*Author: Lubna Khan-Salim - Skin care expert, Founder and Clinical Director of Time to Bloom, a beauty and wellness clinic in North Yorkshire. *

Let's be honest. We all want to achieve flawless glowing skin, but who has the time or resources to follow a tedious twenty-step beauty routine? And is it even necessary? In all my years as a plastic surgeon and with my experience of understanding skin, inside out, not to mention being a woman in my forties, I have come to the fundamental belief that our skincare needn’t be complex OR break the bank! It’s no secret that bright glowing skin comes from things that boost wellness from the inside- like getting a good nights sleep, eating well, adequate hydration and exercise. Incorporating the right products into your daily skin care routine can also help battle dullness and leave you with radiant healthy skin. The beauty industry tends to be heavy on hype and light on substance, so here I outline the three tried and tested products/ingredients that I believe provide real, lasting benefits to your skin and worthy of your hard earned money.

Vitamin C
After cleansing, reach for a serum that’s rich in antioxidants- all experts agree that using a vitamin C serum is a non-negotiable part of any good morning skincare routine! Vitamin C acts as a safety net to minimise potential damage from free radicals. These little nasties are highly reactive molecules found in air pollution, cigarette smoke, drugs and pesticides. They damage the DNA of your skin which causes premature aging. This affects the natural skin barrier function by destroying proteins such as elastin, fibre and collagen thus leaving the skin dull, and dry with an uneven skin tone.

My best anti-aging advice? Always, always use sunscreen during the day and be sure to apply it generously. Yes - even with our famous British summers! Yes, even on dull winter days! Not only does SPF protect against the sun’s harmful rays to help prevent skin cancer, it’s also one of the best antiaging products you can buy as 90% of skin aging is caused by UV damage. Your skin needs both UVA and UVB protection- the SPF number applies to UVB protection. I always advise SPF 30+ (I use a SPF 50 daily). The star rating indicates the UVA rays- these are the aging rays that breakdown collagen and elastin that cause wrinkles. Zinc Oxide is an excellent ingredient in broad-spectrum SPF to protect against UVA and UVB rays and offers anti-inflammatory properties, great for those with sensitive skin and a must for those using any form of retinoid.

When it comes to visibly improving the texture and appearance of your skin while preventing signs of aging, prescription Retinoids and over the counter retinols is the golden bullet. Unfortunately, due to the side effects of using these products (sensitivity, dryness, redness), many people have a hard time using them.

Retinoids are a class of ingredients derived from vitamin A and are great for targeting pigmentation, texture concerns, clogged pores, fine lines, and wrinkles. They also help build up collagen within the skin. They are an absolute no-no for those who are pregnant or breast feeding (although there are alternatives available).

Prescription Retinoids won’t be suitable for everyone so do seek expert guidance before embarking on these. In my experience, I believe they’re best suited for those who have severe acne, acne scarring, clogged pores, enlarged pores, sun-damage or fine lines and wrinkles. If you are in your twenties/thirties/forties and looking strictly for preventative aging benefits, I recommend using an over-the-counter retinol. I always recommend using this product at night - and an SPF during the day is a must!

So, keep it simple - get your eight hours of sleep (put those screens away), eat well, drink enough water…..and incorporate these three simple star products into your skincare regime to get glowing skin from the comfort of your home. All you need is a little consistency and the right products for your skin type.

For something more targeted or bespoke for your individual needs or if you have any questions, book in for a complementary consultation with me at www.timetobloom.uk