My skin is dull – what’s the solution?
“There are two ingredients to combat tired skin. Firstly, use a vitamin C serum during the day; in the evening, use a vitamin A product like retinol or retinoic acid. Vitamin A-based products cause the skin cells to turn over more quickly, allowing older surface cells to die and make way for new cells. This helps to strengthen the skin and improve its appearance by increasing skin thickness, improving hydration and reducing fine lines.” – Martin
“Think about using products that will improve the skin’s moisture barrier. This will, in short, keep the skin adequately hydrated throughout the day. Hyaluronic acid may sound harsh but it can help generate hydration from within the skin and is great for an instant glow.” – Brian
Should I be exfoliating my skin?
“Yes, but be careful what you are using to exfoliate your skin. Physical scrubs (these tend to have a grainy texture) can damage and irritate the skin. Instead, consider using acids to exfoliate – these products tend to be in a liquid formula and are applied like a toner. The best acid exfoliants contain alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid.” – Martin
Is it true you should use an eye cream?
“When it comes to fine lines around the eyes, specifically on the upper and lower eyelids, prevention is better than cure. So yes, an eye cream or serum is a great addition to your skincare regime, especially if you are over the age of 30. Try Obagi’s Elastiderm, an excellent product which also contains caffeine to reduce puffiness. Apply small amounts round the eye, keeping to the bony areas just around the eye as the skin on the eyelids will also draw the serum in.” – Martin
Should I be moisturising my beard?
“Yes – a beard moisturising oil is a must. Moisturising your beard helps soften the hair, preventing skin irritation and reducing the risk of ingrown hairs. It also helps repair damaged hairs, and it makes your beard easier to style. An oil is better than a moisturiser as it will absorb into the follicles more easily.” – Martin
Finally, what should I be doing pre- and post-shave?
“Always start by prepping your skin. Make sure you wash it properly and try to warm your skin before you start shaving. A good way to do this is to wet some hand towels in very hot water and then wring them out, wrapping them on your face and neck to soften the hairs (a little like what a barber would do). Use a shaving oil when shaving (don’t use soap or foams), and make sure your razor is sharp and not old. This will reduce irritation and prevent damage being done to your skin. Afterwards, apply a cold cloth to ease any sensitivity and then use an alcohol-free aftershave, ideally one containing aloe vera and witch hazel, which will protect your pores. Finish by applying a beard oil to condition and moisturise. To avoid ingrown hairs when shaving, keep the skin warm, use a clean and sharp razor, shave in the direction of hair growth, rinse your razor after every stroke and always remember to apply aftershave.” – Martin
For more expert advice, follow @DrMartinKinsella and visit VennSkincare.com