O is for… Oils
Often feared by many particularly those with oily skin. Face oils return moisture and elasticity to your skin, smoothing wrinkles and soothing irritation in the process. The right face oil can help clear pores of excess sebum, and can reduce inflammation and irritation, as inflammation itself is actually one of the primary causes of acne.
P is for…Parabens
Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in personal care products. Parabens stop fungus, bacteria and other microbes from growing in your favourite creams.
Q & U – Lets just skip those for a while 🙂
R is for… Rosacea
Rosacea is a skin condition that typically affects the face, usually around the nose and cheeks. It results in redness, pimples, swelling, and small and superficial dilated blood vessels. It usually occurs in people over 30 and is often referred to as acne rosacea. Laser can be successful in treating this condition.
S is for… SPF
Sun Protection Factor. The number that follows is a measure of the time it will take for your skin to burn with the sunscreen applied, in comparison to unprotected skin. . Example: If your unprotected skin would burn in 10 minutes, an SPF30 product (correctly applied) would give her 30 x 10 minutes in the sun before burning.
T Is for… T-Zone
If you have oily or combination skin, chances are good you struggle with the area on your face known as your t-zone. If you’re unfamiliar with what exactly your t-zone is, imagine drawing a “T” on your face. Your t-zone consists of your forehead, nose, and chin. An oily t-zone requires a little bit of extra care and protection. Even so, it won’t go without saying that t-zone area may also get dehydrated.
U is for… Ultra-violet Rays
The sunlight that reaches are skin is made up of two types of rays, UVA and UVB. UVA causes premature ageing to the skin and
UVB rays that cause the skin to tan and burn. Protect your skin with a SPF of at least 30.
V is for… Volume
We spend thousands of euro’s on beauty products throughout our lifetime. But how much of that is wasted? For moisturizers and night creams, aim for the volume and length of one almond. When it comes to eye cream, less is best, a sunflower seeds worth for each eye is sufficient.
W is for… Water
Making up almost two thirds of our body, water plays a vital role in everything from regulating body temperature to keeping our skin healthy. And when it comes to skin health, drinking at least two litres is essential for a youthful complexion. Keep your face hydrated throughout the day, especially if you work in an airconditioned office or flying with a plumping face mist. I love Uriage Thermal water mist €7.98.
X, Y and Zzzz…
Make an effort to get your beauty sleep – when we sleep, our skin goes into rest mode, repairing damage caused by the sun’s rays and harmful pollution. Adequate sleep will restore luminosity to the skin while improving tone and texture – there’s a reason beauty experts call it the best-kept anti-ageing secret.