How to build your own skin care regime

If you'd rather opt to build your own daily skincare regime, we have a tool to make it easy and effective. Simply follow the steps in order, choosing product(s) within each category that is suitable for your skin type and skin concerns.

Morning

Step 1 - Cleanse

Just as cleansing at night removes the oil, dirt and debris from your skin incurred during the day, cleansing in the morning also serves a special function. The goal is to awaken your skin by increasing circulation, clearing away dead skin cells, and preparing the surface of your skin to effectively absorb your targeted daytime products.

* If you're new to using products with active ingredients, start with a gentle cleanser for a few weeks before introducing an active Alpha Hydroxy Acid or Beta Hydroxy Acid exfoliating cleanser in the morning.

* Keep your gentle cleanser on hand for use when skin experiences minor irritation, such as post-retinol use or after an aesthetic treatment.

* Kate recommends a gel or foam cleanser, rather than a cream or balm cleanser, as these can leave behind residue, causing congestion, irritation, and upset of your skin's natural moisturising processes. They also reduce your skin's ability to absorb the products you apply post cleansing.

Cleansers & Toners

Step 2 - Prevent

The best way to restore skin to total health is to take a one-two punch with your daytime skincare regime, pairing a potent antioxidant serum with a broad-spectrum high SPF sunscreen.

* Even when using an SPF as high as 50, the sun's UV rays still manage to penetrate and damage skin after a time, so pairing your SPF with an antioxidant serum ensures longer lasting, more effective protection and repair as the day goes on.

* Most antioxidant serums are lightweight and feel refreshing on the skin, instantly absorbing. Unless you have truly dry skin and aren't prone to congestion or frequently clogged pores, it's best to avoid antioxidant serums containing Vitamin E (tocopherol), as these can be a bit too heavy for your skin and can lead to congestion.

Preventative Serums

Step 3 - Correct

No matter what your skin concerns are, it's never too late to start correcting past damage and restoring your skin’s beauty, health and radiance. Whether it’s fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, sensitivity, open pores or breakout, there is a multitude of corrective products suitable for your skin concerns.

* Most corrective products contain high levels of active ingredients so it's best to start using them just in the evening. Eventually, you can start gradually introducing corrective products into both your daytime and evening regimes for round-the-clock skin restoration.

* We wouldn’t normally recommend more than two corrective products during the day as it will become a bit too heavy. However, remember when layering products to begin with the lightest weight product first.

Corrective Serums

Step 4 - Hydrate

This may come as a surprise to everything you've been taught about skincare, but moisturiser is a completely optional step. The only reason most of us feel our skin is dry is because we've depended on moisturiser for many years, the effect of which compromises our skin's natural moisturising processes. The key is to reactivate this natural ability in the skin to cause an overall rejuvenating effect and help to wake the skin up to function optimally.

If you have a truly dry skin you will have suffered with dry skin your whole life. You won’t have had teenage breakout and you have probably suffered from dry skin conditions such as dermatitis or eczema. If you are unsure if you have a truly dry skin you will only know this by fasting from moisturiser for a couple of months whilst your skin’s moisturising factors awaken. You will suffer from tightness, dryness and possible peeling – this is completely normal but once your moisturising processes kick into gear this will subside and your skin will start to radiate with renewed health and beauty. The dryness normally turns a corner at around 3 weeks and will continue to improve for up to two skin cycles (12 weeks).

However, if you don’t have true dry skin you can opt for a hyaluronic acid (HA) based serum to hydrate. Lightweight, yet effective, HA serums contain the same water-binding compounds naturally found in your skin, helping to maintain ideal hydration levels in the most natural way possible, without upsetting your skin’s processes.

* For a true dry skin use a lipid rich moisturiser morning and evening to help alleviate the discomfort and dryness that comes with a dry skin.

Moisturisers

Step 5 - Eye

Because the skin around the eyes is thinner and more delicate than the rest of the face, it's one of the first to show wrinkles and crepiness. During the day your eye care should be all about prevention and protection.

* Similar to the one-two punch approach for the face, the most effective way to treat and protect your delicate eye area during the day is to start with an antioxidant eye serum, followed by a high SPF cream formulated especially for the eyes to protect from harmful UV rays.

Eye & Lip

Step 6 - Protect

The sun’s rays have been proven to accelerate the signs of premature skin ageing. Regardless of the weather, the sun's damaging UV rays will always find you, so it's important to wear a high SPF broad-spectrum sunscreen every day without fail to keep your skin properly shielded from it's No. 1 enemy.

* We recommend using an SPF of at least 30, though 50 for the best possible protection.

* If you spend more than two hours in the sun, reapply frequently, even in indirect sunlight. Think you're safe in the office? Think again—UVA rays can even penetrate glass, so whilst you may enjoy your room with a view, you're also enjoying prolonged exposure to UVA rays. Never forget your sunscreen.

* We offer a variety of elegant sunscreen for various skin types, concerns and lifestyles. Choose the best formula for you but remember that some sunscreens are moisturising so can upset the skin’s moisturising factors. Unless the skin is truly dry, go for a lightweight version.

Sunscreen

Evening

Step 1 - Makeup Removal

* Use a gel-based cleanser to gently remove makeup, followed by an active cleanser containing Alpha Hydroxy Acid’s or Beta Hydroxy Acid’s to deep cleanse and exfoliate.

Cleansers & Toners

Step 2 - Cleanse

This crucial step not only removes every last bit of makeup from your skin, but also ensures the spoils of the day go with it, such as pollution, leftover makeup and the natural oils that build up and oxidise on the skin’s surface.

* Use a cleanser containing AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) like glycolic or lactic, or BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids) such as salicylic, to help speed up cell renewal and brighten the skin.

* Beta Hydroxy Acids are particularly effective for congestion or breakout prone skin due to it’s ability to exfoliate within the pore as well as on the surface of the skin. It also has an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial action.

Cleansers & Toners

Step 3 - Correct

At night while you sleep your skin goes into healing mode, so it's the best time to give it a boost with a variety of active ingredients that help with cell renewal, and damage-repair.

The most popular of the 'active correctives' is retinol, due not only to its high efficacy, but also to the wide variety of products and formulations designed for various skin types. Begin using retinol 2 x per week and gradually increase to find your tolerance level. When you first begin using retinol, it's normal to have redness and irritation that begins 2-3 days post application. This is all part of the process, however, and skin begins to tolerate it soon after.

Corrective Serums

Step 4 - Hydrate

* Use a lightweight hydrating serum only on the nights you're not using retinol to counteract any dryness and irritation, as well as restore your skin's natural moisture balance.

* For a true dry skin use an emollient rich moisturiser 10minutes after the application of your corrective serums.

* If the skin feels like it needs added moisture use a hyaluronic acid based serum every night. This should be used under your retinol, but wait 10 minutes before applying retinol so as to not dilute the effects.

Moisturisers

Step 5 - Eye

Give your eyes the same repair boost as your face with a product formulated to deliver active ingredients specifically to the delicate eye area.

* Retinol is particularly effective at improving the texture of the skin around the eye area but begin using every 2nd night and slowly build up to every night.

Eye & Lip

Masques and Exfoliation (2-3 x per week)

These vital steps provide regular stimulation and rejuvenation for your skin, and help to prolong the effects of your professional treatments. Whether you’re looking to balance excess oiliness or hydrate dry patches—or both—you can mix and match your masque to provide the ideal customised treatment.

* Exfoliate followed by a masque 2-3 times per week.

* Exfoliate first with chosen exfoliant. Dilute with cleanser and massage gently if prone to broken capillaries. Follow with chosen masque(s).

* Clay-based masques purify skin by drawing out excess oil and calming spots and irritations. Use once a week for normal skin, and twice a week for very oily, blemish-prone skin.

* Hydrating masques infuse skin with soothing, hydrating compounds, such as vitamin B5, to boost skin’s natural repair process, ultimately restoring a natural moisture balance.

* If you have an oily T-zone with dry patches on the rest of your face, you can easily mix and match your masques, applying the purifying mask to the T-zone area and the hydrating masque to the dry areas.

Masques and Exfoliants

Key points for more effective skin care:

1- Layering products: When using more than one product, the general rule to follow is to start with the thinnest product and finish with the thickest. For instance, in your daytime skincare regimen, start with your antioxidant serum, and then follow up with your sunscreen, which is usually of a slightly thicker consistency.

2- When introducing active products into your regimen, it's important to know the difference between an irritant reaction and an allergic reaction. With products containing AHAs, BHAs, and retinol, minor irritation, redness, and peeling is completely normal as your skin adjusts to the high level of activity on your skin. The best course of action to follow is to pull back for a day or two until these effects dissipate, then reintroduce your active product every second or third day, slowly building up to daily use.

3- It's important to have a clinical facial once per skin cycle (every 4-6 weeks) for a variety of reasons. The facial itself will be targeted to address your individual concerns, increasing the efficacy of your daily regime. A thorough, deep cleansing also 'resets' the skin, making it more receptive to the active treatments you apply on a daily basis. Finally, having a regular check-in with your clinical facialist will ensure you are on top of all your skincare concerns, using the correct home care and helping you to address any issues before they become more serious.

4- DIY facials at home are just as important because not only do they maintain the effects of your professional treatments, but they also brighten and stimulate the skin! Join me Sunday nights on Instagram for a weekly DIY facial treatment. Then post a photo of you doing your treatment, tagging me and #SundayNightFacial.


What to do after exercise:

Whether it's regular time spent at the gym, a twice-weekly run, or yoga classes, regular exercise is not only great for your physical and mental health—it's also great for your skin because it keeps the blood flowing and stimulates virtually every system in your body. Here are some tips to help your fitness routine benefit your skin even more:

1- Before working out, remove all makeup and moisturiser/treatments to allow sweat to naturally flush out the pores and prevent new breakouts.

2- If working out outdoors, be sure to apply a lightweight sunscreen after you've removed your makeup, and—if possible—wear a hat for maximum protection against the sun.

3- Avoid touching your face and especially your eyes while exercising.

4- If you bring a towel to the gym with you, bring two—one for the equipment, and one for your face.

5- Post-workout, be sure to cool down before cleansing your face and body to ensure you've stopped sweating. Then cleanse thoroughly using a cleanser containing a Beta Hydroxy Acid, like salicylic acid, to remove both dead skin cells and the excess oils produced from working out. We recommend Skinceuticals Blemish and Age Cleansing Gel. After cleansing, follow with your normal morning or evening skincare regime.