Hydrate your skin with our skin therapist Nataliya Robinson
Our skin can be a temperamental thing. One day we’ll be super soft and glowing, the next, dry and taut as tarpaulin or erupting with angry red bumps. Of course the constant change from being positively weather-beaten in the chill of the long winter and the sauna that is our central heated office does little to help, and nor does our ever-so-flaky skincare regime. We know we should be letting our skin “breathe” but surely we can’t be expected to leave home without the extra layers of foundation needed to cover up those aforementioned red bumps. And yes we know we should be sleeping a full eight hours a night for great skin but really, who has the time to be sleeping when there’s an entire season of Breaking Bad to catch up on? It seems it’s not just our skin that’s temperamental but our routines added to boot.
In times of skincare need we always turn to Nataliya Robinson, our complexions very own fairy godmother. Her European facial has long been a monthly indulgence (read necessity), giving us a much needed deep cleanse after the city and our fast-paced city life have suitably clogged up our pores. The facial is completely tailored to individual skin issues, using an array of techniques to extract pesky spots, reduce inflammation and leave ones complexion softer, smoother and brighter. However, in a bid to retain a comfortable balance between facials, we took the opportunity during our last session to pump Nataliya about the real issues caused by dry skin and the realistic measures we can take to introduce some much needed hydration.
Nataliya, tell us about dry skin; what is it and what harm can it do to our skin?
Dry skin is really a very common condition. Typical symptoms are a feeling of tightness after cleansing, rough to touch, flaky, sensitive skin that’s overactive/prone to irritation, and superficial fine lines. The dry skin is caused by damage to the outermost layer of the epidermis (top layers of outer skin), which results in the skin not retaining moisture, dryness, and possible itchiness. This in turn can lead to premature ageing with the possibility of other skin conditions/diseases (rosacea, eczema etc.). Therefore it is essential to restore or prevent skin barrier damage.
How do we know that our skin is dehydrated?
The main symptom of dehydrated skin is poor elasticity. This results in the skin looking “chewed”, not plump, perhaps with deeper and longer wrinkles. Very often dehydrated skin also gains an almost yellowish colour because of poor circulation. The effects of dehydrated skin sit deep within the dermis of our skin and treating this is more difficult than just managing dry skin.
Are there any specific foods we can eat to keep our skin hydrated?
Essential fatty acids (walnuts, flax seeds, sardines, salmon, mackerel, herring) are very important to keep your skin supple. If you are a vegetarian then seeds, nuts and DHA Algae should form part of your diet. Drinking enough fluid will definitely have a positive impact on your skin. If you do not like the taste of plain water I would recommend trying Coconut Water or even diluting Coconut water with pure filtered water. I regularly see great results on skin just from drinking pure water, the skin becomes plumper, clearer and much healthier.
Any specific food or drink we should avoid? (Please don’t say coffee!)
White bread and sugar have a strong negative impact on skin health. Cutting down on coffee (damn it) or other caffeinated drinks can help with skin hydration, as caffeine is known to dehydrate the body. Chicory, which has a similar taste to coffee can be a good way to reduce or eliminate your caffeine intake and is healthier option than coffee and known to kill intestinal parasites, cleanse the blood and improve liver health. The liver has a big impact on skin health!
Seeing as we’re slaves to our make up, is there a certain type you would recommend?
I prefer mineral make-up, as it generally does not contain the emollient oils and waxes, fragrance, and preservatives. So you can look your best without overloading your skin with “pollution”.
What are your favorite brands for treating dehydrated skin?
For treating dehydrated skin at home I would recommend skin care products that are oil based, for example Shea butter, Jojoba oil, Vitamin B3, and Vitamin E based products. Even if you do not like to feel oil on the skin during the day I would definitely advise they use it as a night treatment.
Take us through your ideal morning and night ritual for preventing dry skin?
If I feel the symptoms of dryness (flaky skin, tight skin) I never take long hot showers. In the morning I wash my face with gentle cleanser and lukewarm water (again never use hot water). I apply serum and cream with SPF 1 hour before I leave home. In the evening I double cleanse with a gentle cleanser and apply serum and oil based cream 2 hours before I go to bed. By using a gentle cleanser (particularly during winter) I do not “strip” the protective layer of my skin and I have found that by applying good quality oils (or oil based cream) I really keep my skin free of dryness. Food wise my morning starts with breakfast such as salmon/eggs/rye bread and real butter- this type of food, high in Omega 3 oils, is so good for your skin cells.
What would be the ideal daily skin care ritual for hydrated and smooth skin?
To keep the skin smooth it’s important to exfoliate; home exfoliation should be very gentle as deep exfoliation peels are better left to a professional skin therapist on monthly basis. Gently exfoliate your skin in the evening and after apply a good quality moisturizing cream (preferably with peptides). This will enable your skin will absorb the products more effectively and will result in skin being more hydrated. Do not exfoliate your skin in the morning as this exposes your skin to the environment.
Anything else we should think about for adding moisture to our skin and keeping it hydrated?
If you do suffer from dry skin or dehydrated skin I would advise you to try to avoid damaging your skin further by touching your skin with your hands during the day. It’s a common but bad habit to play with your skin during meetings or whilst on the Internet etc. And it’s worth remembering that the face is the most unprotected part of your body. It is exposed to the sun, wind, rain and pollution so investing in good quality skin care is essential.
How can we achieve that ever-lasting glow we see on models such as Miranda Kerr and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley?
By looking at the beautiful faces of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Miranda Kerr I would say that their skin is very well hydrated and their diet is high in essential fatty acids because it’s glowing. I would also guess that they have skin peels because they have an even skin tone. By looking after the skin on your face on daily basis and with professional help you can begin to have skin just like these celebrities.
Any tips for professional women who lead a busy life?
Monthly visits to a professional skin therapist will save you time and effort because none of the ‘miracle creams’ can beat a professional skin peel or other rejuvenating treatments properly carried out on a monthly basis.
What’s your advice on dealing with dry air and pollution, from living in a big city like London?
Dry air ,pollution, stress poor diet, all these things have a negative impact on our organism and directly affect the health of our skin, particularly the face, as it is always uncovered. To protect your skin from dry air I would recommend investing in a humidifier or simply placing a small container of water in your room/office to raise the humidity of the air and reduce dryness. To reduce the pollution I would recommend buying a large leaved indoor plant, which will help absorb the pollution and oxygenate the air.
For more information on Natalyia Robinson or to book yourself a European Facial, visit www.nataliyarobinson.co.