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  • The Skincare Special: Part 2

    Our resident beauty columnist, Ava Welsing-Kitcher, is ready to answer all your questions.

    Over the last year of this column, you’ve sent in countless beauty questions for me to answer – but the most common topic has undoubtedly been skincare advice. From tackling maskne and adult acne to choosing the best SPF, it’s clear that we all have at least a handful of concerns when it comes to our skin. I’ve rounded up the most frequently asked questions that have been sent in right from the start and debunked them once and for all. On the agenda this time: dry skin, eye cream and dark circles.

    By Ava Welsing-Kitcher

    What are the best products for dry skin?


    Creamy Jelly Cleanser£9.99


    Every step of your routine should go into hydration. Swap out foaming cleansers for a gentler cream or milk one. Byoma’s just-launched ceramide-rich Creamy Jelly Cleanser is fast gaining cult status for its powers to rescue dry patches or eczema. CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser is also a favourite.  Next, add a hyaluronic-acid serum to pull and lock in water from the atmosphere to your skin. Be sure to apply to damp skin and layer a moisturiser on top, otherwise the hyaluronic pulls water from deeper layers of the skin to the surface, drying it out even more. I like Farmacy Filling Good Hyaluronic Acid Plumping Serum for its use of raw honey to deeply hydrate and nurture. Then try layering Biossance Squalane And Omega Repair Cream to rebuild skin with ceramides. If your skin can handle face oils, the cherry on top is Pai’s Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil. It gets its colour from the carotenoids in rosehip, a powerful natural tool to repair and protect skin against harsh climates. It’s one of the very few oils my sensitive skin can tolerate.

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    How do I get rid of dark circles?

    Live Tinted

    Copper Eye Masks£19


    Personally, I think dark circles are something we could do with embracing more – especially as they’re common traits amongt olive to deep skin tones – but I definitely find myself reaching for the concealer most days in the hopes of looking less exhausted. However, before make-up, skincare can help. Pinch the skin gently under your eye: if it stays dark between your fingers, then the skin is discoloured and you need brightening eye cream. Look for vitamin C as the main brightening ingredient, such as in Live Tinted Rays Copper Eye Masks, which also contain copper peptides to work on discolouration, plus caffeine and banana extract to de-puff. I also love Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème for its pale orange-yellow colour and tiny iridescent particles, to cosmetically brighten the area during the day, with an added dose of vitamin C. If your skin colour stays the same or goes paler under the pinch, then it’s thin and is simply revealing the hollow area beneath the eye. The answer is to reinforce and strengthen the skin over time with retinol and ceramides. I love Paula’s Choice Clinical Ceramide-Enriched Firming Eye Cream for its inclusion of both and its creamy consistency.

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    Do I actually need an eye cream?

    Youth To The People

    Dream Eye Cream£42


    Some people (including skin experts) have argued that eye creams aren’t necessary, and that using your moisturiser should do the job. I think that if you don’t have a specific problem you want to target, then by all means skip it – but really make sure the area is well hydrated and protected both night and day (including using an SPF). Skin is much thinner around the eyes and lips, so extra care is needed. If an eye cream doesn’t have any brightening, strengthening, renewing or soothing ingredients and is simply a thicker moisturiser, don’t bother. Look for ceramides, retinoids, vitamin C, peptides and hyaluronic acid to keep the skin healthy and supple. I’m really impressed by Sunday Riley’s new 5 Stars Retinoid And Niacinamide Eye Serum to improve tone and texture while soothing with centella asiatica. I’ve nearly finished my pot of Youth To The People’s Dream Eye Cream, which has a very stable form of vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and goji stem to promote skin-cell renewal. It’s kept my eyes feeling strong and nourished all winter.

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