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Image / Beauty

“Spend the most on serum” — Jennifer Rock on the skincare routine we all need


by Holly O'Neill
04th Jun 2020
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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, Jennifer Rock, dermal facialist and skin tutor, author, and founder of Skingredients and The Cleanse Off Mitt, and online skin consultancy The Nerd Network tells how many steps we really need in our routines.


THE ROUTINE WE SHOULD ALL HAVE
I’m a fan of keeping it concise yet powerful. The skin is an organ and although we all have unique skin concerns, there are select skincare ingredients that everyone will benefit from and will help to bring about skin health. In terms of which products your routine should contain, in my opinion, you should have a treatment cleanser (an active cleanser such as an exfoliating cleanser to be used every second or third night), a mild but nourishing cleanser to use mornings and alternating nights, a hydrating serum like a hyaluronic acid serum, plus a vitamin A and C serum, and an SPF. Notably, no moisturiser or toner.

THE INGREDIENTS WE SHOULD ALL USE
After years in the industry plus having spoken with over 10,000 clients, we find there are four core ingredients to opt for in your skincare routine. First, vitamin A (in a progressive form like retinyl palmitate) for normalising the skin, increasing collagen production, regulating oil control and antioxidant protection. Antioxidants are needed to protect skin from pollution and other stressors. Exfoliating acids to keep new skin cell production ticking over, and SPF to shield your skin from damaging, ageing UV rays. Add in probiotics for balancing the skin, and you’re sucking diesel. Together, these ingredients work to brighten, smooth and hydrate the skin, and serve the long-term benefit of preventing the accelerated ageing that leads to lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. They’re clinically proven to do so – these aren’t empty promises!

WHAT WE SHOULD SPEND BIG ON
Spend the most on a serum. They’re super-concentrated and tend to contain lots of the ingredients your skin could benefit from in one go, such as vitamins plus antioxidants plus hydrators, so it just saves you from having to buy more than one product to do a few different jobs. Not all serums are equal, however – a serum is only as good as its ingredients.

NOT NECESSARY IN A ROUTINE
In my opinion, “oil control” (read: oil-stripping) toners often do more harm than good. Your treatment cleanser can do the oil-controlling and exfoliating for you. If you love a moisturiser, there’s no harm in having one to help lock in hydration, but I’m fonder of using serums that help your skin to moisturise itself. With products that are often touted as necessities that perhaps aren’t, top of my list are: masks (of any kind, including the sheet masks I adore), eye creams, and moisturisers and toners. These are luxuries, not essentials. Eye creams aren’t needed by everyone, and so long as your potent serum is eye-safe, you can bring it on up to the eye.


Every Sunday on the IMAGE IGTV, we ask an expert to share a DIY beauty tutorial with us. Watch Jennifer Rock’s guide to an at-home Sunday facial here.

 

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

Read more: 8 Irish women in the beauty business on what their biggest failure taught them

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