Ruth Griffin: Skin SOS
My top natural solutions for tackling the most common skin problems
Between cold weather, central heating and a festive period filled with junk food and alcohol, the winter months can be hard on the skin. So why not take the time to give your skin time to heal, renew and get back to its natural state? Here are seven chemical-free ways to give it some TLC.
Problem: Chicken Skin
Chicken skin, or keratosis pilaris to give it its proper title, is the rough - and totally harmless - bumpy skin that appears on upper arms, thighs and bums.
Solution: Even though it may seem like the best option, do not scrub with harsh exfoliators. Instead, use a fruit-based acid such as glycolic acid, which works wonders. This is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) which is derived from plants or vegetables with high sugar contents, like beets and sugarcane. It's really gentle on the skin and produces a mild peel effect.
Product: Try The Ordinary 7pc Glycolic Acid Toning Solution, €8.70, from Inish Pharmacies, cloud10beauty.com, asos.com and theordinary.com.
Solution: Massage, exfoliation and caffeine-based products have been proven to help eliminate the dimply skin we all suffer from. Boosting hydration and nutrition levels are also amazing cellulite-busters. We may have our bumps hidden beneath layers of clothes at the moment but if you want to get a head start on summer, now is the time to start giving it some attention.
Product: Ripe by Roz Coffee Bean Scrub, €18.99, from pharmacies nationwide, Avoca stores nationwide and ripebyroz.ie.
Problem: Grey Complexion
Solution: Ditch the heavy foundation, and let your skin take a breather for a month. Invest in an illuminating primer that will give life to your face, but let it breathe and heal at the same time. Use over your usual moisturiser, and use concealer for major blemishes.
Product: Clarins SOS Primer in 03 Coral (one of six colour-correcting shades), €30, from pharmacies and department stores nationwide.
Also known as the Celtic Skin Curse, because so many Irish people have it, this is redness, pimples and swelling that generally occurs on the nose, cheeks and forehead.
Solution: Ditch your harsh cleansing products and anything that requires you to drag and pull at your skin - yes, that means those wipes! Opt instead for ultra-gentle skin cleansers and toners that are chemical-free and calming but still effective at removing impurities.
Product: Ultrapure Toners, €2.35-8.50, and La Roche Posay Eau Micellaire Ultra for Peaux Reactive, €10.40. Both from pharmacies nationwide.
Problem: Dehydrated skin
Solution: Heavy duty, 100pc natural, botanical-based day and night creams.
Product: Try Byrt Night Night Cream, €28.95, with African Marula Oil - which moisturises and heals - active vitamin E, shea butter and essential oils of rose absolute, Chinese geranium, palma rose and lavender. It's a gem of a skin saviour for faces that need some TLC . Another great natural skin-booster for daytime is Urban Veda's Soothing Day Cream, €25.95. Both from pharmacies nationwide, and Urban Veda also available in Avoca stores nationwide.
Problem: Hardened skin
This is especially common on feet, knees, elbows and hands.
Solution: Use a targeted, high-impact hydrating cream. At this time of year, our winter feet can look a bit trotter-like, as they haven't seen the light of day in months. To keep skin on feet soft, use a cream that is targeted for hard skin. Apply at night, put socks over and leave the product to sink in over night. Victoria Beckham loves this little trick of the trade!
Product: Try Dovocare, €12.90, from pharmacies nationwide.
Problem: All of the above!
Solution: If you're still feeling the drain of an over- active party season, think about giving your skin a 100pc natural boost with a targeted skin supplement.
Product: The 100pc natural marine collagen and hyaluronic acid skin supplement Ingenious Beauty, €68.95 for 120 capsules. This has no junk added or additives. It will boost the plumpness and elasticity of your skin's appearance after a month's use. From ingeniousbeauty.com. Always consult your GP before taking a supplement.