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The product textures that work best for your skin type and concern

When considering which skincare products are right for you, there may be one crucial factor to consider that you haven’t thought about. Stylist looks into which textures suit each skin type and concern.

From the basics like day and night moisturisers to the flashier products likelactic acid peels and essences, the beauty world’s skincare offering seems to expand every year. But finding a skincare routine ideal for your skin isn’t just about navigating lists of ingredients and endless product categories, you also need to consider the formula’s texture.

A product’s texture actually makes more of a difference than you think. Different skin types will absorb thicker creams and thinner liquids differently, and this may affect the results you get from using a product.

When our skin absorbs product, there are three barriers it has to penetrate: the epidermis, the dermis and the subcutaneous tissue. There’s a lot of layers to get through and some ingredients actually absorb better than others. For instance, a retinol of any strength absorbs a lot easier than other ingredients which may take more than five minutes to sink into the skin.

We spoke to FOREO’s skincare therapist, Chris Luckham about which product textures work best for each skin type and concern.

Which textures are best for acne-prone skin?

The cleanser: acne-prone skin can be sensitive to certain textures such as foams, but other formulas work more efficiently. “You’ll want to focus on gel like a perhaps a salicylic acid based cleanser. These ingredients really penetrate into the pores,” says Luckham.

The exfoliator: it’s best to avoid physical scrubs to reduce the risk of aggrivating the skin. Instead, opt for a liquid exfoliator if you do use one. Try Paula’s Choice Calm 1% BHA Exfoliant, £26, if you’re looking for a gentle exfoliant that still works to unclog pores.

The mask: Clay and cream textures will be your best friend when it comes to masks. “Products containing cica, witch hazel, green tea and allantoin all work really well for this skin condition,” adds Luckham.

Which textures are best for skin with rosacea?

The cleanser and moisturiser: “Stick to milky or creamy textures for cleansers and moisturisers. Always use a device like the FOREO Luna to cleanse as this will exfoliate daily without any harshness.” Try SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser, £35.

The face mask: it’s best to stick to light, creamy textures as they don’t aggrivate the skin as much as clay and oil-based masks when you remove them. Ingredients wise, there are a few that may work best. “Try rosehip which is really calming, ceramides that help keep in moisture and niacinamide as this supports ceramides.” Niacinamide is known for its redness reducing powers. 

Which textures are best for dry and dehydrated skin?

The cleanser: embrace the creamy and milky textures, as they’re best for maintaining moisture levels. “Humectant based toners are also a great at providing a hydration hit and will only make the next steps more effective. Try hyaluronic acid or niacinamide based formulas,” says Luckham.

The moisturiser: go for a thicker cream, like Cerave’s Moisturising Cream, £13. “Look for ceramide or hyaluronic acid based moisturisers which don’t just rely on silicone. They offer a false sense of hydration,” explains Luckham. 

The face mask: hydrating overnight masks like the thin gel-like mask from Drunk Elephant’s F-balm Electrolyte Water Facial, £44, really seals in moisture. Gel textures are usually cooling and hydrating and infused, perfect for drier skin in need of moisture.

Which textures are best for oily skin?

The toner: liquid acid toners are great for decongesting pores without stripping skin.“Exfoliate using a toner focused around salicylic or lactic acid as this can help declog pores.”

The moisturiser: “Keep your day moisturiser light, look for oil-free formulas that are usually much more gel-like. In the evening make sure to feed the skin with a thicker textured cream. Hydration is key even when we suffer with excess oiliness,” recommends Luckham. Try Kate Somerville’s Oil Free Moisturiser, £55, for the evening.

The face mask: similar to clay masks for acne skin, face masks that unclog pores are important for oily skin. Clay is known for being great at absorbing excess oil. Try Sand & Sky’s Australian Pink Clay Mask, £41.90. 

Which textures are best for combination skin?

The cleanser: focus on hydrating cleansers like CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser, £9.50, that are usually water-based and have a lighweight cream texture. “Put even more of a focus on hydration, because this skin type craves deep hydration in certain areas,” explains Luckham. 

The moisturiser: a lightweight cream would work best, like Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, £26. “Try incorporating hyaluronic acids, ceramides and niacinamide in your moisturisers.”

The face mask: double masking is a great option for combination skin as it targets each area specifically. If you’re looking to tone down oiliness, clay textures work best, whilst exfoliating, resurfacing and gel masks suit all skin types. 

If you’re an avid Stylist fan, you’ll know it’s not always possible to find an issue of our magazine. Often they’re gone before you head into work (they disappear fast!), or you live in a part of the UK where you can’t get your hands on a copy. Add to this the fact that millions of us are not commuting right now, and we wanted to ensure you don’t miss out on the magazine any longer.

Which is why we’re delighted to let you know that Stylist magazine is now available in a digital format, both for Apple and Android users, allowing you to download the full magazine directly to your smartphone or tablet, wherever you may be.

Pricing for our digital magazine starts at just 99p for a single issue, or £21.99 for a full year’s subscription –that’s less than 50p a week!Simply click on the link to activate your Stylist app download from either the Apple store or Google Play and enjoy!

Images: Getty images and courtesy of brands.

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This is Hands Down The Best Chemical Exfoliant for People With Sensitive Skin

The Splurge is our recurring column dedicated to expensive beauty products that are not only worth it, but also support COVID-19 relief efforts. This week, why we're rebuying Farmacy's Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum, despite the $58 price tag.

Swapping out your physical exfoliant for the chemical variety is all fun and games until you realize it gives your skin the same level of irritation. Typically, the tingling feeling goes away after about two weeks. But if it hasn't, or your skin is generally prone to sensitivity, then you should definitely swap out whatever you're using now for Farmacy's Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum. 

What makes this AHA/BHA complex stand out from the rest is that the formula includes not only hyaluronic acid to pump up the skin's moisture levels, but also a proprietary honey blend for added hydration and antioxidant benefits. The exfoliating properties include gentle acids from hibiscus flowers, so you will still notice a reduction in hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles — just without any drying side effects. 

Farmacy Honeymoon Glow

To buy: $58; sephora.com

I personally love to use this serum on nights when my skin is either freaking out or feels a little dry. After keeping it as a mainstay in my bathroom for months, I know it's going to get the job done, and give me healthy glow by morning, all without throwing my skin further out of whack. 

VIDEO: Why Not Give Face Yoga a Try?

Another reason why I support splurging on this product more than ever before is because Farmacy is supporting COVID-19 relief efforts. The brand will be donating 10,000 meals over the next 30 days to Feeding America, and has set up a donation page for the initiative, where they will be matching each contribution. 

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Simple five-minute skin routine to follow during coronavirus pandemic

The simple five-minute skincare and makeup routine EVERY woman should follow if they’re working from home during the coronavirus pandemic

  • Beauty expert Zoe Foster-Blake shared her five-minute skin and makeup regime
  • Zoe, 39, said working from home doesn’t mean you don’t look after your skin
  • Zoe said things like SPF are still important, as is blusher with video camera meets
  • She previously shared why you have been applying concealer wrong all the time 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Beauty expert Zoe Foster-Blake has shared the five-minute face routine every woman should follow while they’re working from home during the coronavirus pandemic – and why even though you’re no longer in an office, it’s important to look after your skin.

The 39-year-old former beauty editor and founder of Go-To said she has been working from home for about 10 years, and during this time, she has perfected the ‘five-minute face’.

‘It’s a very simple routine and gives me everything I need for the day in terms of skincare, as well as little bit of makeup so I feel like a human if I need to jump on a video call,’ Zoe said in an Instagram video. 

So what do you need to do? 

Scroll down for video 


Beauty expert Zoe Foster-Blake has shared the five-minute face routine every woman should follow while they’re working from home during the coronavirus pandemic (pictured before and after)

First things first, Zoe said you should always start by cleansing.

What are the five skincare steps?  

1. Water-based cleanser

2. Mist

3. Vitamin C serum

4. Facial oil or face cream

5. SPF 

She uses Go-To’s water-based cleanser to get rid of any residue product from the night before, and then applies a mist before she puts on her serums because ‘active serums like moist skin’.

‘I use vitamin C serums every day, which are really good for evening out the skin tone and brightening the complexion,’ Zoe said. 

She finishes with Go-To’s facial oil, which is ‘light and nourishing’ and gives her skin a ‘glow-y boost’, before applying SPF 15 sun cream – just to ensure she has enough sun protection for a day spent indoors.

‘Just remember, the general order that you should apply your products is light and water-based and thin and active to thick and nourishing,’ Zoe said.

It’s also important to wear sun cream even if you are inside, she said, because you might be sitting near a window, and you can also leave your skin open to UV rays without any protection on. 


When it comes to makeup, Zoe (pictured doing her makeup) said a little bit of base can help to counteract the harshness of video cameras, while blush and brows will make you feel human

Zoe (pictured) curls her eyelashes and applies some Snapscara mascara with a dash of shimmer eyeshadow by Trinny London, which ensures her eyes look ‘awake’ and ready to go

What are the key makeup items to use?

1. Foundation or tinted moisturiser

2. Concealer

3. Mascara

4. Brow gel and pencil

5. Eye shimmer

6. Cream blusher 

7. Eyeliner 

Once you have your skincare on, it’s time to move across to makeup.

While Zoe said base isn’t always essential, the beauty guru did add that the cameras on video calls can be ‘harsh’ and so it can be a good idea to apply a little bit of extra base.

‘I love this mineral-based Vapour foundation that I picked up in the States,’ Zoe said. 

‘It’s quite oily, which I love as it helps to make my skin feel dewy. I put it on with a BeautyBlender or else it just gets stuck on my fingers.’

Following this, the 39-year-old said she uses her middle finger to apply a little concealer lightly to her under-eyes and around her nose.

‘Don’t press too hard or it just exacerbates the lines,’ she said. 

Zoe then curls her eyelashes with a lash curler and applies some Snapscara mascara with a dash of shimmer eyeshadow by Trinny London, which ensures her eyes look ‘awake’ and ready to go.

Zoe (pictured) said that as she has got older, she has found she needs more definition on the lashline than she did previously – and so she tightlines the top of her eyes

‘As I’m getting older, I’ve found I need more definition on the lashline than I did previously,’ Zoe said.

‘What I do for that is tight-lining the top lashes, which I find makes me eyes look less hooded and more awake.’

Zoe uses a budget Covergirl eyeliner on the inner corner of her lashline to define and lift her eyes, and then applies a brow pencil and gel to her eyebrows.

She finishes with a cream blusher, which she applies to her cheeks, brow bones and finally to her lips for some colour.

‘You might not think it, but now you can’t go and see your facialist for a while, we need to do the heavy lifting at home,’ Zoe said.

The upside down triangle trick (pictured) is said to lift your look and hides any under-eye circles while brightening your face


Zoe Foster-Blake said you should instead apply concealer in the inner corners of your eyes, because you’re trying to highlight the dark areas, ‘not add extra makeup where you don’t need it’

Previously, the beauty expert revealed why you should be avoiding the tried-and-tested approach of applying concealer in an upside-down triangle and instead just dotting concealer in the inner corner of your eyes.

‘I recommended not doing this thing that a lot of videos might tell you to do, especially as you get older,’ Zoe said , while she imitated applying concealer in the upside down triangle way. 

‘Just do it in the corner there because you’re just trying to highlight the dark areas, not add extra makeup where you don’t need it.’

Zoe recommends gently dabbing concealer into the inner corners of your eyes with warmed-up fingers.

She also swears by patting a little bit into the outer corners and over the eyelids to act as a base for eyeshadow.

‘I can’t understand why anyone would use a concealer that makes them look tired and old under there,’ Zoe said.

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Deciem's Nicola Kilner on Continuing to Build a Successful Brand After Tragedy

Welcome to Beauty Boss, a reoccurring series in which we spotlight the power players driving the beauty world forward. Consider this your chance to steal their get-ahead secrets, and grow from the real-life lessons they’ve learned on the job.  

The Ordinary is one of the most-hyped skincare brands on the internet — and for good reason.

When the Canadian skincare brand first burst onto the scene in 2016, it was nearly impossible to find products with quality, clinical ingredients at an affordable price. But they made a $7 hyaluronic acid serum and a $6 retinoid serum, both with formulas that work

While The Ordinary quickly racked up legions of dedicated, passionate fans because of its serums' reliable prices and results, the products were soon overshadowed by messy internet drama surrounding its parent company Deciem's late co-founder Brandon Truaxe. 

Aside from Truaxe's initial revolutionary vision for The Ordinary and the company's other brands, the reason Deciem has overcome its dark period — and become more profitable than ever — is because of co-founder and CEO Nicola Kilner. After briefly leaving Deciem in February 2018, she returned to the company in July of that year. 

In October 2018, Kilner was named CEO of the company. In her new role, Kilner repaired the company's structure and business operations, while keeping the spirit of Truaxe's vision. Today, The Ordinary is sold in-store and online at Sephora and Ulta, in addition to Deciem's own site. 

Here, Kilner shares how she got her start in the beauty industry, why Deciem was able to overcome its darkest days, the company's best brand you aren't using (yet), and more. 

How did you get started in the beauty industry? 

When I went university to study business management, I was scouted by Boots, the big health and beauty retailer in the U.K. One of my placements was on the beauty training team, and it just clicked. Growing up, I didn’t think about being in the beauty industry. I wanted to be an entrepreneur and do something I was passionate about. When I stared working at Boots, it all fell into place and I felt like I was where I was supposed to be. After graduating, I worked as a beauty buyer for Boots and that’s how I met Brandon. Before founding Deciem, he had another skincare brand called Indeed Labs. About seven years ago, I left Boots to join Deciem when it was starting up, and I’ve never looked back.  

You went back to Deciem after being terminated by Brandon. Not everyone would do that. What made you want to return to the company? 

We often referred to the bond I formed with Brandon and the other team members as “the Deciem family.” It always felt like we were doing something so much more than just work and that we were simply colleagues. If Boots fired me, I don’t think I’d ever go back, but this was a completely different circumstance. Brandon was someone I loved deeply and he was suffering. But, it wasn’t just Brandon suffering, all of our our colleagues were suffering too. Deciem was my baby, and I had been there since day one. So, it was never even a question of whether or not to come back. It was like they never really lost me. In the short time I was away, I was still in contact with Brandon and different members of the team. 

Often times when brands experience controversy online, it doesn't result in more people buying their products. Deciem's challenging period was its most profitable. Why do you think this happened? 

The Ordinary launched at the end of 2016, so the brand was just over a year old when all of this trouble started. As much as The Ordinary exploded within the beauty industry, the reality was that most people hadn’t heard of the brand. Even today it’s not a household name. It definitely raised awareness about Deciem and The Ordinary, and thankfully we have a lot of good customer testimony and reviews for our products. I think along with the story, people were also sharing how the products changed their skin and the really accessible price points, so the message still spread.

Throughout everything happening, I think people could see that the story was about someone suffering with mental health, which as a society I think we’re all becoming more aware of and trying to understand. I think people realize there’s a whole team around the company and they shouldn’t penalize them for it. 

People are more knowledgeable on skincare ingredients than ever before. Instead of cute names, The Ordinary’s products are simply labeled with their ingredients. How do you think the brand has contributed to this shift in how people buy skincare products? 

I think there wasn’t as much transparency with products to allow this to happen. Today, active ingredients and percentages are often laid out, but we take it to the next level on our website by sharing the pH level, that it’s gluten-free, along with all the other information you could need. The audience has now become more educated because the information is out there with this new brand, but now they’re demanding it from other brands. I think it’s something we’re going to continue to see impact the industry, and I think the more information the audience has, the more conversations will happen. The nice thing with The Ordinary is that it feels like a community has formed. Our Facebook fan group [it’s independent from the brand] has over a 100,000 members and it’s amazing to see people helping others with their regimens.

How do The Ordinary's fans effect the products the brand launches? 

It doesn’t influence how we make products as much as how we improve them. Once a product is out there, we get feedback on the packaging, the sizes, and the need for recycling, so it definitely has a lot of impact on that side. When it comes to making new products, one of the things we always try to do is make sure most of our innovation comes from our lab. I think it’s something that surprising because traditionally, many brands have a marketing team that does research, comes up with trends, and then develops products from there. We try to put science at the front of everything. 

VIDEO: Double Cleansing Is the Foolproof Way to Really Get All of Your Makeup Off

The Ordinary has become Deciem’s most popular brand, but the company has over 10 other brands. What brand do you think people are sleeping on? 

To me, it’s NIOD. It’s a brand our scientists have so much passionate about, and they really put a lot of time into developing each product and its ingredients. The line looks at a long-term view of the skin and skin health, and from that perspective it’s a different approach. You’ll get quick results with the The Ordinary, but NIOD works in a different way. One of the products I would recommend from NIOD is the Multi Molecular Hyaluronic Complex. It has fifteen different types of hyaluronic acid compounds in it, so it’s really looks at all of the different things that molecule can do. The other unique thing about NIOD is that the formulas are always evolving. As new technology is discovered, the products are reformulated to reflect the latest innovation. 

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