With winter well and truly behind us, it’s time for a spring clean – of our complexions as much as our closets. Cold conditions outside and cranked-up heating inside can wreak havoc on even the most balanced skin types, resulting in dullness, accentuated fine lines and flakiness. Worse yet – if you spent the winter months sunning yourself in Europe, you may well have returned with tell-tale pigmentation as well as a golden tan.
But help is at hand. Follow the below steps for complexion perfection – just in time for party season.
1/ Reconsider your exfoliator
Physical exfoliants (like those containing nut husks) can be too harsh for many skin types, aggravating sensitive skin and causing tiny tears around the delicate eye area. Instead, opt for a gentler powder version or look for a chemical exfoliator containing lactic acid to refine your skin’s texture. Extra sensitive types should eschew exfoliating altogether and lift off dead skin cells by cleansing with a damp muslin cloth instead.
2/ Nix pigmentation and fine lines in one hit
Everyone is talking about laser resurfacing right now, and with good reason: it may be drastic, but it works. Dr Lanzer’s Erbium Laser Resurfacing eradicates fine lines around the mouth and eyes, as well as dealing with pigmentation, acne scarring, blotchiness and solar keratosis. “Erbium can be the most dramatic treatment,” says Dr Lanzer. “Results may last for most of one’s life.” A one-off treatment, it’s particularly suited for people with fair skin and requires a week of downtime.
3/ Use serum AND sunscreen
As tempting as it is to cut back on our skincare regimens in summer, these are two steps you should persist with year-round. Look for a lightweight hydrating serum for the summer months that absorbs quickly and wears well under make-up: anything with hyaluronic acid, which can hold 1000 times its weight in water, is a safe bet. As for SPF, as any beauty editor will tell you, it’s essential to wear it every single day, and opt for a broad spectrum, Cancer Council-approved formula.
4/ Perfect your pout
Even the most diligent skin exfoliators (see step one above) tend to neglect this step. Gently exfoliating your lips will guarantee a smooth lipstick application, no matter how matte your product: you can buy dedicated lip exfoliants, or mix your own using coconut or olive oil and raw sugar.
5/ Reformulate your foundation
The final touch? A foundation – or tinted moisturiser – that gives that elusive lit-from-within glow. Amp up the dewy factor of your favourite make-up by mixing it with a drop or two of facial oil just before you apply: try rosehip, argan or jojoba.