Earlier this week, we caught up with skincare expert and facialist Caroline Hirons. The aesthetician, who has a loyal following of more than 237,000 people on Instagram alone, knows skincare inside-out.
There's not an ingredient she hasn't researched, few products she hasn't tried, and when it comes to skincare reviews, you can trust her to tell the truth.
Naturally, we were eager to learn her secrets. From her favourite products to debunking beauty myths, read what Caroline told us below...
Tell us about your night-time beauty routine...
"I cleanse (or double-cleanse with Pixi Double Cleanse (€31 from Cloud10) if I'm wearing makeup.
"At the moment I'm using a prescription-strength retinol, so I don't use a lot of product at night.
"I'll use a mist; usually the Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator (stg£35 from Cult Beauty), which I love. I give that a minute-or-so to dry, and then I go in with my prescription cream.
Related: How to know which acid-based
products are right for your skin
"But my normal, non-prescription routine, would be to double-cleanse; followed by an acid of some sort, depending on what my skin is like that day and what other products I've used.
"I generally stick to acid products that have already been combined; a popular formula that's already been tested and stabilised. I'm not big on home-mixing, because I see so many people who (through no fault of their own) just go wrong; where they wake up with spots, or a rash, or a reaction.
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"After the acid, I always use an eye cream, followed by whatever night-time serum I'm using. If it's not a prescription retinol, it's a Vitamin A serum or a retinol oil (I love Pestle & Mortar's Retinol Superstar (€76 from Pestle&Mortar)."
Caroline says she carries out this routine as soon as she gets in from work, before going about her business. Then, before going to bed, "I'll have another look, and put either another layer of serum and a moisturiser on; or just the oil."
What about your morning routine?
"In the morning, you have time to look at your skin and see how it's changed from the evening. Then you can cleanse and work appropriately from there.
"First I'll single-cleanse. I don't always use acid in the morning if I'm doing acid or retinol in the evening; it depends.
"I'll use a Vitamin C serum, and my Josh Rosebrook mist again. I like a mist in the morning to add a layer of hydration. And then eye cream, moisturiser and SPF."
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Tell us your secrets...
What five beauty products can you not live without?
- Vitamin C (Caroline swears by Altrient C, €47.99 from Abundance & Health)
- Vitamin A
- A good cleanser
- Acid ("the type of acid may vary depending on how my skin is that day")
- And SPF
What beauty lessons do you wish you’d learned sooner?
"Don’t over-pluck your eyebrows and always wear SPF."
Any advice for busy women on how to look after their skin on-the-go?
"I think you have to make time. It's the same for people who go to the gym, you make time for it. I will always do my full skincare routine; I would not leave the house without doing it.
"So, I think we need to look at how we're spending our time – how you're delegating your time – as opposed to 'how can I do this quicker'."
Which beauty myths do you want to debunk?
"There’s no quick fix, and nothing is as effective as a needle. People being sold a lie is my big bug-bear."
Photo: Caroline Hirons via YouTube