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Problem Solvers

Skin care SOS – you asked, we answered

Verity Douglas
Writer and expert6 years ago
View Verity Douglas's profile

Although we've got a whole host of bloody brilliant beauty solutions at CB Towers, sometimes it's tricky to work out exactly what your "problem skin" needs. So we've reached out to you lovely lot via {Instagram} (if you're not following us, hop to it!) asking about your most pertinent skin care 'mares and put our expert heads together to provide you with the solutions. Although the responses came back thick and fast, we've gathered together the most common issues. Do let us know via the comments section, {Insta} or {Twitter} how you get on. And don't forget our hashtag #thisisskin.

“I'm plagued with dark circles.. and no concealer will cover all day without creasing. I hate looking like a raccoon all the time!”

Firstly, we assume you're getting enough sleep and ditching the caffeine.... (sure you are!) But your dark circles are chronic, then it's probably genetic. And while no under eye product will banish dark circles entirely, {Odacite's Eye Contour Serum} gets damn close, with brightening hero ingredient sarsaparilla. It's got a glowing 5* review, with CB Customer Silvia commenting: "The only eye product I have used and noticed a difference in my dark circles ... I have tried so many eye products and spent a fortune and never been happy until I tried this." We rest our case.

When it comes to concealers, make sure you start from the inner corner of the eye and blend around the lower eye socket, all the way up to the temple (gently tapping it in with your ring finger as you go). We like to make what we call a "{BECCA} sandwich". Firstly we prime the area with their {Backlight Targeted Colour Corrector} to balance out any blueish tinge (the 'Papaya' shade is particularly good for dark skin). Then we follow up over the top with their wonderfully blendable {Ultimate Coverage Concealing Crème} that doesn't leave a chalky finish or migrate into creases. Finally, we top it off with their new {Under Eye Brightening Setting Powder} which not only helps keep the concealer in place, but also contains brightening pigments to further lift the area (clever, huh?)

Other hacks? The paler you are, the more pronounced your dark circles will tend to be (especially if you have dark brown or black hair, take it from your humble author) so there's no better time to bronze with {Tan Luxe's The Face}. Shimmering eyeshadow blended at the inner corners of each eye also works a treat. {Stila's Magnificent Metals Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow} in 'Kitten' is our go-to.

“How do I deal with acne and scarring? For years I had beautiful skin and the last six months it's like I'm going through puberty again. It really makes me feel ugly”

First things first, pop those omega 3s supplements. Why? Acne is caused by inflammation in the gut (which sends skin into oil-overdrive), and omega 3 fatty acids work to calm things internally. It will probably take a month for you to see its effects, but it'll be worth the wait. {Perricone MD's Omega 3} supplements will last you around 9 months. Cutting out stuff like sugar, alcohol, caffeine and dairy (all major causes of inflammation) may also help.

If you want to invest, you can go high-tech with ZIIP Beauty's 5-star rated {Nano Current Skincare Device} which works to blitz acne via an electrical current (without upsetting the skin the process). The rave reviews it's had from CB customers speak for themselves.

Topically, salicylic acid is your best friend, going deep into the pores to give them a thorough clear-out and send blemishes packing. You can find it in {Kate Somerville's EradiKate Acne Treatment} in addition to exfoliating sulphur. It's also one of the star ingredients in {Sunday Riley's U.F.O Ultra Clarifying Face Oil} which also contains neroli and chamomile to reduce redness.

For scarring, use a resurfacing night treatment twice or three times a week. You can't go wrong with Alpha H's best-selling {Liquid Gold} (whose founder created it to deal with her own acne), which exfoliates and speeds up cell turnover with the help of good old glycolic acid.

When it comes to covering up acne, you might be tempted to cake your skin in make up, but this will only clog your pores and aggravate the condition. Instead use a special foundation that's designed to deliver full coverage that you won't need to apply with a spade. {Jouer's Essential High Coverage Cream Foundation} is oil-free, mattefies a greasy mush and contains calming chamomile and cucumber to reduce redness.

Lastly, it goes without saying, don't poke and prod at your face - or touch it with grubby fingers. Squeezing red lumps under the skin will make them angrier and lead to scarring (use a warm damp flannel or teabag compress to bring it to a head). And wash those make-up brushes and sponges on the regs, unless you want bacteria transfer (niiiiice).

“Please help me deal with early signs of ageing (e.g. loss of firmness, brightness and fine lines)”

Your type of concern is what skin acids were made for. They gently exfoliate and encourage skin to renew itself at a faster rate, plumping out fine lines and leaving your complexion looking radiant and bouncier in the bargain. The aforementioned {Liquid Gold} is brilliant for this, as is Sunday Riley's sought-after serum {Good Genes}, which stars lactic acid - a potent alpha hydroxy acid which does all of the above.

Facial massage is another good way to give your complexion a boost, increasing circulation to improve collagen production and firmness. {Sarah Chapman's The Facialift} sculpts the face with a special wishbone shape to hug your facial contours, while eight rotating heads and 48 massaging nodules go to work toning and refining. Another nifty tool is {Nurse Jamie's UpLift Facial Massaging Beauty Roller}, which features a rotating hexagonal wand with 24 tourmaline stones to wake up sluggish skin cells and tone up the muscles underneath.

“I have combination skin, yet it's dehydrated... the stuff of nightmares!”

It needn't be! Dehydration affects all skin types (yep, even you 'combination' lot with an oily t-zone). That's because it's not oil, but water that your skin is lacking. {Zelens Hydro Shiso Balancing Moisturiser} delivers a good glug of moisture thanks to a special lipid complex (phospholipids, sphingolipids and omegas-3 and -6) without overloading combination skin types, as it's ultra-light and non-greasy.

Choose masks that hydrate and exfoliate in one fell swoop - newcomer to The Cult, {Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask} contains a good glug of hyaluronic acid to hydrate, while alpha hydroxy acids refine and exfoliate, so oily areas won't become clogged and congested.

And for during the day, top up your hydration levels with a light mist that won't feel heavy on the skin. We're in love with {January Labs Restorative Tonic Mist}, which contains anti-bacterial witch hazel to keep any blemish-prone oily areas in check.

“I like to go in the sun but also suffer with hyper-pigmentation."

Sun exposure, it goes without saying, is the Worst Thing You Can Do for your skin - not least because it stimulates the skin's production of melanin which causes you to tan - but also leads to those dreaded dark spots. If you're pale, we suggest you fake a sun-kissed glow with {Tan-Luxe's The Face} instead.

But if you really can't live without a Vitamin D fix, try to stay out of the sun when the UVs are at their most powerful (around 11am-2pm) and wear a wide-brimmed hat and shades to shield your skin from the worst. Choose a heavy-hitting SPF and apply every two hours, or after you've been swimming. {Dr Dennis Gross's Dark Spot Sun Defense} is everything you could wish for and more. Containing high factor SPF 50, it protects against damaging UVA and UVB rays which are the main culprits of those dreaded sun speckles. It also deals with existing pigmentation whilst it protects thanks to a breakthrough, melatonin complex. *Round of applause for Dr. Dennis*

We'd also suggest weaving in {Niod's RE:Pigment} into your current skin care regime, which brightens skin wonderfully thanks to a potent cocktail of diglucosyl gallic acid, white shiitake ferment and red evodia fruit derivatives (that last ingredient is prized in Chinese medicine for its radiance-boosting brilliance). {Odacite's Hyperpigmentation Serum Concentrate (Papaya + Geranium)} is another winner when it comes to pigmentation woes, with powerful blend of resurfacing papaya and brightening geranium flower.

And if you're looking to even up your skin tone in the meantime, you can't go wrong with {Charlotte Tilbury's} marvellous {Magic Foundation} whose flawless, blendable coverage is second to none. Check out her below tutorial on how to use it to cover pigmentation, using a {Complexion Brush}.



“How do I cover redness?”

Redness or rosecea can effect us at any age, but rather than just cover it, we like to get to the root of the problem to ensure there's not much to cover in the first place. Hence we'd recommend taking a three-pronged attack. Firstly, apply {Leahlani Champagne Serum} morning and night - this is superb for calming and soothing, thanks to an anti-inflammatory concoction of chardonnay grapeseed, lavender, chamomile and orange oils, together with ALL the teas (organic green, white and rooibos to be exact).

Now when it comes to camouflaging it, you can't go wrong with {Cover FXColour Corrector in Green}. The green balances out the blotchy redness (clever eh?), just apply and blend with a sponge before putting on your foundation and concealer as normal.

And for any flare ups throughout the day, we keep {Aurelia Prebiotic Skincare's Calming Botanical Essence} in our handbags, which chills out the complexion with botanical extracts and calming crystals (it's great for fatigue and jet-lag too).

Verity Douglas
Writer and expert
View Verity Douglas's profile
Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...