Tips & Tutorials

Skin Care Essentials from HQhair

Here at HQhair, you’ll often find us talking about the make-up trends and hair styles we love, but it’s not often we talk about skin care. When it comes to taking care of your skin, it’s important to remember that it is, after all, the base for your make-up and the better condition it’s in, the more ah-mazing your make-up will look! Whether you’re new to skin care or a fully fledged expert, we’ve put together our Skin Care Essentials to give you an insight into what kind of skin care goodies we love! But before we get started, make sure you know what skin type you are by checking out our ‘What Is My Skin Type?’ guide!

Skin Care Essentials – Cleanse

Cleansing your skin might sound like an obvious must, but do you know the benefits of different cleansers and their ingredients? It’s time to ditch the face wipes and understand what your skin needs! From the super simple to the slightly more complex, here’s our guide to cleansing! Find them and more over on our cleansers page!

Micellar Water & Cleansing Water

These waters are super quick and simple to use. You simply apply the water to a cotton pad and wipe your face clean! This magical water contains tiny molecules that dissolve impurities without stripping the skin, meaning that Micellar Cleansing Water’s can be used on even the most sensitive of skin! The water will remove oils, dirt and make-up by acting like a magnet when applied to a cotton pad and wiped over the face, meaning there is no need for any harsh rubbing – this definitely tops the list of our skin care essentials! Our top picks come from Garnier, REN and Bourjois!

Good for sensitive skin

Continue Reading: our guide to the best micellar water

Foaming Cleanser

The beauty of a foaming cleanser is that it is perfect for in-shower use. Simply wet your face, pump some foam onto your finger tips and massage into the skin, then rinse off with the shower, easy peasy! Although this might seem pretty thorough, a lot of foaming cleansers cannot fully remove all make-up such as foundation and concealer, and a lot are too strong too use around the eye area so it’s important that you remove your make-up before cleansing with a foam formula. Foaming Cleansers are ideal for more oily skin types, as they can often be too drying for sensitive and dry skin types. Our top picks are Caudalie, Muradand Bliss.

Effective, but make-up needs removing first
For oilier skin types
Affordable options

Cream Cleansers

If your skin needs an extra boost of moisture, a cream cleanser is the way forward! Generally soap-free, Cream Cleansers keep skin clean, healthy and soft without drying out the skin – a trait in which soap carries! If you have slightly oilier skin, a cream cleanser might not be right for you, as they tend to leave behind a residue on the skin. It’s also worth keeping in mind that if your skin is sensitive or you have allergies, it might be best to check the ingredients as fragrances or emollients in the cleansers may cause reactions. A cream cleanser may take slightly longer to apply and longer to wash off with warm water than a foaming cleanser. Our top picks come from Balance Me, Elemis and Antipodes.

Takes slightly longer – but feels more luxurious!
For dryer skin types
Slightly pricier

Skin Care Essentials – Exfoliate

We can’t stress the importance of exfoliation enough! In face, it’s pretty much at the top of the list when it comes to our skin care essentials. When you exfoliate your skin, you not only remove dead skin cells, you also irritate the skin causing it to think it is being attacked. We know this sounds pretty scary, but that irritation causes your skin to start regenerating quicker than it naturally would, meaning your skin will look more fresh and plump – WINNER!

Chemical Exfoliants

Chemical exfoliants might sound kinda scary, but believe us, they are safe! They come in two forms, AHA (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHA (beta-hydroxy acids). AHA’s are usually glycolic acid and lactic acid, and BHA’s tends to be salicylic acid. One important thing to remember after using a chemical exfoliant is that you should always use an SPF after treatment, as the skin will be more sensitive to UV rays. Here are our chemical exfoliant skin care essentials.

AHA’s work by penetrating the upper layer of the skin and dislodging and dissolving dead skin cells, along with promoting cell regeneration meaning that your skin will repair itself faster. Some of our favourite AHA’s come from Pixi with their cult classic ‘Glow Tonic’, Bliss and Paula’s Choice.

Good for all skin types

BHA’s do the same thing, but also penetrates your actual pores. This means they are perfect for more oily skin types, as blocked pores will often cause breakouts. BHA is also anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant, meaning it is great for people with acne too! Some of our top BHA products come from skin care experts Paula’s Choice and Murad.

Good for oily skin

Physical or Manual Exfoliants

A physical exfoliant mechanically removes dead skin cells with small grains which you massage over the skin. These type of exfoliants can be really effective, however it’s important to make sure that the grains aren’t too big, as they can cause more harm than good. Another form of physical exfoliation is simply to use a wash cloth/flannel on the face to gently exfoliate the skin. Some of our favourite manual or physical exfoliants are the Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator, and MONU’s Micro Exfoliant.

Top Tip: Exfoliate your skin in the morning before cleansing. Cleansing after exfoliating means that the cleanser can wash away any left over dead skin cells from the face and also target the newest layer of skin that has been exposed after exfoliating.

Can be quite abrasive 

Skin Care Essentials – Moisturise

Keeping your skin hydrated and moisturised is probably the first skin care rule we learn, and moisturiser is a skin care essential for most people. Moisturising helps to treat and prevent dry skin, but did you know that it can also help protect against environmental factors? Applying moisturiser can create a barrier on the skin to ensure pollution in the air isn’t able to harm your skin. There are tonnes of different moisturisers targeted at different skin types, so we’ve broken it down for you! If you’re unsure about what skin type you are, take a look at our ‘What Is My Skin Type?’ guide.

Moisturisers For Normal Skin

‘Normal Skin’ might sound like perfect skin, however a lot of people with ‘normal skin’ still have a lot of concerns. Ingredients that you should avoid are comedogenic products containing ingredients like mineral oils and petrolatum, as they tend to clog up pores. The ingredients that your skin will love you for are the AHA’s, as mentioned earlier, and Hyaluronic Acid which will help keep your skin hydrated! Our favourites come from Nuxe with their Creme Fraice Cream for Normal Skin, Decleor’s Prolagene Lift and Firm Day Cream, and Ark’s Age Protect Skin Vitality Moisturiser.

Continue Reading: our guide to the best moisturiser for face

Moisturisers For Dry Skin

If your skin is dry, it is best to use a heavier moisturiser to help lock in moisture. The best time to apply is straight after cleansing. Avoid moisturisers with benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, alcohol and fragrances, as these ingredients can irritate the skin more and even dry it out further! Fear not though, there are some ingredients that your skin will love you for! Look out for moisturisers with plant oils such as Jojoba Oil, Rosehip Oil and Olive Oil will help to repair your skins protective barrier. Hyaluronic Acid is super hydrating and Glycerin is a must for very dry skin, as it acts as a barrier on the skin and will help lock in moisture. Our top picks for dry skin are Murad’s Hydro Dynamic Ultimate Moisture Cream, the Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate, and Nuxe’s Creme Prodigieuse Enriche Anti-Fatigue Moisturising Cream for Dry Skin.

Continue Reading: our guide to the best moisturiser for dry skin

Moisturisers For Oily Skin

Keeping oily skin well moisturised is essential. You might feel like you’re making it oilier, however keeping your skin well moisturised will stop your skin over-producing oils to try and re-hydrate itself. Avoid products with ingredients such as mineral oil, as this will trap in dirt and bacteria which can lead to breakouts and blackheads. It’s also good to avoid products with alcohol in, as they can often be too stripping. Non-Comedogenic products are great for oily skin as their ingredients will not block your pores. Our recommendations for oily skin are the Korres Wild Rose Moisturiser for Oily Skin, Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel, and the Ole Henriksen Vitamin Plus Balancing Creme for Normal/Oily Skin.

Moisturisers For Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, you’ll know the importance of making sure your skin care doesn’t contain ingredients that can irritate your skin. Going for products with less ingredients and fragrance free is always a good way to start. If you’re wanting to add new products to your skin care routine, it is best to add them on by one, trialling each for a few weeks so that if you do have a reaction to something, you are able to work out what product it is. The products we suggest are Sukin’s Sensitive Facial Moisturiser, REN’s Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream, and the Elemental Herbology Sensitive Calendula Rose Damask Facial Moisturiser.

Now that you’ve read all you need to know about our skin care essentials, let us know what yours are in the comments below, or over on Twitter and Instagram!



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