1 April, 2010

Skincare tips from Aromatherapy Associates founder

1 April, 2010

It seems as if all we keep talking about here at Sassy is the dreadful Summer when everything seems to be against us in the appearance department. Chances are when we go outside in the next month or so, our hair will start to frizz, we will be sweating through our clothes and our face will start melting and be a complete shiny mess. Our saving grace is knowing that it will happen to all of us and it is not just an isolated case!

Luckily we were able to get our hands on an interview from Aromatherapy Associates founder Geraldine Howard on the best way to care for your skin in the warm summer months when it seems to be wanting to do anything but cooperate with you! We hope her answers come in handy as much as they did for us. Perhaps there is hope for our skin this summer…

During summer, what do you think are the most common beauty problems affecting Hong Kong women? “The most common skin concern in the summer months is unwanted shine on the face. But, depending on what sort of environment you spend most time in, skin can also become very dry as a result of constantly going from air-conditioned offices to humid, hot conditions, which can result in a dull, flaky complexion.”

Many people in Hong Kong are indoors all day and find that the air-conditioning dries out their skin, making it dull and flaky. How can people address this problem? “It’s important to nourish skin, at both the beginning and the end of the day. To ensure skin is kept protected from the harsh conditions that can leave it lacking radiance and health, and looking dull, I would suggest the following regime:

Each morning, layer a serum over the skin, such as our Mattifying Skin Serum, which contains orange flower water (to calm), Oat Flour (to provide a matt finish), silk extracts (moisturizing and conditioning) and Tea-tree (anti-bacterial). This will help keep the skin looking healthy and nourished all day.

At night, give the complexion an extra ‘feed’, by layering products over the skin. Begin with an application of Mattifying Serum, followed by Refining Facial Oil and Orange Flower Mattifying Moisturizer. The moisturizer locks in the goodness of the essential oils and will intensively nourish skin in preparation for the day ahead.”

What about fine lines and wrinkles – these are especially a problem when you also have oily skin. Many people often don’t know if they should use a moisturizer for the lines or stay away altogether because of the oil? “It’s important to combine both an oil and a moisturizer to help get rid of fine lines, even on oily skins. An oil designed for the face penetrates more deeply into the skin than a cream, delivering goodness and benefits in an area of the skin where they can really make an enormous difference. A moisturizer also provides intense nourishment and helps to ensure the surface of the skin is smooth and radiant. Our Refining Facial Oil was developed for oily skins and actually counteracts natural sebum to help even-out skin-tone.”

Even though I’m an adult I still suffer from blemishes, blackheads and whiteheads. The summer heat and humidity make things even worse. What should I do to address this problem? “I would always recommend using a serum that contains anti-bacterial essential oils, as this won’t weigh the skin down, but will provide just the right amount of conditioning to help eradicate blemishes and spots. As detailed above, our Mattifying Skin Serum contains a selection of anti-bacterial essential oils, which really do have a positive effect on more difficult skins.”

I find that my skin reacts to most products. Do you have any recommendations for sensitive skin? “Absolutely – choose products that contain English Chamomile, Evening Primrose Oil, Butchers Broom and Rice Extract. Probiotics are also excellent at calming skins that have a tendency to be more reactive. Sensitivity is often caused by reactions to heat, the environment and dietary issues, so it’s also important to look at these external and internal aggressors, as well as your topical skincare.”

What kind of products help the skin adapt to environmental changes from indoors to outdoors or vice versa? “Anything nourishing and protecting – rose is a fantastic essential oil for helping support capillary circulation and it creates a barrier on the skin to protect it from harsh, changing weather conditions.”

Many products come with SPF nowadays; is it best to use as many products as possible that contain SPF – from moisturizer to foundation? “No, you only need to use one form of SPF. I would always recommend either using a specifically designed product, which you apply on top of your normal moisturizer, or use a moisturizer that already contains an SPF (minimum 15). This is because it’s more likely that you will cover the entire face with a moisturizer, rather than a foundation. And don’t forget the neck, which can be one of the first areas to show signs of sun damage and skin ageing.”

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