It’s fair to say that not everyone gets chance to access their own personal facialist, but yes, we’re pretty good to you here at RIH. Anti-ageing queries or acne concerns? Puffy eyes or fine lines? Each month, we give you the chance to put your questions to super facialist and skincare expert Antonia Burrell…

skincare routine

I’m late to the party with adopting a skincare routine, but now cleanse, tone and moisturise twice a day. I find the whole serum thing really confusing though – do I honestly need one? How are they different to moisturisers and what do they actually do? When should I use one? They seem to be pretty expensive but I don’t want to have to spend loads. I’m 28 and have combination skin with dry patches from time to time.

Serums are very targeted treatments designed to meet a whole host of skin needs – this might be anti-ageing, pigmentation or fine lines, for example. The use of serums really depends on your individual skincare needs; they are very different to moisturisers in that they don’t moisturise the skin as such, they just treat any concerns you have. Serums are usually a little pricier as they have a much higher concentration of ingredients, making them very potent but highly effective!

serums

For dry/combination skin I recommend using a balancing serum to gently bring the skin back to its natural equilibrium. Plant-based formulations that are rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants are a great place to start, and always look for products that contain vitamins A, C & E. Over 90% of the signs of ageing are caused by free radical damage, so it’s important to incorporate as many topical anti-oxidants into your body (inside and out) as possible. Start thinking about your anti-ageing regime now and your skin will thank you for it later!

Particular ingredients I would recommend for dry/combination skin include Wild Carrot Root as it’s rich in vitamin A which helps to heal dry skin whilst stimulating collagen renewal. Cedarwood is also great for combination skin as it is a natural astringent for oily skin conditions. Palma Rosa oil is also a natural oil balancer which also works to hydrate and calm. I also love Sea Buckthorn as it’s a very rich source of vitamins A and E, carotenes and flavonoids and is second only to Rosehips when it comes to vitamin C content. It is also rich in several vitamins and minerals. Sea-buckthorn oil promotes skin repair and is one of the most beneficial oils for ageing skin.

Many people who suffer with oily skin tend to steer clear of using natural oils in skincare for fear of making it worse, when in fact it’s what the skin needs. The truth about oil lies within the most basic principle of chemistry – like dissolves like. Oil dissolves oil so by using the right oils you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively. What’s more, beneficial oils extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit can replace dirty oil build-up leaving skin healed, nourished and protected and you with clear, glowing skin that is free of imperfections.

I don’t recommend using a serum all the time, and only use sparingly underneath your moisturiser to address any specific concerns you have. If you do suffer with severe dry patches I recommend focusing more on finding a good hydrating moisturiser rather than a serum.

beackstage skincare serums

Have a question you’d like to put to Antonia? Pop your details below and if you’re lucky, you’ll get the answer to your query in a future edition of Five Minute Therapist! What are you waiting for – not everyone gets access to an A-List facialist just like that!