Straight A skincare


What are the secrets of good skin? Family history plays a major part, you just have to look at your mother’s skin to see your future face. But no matter how you fared in the genetic handout, you can influence your face for better (good diet, no smoking or sun) or worse (the reverse).

And then there’s the skincare debate. Do expensive creams deliver more than their cheaper counterparts? Companies go to great lengths to explain the science behind the latest skincare innovations but the truth is there’s only one question on women’s minds when buying a skincare product – will it do what it says on the tin? That’s ahead of cost, by the way, as women don’t seem to put a price on good skin – the popularity of fillers and creams selling for upwards of €300 attests to that.

Vitamin A is not new, or glamorous but it works. One of the most important nutrients for healthy skin, it has long been proven to be an effective treatment for acne and dry skin conditions. A happy side effect is a marked reduction in wrinkles and a smoother, more even complexion. On the downside, it can irritate and even cause rashes until the skin acclimatises and responds, meaning that truly effective levels are only available under medical supervision.

Step forward South African brand Environ, whose founder Dr Desmond Fernandes hit on the idea of a step up system, which enables skin to become accustomed to increasingly high levels of vitamin A, thus avoiding the negative reactions.

There’s no fancy packaging or gasp inducing pricetags (moisturisers start at €44). It’s a topical daily dose of vitmins. Wearing a sunblock is essential as the sun’s rays can deplete vitimin A. You can choose from using the whole range, or like me, layer the AVST moisturiser into your existing skincare routine.

Products still need to be prescribed by a trained specialist, such as Carmel Hunter (pictured left) of Skin Bespoke, which has been shortlisted for Environ Salon of the Year in London this month. Celebrity fans include Kate Winslett, Sienna Miller and Hilary Swank. It’s also beloved by beauty editors and top facialists who have tried everything else. Personally speaking, I’m hooked.

Skin Bespoke, Clonarf, Dublin
Tel: 01-853 5725,