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How to keep skin tip-top

It's also a good idea to protect your skin from environmental factors that can make it look older.

It's also a good idea to protect your skin from environmental factors that can make it look older.

Published Oct 1, 2013


London - Scientists now say skin needs specific care at different stages of the 24-hour day. Apparently synchronising your skincare with the clock will get the most from your creams. So what should you do to your skin and at what times?


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7am Drink water

Most of us are dehydrated first thing so before anything, guzzle a glass of water. “If you don’t drink water, your cells can’t function properly,” says dermatologist Dr Nicholas Perricone. “Without water, skin simply cannot be soft and plumped up.”


7.30am Wipe away oil

If you wake up greasy, cleanse well to remove the sebum (oil produced by your skin). “Otherwise any creams won’t penetrate effectively,” says cosmetic dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting. She then recommends an antioxidant serum to protect skin. Look for one with a high concentration of vitamin C.


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7.45am: Slap on sunscreen

Even on a cloudy autumn day, your skin is being bombarded with UVA rays, so a daily broad-spectrum sunscreen is the most effective way to slow skin ageing. Let your serum or moisturiser sink in for ten minutes then apply to avoid diluting. Leave for 15 minutes before applying make-up.


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12pm: Powder your nose

Oil glands produce twice as much sebum at noon as they do between the hours of 2am and 4am, so 12pm is a great time to powder your nose and forehead.


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1pm: Pop a vitamin D

Your body needs UV light all year round to create vitamin D, essential for preventing diseases. If you put SPF on every day you may prevent enough UV reaching your skin so take a daily supplement. “Vitamin D needs to be taken with some fat for proper absorption so have it with lunch,” says Dr Bunting.


2pm: Top up that sunscreen

Your morning cream may have worn off by now. Look for a tinted product you can apply on top of your make-up.


4pm: Suck an ice cube

Skin temperature is approximately a degree higher at 4pm than at 4am. “As your body temperature starts to climb, those prone to flushing may experience facial redness,” says Dr Bunting. “If you feel a prickly sensation heralding an imminent flush, sucking an ice cube should head it off.”


6pm: Scrub off make-up

Cleansing is essential for healthy skin, but most of us leave it until last thing when we’re too exhausted to do it properly. Instead, take your make-up off when you get home from work. Facialist Una Brennan recommends a double cleanse using an oil-based cleanser with a hot cloth or flannel, then applying cream or gel cleanser.


9.30pm: Smooth on moisturiser

Your skin loses around 25 percent more water at night, so use products that will draw water from the atmosphere to your skin (creams containing hyaluronic acid or urea) and ingredients that help lock moisture in, such as paraffin or lanolin.


10pm: Apply a retinoid cream

“Retinoids are effective anti-ageing ingredients,” says Dr Bunting. “They’re a derivative of vitamin A and speed up cell turnover, revealing younger-looking skin. They’re broken down by UV light so won’t work as effectively during the day. Night-time use is a must, especially as our skin’s barrier function is lower, making it more receptive to creams.” - Daily Mail

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