Jennifer Rock, aka The Skin Nerd, on choosing a regime that's right for you.
CAN YOU PRESCRIBE A GOOD SKINCARE REGIME?
Cleanse with a non-active by day and an active (AHA or BHA ingredient) by night if you're over 25 to accelerate the exfoliation process, which slows down from 25+. Serum to tackle the main concern, eg scarring, pigment, clarity, redness. An antioxidant-based serum to nourish. SPF by day to protect against redness, open pores, pigment, accelerated ageing and sunburn. Possibly a hydrating cream by night if you prefer the feel of a nourishing cream. Spritz during the day to maintain hydration levels. Mask weekly, if not twice weekly, to boost the skin's needs. My personal favourite is the sheet mask. Eye cream if concerned with that area. Massaging in a lymphatic manner while applying creams will assist drainage, puffiness, skin clarity and anti-ageing. If time is limited, I'd advise a cleanse and serum at night, and cleanse and SPF for day.
WHAT?S THE BEST WAY TO CLEANSE?
Cleansing is essential to remove the daily impurities, oil, make-up residue and pollution. The choice is yours whether you use an oil, micellar, mitt, balm, milk or lotion. I do notice a vast difference in my skin when I double-cleanse. The first (pre) cleanse is removing 90 percent of the day's residue and pollution locked into the pores, causing inflammation. The second cleanse will remove the remainder and ensure the serums and active ingredients penetrate evenly with no barrier. Double cleansing only takes 30 seconds longer.
BUT WIPES ARE BETTER THAN NOTHING, RIGHT?
Stop! Wipes tend to have a lot of chemicals to keep them moist. Chemicals disrupt the skin's protective top layer, which acts as an eco system. It disrupts that equilibrium of the skin, allowing in elements that shouldn't be let in and increasing sensitivity.
AT WHAT AGE SHOULD I START CONSIDERING BOTOX?
This is a personal choice. I've worked alongside many who have had this treatment too young and paralysed the muscle, so when it wears off, it appears worse. The key is to choose a doctor who specialises in it. Look at their work and watch for movement, make sure they explain all to you and carry out a consult first, and take photos to gauge the reaction. Be aware that each area you inject will then cause another area to work harder. Also, choose someone with an aesthetic awareness, as it's as much an artistic skill as medical.
BEST INGREDIENTS FOR ANTI-AGEING?
Retinol-based ingredients: 0.6% and above. Of all the training I've attended globally by medical boards, all agree that retinol can change the interior health of the skin. Other ingredients may have placebo, topical or superficial benefits, but retinol can truly impact on the skin. Not everyone can acclimatise to it well, so slow and steady introduction is advisable.
DO YOU RECOMMEND LASER TREATMENTS?
I'm very conscious of laser. It sensitises skin to light, so I'm not an advocate of it for pigmentation, as it can worsen the issue and is not repairing the DNA. I do believe it to be suitable for redness, broken capillaries and anti-ageing.
HOW DOES POLLUTION AFFECT SKIN?
Pollution causes extra free radical damage. Our air is not as fresh as for previous generations, thanks to smog, smoking, car exhaust fumes and our general environment. Plus, we surround ourselves with detergents and home cleaning devices that contain tiny molecules, which become airborne and are small enough to pass through and into the skin and lungs, starving the skin of oxygen and drying its natural oil. These changes can alter the DNA of a healthy cell. To keep skin protected, a barrier cream/layer of make-up will help, as will cleaning thoroughly at night and filling the skin and body with antioxidants (these slow down and prevent the chemical imbalance of the free radicals).
WHICH CELEBRITIES HAVE AMAZING SKIN, AND WHY?
Jennifer Aniston. She openly opts for Faradic treatments, which work the muscles, so she does more than just skincare. I recently trained a therapist who worked on a private boat for a millionaire. Her sole role was to provide aesthetic machinery, laser, radio frequency, extractions, peels, needling, and grooming five to seven days a week. This is the level of attention wealthy women pay to their looks. It's impossible to compare our skin to theirs.
DESERT ISLAND MUSTS?
My Cleanse O Mitt; a lightening serum like IMAGE Iluma, which addresses the over production of pigment cells; SkinCeuticals hyaluronic; Yon-Ka Lotion for anti- ageing, hydration, and anti-inflammatory antioxidants; and SPF!
Jennifer Rock's Essentials
?Iluma Intense Lightening Serum, €49 at IMAGE
Yon-Ka Lotion,??33.50 at IMAGE
SkinCeuticals HA Intensifier,??91 at IMAGE
Jennifer Rock's new site features the world's first virtual skin consultation service, plus a comprehensive skincare department store, theskinnerd.com.