Anna Maroudas Viljoen's experience in the skin-care industry is varied, with stints at Dermalogica (Cape Town), Camelot International (Johannesburg) and RegimA (London), among others. She shares her beauty tips with us…
How do you start following a beauty regime?
It all begins with expert advice. Book yourself a consultation and skin analysis – most skin-care centres offer this service for free. It's too daunting and extremely confusing to try make sense of the market on your own. Generally you will start with a good cleanser, day-time moisturiser and night-time treatment. Exfoliation is key in offering dynamic changes to the skin, so this would certainly be something to consider from the word go. Gradually you will include a masque, eye treatment product, most certainly an SPF, perhaps a serum and toner.
Which question do you mostly get asked? And your answer?
Question: How do I get my skin to look radiant and glowy?
Answer: It’s all down to the hydration levels of the skin. When I refer to hydration levels, this means the "moisture" content of the skin and not necessarily the oil levels of the skin. Having said this, a reasonable level of oil production is always beneficial to the skin as it lubricates it, nourishes it and, of course, can give a beautiful luminescence to the skin. Back to hydration – if the skin is saturated with moisture, be it through drinking the necessary amount of water on a daily basis, eating fresh and balanced meals, using treatment products that are geared to increasing these levels of hydration (like serums, masques and corrective creams), the skin will naturally take on a radiance that gives a healthy glow.
What are your top 5 skin tips?
1. Always cleanse the skin twice a day and ensure that it’s done thoroughly. This will ensure that the surface is dirt free, preventing congestion of the pores and can certainly facilitate better penetration of the products you apply to the skin.
2. Exfoliation is key. Get advice on which exfoliant is the most suitable for your skin type and your skin conditions, then exfoliate regularly, at least two to three times per week.
3. It’s extremely beneficial to follow your exfoliation with the application of a masque. The type of masque depends on the condition that you wish to treat (for example, dehydration = hydrating masque). This will saturate the skin with wonderfully beneficial properties.
4. Apply an SPF to the skin every single day, regardless of season. A minimum of SPF15 is necessary and look for a day-time moisturiser that has this SPF built into it. This saves time as well as money!
5. If you are trying to improve the quality of the skin, sticking to the classic three-step process of cleansing, toning and moisturising is not enough. In order to change the skin, one must consider how the skin is being fed from within as well as from without. From the inside you require fresh, raw produce, good hydrating liquids and a balance of nutrients. Feeding the skin from the surface will also require a slightly more advanced approach. Go for regular professional treatments and introduce slightly more advanced products that offer a dynamic fusion of powerful ingredients, laying products, corrective creams, etc.
What anti-aging advice can you give women?
It’s simple… we have heard it a million times. Get onto a good anti-aging skin-care regime, one that has been advised by a skin professional. Limit your intake of processed food, increase your intake of good wholesome food options that naturally contain ample vitamins and anti-oxidants in order to fight against the damaging and ageing effects of the dreaded free radicals. Exercise for the physical body is crucial but so is exercise for the mind. Stress, lifestyle, medicine, alcohol, smoking, etc… these are all factors that ultimately lead to premature ageing. Ageing is inevitable but ensure to really feed the skin well, saturate the skin cells with positively powerful ingredients so you can always look better, despite how you actually feel!
What are the most common mistakes women make when it comes to looking after their skins?
Often women self-prescribe skin-care products and I generally find that at least two to three of these products are entirely unsuitable for them. By consistently using the incorrect skin-care products, one tends to severely sensitise the skin, which can potentially create inflammation within the skin and this may trigger a cascade of conditions that can disrupt the quality of the skin, for example, dryness, dehydration, redness, damaged capillaries, itching, burning, stinging, general discomfort, brown markings and discoloration of the skin, to name a few.
Any final words of beauty wisdom?
It's important to get a sense of what works well for you as an individual. We all have very unique skin needs and you should allow yourself to be guided by a professional who will recommend the best way forward and who will also educate you so that you feel confident about skin care and empowered to achieve the best skin for you.
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