Blocked pores, dry skin and sore, irritated areas on your face might not seem like the end of the world in the grand scheme of things, but when your skin is having a bad day it can have a serious affect on your mood.
Irish gals are getting ever more interested in skincare and what products we should actually use (and what ones not to waste our money on!) so we had a chat with the skincare legend Jennifer Rock, aka The Skin Nerd to ask all the questions you've ever wondered about when it comes to your pretty face.
Jennifer is an award-winning skin lecturer and a multi-award winning dermal facialist and aesthetician. She's the founder of The Skin Nerd online 'skinconsultancy' and the Cleanse Off Mitt makeup removal tool and you’ll find her standing at the helm of The Skin Nerd HQ, on television, in the pages of well-known publications and speaking on the radio.
Here's literally everythaang you need to know to get your skin looking fab.
When should you actually start to use anti-aging creams?
"Your skin begins to age at 25… So probably sooner than you’d think. However, I’d always advocate to prevent - ditch the cigs, wear SPF every single day (the one in your makeup doesn’t count) and get antioxidants into you and onto you. Anti-ageing skincare is actually a fairly vague concept.
"Many of them contain ingredients which can benefit skin of pretty much any age, for example, vitamin C or hyaluronic acid, and there’s no harm in including these in your routine from your early twenties."
Are eye creams worth the money or will a general face moisturiser do the trick?
"There are maybe two eye creams or gels that I would whole-heartedly recommend, with the Environ Youth Essential Vita-Peptide Eye Gel being my personal go-to.
"Outside of that, I think get the SPF on to prevent the dreaded crow’s feet and get enough sleep whenever possible. Sleep is what everyone says but a lack of sleep means poor circulation which means dark circles and puffy eyes."
If you had to spend big on one aspect of skincare, what would it be?
"One of my main mottos is ‘spend on your serum’. It’s actually incredibly hard to find a true serum at an affordable price point. Your serum is usually what will treat your skin as it gets deep into the skin, unlike a moisturiser, and stays on your skin, unlike a cleanser."
What are the best product dupes you've come across?
"In terms of skincare products, I honestly haven’t found anything that truly compares to the respective original. I love Seoulista’s Instant Facials even though they are not Korean, if that counts."
Is there really such a difference between expensive and budget products?
"I know it’s not what anyone wants to hear but I am used to being the bearer of bad skincare news. The extra bucks you pay on pricier skincare products is what it cost the brand to research and source active ingredients.
"Saying that, there are affordable options that can pacify the skin, such as MooGoo, Avène and Gallinée, that are much loved by many. At the same time, there are products that are too expensive and contain caviar but aren’t that active."
What's the most popular skincare product you'd recommend to pretty much everyone?
"What I’d recommend to everyone is topical vitamin A, specifically Environ SkinEssentiA AVST moisturiser… I’m saying it because it should be the most popular skincare product.
"Vitamin A is the only vitamin that can cause a physical change in the skin and what a change it can make."
What's the best skincare range for acne?
"I don’t believe in only one range for anyone, regardless of which condition it is. Our Nerdettes at The Skin Nerd online skin consultancy recommend products from over thirty brands. In my eyes, gone are the days of pre-packaged, three-step routines you can pluck off a shelf.
Now, it’s all about bespoke skincare regimes that are made to suit the individual’s skin and for good reason."
Do oil control products actually prevent your make up from looking oily? If so, whats the best products to use?
"Oil control products work wonders as long as they have genuine, oil-controlling ingredients. I’d always recommend a skincare oil controller rather than a makeup one. The Murad Oil-Control Mattifier is a godsend for the oily, it is like a mop for excess sebum."
Is it okay to put fake tan on your face?
"Is that a joke?! Of course you should not be putting fake tan on your face! The skin on your face is too delicate to handle the chemical load of fake tan.
"Most fake tans are incredibly drying and this can lead to excess oil production and thus spots. I like TanOrganic as their products are full of aloe vera to moisturise the skin. Even so, keep it just for your body and buy a foundation to match your tan."
Are face wipes really bad for your skin? (I reckon we know the answer will be yes…)
"I’m not saying it for the good of my health! Face wipes really are baddies. Even if your specific face wipes don’t contain arseloads of alcohol or fragrances, they are not properly removing all of the gunk from your face and they are leaving a film of product, makeup smears and your own oils on your face for the following eight hours.
"Spot City; Population: You. A proper double-cleanse takes all of two minutes so there is no real excuse."
How often should you get a facial?
"It depends what you’re trying to achieve by getting facials and what your facialist thinks you can handle. Some people could be having a facial once a week for a set amount of time or some should be having just a monthly one to maintain their skin.
"As a facialist, I love a good facial but I don’t think it should be chosen over an effective home skincare regime."
Does micro needling really work?
"Micro needling carried out in a clinic by a trained professional has the ability to trigger the skin’s healing process and basically resurface the skin by helping to create lots of collagen and elastin.
"At-home needling, AKA homerolling, is fabulous for product penetration when you’re using it under guidance but it cannot trigger the healing process as the needles are too short so it doesn’t work in the same way."
What other skincare treatments would you recommend splashing out on?
"I’m a fan of going back to basics. Machine-based treatments such as suction and indirect high frequency are treatments that we teach as CIDESCO lecturers yet students tend not to utilise them regardless of their effectiveness!
"I also think IPL and LED therapy are greatly underrated as treatments."
Yikes. We best throw out the facial wipes and STOP PUTTING TAN ON OUR FACES.
Want to know more skincare insider tips? Jennifer has just released a book: The Skin Nerd: The Skin is an Organ – A 360° Approach to Your Healthiest Skin that's out now.