Ever found yourself befuddled by the countless skin care products on the shelves? From creams and gels to scrubs, exfoliants and masks, it can be hard to sort the useful from the harmful. That’s why Unprocessed hosts Clara and Grace have spoken to skincare consultant James Vivian to get to the bottom of it.
Dermal therapist and Viviology curator James has dedicated his career to helping people understand and manage their skin health – and, as most of us know, it can be tricky and complicated territory. It was after his own transformative facial 19 years ago that the skincare guru realised the benefits of quality treatment. Before we dive into how to get started on your own routine, let’s bust a few myths. James says, contrary to popular belief, that it’s not about avoiding chemicals, but avoiding the “wrong” kind of chemicals.
“A lot of people go down this natural road because they think ;I don't want any chemicals in my skincare,'" he says. “Air is a chemical, water is a chemical, every single thing that we consume is a chemical.
“So, it's not about being chemical free, it's about using the right chemicals on the skin and with cosmeceutical skincare when it's formulated.”
James also says one of the key elements of figuring out your skins needs is to seek expert help – it’s all too easy to be overwhelmed by the excess of information out there, and sometimes we may be missing that professional knowledge required to get to the bottom of our skin problems.
“So many people are out there, you know, self-diagnosing their skincare, their skin type, their skincare concerns and they're very motivated and they spend a lot of money and time, but there's not necessarily getting where they, they want to be,” James told Unprocessed. “So, just, just realising you're not the expert and that there are people out there that can and help pair you with the right skin care for your skin type and for your skin concerns, I think is always the first place to start.”
Now not everyone has the time or money to hit up their local dermatologist or skin care clinic, but James says this doesn’t mean you can’t work wonders for your skin at home. His advice? Start with the basics.
“I have this philosophy that if you don't have the right cleanser, moisturiser and sun cream for your skin, then everything else that you apply subsequently just isn't going to work well,” the skin guru says. “If you don't have your basics, right, then quite often everything that you apply subsequently won't touch the side.”
Let’s take a look at some of those essentials James reveals:
- Cleanser: “If you’re going to go to the effort of applying anything into the skin, you need that clean skin,” James says, added that it’s important to gently wash your skin in the morning so as to reduce the oil and sweat, without stripping your skin of those hydrating oils. It’s also important to wash off your sunscreen and any makeup at the end of the day.
- Moisturiser: “A moisturiser is going to lock everything in,” James says. “Our skin's prone to natural dehydration and sensitivity particularly as the weather gets cooler.”
- Sunscreen: As one of the biggest contributors to skin damage, exposure to the sun should be reduced – it also doesn’t hurt to reduce your risk for skin cancer too! “For so many people, their concerns are around sun damage, around premature ageing and signs of ageing.”
Not too complicated, right? These are affordable, easy steps we can all take to keep our skin hydrated and protected. The skincare consultant says most people come to him with particular points of concern – take a look at some of the biggest ones:
- Premature signs of ageing
- Hyper pigmentation
- Fine lines around the eyes
While many people may feel concerned, James says it’s important not to be manipulated by misleading skincare claims or even using products that aren’t geared to manage your areas of interest.
“You shouldn't be using things that aren't targeting your concerns,” he says. “We speak to so many people who say that my concerns are A, B and C but their skincare is addressing D, E and F.
“And so, there's this disconnect between what a client wants from their skincare and what a skincare, what the skincare is actually able to do.”
Keen to learn more about how to treat your particular skincare issues and how long it will take to see results? Tune in to the latest Unprocessed podcast HERE to hear James’ top tips of advice and his easy-to-apply rules for your own at-home skincare routine.
Head on over to James’ website to learn more about his skincare advice and range of products and services to make getting started that much easier.