Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Spring into action and bring the glow back to your skin

Has dreary weather left you sporting a dull complexion? Lisa Haynes reveals how to make you sparkle again

Skin Regimen by Comfort Zone collection, from £22
Skin Regimen by Comfort Zone collection, from £22
Cowshed Natural Antibacterial Hand Gels, £7 each
Cowshed Natural Antibacterial Hand Gels, £7 each

We've shivered through the extra-long winter and now it's time for the after-effects — dire heating bills and drab skin.

Having endured one of the coldest winters on record, weathered complexions may be in need of some TLC.

That doesn't just mean upping your cleansing regime but detoxing your make-up bag and bathroom shelves, being angelic about your beauty hygiene — and brightening up your skin until it practically sparkles.

“Spring skincare is a reaction to those long, dark winter days — this is the time to get your glow back,” says Francesco Clark, founder of Clark's Botanicals.

So forget the kitchen cupboards. Get glowing and give yourself a spring clean.

Kit cleanse

Before you start on your skin, look to your beauty haul. Out-of-date products can harbour bacteria that's transferred straight to your skin, so that old ‘cleanser’ gathering dust might be doing anything but.

“I always find that spring is a great

excuse to give my make-up and skincare a thorough de-clutter,” advises Caroline Frazer, Simple's skincare expert.

“There is a shelf-life for cosmetics and skincare products. My way of keeping track of lotions and potions is to write the date that you bought it on the lid so you can see at a glance when it is nearing its expiry date.”

As a rule of thumb, aim to replace products that you apply close to the eye every six months (more often if you wear contact lenses) as this will help to avoid excess contamination with skin bacteria. For other facial skincare products, throw them away approximately 12 months after opening.

Frazer says: “Remember to never use an old applicator in a fresh cosmetic as the applicator will transfer bacteria to the new product.”

Heavenly hygiene

New products won't stay fresh for long if your application techniques are worthy of a serious overhaul.

Make-up brushes can swiftly become a breeding ground for bacteria, potentially resulting in skin breakouts.

Get into the routine of gently cleaning your make-up brushes every one to two weeks to remove bacteria, dirt and debris as well as old make-up and dead skin cells.

“So many women forget to clean their make-up brushes, but it is such an important part of maintaining healthy-looking skin,” says celebrity make-up artist Jodie Hazlewood.

“I love Dr Bronner's Soaps to clean my make-up brushes, especially the peppermint soap, which leaves them smelling clean and fresh.”

Give your skin a fighting chance and ensure hands are freshly washed before applying products to your face.

If you prefer to use fingers to apply make-up and you're on the move, carry a handy antibacterial gel.

Routine spruce-up

Cleansing should be top of your daily beauty agenda, whether you wear make-up or not. Your skin picks up a surprising amount of dirt and grime making it look dull and congested. A thorough cleanse can even assist with anti-ageing.

“If you go to bed with a day's dirt, grime and make-up left on your skin, you will accelerate the speed at which your skin ages as well as clogging your pores and encouraging dull, congested skin,” warns Sarah Strang, UK director for spa brands Cinq Mondes, La Sultane de Saba and Russie Blanche. “Try to spend one to two minutes massaging your cleanser into damp skin using circular motions in an upward direction. This helps to kick-start your blood circulation, deep-clean pores and shift any flaky patches of skin.”

Lazybones don't need to panic about triple-step routines with the huge array of micellar water on the beauty shelves. These time-saving solutions don't require water and combine cleansing and toning in one quick step, but it's still wise to schedule in a deep cleanse at least once a week.

Brightening polish

With scarves and snoods tucked away until autumn, spring is the perfect time of year to boost hydration and unveil radiant skin. Exfoliation is the beauty equivalent of a Mr Muscle polish because it rids the face of dead cells, keeps pores clear and the complexion bright. Aim to exfoliate twice a week, unless you have sensitive skin.

Even with the most stringent of routines, imperfections can still be visible due to blemishes, hyperpigmentation and dark spots, which require more targeted treatments specific to your skin concerns.

“Youthful radiance depends to a great extent on how even the skin's pigmentation is,” explains Eucerin scientist Dr Yuliya Zielinski. “Only an even skin tone can optimally reflect light, which makes the skin look fresh and energised.”

Look for active skin brighteners to increase luminosity and help fade sun spots and pigmentation over time.

Spring specials

  • Celebrate the new season with Lush's limited edition Spring Tin. Designed by artist Roman Klonek, the whimsical tin is bursting with energising products to invigorate the mind and body, £29.95 (01202 668 545/www.lush.co.uk).
  • April showers? Singing in the rain is made easier with Aramis's signature giant umbrella, which is available free with any Aramis fragrance purchase, including the classics Aramis Eau de Toilette, £40, and Aramis After Shave, £27. Available exclusively at Boots stores nationwide while stocks last (www.boots.com).

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