SKIN WOES Beauty therapist's top seven steps to flawless skin
To get that glowing, flawless skin we all want, beauty therapist Neelu White shares some of her top tips
We all have the best intentions when it comes to taking care of our complexion and trying to achieve radiant skin - but we sometimes sabotage our skin without realising it. Your daily habits make a major difference when it comes to preventing damage and premature aging.
Neelu White of Neelu's Beauty Salon in Dublin's Liffey Street has been treating skin since 1985 and shares her top tips.
1. Don't skip sunscreen
"We know you should wear sunscreen, but so many of us skip it," says beauty therapist and expert on all things skin.
"The depletion of the ozone layer has increased our risk of sun damage from harmful UV rays. Sun damage from UV rays causes premature ageing of the skin, which contributes to lines, sagging and wrinkles.
"But it's not just the sun that causes premature aging. Urban pollution from smoke, exhaust, heating, dust, and blue-light from electronic devices also damage the skin...
"Le Mieux Skin Protection Emulsion, €75 (pictured), protects the skin from air and sun damage, but even better is that its lightweight formula does not cause any redness or skin breakouts, making it ideal for skin that's prone to acne or rosacea. As sun protection doesn't last all day either, it can be sprayed over makeup a few times a day without smudging it."
2. Using the same products
"Skin changes with age and so should the products and treatment you use," says Neelu. "I specialise in mature skin - some of my clients are in their 80s and still have wonderful skin".
"Women over 40 commonly face dryness, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and even hormonal acne. There are now powerhouse ingredients for mature skin in professional skincare products.
"Good news too is that non-intervention skin treatments can restore plumpness and radiance to ageing skin - a much better solution than injectables and fillers.
"Radio-frequency, oxygen, LED light, neuro-frequency and cellular-signalling technology means men and women don't have to resort to surgery or fillers. No downtime, no pain, no peeling, no laser burns, no needles. Only beautiful, plump and radiant skin."
3. Using too many exfoliating products too often
"Some people think that if their exfoliant is not burning or stinging, then it's not working. Doing too many aggressive exfoliating treatments can actually injure the skin," Neelu says.
"Too much harsh exfoliation can cause a damaged moisture barrier, resulting in flaking, dehydration and inflammation, possible destruction of healthy cells, and a stimulation of melanin activity causing increased hyperpigmentation.
"Vitamin C is a natural exfoliant which means it can slough away any dead skin cells and debris from the top layer of the face. It is these skin cells that, if allowed to build-up, can cause the skin to appear dull and blemishes to appear. The Le Mieux Vita-C Clear Skin Pad, €85 (pictured right), contains natural citric, lactic, tartaric, and a minor dose of glycolic acids. It's so natural that I only mix up the solution when its purchased as it has a shorter shelf life."
4. Not investing where it matters
"Professional skincare is a little more expensive - but you are paying for the scientific integrity, quality, and active ingredients. The skincare plan given to you by your therapist is tailor-made to treat your specific issues at that time.
Professional products contain high-quality actives. "You don't want those actives diluted with a lot of preservatives, just to make it last a long time in the bottle. Similarly, look for fillers - they just add unproductive volume to a product," she adds. "Check out the molecule weight of your skincare. If the molecules of an active ingredient aren't small enough to penetrate the skin, they cannot possibly create change at the cellular level" says Neelu.
The key is consistent professional product use at home, especially if you are looking to make real, visible changes to your skin in the most expedient manner.
5. Relying on makeup remover wipes
Makeup wipes might work in a pinch every once in a while, but they are in no way sufficient for cleansing your skin properly. "Makeup wipes are not formulated to actually clean your skin. They are formulated to break down makeup. Your face might look makeup free when you're done, but these wipes don't actually cleanse your skin and tend to leave behind a residue that isn't doing your skin any favours".
Having a great cleanser on hand for those nights when you really just can't be bothered to remove your makeup makes it easier not to skip this incredibly important nightly skincare step. "Le Mieux Brightening Cleanser, €50, not only cleans your skin thoroughly but has skin-perfecting mandelic acid, the master antioxidant to boost clarity and radiance, so it's a double duty hit" says Neelu.
6. Check where you get your advice
Self-prescription of publicised 'anti-ageing' ingredients, such as vitamin A, AHAs, and BHAs, can conversely damage the skin and become 'pro-aging' when inappropriately chosen without a professional consultation.
"I have been treating skin for over 35 years and I have a lot of experience and knowledge and can share advise on your skin, correct dosages and frequency of application." Neelu says. "Listen to your skin expert, not what the skincare packaging reads. I know skin better than the marketing specialists and celebrity endorsements."
7. Overusing moisturiser
"Adding multiple coats of moisturiser to alleviate dry skin is not the same as switching to a creamier consistency. Using thicker coats of moisturiser will only result in clogged pores and a waste of product, because your skin can only absorb so much" says Neelu. "Le Mieux Essence Moisturiser, €102, is a lightweight formula that's fragrance free. It helps to keep skin soft, smooth, supple and glowing."