Are you seduced by the words hyaluronic acid, peptides and free radical inhibitors? Do you own more than one product that you don't know how to use and several that have you wondering whether or not you really need them at all?
Over the weekend I had a moment to really look at my bathroom shelves, without my customary weekday 'get ready as quickly as possible', sleepy half-closed eyes. What I noticed was how full they were, with products that I use sporadically or not at all, but for some reason still believe I need. Working in the beauty industry I am constantly exposed and tempted by new launches boasting the latest developments in skincare, but realistically there is only so much I can put on my face.
A little discipline and a dose of expert advice was what I needed to clear my shelves and get back to basics with my daily skincare routine.
So when I got the opportunity to pick the brains of respected skincare expert and facialist Antonia Burrell, I wasted no time finding out how to implement an effective but straightforward skincare ritual.
Antonia likes to keep things simple and is an advocate of natural beauty products. Her own range (available at Harrods Urban Retreat, 020 7893 8333) is a great example of natural products that work.
To get the best out of your skin, a good cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin and leave it dry or tight is what she recommends. Follow with a serum and moisturiser that addresses your skin type and concerns. Finish with an eye cream or gel, crucially you should be able to use all of these both day and night.
For Burrell a must for an effective beauty routine has to be massage: ‘Massage has both positive psychological as well as physical effects on a person. Psychologically massage is calming and it soothes the mind. Physically it relaxes the muscles and it’s this relaxation of the facial muscles that aids in the smoothing of wrinkles and fine lines.’
Having studied the art of aromatherapy, which explores how scent can improve the health of the body — mentally, physically and emotionally, Antonia believes that the right type of oils are important when picking your products. Her product line includes lemongrass which is ‘incredibly uplifting and helps to brighten the complexion’, lavender to ‘distress and reduce inflammation’, and tea tree to ‘aid in calming the mind and also treating acne prone skin’.
With all this in mind I am culling products from my bathroom shelves (saving my Givenchy Hydra Sparkling Mask £30, 01932233824, and Fresh Soy Exfoliator £32.50, 020 7486 4100) and adopting a daily ritual that is both simple and effective.