Over the past year, I’ve used hundreds of different beauty products. I’ve tried out new ingredients, been introduced to new brands and followed lots of different advice… all with the aim of improving my skin. However, with so many beauty trends constantly being flagged as right and wrong and so many conflicting views, I decided it was time to consult an expert for some serious skincare tips.
That expert is Joanna Armaghani, founder of Facial Atelier. Joanna is a facialist, educated in the sciences (ocular and chemistry) with an impressive global cult following her for vast knowledge of cosmetic ingredients and experience of seeing the effects on the skin. Joanna is an advocate of formulations that contain ingredients that are less likely to cause long-term inflammation or trigger irritation, no matter what your condition. These are her top tips:
LESS IS MORE
The very first thing Joanna does when meeting a new client is to analyse all the products they’re using in their routine – the ‘Bath Bag Analysis’ as she calls it.
“I see a lot of routines using a whole host of products from many different brands – with some clients using up to 10 products a day,” said Joanna. “90% of the time, the client is doubling – if not trippling – the same ingredients on their skin across the different products; resulting in an unwelcome increase in the skin issue they’re grappling with.”
It can be hard to pinpoint as ‘key ingredients’ and marketing don’t always make it clear, so without meaning to, you could be using products that all contain different acids at the same time! Sometimes… less is WAY more!
Switching products regularly (less than every 6-8 weeks) to try to reach your skin goals or fix a problem, can sometimes actually create further issues. Allowing your skin time to adapt to a new product is essential.
According to Joanna: “It is extremely difficult to find product culprits for sensitive, irritated, inflamed or break out skin when a client isn’t consistent with their routine or products. I recommend sticking to a well thought out and consistent routine for at least 2-3 months.”
GET TO KNOW YOUR SKIN TYPE
The simple fact is that most people just don’t know their skin type!
Joanna said: “Something I see time and time again are clients who feel they have lots of pores and therefore have oily skin, when in fact the pores are minimal and around the nose (which is expected) and therefore they’re buying products that will strip the skin.”
If you don’t know your own skin, you could be using products that strip the skin of natural oils or add ingredients that you just don’t need. Joanna recommends a skin analysis with a trusted aesthetician before spending hundreds on products not right for you or your skin type.
GO FRAGRANCE FREE
As someone who seriously understands ingredients, Joanna advocates for formulas that are active but well thought out, which means removing some unwanted items.
“As a general rule, I like to seee as much information about the product as possible; fragrance free is the way forward, and that includes essential oils too. I would always look for products that are unfragranced and ph-balanced, that also contain good antioxidant ingredients,” she said.
The key here is getting to know your ingredients! Something I have learnt the hard way…
THINK ABOUT YOUR MAKE-UP, TOO
When you’re spending hundreds on skincare, it can be easy to slap on cheap make-up containing nasty ingredients, but according to Joanna this is a common cause of skin complaints.
“If you want to look after your skin and are investing in skincare, what’s the point of going heavy on the make-up or fragranced products during the day?”
Joanna recommends trying to cut down on the make-up that contains ingredients you look to avoid in your skincare routine.
WEAR SUNSCREEN. NO. MATTER. WHAT.
Something I am always a massive advocate of is sunscreen and Joanna wholeheartedly agrees.
“Ignore the trends and myths, if anyone advises against wearing sunscreen – (yes, even in Winter) they are wrong. But remember to look for fragrance-free formulas.”
IF IT’S NOT FOUND NATURALLY, IT’S NOT GOOD.
Overall, Joanna’s rule of thumb is:
“If it’s not found naturally or already in the body, you probably don’t want to put it on your skin.” This seems kind of obvious when you think about it!
She said: “Our skin absorbs most of what we apply and it can find its way into our bloodstreams. I recommend doing research before you buy a product.”