Secrets of The Skincare Gurus

They tend to the skin of the rich and famous, but what are the top beauty experts’ own routines? We ask them to open their cabinets and share their secrets.

Have you ever wonderedwhat go-to productsare in the bathroomcabinets of dermatologists andfacialists? Whether they havethe ultimate skincare regimenor occasionally slip up andsleep in their make-up? Wechatted to five top expertsto find out exactly what goesdown in their day-to-dayroutine and what they splashtheir cash on you mightjust be surprised…

The medical and cosmetic consultant

Dr Anjali Mahto(cadoganclinic.com)A dermatologist bytraining, Dr Mahto’swork bridges the gapbetween traditional dermatology, beautytreatments and cosmetic medicine. Shespecialises in acne, moles and anti-ageingtherapies including laser treatment.

Morning ritual: Keep it simple.

‘My routine is relatively quick as I’m usuallypushed for time and don’t have the patienceto layer a lot of products on my skin. I thinkmultiple steps with numerous skincareproducts are unnecessary and can lead tobreak-outs. I use a foaming cleanser in themorning, followed up by a vitamin C serum,Heliocare 360 Gel Oil-Free SPF 50 (£31 for50ml; skinoracle.com) – it’s taken me manyyears of trial and error to find a high SPFthat won’t clog my pores and sits well undermake-up – and then apply my make-up. I

The Harley Street dermatologist

Dr Justine Hextall (harleymedical.co.uk)Using a holistic approach to treatment,Dr Hextall specialises in aestheticdermatology and is an expert onfillers and hair removal.

Secrets of The Skincare Gurus Photo Gallery



Morning ritual: Cleanse and calm

‘After my shower, I wash with either Avène Xerocalm AD Cleansing Oil (£15.50 for 400ml; boots.com) or Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser (£8.99 for 236ml; superdrug.com). When I rinse my face, both products leave my skin feeling hydrated and not indesperate need of a moisturiser, a good sign that my skin barriernot being disrupted and can continue to do its job. After washingI apply an active serum such as Skinceuticals CE Ferulic(£129 for 30ml; skinceuticals.co.uk). The vitamin C is a powerfulantioxidant that will protect my skin from the daily challenge of UVexposure, pollution and stress. My moisturiser varies dependingon hydration levels. If my skin is dry and irritated, I may use AvèneXerocalm AD Balm (£18.50 for 200ml; boots.com). I havesensitive skin, so if it’s red and irritated, I’ll use La Roche-PosayRosaliac AR Intense (£17 for 40ml; boots.com). Finally, I applya sun cream. I like Avène Very High Protection Mineral CreamSPF50+ (£13.50 for 50ml; boots.com), as it’s very light reflectiveand will protect me against visible light as well as UVB and UVAThe benefit of light-reflective sun cream is that it gives theimpression of bright, healthy skin, which is always a bonus!’

Evening ritual: Treat and correct

‘I’m very careful about over-exfoliating as I have a tendency to thread veins, but I use a flannel to gently rub away dead skin cells creams hyaluronic serum.’ and unwanted dirt and pollutants.I like DermaQuest Essential DailyCleanser (£30.50 for 177.4ml;harleymedical.co.uk). Skin should feelcalm and hydrated after washing – if you arereaching immediately for your moisturiser, you maywant to consider a gentler cleanser. Nighttime is suchan opportunity from a dermatology point of view.There are often eight hours to allow deep hydrationof the skin. Also, skin cells are regenerating, so applyingactive ingredients such as antioxidants and retinoids cansupport this process. I also see it as a time of correction, sosalicylic acid can be applied to spots or rich moisturisers undercotton gloves for chapped hands. I love Dermaquest’s EssentialB5 Hydrating Serum (£66 for 30ml; harleymedical.co.uk), which Isometimes combine with an oil to make a treatment mask whenmy skin is very dry.’

Beauty cabinet secret: Hydrating masks

‘I’m a massive fan of hydrating masks, andfavour the Eve Lom Rescue Mask (£35 for50ml; net-a-porter.com) and Biore Self-HeatingMinute Mask (£8.39; boots.com) if I want aninstant, pre-party glow.

Top tip:

Don’t cleanse in the shower‘I never wash my face until aftermy shower. I remove any soapyshampoo or shower gel off myface, as it will disrupt the pH ofskin and cause dryness.’ blend a mixture of Vichy Dermablend 3D Correction Foundation (£23 for30ml; vichy.co.uk) and NARS PureRadiant Tinted Moisturiser (£30 for 50ml;spacenk.com), followed by NARS CreamyConcealer (£23 for 6ml; lookfantastic.com).’

◗Evening ritual: Indulge in products

‘I tend to spend more time on evening skin care as I think the evening cleanse is important to remove the microbes, dirt and pollution that our skin has come into contact with during the day. I use a foamingcleanser first La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel(£12 for 200ml; feelunique.com), followed by Medik8 PoreRefining Cleansing Gel (£18 for 150ml; medik8.com) or MarioBadescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser (£15 for 177ml;harveynicols.com), then BIODERMA Sensibio H2O Make-upRemoving Micelle Solution (£10.80 for 250ml; feelunique.com)to remove any last traces of make-up and sunscreen. I’ll followthis up with a nighttime retinol-based product. New cells thatretinol encourages can be damaged by the sun, so it’s better touse it at night. I also try to have a healthy lifestyle, eating plentyof fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as regular exercising andensuring I get adequate sleep!’

Beauty cabinet secret: Charcoal masks

‘I use clay or charcoal masks maybe once weekly to keep my skin exfoliated. I like the Skinceuticals Clarifying Clay Masque (£57.75 for 60ml; skinceuticals.co.uk) and Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask (£25 for 100ml; origins.co.uk).’

Top tip: Get expert help

‘Not all skincare advice is good advice. Relying too much on celebrity endorsements, recommendations from bloggers and public figures can be a mistake and leads to many odd fads that can potentially damage your skin. It’s always worthwhile discussing issues with a dermatologist if there is any confusion.

The consultant dermatologist

Dr Sharon Wong (drsharonwong.com) Dr Wong’s work focuses on medicaland surgical treatments for a range ofskin conditions, and is one of the fewdermatologists in London who specialisesin hair and scalp disorders.

Morning ritual: Choose multi-taskers

‘I first use La Roche-Posay Physiological Make-Up RemoverMicellar Water Gel (£8.75 for 195ml; feelunique.com) as a facewash, followed by Skinceuticals Phloretin CF Serum (£150 for30ml; skinceuticals.co.uk) which is full of antioxidants. I thenapply La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultralight fluid SPF 50+(£16.50 for 50ml; boots.com). Normally, I use Extra SPF 25+Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturising Balm (£39 for 30ml;houseoffraser.co.uk) as it has light coverage, is super hydratingand smells heavenly! I use Avène Thermal Water Spray (£10for 300ml; boots.com) to freshen my skin during the day.’

Evening ritual: Use retinol intermittently

‘I use BIODERMA Sensibio H2O Make-up Removing MicelleSolution (£10.80 for 250ml; feelunique.com). Just before bed,I use Skinceuticals Emollience (£61.95 for 50ml; skinceuticals.co.uk) – a heavier moisturiser suitable for my skin type. As I havedry skin with a tendency to develop eczema(which I’ve had since childhood), I applySkinceuticals Retinol 0.3 (£51.45 for30ml; skinceuticals.co.uk) two to threetimes per week rather than every night.Retinoids and retinoid derivatives arevitamin A-based, scientifically provenanti-ageing compounds which work bystimulating new collagen productionand improving cell turnover. I use this atnight, as retinoids make your skin more sensitive to UV from the sun. I also use the Clinique SonicSystem Purifying Cleansing Brush (£79; clinique.co.uk) oncea week for a deeper cleanse. It uses vibration rather than circularmotions, which is less abrasive for sensitive skin types. Eczemagets worse with stress and during the winter months, so duringa flare-up, I’ll avoid all perfumed products and soaps. I washwith cream emollients and apply plenty of moisturiser.’

Beauty cabinet secret: Cost isn’t key

‘I spend around £30 (on average) a month. The key is to get theright ingredients for your skin type and skin problem. I use LaRoche-Posay, Avène and Cetraben and Bioderma, which areall inexpensive and accessible from pharmacies or online. Forover the counter anti-acne products, I would also recommend theGarnier Visibly Clear range and Dermalogica. For anti-ageingROC and Number 7 are also good, inexpensive brands.’

Top tip: Eat low-GI

‘I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t like treats. But I do try to keepprocessed and refined foods to a minimum. I’m conscious aboutincluding good fats and low-GI foods in my diet as there’s goodevidence to show high-GI foods create AGE (advanced glycationend products) complexes that damage collagen.’

The skin clinic founder

Lorraine Scrivener, Eden Skin Clinic (edenskinclinic.co.uk) Scrivener offers non-surgical skin treatments using non-invasive aesthetic technology along with expert advice.

Morning ritual: Make it count!

‘I like to keep my skincare routine short, buteffective. I cleanse with my Agera Ultra Calming Cleanser (£32for 250ml) and rinse off in the shower to save time. I then applyAgera Nano Eye Lift (£36.50 for 10ml) followed by Agera MagC Serum (£54.50 for 30ml), topped off with the most importantproduct that I wear every day – my Agera Daily MoisturizingProtector SPF 25 (£36 for 60ml; all edenskinclinic.co.uk).

Evening ritual: Double cleanse

‘I always double cleanse in the evening with Agera Ultra MildCleanser (£28.50 for 180ml) to make sure all my make-up isremoved. This is really important as the skin needs oxygen torepair itself. Make-up, if left on, deprives it of nutrients and slowsthe natural exfoliating process, which can leave the skin looking dull, dehydrated and could lead to breakouts! Next, I use my serum, a retinol one – a high dose of vitamin A, which helps to plump the skin and increase collagen production.’

Beauty cabinet secret:

Bea minimalist‘Believe it or not, mybathroom cabinet onlyhas a small selectionof products! I try oneproduct at a time, as toomany can be counteractivefor the skin! Skincareproducts can be like candy:

The skincare mogul

Lisa Goldfaden, co-founder of Goldfaden MD (goldfadenmd.com)Goldfaden is co-founder of the company withher father Gary. Their skincare products arenon-prescription, using active plant cells andantioxidant-rich botanicals.

Morning ritual: Use cold water

‘I wash my face with very cold water to help with any inflammation, then apply Goldfaden MD Brightening Elixir (£70 for 30ml), Bright Eyes (£48 for 15ml) and a drop of Fleuressence Oil (£105 for 30ml; all spacenk.com).’

Evening secret: Apply a mask

‘I prefer to exfoliate in the evening. Three times a week, I mix Doctor’s Scrub(£65 for 100ml) into Pure Start Cleanser (£32 for 150ml; both spacenk.com)and exfoliate my face, neck and chest. On the nights I don’t exfoliate, I’ll use amask. I have sensitive and reactive skin and can experience redness from all sortsof outside triggers, so I’m careful about how many times a week I exfoliate, theingredients I apply – especially on my eyes – and I hydrate my skin. My favouriteis Alchimie Forever’s Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask (£47 for 100ml;lookfantastic.com). I love how soft, bright and hydrated my skin feels and looksafterwards. My skin tends to be dry, so I layer an oil and night cream before bed.’


Beauty cabinet secret: Coconut oil,

‘You’ll find Goldfaden MD, Alchimie Forever, Drunk Elephant and a generic coconut oil (for hydration and for the delicious fragrance) in my cabinet. I’m very lucky that I house some of our product in my office. If I didn’t, I’d probably go broke buying beauty!’

Top tip: Don’t overdo it

‘One of the biggest mistakes someone can make when treating their skinis overuse of products. While you may experience short-term results,the long-term damage is not worth it. Over-peeling, over-exfoliation andover-use of retinol can cause irritation, redness and an increase in bloodvessels. You don’t need to use a peel, a scrub and an aggressive treatmentserum all at once. Too many peels and too many acids can damage your skinand dry your face out. I’ve learnt from my own over-use mistakes!’ having a large selection is satisfying, but they get forgotten about andunused.I do have a few Dermalogica (dermalogica.co.uk) essentials.For the important basics, such as a cleanser, moisturiser, eye creamand SPF, I spend around £100. If used correctly, these productsshould last well. Other additional products such as exfoliators andmasks will last longer as they’re only are used once or twice aweek. Don’t keep products way past the sell-by date. If it hasbeen open longer than a year, it’s time to say goodbye!’

Top tip: SPF is everything!

‘For me, SPF is the number one product on the list. It’s lovelyto have a tan and we do need vitamin D for good health,but too much tanning alters the cells’ DNA, causingpremature ageing, pigmentation and other sun-relatedconcerns. I love Colour Science Brush On Mineral SPF(£36; dermacaredirect.co.uk), a powder that convenientlyfits in the handbag for over-make-up application thoughoutthe day – great if you do a lot of sports outside – and it’s ahit with men too as it’s not greasy or messy. One applicationof SPF in the morning isn’t enough if you’re out and aboutday – reapplication is a must.

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