#LibertyBeautyMatters shares up-to-the-minute answers to beauty’s most commonly asked questions. This edition’s font of knowledge is Nicola Moulton, Vogue’s Beauty Director.
Is it true you need to apply SPF every two hours?If you’re on holiday somewhere hot and sunny – lucky you – most sun care companies will recommend you reapply your sun cream about every two hours. Sun filters are notoriously unstable, so intense heat, bright sunlight, swimming and sweating will all compromise their efficiency. For everyday use, though, most daily SPF products are formulated to sit beautifully under makeup and don’t need reapplying nearly so often. This is one of my favourite city blocks.
SKIN LAUNDRY Advanced Protection Daily Moisturiser SPF 35 50ml - £24
Can I use oils if I have oily skin?Absolutely – in fact, many facialists will highly recommend it. Oils have the same biological structure as sebum – the oil produced naturally by your skin – so can do an excellent job of rebalancing a complexion that’s producing too much oil. Choose one that’s light and loaded with plant extracts that are naturally “bio-available” – meaning, unlike with synthetic ingredients, your skin will only take as much from them as it needs.
RODIN Jasmine & Neroli Luxury Face Oil 30ml - £105
How do I apply products in the right order?Cleanser, quite clearly, should be first. Some skin experts favour a “double cleanse” at night, which means using an oil-based cleanser first to lift off maximum impurities, then a lighter milk or gel cleanser to soften and prep for moisturiser. It’s not strictly necessary, but it is something to consider if you wear SPF every day. Next comes eye cream, then serum – these often contain the most active ingredients and are best received when the skin is damp from cleansing. Then an oil (if you use one) and finally a moisturiser. Well, actually, not finally, because it’s wise to use an SPF every day, and I prefer to have a face cream without SPF and then layer a separate one on top.Shop now
To tone or not to tone? What type should I go for?Toners have changed so much from what they used to be. These days, they come in a variety of forms, from mists to waters to milky lotions, and they perform a variety of useful functions, from gently removing old skin cells and prepping the skin for moisturiser to brightening and tightening. I particularly like the spray-on versions, because it means you’re not wasting half the product on a cotton pad.
AESOP Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner 100ml - £29
Anti-cellulite creams – is it too late? Will body brushing help?I think we all know that anti-cellulite creams, while helpful, are no substitute for six months on the cross trainer. But products that boost circulation so my legs feel lighter and my skin tighter? I’m in. Ask any body therapist and they’ll tell you that there’s no substitute for daily body brushing – do it on dry skin before the shower, using long, brisk, upward strokes. Combined with a cooling leg cream, you’ll practically sprint through summer.
ESPA Skin Brush - £18
Scalp care – should I bother?In a nutshell, a healthy scalp means healthy hair, and these days the most enlightened hair brands treat scalp care like skincare, which means exfoliating, cleansing and even gently brushing the scalp to stimulate healthy hair growth. It will take a good few months to really start seeing a difference, but once you do, you’ll be sold.
AVEDA Pramāsana Purifying Scalp Cleanser 150ml - £23.50
What can I do about problem skin?I always say problem skin is only a problem because you haven’t found the right products yet. Skin that’s unpredictable and prone to blemishes needs a three-pronged approach. First, a cleanser that will clean without stripping. Second, a good blemish-control product to keep on standby when breakouts occur. And third – and this is the part that gets overlooked – a foundation that will conceal problems without blocking pores. Go gently – acne-prone skin is just as sensitive as very dry skin, so use dedicated products formulated by experts.
MALIN+GOETZ Sulfur Paste 14ml, £18