Cosmetic chemist and founder of Synergie Skin, Terri Vinson, answers your beauty concerns.
Clean Science Ask the Expert: Terri Vinson from Synergie Skin
Is a sunless tanner okay to use regularly on my skin?
The active ingredient that creates an artificial tan on the skin is called DHA (dihydroxyacetone). This ingredient is naturally derived from fermenting glycerol, and it reacts with dead skin cells to form a golden tan on the skin that lasts until the skin naturally sheds. I think applying fake tan is a great alternative to exposing your skin to the UV, infrared and blue light from the sun. Fake tans are evolving, and the colour, smell and ingredients improve every year. That said, there has been some evidence that DHA reacts in sunlight to create damaging free radicals. I suggest that you avoid the sun as much as possible when using fake tan, or use a body lotion with antioxidants to help neutralise the free radical damage. Still, the damage created by fake tan is far lower than the damage created by the sun – so the choice is easy.
What can I do about a big pimple emerging the day of an important event?
Firstly, don’t pick at it! This will only spread the infection and make the blemish harder to cover with make-up. In the morning, use warm water and cleanser to remove excess oil and grime. Then apply a fast-acting acne spot treatment that contains anti-inflammatory ingredients and natural acids in the form of AHAs and BHAs to decongest the skin. Use a cotton tip and apply directly to the emerging zit. Try to avoid applying make-up to the blemish until you’re getting ready for the event. Use mineral make-up and a concealer with zinc oxide, as this will help to calm the skin down.
My chest is starting to look pigmented and wrinkly – what can I do about this?
The skin of the neck and décolletage is thin and highly susceptible to revealing the first signs of ageing. Ideally, skincare should always be applied to the face, neck and chest to help prevent this happening – and there’s no time like the present to start extending your daily treatment to your neck and décolletage. Cleanse each day and apply the essential skin serums: vitamin A, vitamin B3 (niacinamide) and vitamin C. These cosmeceuticals are truly essential for maintaining youthful skin. It is also important to find daily and evening anti-ageing moisturisers that promote collagen and elastin production, and don’t forget to bring them down to the neck and décolletage. Also try not to sleep with your head elevated on high pillows, as this can contribute to the appearance of a slack jawline. And never neglect your neck area when applying your daily sun protection.