Skin Problems


Every spring, readers ask how to solve skin problems before the start of summer revelries. So I asked leading facialist Sarah Chapman and clinical pharmacist Shabir Daya, who has a special interest in skin, to suggest simple ways to get the glow back. Often, you will see a difference within days but skin cell turnover takes about four weeks so keep on with the TLC. In fact, make it a daily habit: look after your skin and it will reward you bountifully.

To sparkle like a summer day, try Gwyneth Paltrow’s favourite Altrient Vitamin C gel (£22.95, victoriahealth. com), with Teapigs Organic Matcha Green Tea powder (£26.60, in a little apple juice.

Problem: Breakouts, oily or combination skin
Solution: Focus on deep cleansing and decongesting

  • Use gentle exfoliants or peeling pads to reveal a fresher, brighter complexion. Avoid products containing benzoyl peroxide or mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum), which will clog pores, dry skin, then send it into oily overdrive.
  • Twice a week, steam your face over a bowl of very hot water with a towel over your head to draw out toxins.
  • Massage breakout-prone areas daily, working out towards the lymph nodes and down the sides of the face – use fingertips or a facial massager.
  • Apply a clay-based mask twice weekly to help draw out blockages and blackheads and absorb excess oil production.
  • Avoid bacterial build-up in your bathroom: wipe surfaces and basin with a solution of tea tree oil; use a fresh face cloth and face towel daily.
  • Keep skin well hydrated with humectants (water-attracting ingredients in moisturisers such as hyaluronic acid, algae extract, aloe vera, honey, lactic acid, glycerine).
  • Dairy foods may influence breakouts so swap cow’s milk for almond, rice, coconut or oat milk for 30 days. Avoid spicy foods, which may trigger oil production.

Sarah Chapman Facialift massager, £25,
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, £8.99
Origins Brighter By Nature peeling pads, £31 for 40,
Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator, from £5.50,
A’kin Kaolin clay & lemongrass Purifying Facial Masque, £12,
Elemental Herbology Perfect Clarity Blemish Minimiser to zap spots, £25,
Melvita Mattifying Balancing Fluid, £26,
Green People Multi-Active Pencil Concealer, £14,

Supplement Viridian Clear Skin Complex with zinc, probiotics and herbs to help balance hormones, protect against inflammation and remove waste from the liver for a clearer complexion less likely to break out. £22.20 for 60 capsules.

It’s simple (and cheap) to make your own facial oils: find recipes in our new book The Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible, £14.95

Problem: Dry, dull, droopyskin
Solution: Correct dehydration with intensive moisturising agents

  • Massage in an oil-based cleanser twice daily and/or use gentle peeling pads (see left).
  • Use a nutrient-charged serum twice daily under your moisturiser and night product: the moisturiser forms a film to prevent water loss.
  • Exfoliate twice weekly to remove dulling surface dead cells.
  • Boost skin glow with hydrating masks.
  • At night, massage in a facial oil with fingertips or Facialift (see left).
  • Breathe! Do yoga, walk, run, play tennis – dance around the garden!
  • Eat omega-3 rich oily fish, eggs, nuts and seeds and dark green vegetables (also consider a supplement).
  • Avoid alcohol in all forms – both the drink and alcohol- based toners – and don’t wash/ shower in very hot water.

AD Skin Synergy essential Cleansing Balm, £26,
Sarah Chapman Age-Repair Serum, £47,
L’Occitane Divine Cream, £72,
ESPA Replenishing Face Treatment Oil, £53,
Liz Earle Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask, from £5.50,
Darphin Youthful Radiance Camellia Mask anti-ageing treatment, £45,

Supplements Hyaluronic Acid by NHS Labs, £35 for 30 vegecaps. HA holds hundreds of times its weight in water inside skin cells, helping to hydrate. Try omega-3 essential fatty acids: Pharmepa E-EPA 90 – Restore (Step 1), £29.99 for 60 capsules.

Naturopathic doctor Nigma Talib ( advises magnesium to help dry skin retain water. It’s a multitasker, relaxing muscles and mind, too – and most of us are magnesium deficient. Try Dyno-Mins, £14.95 for 90 tablets.

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