Skin Secrets

14th December 2012

In the run up to Christmas you can be forgiven for eking the dregs out of your skin care pots and tubes, Says Mary Linehan. It could be something to do with being caught up in the last minute rush of the festive season, or that you’ve a hankering to test out the latest skincare so you’re making it last – in the hope that it makes its way onto Santa’s shopping list, of course…

But what do you do if you are caught short with a couple of weeks to go, so to speak? There’s his skincare to raid – it could make up for all the stealing he does from your ‘grooming’ products; or maybe even your baby’s nappy cream? But, if you’re smart, you could also reach for your teenage daughter’s products.

A cursory glance at a typical ingredients list will tell you that it’s not that different to your own anti-aging products. Not tested on animals would seem to be a prerequisite – as do the anti-aging antioxidants contained in the superfoods – berries (straw, blue and goji) and blackcurrants and kakadu plums – and the moisturising, protective and, importantly, the healing properties of vitamins A and E, rosehip, aloe vera, plus, of course, the butters – shea and apricot.

Amie is the creation of ex-Estée Lauder Marketing Executive, Fiona Parkhouse. She was inspired by her 16 year old daughter’s struggle to find an effective, affordable, natural – and contemporary – range that was free from harsh and aggressive chemicals. Amie works with consultant dermatologist Dr Susan Mayou, who says “Teen skin differs from adult skin in two ways: firstly it is up to 20% thinner than skin at adulthood and so can be more sensitive. Also, it’s subject to hormonal changes that come with puberty which can increase oiliness and the tendency to break out into spots and blemishes.”

Also an advocate of the gently-does-it approach is Good Things, a range developed by award-winning beauty writer, Alice Hart-Davies, who has two teenage daughters, Molly 17 and Beth 16. Alice’s mantra is ‘making the most of young skin’, and she’s very firmly of the ‘moisturise, hydrate and nourish’ school of thought. Her range is packed full of superfoods of the anti-aging antioxidant type, incorporated for their soothing, anti-inflammatory benefits.

“I wouldn’t pinch my daughters’ make-up but I steal their skincare with confidence – because it’s my own brand, Good Things – so I know what goes into the formulations,” she says. “My mission is to get girls into good skincare habits in their teens, which will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives and the range is all about gentle cleansing and care, with added superfruit beauty boosters (such as antioxidant blueberry and moisturising fig extract. So really, it's good for anyone.”

But as problem-solvers, how do they perform? Are they good for older skins showing signs of ageing, or sensitivity ?

Elizabeth’s Daughter is specifically formulated for teen skin, but they have spread their message to include mothers, too. They advocate using natural products that protect and nourish from all the chemicals we are using on a daily basis. Spokesperson Catkin Wemyss Bodmer says “Today, even more than ten or twenty years ago, we are being bombarded by pollutants in the atmosphere, which are not only making people more allergic, but also making more and more people have sensitive and sensitised skin. It takes a matter of seconds for these alien pollutants and penetrate right down to cell level, which is why it’s important to put up a natural and gentle skin friendly barrier to lessen the blow on the skin.”

All these brands believe in the message that by gently cleansing, nourishing and moisturising (and at every stage hydrating the skin as naturally as possible without parabens, sulphates and petrochemicals), both young – and more mature – skins can reap the benefits over time.

If you look at the retail price, there’s a lot to be said for teenage-targeted products there, too, although the final word should go to Alice Hart-Davies: “…reaching for your daughter’s moisturiser is better than nothing. But, if you’re in your forties like me, you’ll want heavy-duty anti-ageing serums to finish off with, rather than her lightweight oil-free moisturiser!”

A useful temporary solution, then, rather than a long-term treatment programme.

Star Products…

Amie Radiant Dawn Exfoliating Daily Wash (£4.95): a gentle gel face wash, completely free from skin-drying sulphates. The green apple and lemon purify and refresh; and the natural exfoliating blueberry seeds lift away oiliness, dirt and grime; the Vitamin E bursting beads soften and condition. Good for oilier skin types where adult-onset acne occurs due to hormonal activity.

Good Things Five Minute Facial Mask (£5.99): a beauty-boosting quick fix. Green clay and kaolin gently draw out impurities, avocado oil moisturises, goji berry extract soothes, and willow bark extract is added for instant radiance. Great for all skin types in need of a miracle!

Elizabeth’s Daughter Soothing and Glossing Balm (£8): a hero product, originally formulated to condition and nourish lips and skin that were mildly irritated. Delicious apricot butter softens, shea butter and aloe vera work together to protect. Added rosehip seed oil and meadowfoam seed oil are full of naturally occurring vitamins A and E. Especially good for irritated, wind-burned cheeks and nose and hard-working hands, nails and cuticles.

Green People OY! Cover & Clear Spot It (£7.95): if you’re struck down before a big night out and don’t want to cover up too much, this is a great tinted moisturiser that conceals blemishes; it’s bursting with Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, plus green tea, pineapple and tea tree.

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