Happy New Year all! I’m not usually one for making New Year’s resolutions, but, as I’ll be reaching the big 3-0 this year (eek!), I think making more of an effort with skincare might be one of mine for 2017.
I’ve never been ultra fussy when it comes to choosing skincare products – usually my only criteria is that they have to be natural, or at least contain some natural ingredients, and free from parabens and other nasties. So I was intrigued to find out more about a new-to-me brand called iS Clinical, a cosmeceutical skincare line that uses pharmaceutical-grade botanical ingredients, at a blogger event held at Bristol’s S-Thetics Clinic in Queen Square at the end of last year.
The evening was led by Sherina Balaratnam, a cosmetic doctor with an extensive background in plastic and reconstructive surgery, who took us through the benefits of iS Clinical products as well as offering advice on how to take care of our skin.
We were then shown to the treatment room for a demonstration of the VISIA machine (a fancy digital imaging machine that looks at eight key areas of your skin to identify both the positive aspects and where it might need a bit of extra help) and the Fire & Ice facial, a treatment designed to treat problematic skin, reduce fine lines and encourage cellular renewal – definitely something I’d love to treat myself to one day.
While not all of us can afford to get high-end facials on a regular basis, there are lots of things we can do at home every day to look after our skin – starting with these top tips from S-Thetics.
Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse. Put down the face wipes! Cleansing is one of the most important steps in a skincare routine, and a quick clean with a face wipe won’t be enough to take off the day’s grime and makeup. Instead, invest in a quality cleanser and take time to massage it onto your skin to give your face a thorough but gentle cleanse.
Prevention is always better. It’s easy to forget about skincare when you’re young, but if you start looking after your skin early you’ll thank yourself later (as an almost-30-year-old I can definitely vouch for this!). Avoid sun damage, try not to over-indulge in alcohol, get early nights, drink enough water and invest in the best products your budget will allow, preferrably with anti-aging ingredients, in your early 20s.
Wear sunscreen every day. I am definitely guilty of not following this advice, but it is SO important (yes, even in grey, rainy England). Clouds don’t stop those pesky UV rays, so wearing sunscreen every day is a must to protect your skin from cancer and premature aging.
Give it time. Your skin is in a 4-6 week cycle, so when you try a new product you need to give it a chance to do its thing rather than continually switching. A moisuriser that doesn’t seem to do anything at first may just work wonders when you’ve been using it for long enough!
After the talks and demos, we were each given mini samples of the Cleansing Complex, Youth Eye Complex, Super Serum, Cool Serum, Active Serum and Extreme Protect SPF to try.
I don’t like to use too many different products as my skin can be quite sensitive so I wasn’t sure about using so many serums, but I had no problems with these. They are all lightweight and non-greasy, and you only need to use a few drops. My skin felt refreshed and tingly after applying them, especially the Cool Serum and Active Serum – and I definitely noticed an improvement in the overall look and feel of my skin after just a couple of weeks.
iS Clinical skincare is more expensive than the brands I usually use, but I don’t mind spending more on skincare that actually works, so I would certainly consider adding a few iS Clinical products to my usual routine. If you’re debating which of the products from the range to invest in, these three are my pick of the bunch:
The Extreme Protect SPF 30. Sunscreen always gives me spots (even the fancy ones that are meant to be specifically for your face) but this one didn’t, so it’s a winner with me. Plus, it has a lovely creamy, non-greasy feel to it which has the added bonus of giving a nice smooth base for makeup.
The Youth Eye Complex. I could feel this working as soon as I put it on – it feels refreshing and tingly, and in the short time I used it I did notice an improvement in the skin around the eye area, so I would love to see the results if I applied this on a regular basis.
The Active Serum. Okay, so it’s definitely not cheap, at £68 for 15ml and an eye-watering £122 for 30ml – but, for me, it did what it says on the bottle and made my skin look brighter and feel softer (although I’d have to use it for longer to test its anti-aging claims!). Plus, apparently it’s a hit with celebs like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, so what’s good enough for them…
*iSClinical provided me with samples for review, but opinions are all my own!