Beauty Call: No nonsense, no wipes – the Caroline Hirons school of skin regimes

The skincare guru knows what she’s talking about. That she is also hilariously frank is a bonus

Caroline Hirons is hilariously frank, possessing an honesty that is more refreshing than a dip in the Forty Foot on a balmy summer’s day. And she knows how to achieve perfect skin.

The London-based facialist has a large following and a CV replete with roles at Liz Earle (it was like being trapped in Alcatraz and she doesn't recommend Cleanse & Polish either), and now Space NK, where she is responsible for curating a collection of some of the best skincare it is possible to get.

She loathes fads (BB creams exasperate her) and tissues (don't use them to take off your make-up). She abhors mineral oil, the fallacy that "natural" products are somehow better ("bleach is natural") and the idea that there is one magical elixir that will work for everyone. She says you need to spend money on your skin if you can – Zelens, Darphin, Shiseido and Decléor are among her favourite brands – and she argues that if you would splash similar money on a pair of shoes or a handbag, then you should consider spending it on your face instead.

If you are willing to invest time and money and follow the Hirons regime, you will find yourself with fantastic skin.


Hirons's tips

Cleanse before you take off your bra: Following this simple rule means that you won't leave your cleansing until you are too tired to do it properly and are tempted to reach for a wipe. And if you wear your bra in bed, take off your make-up as soon as you get into the house in the evening.

Double cleanse: Pre-cleanse with an oil or cream to take off the first layer of grime and make-up, and then go in for your second, deeper cleanse with a balm or oil and a trusty, clean facecloth.

Morning as well as evening: "I just splash my face with water in the morning," I venture. "Disgusting," says Hirons. "Cleansing your face in the morning is as important as putting on clean underwear. You perspire and shed dead skin cells while you sleep – you need to cleanse it off properly."

Rethink toner: Toners have changed. Instead of being harsh, astringent and loaded with alcohol, the toner you choose should be gentle and should chemically exfoliate your skin to prepare it for oil, serum and moisturiser.

Create a moisture sandwich: Layer your products to achieve maximum benefits. After toner you can apply a couple of drops of serum, followed by oil and lastly moisturiser.

Foundation with SPF: Using a foundation with an SPF is all the sun protection most of us need. "Ireland isn't Australia," Hirons points out.

Ban face wipes: With four children, Hirons herself must have had plenty of times when she didn't have time to cleanse and reached for a handy wipe? Not on your life: face wipes should have a label attached: "Don't be a lazy cow." They are only to be used for "fannies, festivals or flights".

Stop obsessing and imagining blackheads: Can't understand why you still have blackheads into your 30s and beyond? Well chances are you don't. "Stop looking at your nose in a magnifying mirror right now. You probably just have dark pores."

More at Hirons 's blog is at Aisling is on twitter @aismcdermott


Aveda Botanical Kinetics Toner (€22, 150ml) Refreshes skin after cleansing and restores its natural balance with echinacea and rosewater. An effective prep for the cleansing process.

Sunday Reilly Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil (€115 at Space NK) You may baulk at the price, but this standout oil is packed with ingredients for skin wellbeing: antioxidants, amino acids, omegas 3, 6, 9 and UV shields.

Indeed Labs Hydraluron (€32.50, 30ml) This product is fast on its way to becoming the gold standard of hydrating serums. It really works to attract and bind moisture to the skin with a high level of hyaluronic acid.

Darphin Intral Cleansing Milk (€34, 200ml) Soothes rosacea-prone skin with extracts of camomile and hawthorn to leave it calmer. Follow with Darphin Intral Redness Relief serum if you want to cool down further.

Perricone MD Chia Serum (€80, 30ml) The essential oils in this formula will infuse dry, dull skin with life and moisture. It is midway in texture between a serum and an oil, spreads easily and is absorbed quickly.