Caroline Hirons' top tips for great skin

Bridget March
Photo credit: Nicky Johnston

From Harper's BAZAAR

She's the advanced aesthetician and outspoken skincare blogger than can make or break a brand with one of her refreshingly honest reviews. Indeed, Caroline Hirons is considered the beauty industry's (rather frank) fairy godmother – so it's no surprise that her debut book, Skincare, was tangled in a six-way bidding war with publishers given we all want her wisdom, now condensed into a handy no-nonsense guide.

Ahead of its official release on 25 June, here we share an exclusive extract outlining Hirons' golden rules for good skin. As she says, "obviously everyone is different, but, in general, these are your basics if you’re wondering where to start". Over to her:

1/ Cleanse your skin every night without fail – cleanliness is next to Godliness. Double-cleanse if you are wearing make-up or sunscreen, or both (which applies to most of us).

A little tip for those of you that say you have no time: either take your make-up off as soon as you get home or take your make-up off before you take your bra off (if you sleep in your bra or don’t wear one, then follow the first tip!).

2/ Cleanse your skin every morning. It obviously doesn’t have to be as intense as the nighttime cleanse, but a quick warm flannel and milk/balm/gel wouldn’t go amiss to get rid of the overnight shedding. I know some brands say you don’t need to cleanse your skin in the morning. That’s okay. They’re wrong.

3/ Wash your face properly. A clean canvas makes everything better. There is no point in spending your hard-earned cash on expensive serums if you are using wipes or winging it when it comes to cleansing.

4/ Do not smoke. That’s really the beginning and end of it.

5/ Get some sunshine. The term ‘everything in moderation’ really applies here. I work indoors all day and live in the northern hemisphere. I don’t get a lot of sun so I supplement with vitamin D (under doctor’s advice). I don’t use skincare with SPF: I apply it separately in between moisturiser and foundation or primer. SPF is too active an ingredient and can interfere with other anti-ageing ingredients, making all of your expensive moisturisers potentially redundant.

Yes, obviously too much sun is damaging to the skin, but so is too much chlorine. And too much pollution. Get out there and get some sunshine. Some brands would have us believe the sun is the ultimate enemy. That’s only true if you don’t respect it. Get some sun. Not a lot, some. Just don’t be stupid about it.

6/ Use a high SPF (30+) and encourage your kids to use it. You will save them a lot of time trying to repair sun damage in later years.

7/ Use good-quality skincare. I’m not talking about creams that cost more than your monthly food budget; I’m just suggesting you step away from the cheap packet of wipes and moisturisers in the chemist or supermarket and step it up a gear.

8/ Equate your skincare spending to what you would spend on a handbag or shoes. I’m not saying you should – I’m saying you should be willing to.

9/ Get enough sleep. When you are not getting sufficient rest, it shows on your face.

10/ TITTTs: take it to the tits. Your neck and décolleté, which is a fancy French term for your upper chest and shoulder area, are part of your facial skincare, too.

11/ Try to eat well. I’m not being a killjoy – a little of what you fancy definitely does you good – just don’t go overboard. Gut health is linked to healthy skin function: for example, taking probiotics is thought to support a healthy skin.

12/ Drink enough water. This is important not only for the normal functionality of your skin, but for your general good health, too. If your urine is dark and you suffer from a lot of headaches, you would do well to up your H2O levels.

13/ Try to avoid stress. I know it’s much harder than it sounds, but do whatever you need to do to keep your stress levels low.

Photo credit: Courtesy

Skincare by Caroline Hirons is published 25 June by HQ, HarperCollins

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