Sarah Tolan: Spring clean skin

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Your skin care needs change season on season, with spring a great time for cleansing. Taking the time to sort it out now can mean your skin will look better in the months ahead.

Begin by banishing dead skin and for this use an exfoliator. As we age, the rate at which our skin cells renew slows, so if you’re over 30 exfoliating is particularly important.

Some facial exfoliators are granular. However, if you suffer from more sensitive or spot-prone skin, then use a non-granular exfoliator to avoid irritation. But whichever you choose, don’t overdo it. Too much exfoliation can tear and damage the skin. Once or twice a week ought to suffice.

Apply to your face in small circular motions using fingertips for about 30 seconds. Then rinse off, though never with hot water as this can damage collagen 
production.

Now it’s time to tackle grime and grease, and it’s essential to cleanse the skin every single day. Good old-fashioned soap and water might suit some, but there are shelf-loads of affordable cleansers on the market.

From milks and oils to balms and bubbles, cleansers come in a variety of different formulas. What works for you will depend on your skin type, but if your skin feels tight after use, your cleanser could be too harsh so consider something milder. And if you’re short on time then opt for a dual function product like Darphin’s Micellar Water which cleanses and tones skin together.

When cleansing, massage the product into your face for one or two minutes before rinsing. This stimulates blood circulation, helping your skin look smoother and clearer. Clarisonic brushes are a fabulous tool but whichever way you massage in your cleanser, remember to avoid hot water.

If you’re still looking to get your glow on, then the answer could lie with a treatment.

Microdermabrasion offered by the likes of Beyond MediSpa in Harvey Nichols is the perfect pick-me-up for skin. Alternatively, there are plenty of dedicated products to perk up skin and I’ve found Sisley’s Botanical D-Tox Night Treatment a welcome non-abrasive addition to my skin care routine. And look out for moisturisers specifically for creating glow such as Melvita’s Nectar Bright Collection.

Beyond skin care, you can give your skin a helping hand and banish dullness by cheating. Bronzers are great for adding a touch of colour to face and décolletage, with my current favourite being Clarins’ new Splendours Bronzing Compact. For radiance, try Aerin Lauder’s new Illuminating Powder.

Apply bronzing products to areas that naturally catch the sun using the ‘three’ technique. Apply from top to bottom of face in shape of the number three on either side. Avoid anything in a powder formula with shimmer and sparkle if you’re worried about fine lines as this will settle into any wrinkles. Bobbi Brown’s Sheer Colour Cheek Tints are a powder-less way to add glow. Finish with a dab blusher such as Smashbox’s Halo Long Wear Blush to apples of cheeks.

Fake tanning products are another cheat – and a little goes a long way. We’re not at the height of summer just yet, so think sun-kissed rather than sun-scorched. Celebrity tanner James Read has his own range of tanning products which includes a recently launched sleep mask so you can go golden as you get your ZZZZs in. Let me know how you get on.

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