'Complex routines are not really necessary' — Dr Eithne Brenner simplifies skincare

In 2018, the global skincare market was worth over €121 billion. As beauty halls, pharmacies and savvy social media-driven brands become ever more crowded and complex, Dr Eithne Brenner, medical director at Manara Skin Clinics tells how many steps we really need in our routines.


THE ROUTINE WE ALL SHOULD HAVE
The basic routine of cleanse, tone and moisturise has stood the test of time because it works! Products have become more sophisticated and multi-tasking, which is great for our busy lifestyles. In the morning after cleansing, try many of the toners now containing exfoliating and hydrating ingredients like AHAs or BHAs. A daily SPF of 30+ is essential year-round, doing double duty to prevent skin cancer and reduce signs of ageing. Night-time is great for nourishing treatments such as peptides, vitamins and antioxidants. I believe that retinol is a key ingredient for anti-ageing (and acne); start very sparingly to avoid irritation and don’t use if you’re planning a pregnancy, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

THE INGREDIENTS WE SHOULD ALL USE
My top ingredients are SPF 30+, retinol, hyaluronic acid, AHA/BHA hydrating exfoliators, vitamin C, antioxidants and peptides. Many of these ingredients can be combined in a small number of efficient products, choosing the formulation which suits your skin type. Do seek professional advice for best results and to avoid irritation and unnecessary cost.

WHAT WE SHOULD SPEND BIG ON
My biggest spend is on a hydrating, anti-ageing SPF that’s pleasant to use and not greasy, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t leave a white sheen on my face and neck. I want to protect my skin against skin cancer and ageing, and I want something that I can use year-round, as UV rays are present even on cloudy or cold days. I’ll use a tinted version in summer and layer foundation over it in winter.

NOT NECESSARY IN A ROUTINE

I think complex skincare routines are not really necessary and can be costly and hard to maintain. I love simple regimes with multi-tasking products that complement one another and achieve great results: for example, serums that contain hyaluronic acid, vitamins, and exfoliators together, or a combination of peptides and antioxidants and hydrators.

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This article originally appeared in the Volume 1 (January/February) 2020 issue of IMAGE Magazine.

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