Tips I’ve learned from Caroline Hirons’ no nonsense approach to great skin
By Katie Daly
23rd January 2021
(Image courtesy of Unsplash)
If you’re a skincare lover like me, you’re constantly on the hunt for the best products to give you clear skin and are intrigued by the latest trends, fads and gimmicks in skincare. If you’re done with the speculation and the grand claims from skincare companies and want to establish a solid routine that is informed by expertise, look no further. Beauty industry veteran and qualified aesthetician, Caroline Hirons is your go-to girl! Caroline’s new book ‘Skincare: The Ultimate No-Nonsense Guide’ has got all the tips and tricks you’ll need. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so it’s really important that you take care of it and don’t simply give in to the latest Instagram trend which may have no benefits for your skin at all. Caroline’s book offers you all the insider goss you could ever need on the best products on the market, will help you to identify your skin type or help you deal with skin conditions you may be experiencing. I think it’s great and so I thought I’d give you the low down on the best tips I learned from Caroline’s book, that I will take into my skincare regime going forward.
1. Foaming facial washes are a no go!
Foaming facial washes are everywhere because they are marketed to give the illusion of being a quick and easy route to clear skin at a price that won’t make you wince when you get to the checkout. However, in reading Caroline Hirons’ book, it became increasingly clear that we should steer clear from these facial washes. Although it seems to be a given that they will remove dirt and grease from your pores, Caroline explains how the ingredients in a foaming facial wash that make them turn from a gel to a lather, can actually dry out even the oiliest of skin types. Instead, she recommends either a cream, milk, balm or oil cleanser which will gently remove makeup or oil build up from your skin, without leaving it feeling tight and dehydrated. Swap out your foaming facial wash for a budget-friendly option such as The Ordinary’s Squalane Cleanser (£4.75) or invest in pricier item like the OSKIA Renaissance Cleansing Gel (£36).
2. Say no to oil free face wash…even if you’re oily!
You may think that the way to combat your oily skin is to cleanse it thoroughly with an oil free cleanser. Stop right there! If you strip your skin of its natural oils, your sebaceous glands will work overtime to produce oil to rehydrate and protect your skin, causing your pores to appear enlarged and your T zone looking oilier than when you started. Caroline is a big fan of a gentle cleanser, such as The Body Shop’s Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing butter (£11) that will remove excess oil but leave the skin hydrated and clear.
3. Over-exfoliation is not the key to clearing up breakouts
In a similar fashion to drying foaming facial washes, over exfoliating is a really easy way to irritate your skin and can’t be used as a one stop shop for clearing up spots. Caroline Hirons is not a fan of a typical harsh scrubs which can be abrasive on the surface of your skin. Instead, she recommends the use of acidic toners which remove the dead skin cells on your face whilst maintaining a balanced pH. Examples include the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (£28) or the Pixi Glow Tonic (£18) which can be bought in a travel size if you want to try before splashing the cash. The Ordinary also offer a range of acid products at a student friendly price point. Of course, if you’re trying these types of products for the first time, it is best that you do a patch test and start slowly, applying a couple of times a week before your moisturiser, acting according to how your skin reacts. If you like how smooth exfoliator makes your skin feel but know it’s too harsh to become a daily step in your skincare regime, use a flannel and warm water to remove your daily cleanser as the cloth fabric is slightly rougher than your fingertips so can achieve a deeper cleanse without drying out or irritating your pores.
4. Using a good quality SPF is really important, even when you’re not sunbathing
You would expect that applying SPF is something reserved to being a step in your poolside routine, when you’re lazing around in 30+ degree heat on holiday. This is where Caroline Hirons would say you’re going wrong. Even in your normal day to day life, it is really important to protect your skin from the sun’s harsh rays, especially if you’re wanting to stay looking youthful for as long as possible! Hirons recommends applying a good quality SPF cream (Factor 50 is ideal, especially for fair or sensitive skin types) under your makeup every day. If you are on holiday, Caroline recommends going makeup free to let your skin breath, and applying your SPF several times throughout the day, especially if you are taking a dip in the pool or the sea. SPF is also super important if you’re using acid products or products containing Vitamin A, as they can make the skin more sensitive to the UV of the sun.
5. Apply your eye cream under your night cream
Caroline Hirons states that ‘applying your eye product last is like wearing your knickers over your trousers’ – it makes no sense! If you’re a fan of thick night creams that seal in moisture and leave your skin feeling baby soft in the morning, great! But if you apply your eye cream over the top, it can’t seep in your skin and hydrate that delicate area, meaning you’re wasting your time and money in applying it. Instead, apply your eye cream using your ring finger for delicate application, to your orbital area (from the lash line to the brow bone) and gently underneath your eye, being careful not to pull or tug on the skin. Then go ahead and apply your moisturisers and serums to your heart’s content! Caroline Hirons’ eye cream suggestions such as the Sunday Riley Autocorrect Eye Cream come with a hefty price tag, we’re talking over £50! So, I can recommend eye creams that I have enjoyed using which are slightly cheaper, such as the Ole Henriksen Banana Bright eye cream (£33) or even Superdrug’s Vitamin E eye cream (£3.99).
6. Exercising in makeup is a big no no
Now, we may not be going anywhere near a gym any time soon, but home workout plans have become really popular over the last year. Whether you’re cycling along your local woodland trail or bopping around to a dance workout video in your living room, it is really important to go makeup free whilst getting in those steps. Sweat and makeup are not a great combination, as your skin can’t breathe and clogged pores equal whiteheads. Wash your face and apply a thin day cream prior to your workout, to protect your skin from the sweat and then do your full morning skincare routine when your workout is over. If you’re exercising outside, as previously mentioned, apply a moisturiser that contains SPF.
7. Debunking the myths surrounding micellar water
Yes, your favourite micellar water might describe itself as a cleansing water, but don’t be fooled, it shouldn’t be used instead of a cleanser. Caroline Hirons says that whilst micellar waters are effective liquid makeup removers, it is really important that you thoroughly cleanse your skin using a product with water. Micellar water should be kept handy for removal of makeup or in emergency situations on the go, not regularly left on your skin as they can contain alcohol or fragrance which can dry out your skin off not washed off.
There are so many more tips to learn from, so check out the book if these tips have left you wanting more. We’d love to hear what you think, get in touch via the comment section.