Spring has supposedly sprung and yet the weather still can't make its mind up. From sunshine to sleet and snow, we pretty much see all four seasons happen in one day. Because of this, my skin goes from being dry, to shiny and greasy and back again, all in one day. To put it bluntly, my skin is average, and I don't like settling for average. And as a bride-to-be, I bet neither do you.
Something most people don't realise is that as we move from winter to spring and on into the summer months, we should switch up our skincare just as we would our wardrobe. Incorporating new products that address your skin's changing needs due to the alternating climate and other external aggressors such as pollution and stress is essential. For perfect skin, here are my five steps:
Create a clearer and healthier looking complexion in just two weeks by simply focussing on your cleansing. Thorough cleansing is essential for healthy, clear and radiant skin, yet it is something many of us overlook. Either w
e don't put too much thought into it, or we simply don't have the time for a prolonged ritual.
Korean skincare and K-beauty as a whole are huge right now, as we Westerners catch up with their routines and learn how great their products are (watch out for my 11-step skincare review - coming very soon). Korean women are renowned for their radiant complexion and would never leave the house without having gone through a thorough 2-step cleansing process. Having tried this out myself, I can attest to the fact that a double cleansing not only leaves your face squeaky clean, but addresses clogged pores and leaves you looking radiant.
First, choose an oil cleanser suited to your skin type and using upward circular motions massage the oil into the skin paying particular attention to any congested areas. Rinse and pat dry. I love Shiseido Essentials Perfect Cleansing Oil, gentle on the skin it does not irritate my sensitive skin or eyes and removes all traces of makeup. Following on from your oil cleanse, choose either a cleansing foam or a cream cleanser and repeat the step above. Do this every day for at least two weeks and you will see your skin transform.
The winter months often leave skin dry and irritated. For spring skin, give back some moisture by choosing a product that focusses on hydration but it not greasy. We want the product to sink in and be absorbed, not sit on the skin and create a greasy look. I love, love, love The Murad Hydro-Dynamic range of products as they are gentle on skin, suitable for all skin types, and target dry and irritable skin.
Firstly, generously apply the Murad Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence, if you have not heard about Essences yet,
you soon will. An entire class of their own, they are not to be confused with a toner (and they do look very similar to a toner). Essences prep and prime the skin, they do not clean, and deliver essential antioxidants, hydration, etc., (much like a moisturiser, each Essence on the market will target a different skin issue - choose one that meets you needs) and optimise any other moisture laid on it.
The Murad Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence (€75)contains Blue Agave Leaf Extract, which is a self-sustainable, desert-based plant that holds onto moisture for dear life! It also contains a blend of watermelon, apple and lentil to give the skin the “drink of water” that it needs while also maintaining that level of hydration. It's magic ingredient is glycolic acid, as this brightens and clears the skin, and is basically a leave on exfoliant.
Pair this with the complementing Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisturiser and your skin will receive up to 5x more hydration than using either of these products alone. If your skin looks a little lacklustre, this combo is for you.
How to use Murad Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence:
Follow these steps when using Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence:
1. Pump Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence onto the tips of the middle and index fingers.
2. Quickly touch coated fingers to the middle and index fingers of the opposite hand to distribute the product and to avoid over-absorption by fingers, do not rub.
3. To apply to the face, use 4 coated fingers to dab the product from forehead to chin and from nose to ears.
4. Use the same four fingers to lightly and continuously tap the product into the skin, working from the centre of the face to the edges.
Continue tapping the product into the skin until it is completely absorbed and you have achieved optimal hydration.
5. Apply Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture to the entire face and neck, concentrating on your driest areas.
Exfoliate once or twice a week, depending on your need. My all time
favourite exfoliation technique is using the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Cleansing Balm, Rosehip Seeds and Cloth. Add the Rosehip Seeds to the balm and apply to skin with a patting, upwards motion. Gently work it into the skin in circles and when ready remove product with the face cloth and rinse. I would use this technique in place of one of my cleansing steps mentioned above. (For more on the Emma Hardie Balm see here). Spring skin is all about radiance, and regular exfoliation will ensure that your skin glows.
4. Finish with an SPF
Ladies and Gents, never leave home without an SPF. It is the kindest thing you can do for your skin and your future self will thank you. When the weather heats up, crack out your SPF and apply after your moisturiser, for perfectly
protected spring skin. (Remember, if you are using an AHA, like the glycolic acid in the Murad Hydro-Dynamic Essence then an SPF should be always used. AHAs leave the skin susceptible and so more prone to burn easily.) Choose a light fluid that will absorb quickly and not interfere with your makeup. Try Dermalogica's Solar Defence Booster and never look back. Our big sister, Social & Personal, gave this product their Editor's Choice Award in their 2016 Beauty Awards so if they think it is great, then it really is something to write home about.
-- Dani Farrell