Sleep News

Supercharge Your Skincare Routine

20 Apr 20209.5 min read

Online searches for skincare have doubled over the past month, hitting peak popularity at the beginning of April. As many of us are staying at home, we have more time to spend on self-care, which includes looking after our skin.

Mattress Online has researched the most popular questions asked about our skin. We also spoke to beauty specialists to get their answers on what works and what doesn’t.

If you’re ready to supercharge your skincare routine, get the answers to your questions below – straight from the experts. Plus, you’ll find simple steps to the ultimate skincare routine.

Top 7 ‘how to’ skincare questions answered

We spoke to Chanele Rosa, Aesthetic Specialist for Nordlys at Candela Medical, to find out the answers to the most-asked ‘how to’ questions around our skin. Whether you want to banish spots or get a healthy glow, find out the best techniques below, straight from a beauty expert.

Top 7 Skincare Questions Answered

1. How to get clear skin?

Searches per year: 79,200

Expert advice: ‘Looking after your skin with a good skincare regime is key. Always wash your face before bed and after exercise. Never go to bed with a full face of makeup. Hydration also plays a role in achieving clear skin both from within and topically. Drink plenty of water and apply moisturiser daily.

For a quicker and more permanent solution, consider intense pulsed light (IPL) technology. These treatments use selective wavelengths to effectively remove skin blemishes such as pigmentation, redness, facial thread veins and active acne.’

2. How to get glowing skin?

Searches per year: 28,800

Expert advice: ‘A healthy diet and exercise play a key role in achieving that healthy glow. Regular exfoliation will increase cell turnover and improve that dull appearance. It is important to drink plenty of water to keep your body and skin nice and hydrated by flushing out those toxins.

3. How to get rid of dry skin?

Searches per year: 22,800

Expert advice: ‘Moisturise your skin daily by using ointments or creams that contain an oil, as they cause less irritation on the skin than lotions. I recommend hyaluronic acid as it’s like water for your skin. This boosts the moisture content in the skin and soothes and prevents moisture loss.  

Avoid hot showers, rather use warm water and apply moisturiser immediately after washing. Exfoliate to remove excess dry skin, as this will improve the skin’s overall texture.’

4. How to get rid of oily skin?

Searches per year: 19,200

Expert advice: ‘Use a lightweight, oil free moisturiser to keep your skin nice and hydrated. If your skin is dehydrated this can cause it to produce more sebum than it would usually. Using astringents can help remove excess oil and dirt in the skin. Avoid using them all the time as they can dry out even the oiliest skins.

There is an advantage to having oily skin as it is more resistant to wrinkles, minimising their appearance.’

Some natural astringents you could try are lemon, witch hazel and rose water.

5. How to get smooth skin?

Searches per year: 12,000

Expert advice: ‘Like everything a healthy diet and regular exercise is good for maintaining good skin. Hydrate from within, drink plenty of water and moisturise daily. Exfoliate your skin to remove excess dead skin. Hyaluronic acid helps reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles, retaining moisture and creating a plumping affect.

For a quick fix, smoother skin can be achieved by having non-ablative fractional laser treatment. The laser works by delivering a controlled injury to the skin by producing tiny columns of heat into the dermis. This will increase collagen production and create new skin.

The treatment improves skin texture, reduces pore size and softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, leaving your skin with a more even and smooth appearance.’

6. How to tighten skin?

Searches per year: 12,000

Expert advice: ‘Try radio frequency therapy, which is a non-invasive, effective treatment for skin tightening. It delivers heat to the tissue below the epidermis, stimulating collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production. This will soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and tighten loose skin.

The great thing about having this treatment is it can be done in your lunch break with no downtime.’

If you don’t want to try an aesthetic technique, there are other options for skin tightening. Try collagen tablets or use a cream which includes collagen in its ingredients. This can improve your skin’s elasticity and make your face look and feel firmer.

If you want to prevent sagging skin naturally, sun protection, a healthy diet and exercise are essential.

7. How to exfoliate skin?

Searches per year: 10,560

Expert advice: ‘There are two ways to exfoliate your skin, either physically or chemically.

A physical form of exfoliation is using a product that requires a scrubbing action. This could be a scrub applied with your hands. This can be done two to three times a week.

A chemical form of exfoliation is the use of acids that react with the skin by removing a build-up of dead skin cells and excess oil. Depending on the strength of the acids used, this type of exfoliation can be done once or twice a month.

Thousands of us are asking what’s good for our skin, but it seems we don’t want to know about pricey products. In fact, our study found most of us are asking about everyday items which you might find in your kitchen cupboards!

We spoke to Rebecca Saunders, Founder of Seekology and the former John Lewis Beauty Buyer, for her expert insight into common, everyday products and how they can work for our skin.

What's Good for Your Skin?

1. What vitamins are good for skin?

Searches per year: 22,800

Expert advice: ‘Skin is an organ and needs to be taken care of, both inside and out. The best way to start looking after your skin is to eat a varied and balanced diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, as well as good oils such as those found in avocadoes, nuts and oily fish.

A large number of vitamins play a part in overall skin health – from vitamin D, which can help suppress acne, to powerful antioxidants vitamin A and E. Eating sufficient vitamin C, found in many soft fruit and vegetable varieties, also supports your skin’s collagen development.

If you have particular skin concerns, it’s important to consult a specialist before making radical changes to your diet or before adding high-dose supplements into your daily routine.’

2. Is coconut oil good for skin?

Searches per year: 22,800

Expert advice: ‘Coconut oil is wonderful for skin on the body – there’s a reason it is often recommended as the first thing to use on a baby (in very small amounts) if they have dry skin patches.

Simply warm a little between clean palms until it takes on a more liquid consistency and apply gently to skin using fingertips. It’s just as good when found in a moisturiser.’

3. Is Aloe vera good for skin?

Searches per year: 10,560

Expert advice: ‘Aloe vera has been used in skincare and medicine across many cultures for centuries. It’s usually added to skincare products due to its soothing effect. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, as well as being a cooling treatment for light sunburn.’

4. Is Vaseline good for skin?

Searches per year: 8,640

Expert advice: ‘Vaseline, known as petroleum jelly, creates a barrier across the skin. Some people look to avoid this by-product from the petroleum industry, either due to concerns about its origin or its efficacy, as it does not allow the skin to breathe.

There are specialist creams available for dry skin that will deliver faster and more long-lasting benefits in terms of hydration.

Similarly, if you’re tempted to use it as a lip balm, I’d strongly recommend you try more gentle alternatives that will work with the skin’s natural barrier, such as those containing beeswax.’

5. Is green tea good for skin?

Searches per year: 7,080

Expert advice: ‘Green tea has antioxidant properties and is not only a healthier alternative to a cup of black tea or coffee, it is also increasingly being used in skincare products themselves.

There’s a belief that green tea used topically can help to treat acne and inflammation, although results in this area are not yet proven.’

6. Is olive oil good for skin?

Searches per year: 7,080

Expert advice: ‘Many people do swear by using olive oil on the skin, and last year it seemed that every celebrity was endorsing its use. However, it can cause irritation for those with sensitive skin and I certainly wouldn’t recommend using it on the face.

Instead, use a specialist facial oil. It’s still possible to find oils which are suitable for use on oily skin – that are natural and specifically designed for this purpose.’

7. What does toner do for your skin?

Searches per year: 7,080

Expert advice: ‘Toners can have different properties, including exfoliation, removing excess oil and providing additional cleansing or hydration, so it’s important to understand your skin’s needs and to try an appropriate toner for your skin type.

Many people now find that toner isn’t a necessity as part of their skincare regime due to advances in the formulations of cleansers and moisturisers, which mean their needs are already taken care of.

Some toners can be quite strong, so when introducing new elements into a skincare regime, do be careful and start adding just one product at a time. Apply on alternate days at first, in case of any reaction.’

How often should I do my skincare routine?

Every year, 1,080 of us ask ‘how often should I do my skincare routine’? We put it to our beauty experts – here’s what they said.

Chanele’s advice: ‘You should wash your face twice a day and straight after exercise.

Moisturiser should be applied at least once a day, but you will benefit more applying it twice a day. Serums and correctors are a great add on and can be applied once or twice a day.

Most importantly an SPF 30+ must be applied daily to protect the skin from harmful UV rays.’

Rebecca’s advice: ‘Without fail, you should be cleansing and moisturising as a minimum every morning and night.

Our skin’s exposure to make up, pollution and sunlight mean that we have different needs at different times of day, so putting on a sunscreen in the morning is crucial as we go into summer (even for the brief amounts of exercise we are taking outside these days), as well as a thorough cleanse at night.

I’d recommend more intensive treatments such as a mask once a week.’

Using the information provided by our beauty experts, we’ve created the ultimate skincare routine to perfect your pores. Read our 13 steps below to see what you should be doing every day to look after your skin.

13 steps to the ultimate skincare routine

The Ultimate Skincare Routine

How does sleep improve your skin?

Rebecca continues her advice by saying, ‘of course, a good night’s sleep is critical for good skin health’. But how does sleep improve your skin?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleeping for less than seven to nine hours can:

  • Stop your body from recovering at night, which helps to prevent wrinkles and dark circles.
  • Increase cortisol levels, a hormone that interferes with collagen production.
  • Raise stress levels, which can worsen skin conditions like acne and eczema.

If you want to see the effects of sleep deprivation for yourself, try our Instagram Tired Filter!

Don't forget to read our tips on how to get a good night’s sleep. We’ve also put together a research-based playlist – you can listen to our sleep soundtrack here. For more sleep news and advice, check out the Mattress Online blog.