Effective skincare is rooted in science, so some precision regarding application is always a wise move. After all, if you’re investing in a decent product, you want it to work; too much and you risk saturating your skin, too little and any effect will be lost.
WHAT: Highly concentrated cream, gel or lotion to tackle that super-delicate undereye area. Often with specific ingredients to address puffiness, lines or both.
WHERE: Under the eye, then rounded up to encompass outer temples and inner-nose wrinkling.
HOW MUCH: About the size of a grain of rice per eye – this is rich stuff and less is more. Apply gently; you don’t want to risk pulling the skin and so a great tip is to use your ring finger.
WE RECOMMEND: Age Rebel Eye Hydrator, £33 espaskincare.com Gingko Biloba smooths out the eye area and light Borage Oil helps hydrate and ease any inflammation.
WHAT: Either a rinse-off or a balm which is then lifted off the face by using a warm, wrung-out face cloth, flannel or muslin. Cleansing lotions are a light cream formulation, applied with a cotton pad.
WHEN: Morning and evening. You could also try double-cleansing, a two-step method using both an oil-based and a water-based cleanser.
WHERE: Face and neck.
HOW MUCH: Around the size of a 50p piece for lotions and rinse-offs. Balm cleansers vary but as a rough guide, we’d recommend a hazelnut-sized blob.
WE RECOMMEND: Nordic People Cranberry Micellar Cleanser £19 greenpeople.co.uk. This light foaming water-based cleanser lifts dirt without leaving skin feeling tight or dry and is suitable for all skin types.
Mal & Mod Active Treatment Balm, £38 abeautifullife.co.uk A super-smooth and emolliating oil-enriched balm which is great to use at the end of the day to remove build-up, debris, gym sweat and dead skin cells, plus the few minutes spent rubbing it into the skin act as a daily mini-massage.
WHAT: Traditionally clay or cream-based but sheet masks have become ubiquitous in the past few years. The idea is to apply them to the face and leave for around 15 minutes (check individual product recommendations), allowing a highly concentrated formulation to work its magic on the skin. In an ideal world, you’d also take this time to switch off, relax and chill out.
WHEN: Varies (again, check the individual instructions) but we’d suggest at least once a week.
WHERE: Face and neck, or you might want to just target a specific area of concern (an oily t-zone for example).
HOW MUCH: One mask = one treatment. (If you’re using a clay or cream mask, a grape-sized amount should be ample).
WE RECOMMEND: L’Oreal Men Expert Pure Charcoal Purifying Tissue Mask, £3.99 lookfantastic.com Sized for men’s faces, this is infused with hydrators and purifying charcoal to balance out excess oil.
WHAT: All skin deserves a great moisturiser, even oily complexions. Moisturiser should balance and comfort your skin whilst helping to strengthen the protective barrier. Additional benefits include topping up hydration levels, minimising visible blemishes and fine lines, and helping to maintain healthy sebum levels.
WHEN: Morning and evening (or use a separate night cream).
WHERE: Everywhere! But particularly face and neck.
HOW MUCH: A 20p sized amount
WE RECOMMEND: Scrubd Anti-Ageing Face Moisturiser, £40 scrubd.com. We’re big fans of this natural, straightforward British brand and their firming, smoothing moisturiser is a great entry point into the range. With marine collagen and a variety of natural oils, fruit extracts and added vitamins to protect against environmental nasties, it softens and rejuvenates tired skin.
WHAT: Lightweight but stuffed with active ingredients and deeply penetrating, serums are the ideal precursor to moisturiser for a belt-and-braces skincare routine.
WHEN: Before moisturising
WHERE: Face and neck
HOW MUCH: A pea-sized blob would be perfect (garden, not petit)
WE RECOMMEND: CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum, £17 boots.com As a rule of thumb, any skincare with hyaluronic acid is going to do good things to your skin, no matter what your type or concern. It’s actually naturally produced by our skin cells, but this diminishes with age, so topping up is highly recommended for bouncy, more radiant skin.
WHAT: Exfoliants are used to remove dead skin cells, deep clean pores and allow other topical products a deeper reach. Plus, a good exfoliating session will boost your circulation. Available as a physical scrub in which granules are suspended in the formula to roll over your skin, encouraging a deeper clean, or you can also exfoliate using a chemical-based lotion or gel in which gentle acids break down the gunk on your skin’s surface layer. Although this may sound faintly alarming, they can be safer to use than the particle-based scrubs which can scratch the skin (although with careful use this needn’t be an issue). It’s a matter of personal preference but either way, if you want brighter skin, don’t skip this part of a regular routine.
WHEN: Twice weekly is a great rule of thumb, but do check individual product recommendations.
WHERE: All over the face and neck but take care not to be too rigorous around the eye area where the skin is thinner.
HOW MUCH: Aim for a hazelnut’s worth and spread it thinly. Unlike a mask, you’re not looking to pile it on.
WE RECOMMEND: Grown Alchemist’s Enzyme Exfoliant, £52 grownalchemist.com, is full of fruit acids including papain (derived from papaya) with a blend of amino acids which work to encourage cell renewal, mitigate fine lines and hydrate skin, leaving it looking smoother and more even.
WHAT: Any product containing an SPF is vital in the summer months, but it’s a great habit to get into wearing SPF daily, year-round to protect from omnipresent ultra-violet rays.
WHEN: (see above, but essentially every day)
WHERE: Anywhere that is exposed – face, neck, scalp all year round, and on your body when bare flesh is braving the elements. And don’t forget your ears.
HOW MUCH: If you’re using a cream this is dead simple – draw two lines of product along the length of your index and middle finger and work it in. Don’t stint and don’t forget to reapply.
WE RECOMMEND: Lifejacket Sun Protection (see ... for our interview with the founders).
WHAT: A good beard product should be based around a non-comedogenic carrier oil allowing the fluid to penetrate the hair to nourish what lies beneath, as well as leaving your growth looking smooth, soft and shiny.
WHEN: Every other day should be fine but see how you go. Feel free to use daily if your skin still feels dry.
WHERE: Jawline and cheeks
HOW MUCH: 3-5 drops
WE RECOMMEND: There are some fab, fun and funky beard oils out from hipster favourites like Mo Bro’s Premium Beard Oil to more traditional concoctions such as Geo F Trumper’s Extract of Limes. We love Espa’s sublime Triple Action Grooming Oil which not only softens the bristles but also triples up to use as a shave oil and an all-over facial treat.