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Image / Style / Beauty

A beauty writer on the best expert skincare tips she’s ever heard

There are oceans of beauty ideas, products and routines out there, it can feel impossible to know where to begin.

by Melanie Morris
25th Jan 2021

image via getty


Melanie Morris has been writing about the beauty industry for years now and has picked up some excellent tips on how to get your skin in shape.

“Every year I hear literally thousands of key skincare nuggets from experts, from dermatologists to make-up artists and who know their stuff,” Melanie explains. So, what are the ones that need to be highlighted and heeded? Here’s are the tips that have stuck with Melanie.

1  SPF doesn’t just protect skin from UV rays and pollution, it also anti-ages your skin. 

Not necessarily because of its ingredients, but in protecting the face and body from the need to repair sun and environmental damage, it means your skin cells can continue with the work they are supposed to do, rather than mount some massive, inflammatory repair response.  So wear it every day, even winter.


2  Between sleep and water, choose sleep (although ideally, don’t get in that situation). 

If hydration levels are low, they can be fixed by chugging a few glasses of water, eating fruit and veg or relying on the hydrating effects of your products. Whereas the skin repair work that is done by hormones is only released when the body is in a sleep state and cannot be substituted.


3  Invest in treatments, not expensive products.

If you want to put big money into your skin, medicine-approved treatments are a better investment than luxury products with nice ad campaigns that smell nice. I spend my money on IPL (to zap thread veins), skin peels (to clarify complexion), Botox (no description necessary!) and Ultherapy (to tighten jowls and lift eyelids).


4  Body brushing works.

There is no non-invasive cure for cellulite, but body brushing takes literally a couple of minutes each morning (always sweep towards the heart, and you don’t have to go hard, the lymph you are trying to circulate is just under the skin) and it’s free, so why not just do it?


5  Hyaluronic acid is your friend.

Hyaluronic Acid is an easily manufactured, inexpensive ingredient that is naturally found in the body (also, chill, it’s a sugar, not an “acid”) that can absorb up to 500 times its weight in water. So, if you are looking for plump, fresh, hydrated skin, lash it on! But remember, because it works by absorbing and drawing moisture into the skin, apply to a damp face, so there’s some water to absorb. I know. Genius.


6  While on the subject, to get Hyaluronic Acid to work best go for a multi-molecular product,

This means the Hyaluronic molecules are of different sizes, so some penetrate deeper into the skin’s layers to hydrate and puff-out the skin from within. Kate Somerville’s Dermaquench Liquid Lift is a foam that pumps in hyaluronic with instant visible effects. Irish-owned Pestel and Mortar hyaluronic serum is a great option, with two different-sized molecules.


7  Skin oils don’t cause spots. 

You aren’t feeding your face with “more” or “excess” oil, but because all our body’s cells are surrounded by a bi-lipid membrane (two layers of fat molecules), you are treating it like-for-like. A bit like speaking English to an Englishman. Codex, Nunai and Holos are three Irish or Irish-founded brands with beautiful, active products while Dermalogica’s Phyto Nature Serum is another heavenly option.


8 Lips have no moisture cells and thus can’t self-hydrate.

So, if you want to protect your lips in winter weather, use a product that has skincare ingredients, anything else will just provide a short-term barrier, but no nourishment. Irish brand Aliso (pharmacies) is organic, and packed with vitamins and oils to replenish that pout.


9  There is no point applying products to skin that hasn’t been thoroughly (and properly) cleansed. 

If pores and cells are weigh-ed under from the day’s make-up, the planet’s pollution or your own self-manufactured grime, how can you expect your high-performing creams and serums to get past the front door? I’m ashamed to say it took me a long time to absorb this nugget, but since I have, it’s been a game-changer.


10 Start early.

Your skin starts to lose elasticity (collagen) from the age of 26 (and thus trigger the beginning of lines and sagging skin), so start with a good, regular regime as early as possible. Brands like Vichy, La Roche Posay and The Ordinary are excellent, high-performing options that will stand you in good stead through all life-stages and are a great way to try out specialised, active ingredients without too much financial commitment.