The Spring Skin Revival

03rd October, 2017
Sandie Cormie

Ernö Lázló, Hungarian-born American dermatologist and cosmetics businessman, was the skin guru of his day and had women like Marilyn Monroeas clients. They all wanted to achieve a perfect complexion. His response was always,

“Beautiful skin requires commitment, not a miracle.”

That’s the reality!

So, it’s time to haul your sad and sorry self out of that tracksuit and venture outdoors to receive the welcome rays of spring sunshine. Embark on a programme to reboot the skin – start now and buff it into shape for renewed luminosity. Time and commitment, no miracles!

Great Skin Has A Number Of Components:

GENETICSdetermine the characteristics of living things and are wired to perform many functions, one of which is to inform cells how to make proteins. They control the body’s process of generating new skin cells to replace the older, dead ones lost to daily wear and tear. Since skin is made up of many proteins (like collagen and melanin), we can optimise this process by exfoliating.

EXFOLIATIONis an exterior mechanical action we use to remove surface dead skin cells and prompt the skin’s cell renewal mechanisms. Since a smooth surface reflects light better and improves radiance, exfoliate at night so that you wake up to a fresher, smoother-textured complexion. Use the natural phenomenon of the body’s natural circadian rhythm to your advantage as its restorative and healing processes function optimally at night.

Many exfoliating products for face and body use small, spherical beads to manually remove dead surface skin cells but the adverse environmental implications have seen facial exfoliators shift in the direction of enzymatic formulations. These use certain acids to ‘dissolve’ the substance that binds skin cells together – lactic acid (dry and sensitive skin), glycolic acid (combination skin) and salicylic acid (oily to combination skin). Gatineau Radiance Enhancing Gommage, Freeman Pineapple Enzyme Mask or BioNike Defence Micro-Exfoliating Scrub (now with biodegradable granules) are recommended.

After exfoliating, try using a hydrating overnight mask like Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, Avène Soothing Moisture Mask or L’Oreal Revitalift Laser Renew Anti-Ageing Night Cream-Mask. Once or twice a week should do the trick!

HYDRATIONis key. Cleansing and toning the skin is a ritual you should enjoy, even when you’re dog-tired or time-strapped. Never underestimate for the long-term benefits of keeping the skin clean and happy – that is, free from complexion-spoiling surface and environmental gunk. This improves the skin’s capacity to absorb the hydrating products necessary to keeping it plump, firm and radiant – you want cells that look like puffed pillows, not floor tiles!

The twice daily ritual runs in sequence of cleanse, tone, serum, eye cream and moisturise (with sunscreen to finish the morning and night cream to finish the evening ceremony). Commit to drinking water throughout the day. Herbal teas without milk or sugar are delicious options, especially when chilled with mint or slices of fruit. Try Twinings Four Red Fruits Tea or Teekanne Moroccan Mint as insufficient water intake is also known to exacerbate under-eye bags and wrinkles.

Of course, you can also ‘eat’ your water allocation by munching water-dense foods. Apparently, the most water-dense food is cucumber (96.7%) followed by iceberg lettuce (95.6%), celery (95.4%), tomatoes (94.5%), green peppers (93.9%), radishes (93.3%), cauliflower (92.1%), watermelon (91.5%), spinach (91.4%), strawberries (91.0%), broccoli (90.7%), grapefruit (90.5%), baby carrots (90.4%) and spanspek (90.2%).

What a wonderful selection for crudité, soups, salads or smoothies – not to mention that these fine foods come packed with a wide range of skin-boosting vitamins and minerals. If a supplement is more convenient, look out for Patrick Holford 100% Health Pack, Solal for women or men and Dis‑Chem Gold Hair, Skin
and Nails.

Skin misting products are also great for freshening the skin as it adjusts to the new season – Vichy Mineralizing Thermal Water or Avène Thermal Water Spray is a winner.

‘Cheer Up’ Skin Activators

Healthy snacks give the skin a hearty morale boost. Unfortunately, the vendor who arrives at the office hawking toasted sandwiches, samoosas, crisps and chocolates, has the uncanny knack of arriving when your stomach feels pinned to your backbone. Rather pack a snack box with a selection of the crisp, crunchy and colourful raw veg and fruit mentioned above together with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, nuts and unsalted popcorn. The office gannet will resist scrounging off you!

Exercise gets the blood pumping and oxygen circulating to improve skin cell health and its natural renewal cycle. Skin will feel invigorated and glow with gratitude. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy and look forward to doing it as there’s nothing like an active lifestyle to boost one’s zest for life and brighten the skin.


We all have our guilty pleasures, it is excess that gets in the way of a healthy skin and body. Things like coffee, alcohol, cigarette smoke, salt, sugar and fast foods have a negative impact on the skin. Some of these are best given up, but if that’s too big an ask, try at least to limit your exposure to them.

Sleep deprivation is a biggie. Did you know that apart from acquiring ashen, lustreless skin and looking drawn and dopey, functioning on auto-pilot has the same cognitive impact as drunkenness? It also raises our risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Be warned, skin is a very telling barometer of a lack of sleep as well as poor physical, mental and emotional health.

Ingredient Savvy

Vitamin C is widely considered to be the best all-rounder for skin, but your skin will also respond positively to:

  • Antioxidants. These inhibit oxidation caused by free radicals.
  • Peptides, offer anti-ageing benefits.
  • Hyaluronic acid, which maintains skin’s moisture levels and promotes elasticity.
  • Retinol, a powerful exfoliant with a multitude of functions – from reducing acne and pigmentation to minimising lines and wrinkles.
  • Ceramides help to restore moisture and fortify the skin’s natural barrier.
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids (glycolic, lactic and malic acids) and Beta Hydroxy Acid (salicylic acid) are potent exfoliants.
  • Vitamins A, C and E.

Spring is the season for renewal – embrace it looking your absolute best!

Make-Up Tricks That Optimise A Fresh-Looking Skin

More of a knack than a ruse, make-up can make a significant difference to the appearance of a complexion. Here are our tips:

  1. Use a foundation primer under your foundation e.g. Palladio Foundation Primer. It creates a smoother-looking complexion by minimising pores.
  2. Opt for a sheer foundation that enhances natural luminosity (try BioNike Defence Color Nude Serum R³).
  3. Use a concealer to camouflage shadows, particularly under the eyes.
  4. Blush (unless you have rosacea) is imperative to making the complexion look energised. A light dusting is all that’s required or you run the risk of morphing into a Russian babushka doll.
  5. Bronzer is useful for appearing sun-kissed on facial features that would naturally catch the most sun – cheek bones, forehead, nose and chin. Much safer and sexier than actual exposure!
  6. Ditch the smoky eye for daytime wear and opt for a nude eye – check out L.A. Girl’s fabulous NUDE palette of eyeshadows.
  7. Highlighter creates the illusion of dewiness – look out for BioNike colour products that offer ‘glow factor’ benefits or any of the L.A. Girl Strobing powders.