Achieve dream skin this Valentine's Day by avoiding these mistakes

Achieve dream skin this Valentine's Day by avoiding these mistakes: Image 1 Dermatologist, Dr. Justine Hextall on behalf of The Harley Medical Group shares seven of the biggest skincare mistakes

"Thinking your skin will become lazy is a common misconception. Speeding up the cell turnover with a retinoid for example will not leave skin incapable of renewing and shedding. Once the retinoid is stopped the skin physiology will return to normal. There is the argument that using a moisturizer stops the skin retaining water naturally. I argue if you use a good cleanser that removed unwanted pollution and excessive oil but does not disrupts the skin barrier is the key. This in turn means less moisturizer is needed yet skin feels soft and hydrated and has that glow."

"I would say 50% of those I see in my clinic have too complicated a regime that is actually damaging the skin barrier and unbalancing the natural acidic pH. The offering of skincare today is bigger than it's ever been before and people have become a lot more experimental, particularly now with access to social media accounts focused on skin care and beauty advice. I advise caution as sometimes I see problem skin among girls in their 20s and 30s purely as a consequence of constantly switching up products and over-zealous skin care regimes. My advice is find what works and try to stick to it for longer than a week! Products can take at least six weeks to start making a difference and also keep in mind that continued use is necessary to maintain the results, you have to remain committed to achieve the results you want!"

"A thick, concentrated cream doesn't necessarily mean it's going to provide the most hydration." Says Dr. Justine Hextall. "If you keep applying a heavy cream everyday with no exfoliation, this can trap dead cells and leave skin looking dull. Serums are much lighter and have concentrated ingredients" Manuka Doctor's ApiNourish Age-Defying Serum (£24.99, is a super hydrating face serum that has been designed for tired skin that needs a boost. The serum rejuvenates and nourishes, leaving skin looking and feeling younger."

"There's no doubt that your skin will change as it ages. The skincare regime you used in your 20s will not necessarily continue to be right for your 40s if you're looking to maintain that youthful glow. In our twenties often we can still see so-called teenage skin with oiliness and occasional breakouts. Often however it is the decade that most individuals feel is the peak of skin health. Robust skin that is relatively hardy, has that youthful glow and for most the end of acne. By our thirties we usually start to notice those early subtle signs of ageing skin. For example, skin becoming a little less hydrated, for some it may be the first time they have needed to use a moisturiser. Dynamic wrinkles we see in our twenties become a more fixed with the development of fine lines. By our forties I believe our skin starts to reflect our lifestyle and skin care , Individuals start to notice increased dryness as the skin barrier becomes less efficient. Loss of skin firmness and age spots and visible thread veins are a common complaint. It is time to invest in good skin care products. I regularly use an anti-oxidant serum and focus my diet on anti-oxidant foods. Again a high factor sun block is very important and I would advise most individuals would benefit from more active treatments."

"Your skincare alone will not automatically fix your skin concerns. In my view, the gold standard of good skin is a healthy lifestyle, a respectable diet and a skincare regime that's tailored to you. My top 4 lifestyle factors that do the skin the most damage are UV exposure, smoking and excessive alcohol, city living with increased exposure to pollution and finally chronic stress, especially if combined with lack of sleep will all contribute to skin ageing. No matter how hydrating your chosen moisturiser is, it will not reverse the dehydrating effects of smoking. If you want good skin, you have to look to address these lifestyles factors as well."

"As we get older I am a firm believer that skin treatments can be very beneficial for keeping a youthful glow. A regular facial to remove dead skin cells and hydrate skin works wonders . Micro-needling treatments such as The Harley Medical Group's Derma FNS (£145 per treatment, available nationwide), especially when combined with hydrating agents such as hyaluronic acid and anti-oxidants can really boost skin glow. The key is to meet with a skin care specialist and plan a treatment programme, that includes the best possible skin care regime for your skin."

"If you're looking to address lines and skin tone with Botox and fillers, I believe this can have a significant impact on slowing the effects of skin ageing. However I also feel that treatments in isolation such as lip augmentation, can make the face look unbalanced. I believe it's really important to consult a certified practitioner to get their opinion and discuss the different treatments options available, in order to achieve the results you want. Safety is the key here and as I always advocate less is more. Injecting small amounts of a safe filler, such as Juvederm, and adding more after 2 weeks if required is always the best approach in my view."

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