Should we scrub, peel or polish? Are gels, oils or creams best? Does our skin really need to ‘breathe’? Do you double cleanse or use 22 layers of products? For the answers to these and other burning beauty questions, we ask our global gurus to share their expert advice. This week: Dr Michael Prager, a London-based doctor known for his subtle touch with the needle and hi-tech approach to skincare.
What is the most basic skin essential?
“A good antioxidant. For years people have gone all out with SPF, but today I don’t think the sun is our main problem, it’s pollution. Saving your skin from aging and damage from free radicals is the first thing you need to do as nothing beats intrinsic skin repair. A good antioxidant builds up in the skin, giving you a ‘reservoir’ of internal protection. Use it daily and after, say, five days you’ll have elevated levels, then if you skip a day it’s not a problem as the protection is already there.”
What is the fastest way to a healthy skin?
“Limit your use of peels, glycolic acid and retinol. I see so many problems from women overusing them. They thin the surface layer of skin, which makes it more open to damage and sensitivity. Using too many too often does absolutely nothing to promote a healthy skin. They have a time and a place in your regime, but it becomes a vicious circle where women overuse them; their skin gets dry, so they slather on a rich cream and then the skin produces less moisture.”
How can I get naturally glowing skin?
“Oils. Not essential oils – they can be terrible for irritation – but very sophisticated oils that soften the skin and absorb into it to repair cell damage at a deeper level. It’s the difference between putting crude oil or a high-octane fuel in your car. For the oils I use, we took away the non-essential ‘greasy’ part so you are left with a light, silky texture that sinks in and doesn’t clog pores. Some oils like argan, shea butter and rosehip also have amazing repairing and protecting qualities, and a natural SPF.”
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