According to research by Mintel, 31% of us are wearing less colour cosmetics than we used to, which means we’re baring our natural skin more than ever. And if that’s the case, well, it stands to reason we want it looking its best.
And when we say best, we mean skin that looks juicy, plumped up and fully hydrated, and crucially, is free from niggling pigmentation patches, scattered dark spots and persistent acne scars. Sound too good to be true? Well, it requires a bit (okay, let’s be real) a lot of TLC, some expert help and plenty of dedication, but put in the work and you could reap the rewards, and the compliments, for years to come.
You’ve heard of no makeup makeup, but the latest trend is for skin that’s so good you won’t need – or want to – wear a scrap of makeup on top.
Before you even think about a getting professional help, there are plenty of good habits you can foster with your routine at home. First up and most importantly, always always wear sunscreen. Forgive us for sounding like a broken record but with around 80% of visible ageing (think pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles – basically everything we’re trying to prevent and reverse) caused by sun damage, diligent SPF application is non-negotiable. We like Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Aqua Gel SPF 50 because it’s lightweight and doesn’t leave a chalky residue.
If pigmentation is already an issue then the new roster of clinical strength skincare can help; Dr Dennis Gross’ Professional Grade IPL Dark Spot Concentrated Serum is inspired by his in-clinic treatments and contains a punchy blend of l-ascorbic acid, lactic acid, kojic acid, alpha tocopherol and liquorice root extract to knock back dark spots and discolouration in as little as two weeks.
For a more affordable option Bioderma’s new Pigmentbio range mimics a dermatologist’s protocol by targeting the three biological stages responsible for hyperpigmentation, meaning you’re effectively cutting off its production. When it comes to upping your hydration (essential in helping you achieve that K-beauty inspired glass skin) dehydrated skin types should be exfoliated at least once a week, as a glut of dead cells sitting on the surface can hinder absorption of hydrating products.
Key to superior suppleness is the addition of a good hyaluronic acid serum. Skinceuticals’ HA Intensifier gets rave reviews time and again because it helps boost your own production of HA as well as imparting a hefty dose of its own. For dry skins steer clear of too many potentially irritating acids and implement the use of a ceramide-boosting moisturiser like Epionce Medical Barrier Cream, that will support and restore your skin’s lipid barrier function, otherwise known as its cushioning defence.
To step up your quest for amazing skin, introduce some LED into your routine. Hailed by every top derm out there for its ability to stimulate collagen production and reduce the appearance of everything from acne scarring and fine lines and wrinkles, LED is a must-try if you’re serious about great skin. “You don’t need to do anything special pre- or post-LED light therapy,” say The Light Salon co-founders Laura Ferguson and Hannah Measures.
“This makes slotting it into your day easy as can be – it doesn’t matter what condition your skin is in, or what you’re doing directly after your treatment. If you’re not suffering from any skin irregularities, you don’t even have to take your makeup off.” Even better, the technology once only available professionally is now available in at-home devices such as The Light Salon Boost and Décolletage Bib. Convenient, pain-free and with zero downtime (we can’t promise you won’t look a bit weird wearing one), there’s no better companion to your Netflix binges that we can think of.
If you’re serious about getting the best skin you can there are plenty of innovative, non-invasive and non-surgical treatments that can help. If that feels like a serious step, just think of it as an investment in your skin that will serve you now and in years to come. “The generation now in their mid to late 20s and early 30s invest heavily in excellent skin quality because they are well educated about skin health. This is probably the best time to consider low intervention professional treatments,” says Dr Tracy Mountford, Medical Director at The Cosmetic Skin Clinic.
For a non-invasive tweak that can make a big difference when it comes to clarity, laser is a great place to start. “We use lots of repairing wavelengths which help trigger the regeneration process. This means keeping collagen levels and it also means better circulation, which results in more oxygen and nutrients being fed to the skin,” says Debbie Thomas of the D. Thomas Clinic in London. “Over a few sessions we can reduce pigment, redness, acne, rosacea and veins, while stimulating collagen and new cell production. The combination of the above results in fresher, more luminous skin and better overall clarity.” As with any treatment like this, do your homework and find a trained expert who will guide you through the safest and most effective choice of treatment for you.
For a plump and juicy texture, AKA the hallmark of dream skin, look to injectable moisturisers that hit skin with a burst of quenching hyaluronic acid and help promote your own production of collagen and elastin in one fell swoop. Your skin will gradually begin to look plumper, fresher and more glowing, so what’s not to love? “My big ‘go to’ treatment is Profhilo, a collagen regenerating treatment that stimulates the 4 different types of collagen and elastin,” says Dr Mountford. “It also has one of the highest concentrations of HA. This has the effect of firming and hydrating the skin as well as giving a lift to the area treated. It gives no ‘puff’ to the face just a lovely radiance and clarity and a youthful glow and a visible firmness.”