Issue: Oily or acne-prone skin
DO Moisturise day and night, even if you don’t think your skin looks dry. When skin is dehydrated it tries to compensate by revving up oil production, so oily skin can sometimes be a by-product of a lack of moisture. Instead, try out lighter formulas like water-based creams or gel creams that are lightweight in texture.
DON’T Use a facial oil, or any moisturiser that’s heavy in oil-based ingredients. If your pores are clogged or inflamed, then comedogenic oils will create further blockages that can only exacerbate acne problems. Also, always avoid fragrances.
Issue: Dry skin
DO Load up on products immediately after washing your face (always in warm water). Your skin begins dehydrating the minute after it’s clean and product-free, so start application while everything is still damp. Look for non-comedogenic oils or hyaluronic acid, and change your moisturiser with the seasons.
DON’T Make the mistake of thinking more is more. A thicker layer of moisturiser does not mean more moisture. Nor do you need to moisturise multiple times a day. Once in the morning and once in the evening – with the right product – is plenty, unless you’re swimming.
Issue: Uneven skin tone or sun damage
DO Look for creams that contain skin-brighteners and lighteners like vitamin C, azaleic acid and hydroquinone. Vitamin B3, sometimes marked in ingredients lists as niacinamide, is another great multi-tasker to look out. And whether your skin is splotchy due to sun damage, age spots, acne scarring or anything else, SPF is your best friend in the daytime.
DON’T ...wear it at night, though. Sunscreen will prevent your skin from breathing during the all-important sleeping/healing period. And be aware that most whitening products increase skin’s sensitivity to sun damage, so you need to be extra careful in the day – may we suggest a hat?
Issue: Fine lines and wrinkles
DO Figure out which ingredients are best at triggering your cells to operate at an optimum level – hyaluronic acid, retinols, ceramides and peptides are all buzzwords when it comes to anti-ageing skincare, and with good reason. They tell your skin’s cells to firm up, produce collagen and do all sorts of good stuff to plump up fine lines.
DON’T Be lazy and rely only on a moisturiser. If you’re too dry, you get wrinkles. Sun-damaged? Wrinkles. After a certain age, wrinkles are a foregone conclusion, and it’s all about moisture management to prevent the extent of them. And don’t forget the décolletage.
Issue: Sensitive skin
DO Patch test! Conditions like rosacea and eczema attack more than the face, so patch test less visible bits of the body when you’re test-driving a new cream, even if it is marked as being for sensitive skin. Consider your application technique as well – dot moisturiser across the face and spread gently, rather than lathering your palms and then rubbing it everywhere.
DON’T Indulge in any products that contain alcohol, parabens, silicones or fragrance. Don’t go for high SPF products – the higher the SPF, the more it will irritate, so consider a cream that is SPF free and then layering a sunscreen that’s SPF30 or less.