Complexion curation

Words: Michaela Williams

After 2019’s age of excess saw us smoothing on anti-aging serums, soaking up hydrating oils and patting on mattifying essences, we’re paring back overly-complicated routines in favour of a streamlined system. It’s time to clarify what each of our skincare steps achieves, and justify their position in our AM-PM rituals. This decade, we’re creating skincare routines that work smarter, not harder, with a powerhouse of active ingredients and clever formulas that are backed by science.

 

 

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Less is more

Following on from trend-setting K-beauty, which encouraged precise applications of layers upon layers of 12 or more products – an ion away from the Clinique counter’s original three-step – the next age of skincare is a return to a simpler time, but now with intelligently-formulated products ensuring results. The next wave of beauty entails culling your skincare routine to only the core products.

Ready to break down your skincare to the elevated essentials?

Science educator and content creator for Lab Muffin Beauty Science, Michelle Wong PhD, says that simplifying your routine starts with reducing your number of daily products. The base number of products varies around two to three for most people; she recommends to start with a sunscreen and cleanser, and perhaps a moisturiser. “If you wear make-up, or if you have any particular skincare concerns, then you’ll probably need more products,” Wong adds, although “you reach diminishing returns quite quickly”.

 

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When building up your routine from the basics, first define what exactly you want from your skincare, then try a specialised product that addresses your skin goals. “Women in our region mostly want to reduce pigmentation, to increase facial volume, and to of course reduce the appearance of ageing,” says Dr Sanjay Parashar, founder of Cocoona Centre for Aesthetic Transformation. “While I see clients who want to try everything, all at once, often this is not the best thing for them. I advise them to take it slowly and introduce a new product into their routine one at a time. This way, by using only the products that your skin needs, you will be able to identify what is or isn’t working for you.”

Dr Parashar‘s newly launched Skin by Cocoona subscribes to the theory of targeted treatments, with each product within the collection supporting the skin’s balance as a whole, rather than stripping and replenishing needlessly. “We are not saying you need to use a hundred products to be happy with your skin,” he explains. “Instead, you should choose a make-up remover and a cleanser that you like, that cleans the skin but without drying out or disturbing the skin’s mantle. Next, use a treatment that has an effective concentration of an active ingredient. Finally, you can add a moisturiser if your skin is dry, but not everyone needs this.”

Wong recommends that we should first start on a lower concentrations when it comes to active ingredients. “Many active ingredients are irritating, so a lower concentration will allow your skin to adjust without flaring up as much,” she advises. “It’s also possible that you’re allergic to the ingredient, so that way you’ll minimise any damage.” She adds that choosing quality over quantity is a good philosophy to follow. “The more products you use, the higher the chance that you’ll be introducing allergens to your routine, or at least spending money on products that aren’t making a big difference,” she points out.

 

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Research Research

While a hard-working active can work wonders in your routine, do your research on new releases or trending ingredients to make sure they would actually add value. Wong says that the current market pushes a mix of both potent products and fad or celebrity-led releases that can leave consumers feeling overwhelmed. “I think most active ingredients are being overused by many people,” she explains. “Many of the trendier ingredients are over-hyped – at the moment. The only active ingredients I don’t think you can overuse are sunscreens and niacinamide. Sunscreen is always essential, and niacinamide is a very safe, soothing ingredient that has lots The only active ingredients I don’t think you can overuse are sunscreens and niacinamide. Sunscreen is always essential, and niacinamide is a very safe, soothing ingredient that has lots of benefits. Retinoids, especially tretinoin, are great for anti-aging.” Dr Parashar agrees, pointing out that a few select products formulated with science-backed ingredients will better support your skin, than a routine flooded with superfluous products that may make little difference. “Ideally, your goal is to have the skin you feel happy about,” he says. And by choosing quality over quantity, with a skincare ritual that places an emphasis on high-performing ingredients and formulas, your best-ever complexion is more achievable than ever.

Skincare stars

Introduce one or two of these dedicated products to your simplified cleansing and hydrating regime for maximum results with minimum effort.

Bright by Cocoona VitaminC Serum Dhs461.90

skincare routine tips

DCL C Scape High Potency Night-Booster Dhs524

skincare routine tips

La Prairie Sunscreen SPF50 Dhs740

skincare routine tips

Matriskin Hyaluronic acid serum

skincare routine tips

Alpha-H Vitamin B Dhs185

skincare routine tips

Anne Semonin Super Active Cream Dhs765

skincare routine tips

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Images: Instagram, supplied, Getty Images