Skincare basics: The ONLY 6 steps you need in your skincare routine

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Buying skincare products can make you feel like you’re taking care of yourself, but in reality, less is more. Express.co.uk chatted to Dr Jonquille Chantrey who is a world-leading Aesthetic Doctor and Global Lecturer to find out how to bring your skincare back to basics and the six steps you need to have in your routine.

Whilst we all love to pamper our skin and exert choice through what we purchase in skincare, Dr Chantrey advises against any self-diagnosis.

She said: “Seek out an expert clinician who genuinely can guide you on your exact skin type, make a diagnosis, create an individual skincare plan and recommend personalised treatments.

“This investment can significantly improve your skin health and prevent further premature ageing and damage.”

You’d need to go somewhere where experts can perform advanced diagnosis and treatment, such as Dr Chantrey’s clinic in Cheshire or her clinic in Selfridges London.

The ONLY 6 steps you need in your skincare routine

There are six steps that everyone should follow in their skincare routine, but everyone will require a different product that is “correct for their individual skin type”.

In the morning

Cleanse

Everyone must start the day with a thorough cleansing.

Dr Chantrey said: “This not only removes dirt, makeup and pollution to prevent pore blockage, but when one contains appropriate acids it can treat the skin and prepare it for the other topicals to penetrate more efficiently.

“A makeup wipe is not sufficient and I do not recommend cleansers that just wipe off.

“Cleansers and the debris needs to be washed off.”

Exfoliate

If you don’t own an exfoliator, you’d better get one.

Dr Chantrey said: “Exfoliation is important as it removes dead skin cells and can stimulate cell turnover, revealing fresher and brighter skin.

“Exfoliation can be mechanical with a polish type product or chemical with acids or retinol.”

Toner

While some skincare experts say not to bother with a toner, Dr Chantrey thinks everyone should be using one.

She said: “I do recommend the use of a toner, alpha and beta hydroxy acids are an excellent adjunct for skin brightening, reducing the blockage of pores and exfoliation.”

Antioxidant

Antioxidants aren’t just things you need to get in your diet, you should be applying them to your skin too.

Dr Chantrey said: “Antioxidants protect DNA from environmental damage (the most significant cause of skin ageing).

“A clinically effective dose of L-Ascorbic Acid derived from Vitamin C can protect existing collagen as well as stimulate new collagen.”

SPF

You should know not to skip SPF by now, as this step is essential in protecting against skin cancer.

Dr Chantrey added: “Use an SPF broad spectrum with a minimum of SPF30.

“This protects cells from carcinogenic aggressors as well as concerns such as pigmentation and premature ageing.”

In the evening

Retinol

Once you’ve cleansed and toned, Dr Chantrey advises using a retinol-based product.

Retinol will “stimulate collagen, cell turnover and pore exfoliation.

“This helps to strengthen skin, reduce breakouts and pigmentation resulting in brighter, fresher skin.

“Skin turnover activity is increased at night in the resting phase and retinol can be inactivated by sunlight so night application is recommended.”

What steps are unnecessary in a skincare routine?

If you’re someone who slathers their skin in moisturiser and oils, Dr Chantrey doesn’t recommend doing this.

She said: Unless a patient has a truly dry skin type or skin disease, excessive moisturisation through the use of heavy creams can actually make the skin worse, stimulate congestion and breakouts as well as making it sluggish.

“The use of oils on the skin can also create more inflammation that leads to further inflammation and congestion.

“Hydration should be stimulated from within the skin and by topical products that specifically stimulate the skin itself to produce more moisture.”

The same goes for face packs, sheet masks and fruit peels that are incorrect for the skin type.

The expert added: “These can worsen skin as they can be on the skin for longer and aggravate it. Again – seek out medically led expert guidance.”

Are more expensive products typically better?

You don’t need to spend loads on your skincare, but there’s a reason why more expensive products can be better.

Dr Chantrey said: “The most important aspect is the active ingredients in a product.

“Clinical research and testing as well as formulating highly effective topicals is expensive and therefore scientific skincare is usually more expensive.

“However, expensive creams that are more luxury brands, have low levels of active ingredients and have very little clinical evidence are often not superior to a basic product at all.”

Is it worth going for treatments?

Whether or not you need treatment depends upon the expertise of the clinician delivering the treatment.

Accurate skin diagnosis leads to correct treatment whereas the converse is true, so where you go is really important.

Dr Chantrey explained: “A seemingly harmless but pampering style facial can actually worsen the skin if the skin type is misjudged leading to pigmentation, sensitivity, inflammation and breakouts.

“In my clinics, my team is highly trained to accurately diagnose a patient’s needs and then create a bespoke plan.

“This may include medical facials, chemical peel, blue light for acne and blackheads, laser for thread veins or radiofrequency and high focused ultrasound for skin tightening.”

Should people buy expensive skincare devices and tools?

Don’t waste your money and time on skincare devices because they probably don’t work.

Dr Chantrey said: “I am yet to find a homeware device that I can recommend to my patients that is clinically proven in safety and effectiveness.
“Whilst we all love a gadget and quick fix, often these devices can be a waste of money and sometimes can even cause harm when used incorrectly.

“Save your money and invest in powerful skincare that works and in-clinic treatments led by top experts.”

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