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Skincare Sunday: How to get your basics right

With all the focus on what’s new – new products, new ‘miracle’ ingredients – it’s easy to forget the basics. But getting these right, and knowing what to use and when, can make all the difference to your skin, says NEWBY HANDS



Peel gently

Most of us use a peel at night, but I’ve switched since hearing that most pro makeup artists use a peel pre-makeup, as it gives skin and foundation an almost seamless, smooth finish. Don’t over-peel, though – once or twice a week is enough.

Protection I

In all the confusion of what to use and when, the one key ingredient you do want on your skin during the day is vitamin C. Cosmetic scientist Dr Colette Hayden says it’s an “absolute must as it has so many benefits”: it’s a potent antioxidant; boosts healthy collagen (strong collagen equals great skin); plus, it works as a natural UVB protector.

Protection II

Load up on antioxidants as your daily defense against the damaging effects of stress, sun and pollution. Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair is the one non-negotiable in my morning routine (ignore the name, it works day and night), because it has a blend of antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory and hydrating.

Protection III

I’m not a fan of barefaced beauty because skin doesn’t need to ‘breathe’, and I prefer the damaging pollution in the air to stick to my makeup, not my bare skin. But this doesn’t mean wearing a full face of makeup every day. The newer blends of pigments, SPF and anti-pollution tinted bases are brilliant, and when you remove them, you are removing some of the pollution, too.

Hydrate properly

Water hydrates the skin, and oils nourish it. Don’t get confused between the two, as all skin types – including oily – need more water. Whether you use a hydrating sheet mask, serum or light textured cream, make sure your face is fully hydrated every day. More importantly than making skin look pretty (plumper, glowing, less lined), it keeps it healthy and functioning as intended.

  • Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare
    Alpha Beta® Ultra Gentle Daily Peel
  • Estée Lauder
    Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II, 50ml
  • Elizabeth Arden
    PREVAGE® City Smart SPF50 Hydrating Shield, 40ml
  • Sunday Riley
    C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum, 30ml


Cleanse properly

“In the evening, it’s all about your cleanser,” says Dr Hayden. “Foaming washes don’t go deep enough to reach inside the pores.” And neither do face wipes, as today we’re not just removing makeup but also pollution, which degrades the skin. Cream or balm cleansers that can really be worked into your skin are the most popular with skin experts – there are some great, non-greasy balms for oily skin, like Sunday Riley Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm and Eve Lom Gel Balm Cleanser.

Repair with retinol

Retinol is still the skincare gold standard, as it regulates everything from cell turnover (good for both anti-aging and breakouts) to the production of collagen and elastin. But it can initially leave skin red or reactive, so go gently, using it once a week, and build it up as skin acclimatizes.

Get enough sleep

Science shows that vital cell repair happens overnight. After years of personal research, my ‘prescription’ for a better night’s sleep is this: add Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil to a bath. Post-bath, massage in This Works Deep Sleep Night Oil (for body), put on your Slip Silk Eye Mask and, finally, take a magnesium supplement – it’s my mind and muscle relaxation kit.

  • Sunday Riley
    Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm, 100ml
  • Eve Lom
    Gel Balm Cleanser, 100ml
  • 111Skin
    Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil, 30ml
  • Aromatherapy Associates
    Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil, 55ml

The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown.