Healthy, glowing skin is in, and January is the perfect month to put a little love back into your skincare. A time to reenergise, refresh and renew dull, tired and lacklustre winter skin, get complexion-confident for the year ahead by reassessing your regime.
1. Cleansing, cleansing, cleansing
While many of us place great importance on our moisturiser or serums, if you're looking to make positive changes to your skincare, a great place to start is your cleansing habits. Far more than just removing make-up or daily dirt, cleansing shifts dead or damaged skin cells, opens pores, prevents breakouts and, if done effectively, also means that all our other skincare products will work that little bit better.
Look at your skin type - is it dry, combination or oily? Is it prone to breakouts? Do you struggle with large pores? These are all things to consider when selecting the type of cleanser to go for.
For dry or sensitive skin, cleansers which protect the oil content of the skin are key. Amandine Isnard, Head of Product Development at Eve Lom suggests: "I recommend cleansing with our Cleanser at night using warm water rather than hot. Our signature blend of botanicals remove every last trace of make-up without stripping skin, while the enclosed Muslin Cloth gently exfoliates to prevent rough or flaky skin. Blot skin dry with a towel following your cleanse rather than wiping to protect skin and avoid aggravating any redness."
For oily skin, cleansing is crucial to remove any excess oils which can lead to breakouts. Foaming cleansers which contain astringents to lift grease are perfect for oily or combination skin, and can be combined with a deeper cleanse using a Clarisonic device - we love the Mia in pink.
It may sound obvious, but the more hydrated you are, the happier your skin. All year round, skin needs plenty of hydration to keep the complexion clear and radiant. Start the day with a cup of warm water and lemon to kick-start your metabolism, then follow up with a Green tea for detoxing. Keep drinking water throughout the day, particularly if you're in an office environment with air-con or heating which can be super drying. If you find drinking water a little bland, add a few slices of cucumber or some fresh mint leaves to liven it up.
3. Sleep On It
Sleep is the time when skin cells renew and the body has time to regenerate and repair. Experts at La Prairie say: "Dermatologists agree that utilising this prime repair time frame with a tailored skincare treatment such as Cellular Power Charge Night is extremely beneficial to skin health by promoting the natural rejuvenation process, increasing skin renewal as well as recharging cell mitochondria."
While you're asleep it's a perfect opportunity to add a little extra to your skincare - whether popping on an extra serum to your nighttime regime, or sleeping in a quenching face-mask such as the Eve Lom Hydrating mask. Amandine says: "The mask is clear so won’t wreck your bedding and in the morning you wake to perfectly moisturised and comforted skin."
4. Target Problem Areas
Whatever your skin problem area is, there is a huge array of products designed to target specific issues. Now's the time to really assess what you need from your skincare and where you need extra support.
For redness and dry skin, particularly in winter, Olivia Chantecaille Creative Director at Chantecaille says: "Hydrating and soothing sleep in masks are my winter beauty secret. I use our Jasmine Lily Healing Mask regularly. The Magnolia Jasmine and Lily Healing Emulsion is another winter skin saver. It’s an anti-redness lotion that helps to calm and hydrate skin."
For acne concerns, a blemish control cleanser like the Anti-Blemish Solutions Cleansing Foam from Clinique or Breakout Foaming Cleanser by Dr Sebagh can tackle the problem area before it breaks out, while for ongoing blemish concerns, cover-up with targeted camouflage, such as the Estee Lauder Clear Difference Complexion Perfecting BB Creme or Chantecaille's Bio Lift Concealerfor a skin-saving vitamin E boost.
Fine lines around the eyes and puffiness can be instantly refreshed by the antioxidant properties within the new Creme de la Mer Illuminating Eye Gel - just dab on overnight for added anti-ageing effects, while to give eyes a little lift, the La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Lift Cream delivers firmness and hydration around the clock.
If you travel a lot, going to different climates and spending time on long-haul flights, it's a good idea to have a variety of different masks on hand to suit all occasions and temperature changes.
5. Think Technique
Just as important as the products themselves, is the technique of their application. Activating, massaging, soothing and de-stressing - too often we will give up on a product if it appears not to give instant results, when in actual fact perhaps we are just not using them to their fullest potential.
Many products such as serums, moisturisers and eye creams will need you to work them between your hands first, to activate the ingredients. Applying them in circular motions across your face outwards and upwards to stimulate circulation and give skin a lift also helps to de-puff and de-stress. Take care around the eyes not to drag or pull at skin.
Whatever your skin concerns, serums are key to adding an extra boost to your face cream, combining to work that bit harder for your complexion. Targeting the skin's immune system, the Ultimune from Shiseido is one of our favourite game-changing products, targeting cells which safeguard the skin's immunity and encourage cell regeneration. Use after cleansing and before moisturising, to really future-proof your skin from ageing, fine lines and to promote radiance and firmness.
7. Second Skin
For the final step in ensuring your complexion appears flawless, get a little help from your foundation. Many foundations now contain skincare ingredients to help boost radiance and protect against ageing. Densiliss from By Terry and Future Solution LX Total Radiance Foundation from Shiseido are both perfect multi-tasking power products and worth the investment, while Chantecaille's Future Skin foundation contains calming and soothing natural ingredients. For more lightweight coverage, it's always good to have a BB cream in your beauty kit for more low-key weekend wear - we love Diorskin Nude BB Creme.
And whether winter or summer, always go for a foundation or BB cream with SPF to protect against sun damage.
Treat your skin to a year of glowing health with our edit of skincare goodies below...
Ensure even more flawless skin with our Ultimate Concealer Guide