Beauty Report: protective skincare

Taking preventative measures can be better than tackling issues once they arrive

There is a lot to be said for preventing these problems from arising, with some protective skincare.

There is a lot to be said for preventing these problems from arising, with some protective skincare.

 

We tend to think of skincare as an act of offense, generally choosing ingredients and products to tackle an issue; sending in the troops to fight dullness, or acne, or premature signs of aging. Whatever the skin issue, we all have something in the bathroom cabinet that is designed to minimise symptoms.

Sometimes, though, defensive skincare can be lost in the flurry of problem solving products. There is certainly something magical about watching a red, itchy lump or a patch of angrily dry skin calm and depuff after application of some cream or other.

There is, however, a lot to be said for preventing these problems from arising, with some protective skincare. Being slightly more boring, preemptive products are inherently less sexy and frequently less luxurious than their treatment-based counterparts, so they can be overlooked.

Clinique Deep Comfort Body Oil (€32) provides protection from winter weather. Body oils can be greasy and overly scented, while this one is a hypoallergenic dry oil that disappears into skin after a shower, leaving it wonderfully soft.

The no-nonsense packaging and lack of fragrance make it a great option for everyone, regardless of age or gender, and it prevents the sort of flaky, winter dryness that can lead to discomfort and itching.

La Roche-Posay Hydraphase UV Intense Riche (€22) and Cicaplast Levres (€6.50) work very well once you’ve let winter chapping and dryness go too far, but also act as preventatives. Hydraphase UV Intense Riche is rich, hydrating, and protects skin from the sun’s UV rays.

While a good daily SPF is the best preemptive skincare you can use, a day cream containing SPF is enough for most of us (palest excepted), during the darker winter months.

The affordable Cicaplast Levres lip balm creates a protective barrier, but doesn’t feel like a layer of cling film the way more traditional emollient balms can. Shea butter relieves chapping, while lipids and panthenol act as physical and biological barriers, protecting lips from the weather.

Estée Lauder Nightwear Plus 3-Minute Detox Mask (€42) is a clever new anti-oxidant clay mask that sidesteps the less pleasant aspects of most clay masks. They’re generally cloyingly thick in texture, slow to dry, and a terrible ordeal to wash off. This one is refreshingly light, with a crisp cucumber fragrance and a lovely cooling sensation. It dries and is ready to rinse off in three minutes, making it an excellent quick fix when you just don’t have the time to sit about waiting for products to dry. Skin feels immediately less clogged and oily.

If you’ve committed the cardinal sin of beauty – going to bed with your make-up on – this will dispel that dirty, clogged feeling. The texture is creamy and smooth rather than gritty, so it’s as gentle as it is fast. Use two to three times weekly to give skin a boost and minimise congestion. But please don’t even think of going to bed in your make-up.

lkennedy@irishtimes.com

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