Achieving great luminous skin is hard work. Or is it? With a few tips from the experts, and the right products, you can get a dewy complexion just in time for the summer months.
When Meghan Markle walked down the aisle, all eyes were on her beautifully-cut, snowy-white Givenchy dress. But the minute the billowing veil went back – and Harry (and all of us) fell even more in love – there was a collective gasp among beauty buffs, like myself, who were blown away by her skin. Glowing, clear and luminous – and, my, those freckles… money can buy a knock-out dress, but skin like that? It must be genetic.
Well, in fact, not necessarily, says Nichola Joss – Merkle’s London-based facialist and the woman behind ‘the’ glow. “My clients mostly come to me for my lymphatic drainage facial,” she reveals. “It clears congestion, helps to remove toxins, improves circulation and really helps to de-puff the eyes. But, best of all, it gives a general feeling of energy and wellbeing. It’s the magic ‘glow’ ingredient. Out of every treatment, and any product I would recommend, facial massage is the one thing guaranteed to give amazing results, and, what’s more, it is something you can do at home.”
While those with time on their hands will be able to get to grips with Joss’s regular massage routine, others, who lead busy lifestyles, or, perhaps, have more problematic complexions, could struggle with achieving great skin by massage alone. What’s more, come the summer months, most of us want to wear less on our skins, thus exposing the blemishes for all to see.
“As the temperature rises, it is important to properly cleanse and prep. Sweat and sun-creams can play havoc with the skin,” Joss agrees. “Double cleansing is a buzz word right now. But it really works to clarify and refine. Use a facial cleansing oil as your first step and, then on the second cleanse, I would recommend a powdered exfoliator for gentle decongestion. The prep stage is all about protection – so make sure you use a moisturiser with a SPF30. A hat is a must, of course, once the sun comes out, and if you mist the skin throughout the day it will help prevent dehydration. Lastly, at night, I would advise a nightly massage ritual with a facial oil. This will rebalance the PH levels in the skin, normalising any dry or oily patches, and will feed the skin with nutrients while you sleep.”
Sarah Chapman, another A-list skin specialist who Meghan has on speed-dial, recommends a non-invasive treatment calledDermalux® LED Phototherapy, which harnesses the power of light for visibly radiant skin. “A course of LED Light Therapy is a non-invasive way to fight fine lines, wrinkles and blemishes, as well as promoting instant radiance,” she says. “The technology increases cell energy and collagen production with infrared light, while antibacterial blue light helps if you’re prone to spots. It’s a highly effective treatment to improve skin texture, and the ideal prep for when you want to ‘go bare’ come summer-time.”
If you do invest in facial treatments before holidays, it’s imperative to remember to finish with an SPF product for protection so fresh new skin is not exposed to dangerous rays. It’s also a good idea to avoid harsh therapies, such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels or laser treatment, because your skin is far more vulnerable when the UV rays are stronger.
“Gentle facials, on the other hand, not only encourage faster cell restoration and improve muscle tissue, but they can also prepare the skin for a change in environment. Heat, sand and salt water can all affect how your skin reacts,” Nichola says. “Most importantly, to keep your skin protected from the sun apply an SPF that contains a high percentage of zinc, as this shields the skin, keeping it protected.”
From taking a restorative and toning dip in the sea to walking barefoot on the sand to exfoliate heels, there’s much to be said about the natural benefits of simply being away from your usual routine. Drinking plenty of water and upping your intake of essential fatty acids – with olive oils, oily fish and Argan oils – will also help to plump skin.
“I also recommend taking Symprove, the probiotic, as great skin starts with a healthy gut and my insider secret is Lumity Skin Supplements, which aid skin health from the inside out,” Nichola adds.
Having the last word on how to reveal a pared-back summer skin look is Kate Kerr, super-facialist at Mondrian London Hotel at Sea Containers. Specialising in bespoke treatments that target skin health and aging, she first advocates having a healthy approach to tanning, by faking it. “Firstly, I recommend using a DHA-free tanning gel such as Hylamide Booster Glow or a bronzing powder. DHA is a tanning ingredient that is present in most fake tans and can lead to cellular damage and premature ageing – although, not to the same extent as the sun!”
Secondly, Kate advises “not to use cream-based fake tans on the face as not only will this shut down the skin’s natural moisturising mechanisms, but it can lead to congestion and breakouts.”
Investing in a course of Micro-Needling will also help you achieve that summer glow without the need for make-up, she says. “Dermapen Micro-Needling not only allows for a better penetration of products due to the tiny holes created within the skin but by creating micro injuries it kicks your skin into repair mode which stimulates fibroblast production and as a result increases collagen.”
Finally, after you’ve prepped and preened, the last thing left to do is to lie back and enjoy some down-time – days spent poolside, nodding off in a hammock or sleeping to the sound of the waves will surely bring the colour back to your cheeks. It’s the next best thing to a honeymoon with Harry.
Bare all with these summer skin boosters
The Hero Project Glow Drops, £24
Massage in this dry-touch facial oil, made with 10 natural essential oils and a shot of vitamin C, and skin will look brighter and smoother.
Bio-Extracts Eye Contour Brightening Boost, £19.50
Thanks to the Elderberry Flower extract, this super-concentrated serum for the eye area illuminates and eliminates dark circles.
Teoxane Cosmeceuticals Advanced Perfecting Shield SPF30, £50
This sun cream protects and plumps at the same time. Containing Resilient Hyaluronic Acid (RHA) to visibly smooth, while strengthening the skin’s barrier, it helps create a healthy glow.
Medik 8 Super C30, £44
An ultra-brightening facial serum fights environmental and sun-induced damage to prevent premature ageing, while boosting collagen levels to brighten the complexion.
OM Serenity Beauty Booster, £28
Add a few drops of this botanical blend to your moisturiser, serum or foundation, and its anti-oxidant complex will enhance skin firmness and maintain a youthful look.
This article is also published in the July 2018 issue of Canary Wharf Magazine