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Celebrity facialist and skincare expert, Lisa Harris, has shared her top 10 skincare secrets with us. So let's dive straight in! Over to you Lisa...
1. Always cleanse your skin at night.
I love to use a gentle gel enzyme cleanser that gently sloughs away dead dry skin cells. It clears the skin of oxidative stress (city pollution), debris, minimises the pores by flushing out daily toxins/debris and leaves a healthy glowing complexion. Enzymes help to break down unwanted debris on the skin, but they also help to restore and repair the top layers of skin. This type of cleanser is especially good for dry patches and acne/congested prone skin. Enzyme cleansers are the perfect way to prep your skin before applying your am/pm serum and moisturisers. Cream or balm cleansers, if not removed correctly, can leave a greasy residue on your skin, making it difficult for peptides to travel deeper into the skin.
2. My secret to great, flawless and younger looking skin is ampoules.
These contain concentrated levels of peptides, ceramides and vitamins and deliver the most effective results in whatever you want to achieve within hours. They come in seven to 14-day packs and are your SOS treatment when you need to boost your skin, whether that be in hydration, brightness etc. All my clients know that my favourite booster is my secret formula of vitamin C, which helps to protect you from UVA and UVB by up to 47 per cent within the dermis when combined with your SPF. Not only that, but it helps to stimulate more of your own collagen. Without adding a concentrated dose of vitamin C, the collagen in the skin depletes a lot faster.
3. The eyes are the first tell tail sign of ageing.
Why is this? Because it's the thinnest part of skin and is more sensitive to products and food. Stay away from cleansing wipes, as these will cause dryness and irritation when you wipe over the eye area too much. Some wipes also contain SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) causing itchiness/dehydration, which can cause wrinkles. This is due to the lack of lipids being produced within that area. I always advise my clients to opt for using an organic, natural carrier oil instead, such as coconut, olive or almond oil. This will melt away any heavy eye make-up, including waterproof mascara, without dragging the skin. The oil leaves your eye and eyelashes moisturised, a perfect two-in-one product. Always rinse the oil from the eyes until no residue is left on the eye area and then seal in with an eye cream, not a face cream. Face creams are too heavy for the eye area, causing fatty deposits and puffiness.
4. I'm always asked about what causes dark circles or puffiness around the eyes and how to revive them to look brighter and more lifted.
If eyes are puffy, then this is linked to lack of sleep, hormonal changes and food sensitivity. If this happens then you can help yourself by doing the following: Firstly, rinse the face in luke warm water and then soak a cotton wool disc in cold ice water and slices of cucumber. Apply the cotton disc to the eye area to wake up and stimulate the eye area (two minutes) and then apply thinly sliced potatoes to each eye.
Potatoes contain an enzyme called catecholase, which contains skin-lightening properties that help reduce under-eye circles. This then can be followed by a light oil (coconut oil) to perform a lymphatic eye massage to drain away any fluid and lift the eyebrow area. To drain the fluid around the eye, just gently massage with your index finger with small circular movements and then around the eye in a figure of eight, followed by a draining technique towards either side of the nostrils. Pump twice and then continue massaging with index fingers down towards the earlobes and pump twice again (like a slow tapping release movement). This aids detoxification and drainage. Now, with your index finger cushioned under the brow, lift and hold whilst blinking many times. This will strengthen the eye muscle area to give an instant eye lift effect. Follow the steps above as often as needed to soothe eyes and fade dark circles. Sunscreen should be applied around the eyes every day; use serums containing age-defying ingredients like aminoguanadine (to prevent glycation and protein cross-linking) or L-carnosine to fight the ageing processes that weaken skin integrity. My secret to brightening and fading away lines are hydrolysed hyaluronic acid eye patches (mask) from Skeyndor. They are little miracle workers!
5. A good night sleep keeps skin fresh and plump.
I bathe every night in Himalayan salts, adding a carrier oil and a relaxing essential oil (lavender and bergamot are my favourites). This helps your skin and spirit to rid any toxins and negativity that you may have picked up throughout the day, thus balancing your aurora, which aids in a good night sleep. Herbal teas at night also help to flush away toxins and aid relaxation, which will improve your skins glow in the morning when you rise.
6. Masks should be used once a week!
This is another trick to repair and restore moisture in the skin or use a healing mask to treat acne and congested skin. You could make your own mask for tackling congested skin! To do this, mix together bicarbonate soda, Fullers earth and an enzyme cleanser. Mix this with cool boiled water to create a paste and then apply to the skin. Leave for 10 mins and rinse off. This creates oxygen bubbles that then travel deep within the pores, which helps with clearing and healing. It's one of my daughter's favourite tricks, as well as my clients, for clearer and brighter skin at home.
7. Looking after your gut its vital in skin health.
Fermented foods and probiotics are amazing in repairing your tight junction within your gut lining. This stops toxins leaking back into your blood stream, which may cause a wide range of inflammation in your skin, particularly acne, rosacea and eczema. Feed your microbiome (good bacteria in your gut) as this will heal any inflammation within your body, as well as keeping your skin looking younger and healthier.
8. Treat yourself to a spa facial!
It’s a must in maintaining and tackling the ageing process and any skin problems, but most of all it increases the feel-good brain chemicals like serotonin, endorphins and GBBA. This creates happy, healthier skin cells, making you feel and look fabulous. Adding that sparkle back into your eyes that everyone will notice!
9. Try an organic plant-based diet, even if you wean yourself off once or twice a week.
You will reap the rewards instantly, as your skin looks clearer and healthier. Energy levels are better, you become calmer in your response towards daily chores and it aids in a better digestion. Another must is taking natural skin supplements to feed your skin from within holistically. This helps to optimise your immunology and fight against external and internal aggressors, but most of all, it optimises your topical skin care regime.
10. Exercise is the ultimate stem cell stimulator.
This is responsible for keeping cells young and full of vitality. Walking in the woods/seaside will accelerate oxygen and positive ions (energy) promoting a sense of wellness and improving your microbiome (healthy gut). This boosts your immune system by 70% and serotonin levels by 90 per cent. I'm also a firm believer in “me time”. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself in restoring mental and physical health. A healthy mind and spirit are the key to vitality and happiness, which reflects on your face.
For more from Lisa Harris - Skin Expert & Facialist, check out www.lisaharrisskinscience.co.uk