I have noticed that a woman’s relationship with her skin is not dissimilar to the relationship with her mother: taken for granted when good, fraught with tension when misbehaving. Women expect so much from their skin, but the relationship needs time and patience. As a beauty therapist, I am often complimented on my skin and asked which products I use – let’s face it, as a professional I have no excuse not to have perfect skin. Here are my favourite products:

Skinceutical Phloretin CF Serum

I wish there was a product to reverse the signs of ageing but the reality is that prevention is far better than cure. Antioxidants are essential skincare ingredients but many moisturisers/anti-ageing creams are packaged in jars; as soon as you unscrew the lid then the antioxidants will go off so I recommend a pump/pipette serum. The high dose of antioxidants in this serum will protect your skin from pollution e.g. car fumes, smoke, UV, which all settle on your skin and prematurely age it.

Heliocare sunblock

My clients always ask me the same question: Do anti-ageing creams actually work? My answer is always the same: don’t spend a lot of money. The sun protection message is eventually getting through, but moisturisers rarely contain sufficient stabilised UVA protection; at best you will be partially protected for an hour. Sunblocks come in a variety of textures – no need for moisturisers because they are moisturising enough.

Neutrogena concentrated hand cream

Years of working as a barmaid as a student has taken its toll on my hands; also I have to constantly wash my hands between clients. I always come back to this one with its overdose of glycerin.

Dr Lowe eye serum

I am a massive fan of Dr Lowe’s ethos: prevention and repair. This light eye serum is packed full of antioxidants to repair damage done during the day from pollution and UV. (In the morning I use sunblock everywhere, even the eyelids)

Hyaluronan facial serum

I try and get all my clients on a hyaluronic acid serum because the majority of women’s skin is dehydrated. Unfortunately topical hyaluronic acid can’t penetrate into the dermis and contribute to declining levels (for this we need a night cream with AHAs), working instead on the surface; nevertheless it is invaluable at hydrating the dead outer layer.

Airol cream (isotretinoin 0.05)

Isotretinoin (a form of vitamin A only available on prescription) may be too irritating for some sensitive skins, but it is still the only ingredient that has been proven to reduce the signs of ageing. Unfortunately the over-the-counter concentration (retinol) is far more diluted and therefore less effective, but its still the best option (combined with AHAs to increase cell turnover) short of a trip to a dermatologist.

Lanolips 101 Ointment

This is the only lip balm that I found to alleviate my dry lips.

Dlux 3000 Vitamin D Oral Spray

If you are wearing sunblock every day (and if you’re not, then you should be!) you may need to top up your vitamin D levels. This spray is quick and easy.