Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If your skin didn’t seem to get the memo, don’t panic. Dr Qian Xu, Medical Director at Skin Aesthetics, has come to the rescue. World-renowned for her extensive knowledge and skincare expertise, Dr Qian Xu is the person to turn to in a skincare crisis. Read on to discover must-read advice on how to get your skin looking its beautiful self, in time for Valentine’s Day (and, breathe!).
Dr Qian Xu shares her expert advice on how to properly prepare for date night. Here are Dr Xu’s top skincare tips:
1. Replace wine with water
“In the lead up to Valentine’s Day, ditch alcohol as it can dehydrate your body and dry up your skin. You’ll find that your skin when pinched, may not bounce back or may tent up in a wrinkly shape or fine lines if it’s dehydrated. So try and drink plenty of water as well as drinks containing antioxidants like green tea or green juice to help brighten up your complexion. Hydration is key to achieving healthy-looking skin.”
2.DIY lip scrubs are so effective
“If you want a kiss at the end of the night then soft kissable lips are a must. Whether you suffer from dry, cracked and chapped lips, or want to keep flakiness at bay so that your lipstick sits on nicely, a lip scrub is a beauty essential. You can make your own lip scrub using sugar which is a natural exfoliator. When combined with honey and coconut oil, it makes a very effective lip scrub. Depending on your skin’s needs, you can use a lip scrub daily, every other day or even once a week.”
3.De-puff eye bags
“If your under eye bags are looking as soft as pillows or you suffer from dark circles under your eyes, then you will be looking tired. This is the last thing you want to look like for your hot date. To perk up your eyes, it’s worth investing in eye care products that contain plenty of peptides, antioxidants and ideally a low concentration of retinol. Although these ingredients won’t give you an instant result, they are essential in maintaining healthy, glowing skin in the delicate eye area.”
Dr Qian Xu shares this incredible tip:
“If you’re looking for an instant fix then brew two caffeinated green tea bags. Once they have cooled place them over the eyes for 15 minutes. The caffeine reduces puffiness, while the antioxidants tighten and smooth skin.”
“Another de-puffing option is to use a spoon as a cold compress to your under-eyes. To do his you need to place the spoon in the freezer until it feels ice-cold, wrap it with a piece of paper towel, and then apply it to your under-eye area.”
4. Cleanse, people!
“The foundation of great skin is cleansed skin. Don’t even think about going to bed without washing your face. Think about all the sweat, grime, oil, bacteria and make up on your face. Washing with a gentle face wash (one that will not dry the skin) will help to unclog pores and dissolve the residue that has built up. It’s also important to wash your face in the morning too. The main thing is not to overdo the cleaning because it will make your skin dry and will cause the oil glands in the skin to produce extra sebum. To keep the skin’s natural barrier unharmed and glowing, I recommend using a simple, non-exfoliating face wash.”
“Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the top surface of your skin. Although too much exfoliation can weaken the skin barrier, leaving it more sensitive, doing SOME exfoliation is essential in maintaining skin health.”
“Your skin is constantly regenerated from the deeper layers, and the new skin cells push the older ones to the surface, which eventually die and shed off. This cell turnover is around 4 weeks in children and can slow down to about 8 weeks in our mid-thirties. This leads to a build up of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin making it look dull, and further reduces the activity of the skin cells. This is why a good exfoliation is needed to reveal the healthier, more radiant skin beneath.”
“As we are still in winter, I would recommend exfoliating about a week before Valentine’s Day. You can either use a face scrub for some mechanical exfoliation or a mild, at-home chemical peel for a chemical exfoliation. Do this and you will have a smooth complexion, and a perfect foundation for your makeup, or better yet, you may feel confident enough to go without make up.”
6. Hacks for problem skin
“If you’re feeling a bit stressed and anxious and it’s showing on your skin in the form of spots and blemishes then one easy and cost effective fix is Aloe Vera gel. Aloe Vera is known for its healing properties. It can be applied topically on skin to help soothe and reduce conditions like pimples and blemishes. This is because it contains two hormones, Auxin and Gibberellins that provide anti-inflammatory and healing properties which reduce skin inflammation.”
“For those of you who suffer from problem skin, it’s important to get the correct diagnosis of your skin condition. Not all spotty skin are caused by the same thing, and nor should they be treated in the same way. Good products plus the correct advice is what will give you the best results.”
7. Plump up with steam
“It’s well known that steaming your face is good for clearing out your clogged pores, but did you know that it also gives your skin a plump bouncy look? This is because it increases blood flow. If you don’t have a facial steamer, you can create your own one. All you have to do is place hot water in a bowl and drape a towel over the back of your head. The towel will trap the steam in so that you can enjoy a mini spa. Just make sure the steam is not too hot that it feels like it is burning your skin. Steaming should be avoided if you suffer from sensitive or inflammatory skin conditions.”
8. Get back your glow
“With not much time to go, your skin care should focus on delivering layers of hydration and soothing ingredients to your complexion. The ideal base for makeup is calm, moisturized, and firm skin, that way you can focus more on enhancing your natural glow rather than concealing or correcting.”
Dr Qian advises:
“Look for products with ingredients that support your skin’s natural barrier—I always recommend products containing vitamin C, peptides and niacinamide. Together, these are powerful antioxidants, and help to build a strong, healthy skin barrier. A moisturiser containing hyaluronic acid will give some instant smoothing and hydration, perfect if you’re feeling especially dry due to the effects of winter. Also, don’t forget to moisturise your neck and then use the excess cream on the back of your hands.”
9. Downtime is so important
“Besides using the treatments and following the hacks that I’ve recommended; your skin will benefit from having a good night’s rest. Not only are the recommended eight hours of sleep important for your wellbeing, your skin will reap some overnight benefits too as it switches into recovery mode.”
“Your freshly cleansed skin is able to breathe during the down time from sun/harsh winds/rain exposure, pollution and the blue light. It is also during this time that our body produces growth hormones. This cell turnover and collagen production will keep your skin looking plump and radiant.”
(Credit info: 9 skincare tips written by Dr Qian Xu, Skin Aesthetics)
About Dr Qian Xu
Dr Qian Xu works both as a doctor in medical emergency, and in skincare aesthetics. Through her extensive skincare experience, knowledge, and expertise, Dr Qian Xu supports patients to reclaim their self-confidence. Helping patients to achieve optimal natural beauty is a key step to maintaining well-being.
Dr Qian Xu worked tirelessly in A&E during the covid crisis. Since then, she plays a leading role in the improvement of support and training provided to doctors who work abroad.
Dr Xu’s practice, Skin Aesthetics, is located in Kensington, London. Dr Qian Xu states:
‘Looking good is more than skin deep. I treat patients with a holistic approach. Your skin is a manifestation of what is within.’
To view available treatments and appointments visit www.saclinic.co.uk
Skin Aesthetics telephone number – 0203 494 363
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