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How an internet chat could help solve your lockdown skin gripes

Katie Wright went online to talk to an expert from the much-loved skincare brand Liz Earle

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A click away: online beauty consultations have grown in popularity since the introduction of lockdown

A click away: online beauty consultations have grown in popularity since the introduction of lockdown

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Beauty tips: Katie Wright, who tried a Liz Earle virtual consultation

Beauty tips: Katie Wright, who tried a Liz Earle virtual consultation

Press Association Images

Polly Goodall

Polly Goodall

Press Association Images

A click away: online beauty consultations have grown in popularity since the introduction of lockdown

Like many of us, I've suffered my fair share of skin woes during lockdown, and as a beauty editor, I've had more queries from friends and family in the last few weeks than ever before.

From acne to eczema flare-ups, dark circles that just won't budge and wrinkles that seem to appear overnight, having to stay indoors more has caused all kinds of complexion worries.

That's why skincare brands and facialists have started offering online consultations to help offer expert advice and tackle our changing needs.

But can a video call really be as effective as chatting in person? In a bid to find a solution to my skin issues, I tried the complimentary Liz Earle At Home Virtual Consultation service. Here's what happened...

THE EXPERIENCE

After booking a 30-minute slot online, I log on to the web portal (there's no need to download anything) to talk to Polly Goodall, service and education trainer at Liz Earle.

Goodall, who is based in Yorkshire, starts by asking me a few questions about my skin type, what my skincare goals are, what products I'm using at the moment and about my daily routine.

I tell her that after suffering a major breakout of spots around my jaw a few weeks ago, I've stripped my skincare routine right back, so now I'm just using a balm cleanser, SPF30 moisturiser in the morning and a hydrating cream at night. I'm also using a coffee exfoliating scrub a few times a week.

I'm still getting the occasional spot, and as I've been working from home, I've been sunbathing on my balcony and am a lot more bronzed than usual.

I explain that I want to keep the spots at bay, but I don't want to strip away my tan with harsh products.

Goodall, who is warm and friendly throughout (we get distracted at one point when comparing our favourite house plants), takes some notes then talks me through a routine tailored to my needs.

"What we've found is that when we're at home and we've got more time on our hands, we can really spend that time looking after our skin," she says.

"Spending a little bit more time on the application can really maximise the results."

Because the service is run by a brand, there is a clear focus on Liz Earle products, but I also pick up plenty of handy application tips and tricks too.

For example, Goodall recommends double cleansing with the iconic cleanse & polish hot cloth cleanser (£17), and shows me how to use sweeping motions with my hand when applying the second dose of product, moving from the middle of the face outwards and down - a technique that could be used with any balm cleanser on the market.

"What this will do is help to really get the blood pumping round and help with lymphatic drainage," she says.

"Spend a couple of minutes doing that, then get your cloth, pop it under a hot tap then pop it over your face and it acts like a little at-home steam.

"And if you've got any congestion around the chin area and any build-up of dead skin cells, it will really help remove that."

Goodall also recommends adding the aloe vera-based instant boost skin tonic (£16) to my routine (rather than a harsh alcohol-based toner) to add an extra layer of tan-preserving moisture. She shows me how to apply it with a cotton pad.

I mention that I'm concerned about dark circles under my eyes (like many of us, I haven't been sleeping well during the pandemic), and she suggests another tonic around my eyes and shows me the best way to apply eye cream - using my ring fingers and gently smoothing it towards the outer corner of my eyes.

"Even if you aren't using an eye cream, include some orange fruits in your diet because that will help to reduce the appearance of dark circles because we want to look after our skin from the outside in and also from the inside out," she adds.

THE VERDICT

Overall, I really enjoyed the consultation - it felt like chatting to a really knowledgeable, helpful friend rather than being schooled by a stern skincare guru - and I never felt pressured into buying any products.

It's impressive how much value you get from a free service: after the consultation, Goodall sent over a list recapping her product recommendations and how to use each one, plus a guide to facial massage and a couple of personalised lifestyle tips.

"I love that you have so many plants in your working space. If you get your aloe vera plant closer to your desk, it is a great source of oxygen," she wrote.

If you've found yourself googling to try to get to the bottom of your skin problems but confused by all the advice online, having an expert to chat to is so useful. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to double cleanse my skin and rearrange my house plants.

To book a free Liz Earle At Home Virtual Skincare Consultation, visit uk.lizearle.com

Belfast Telegraph