Ask The Beauty Insider

How are you? Hanging on in there? It’s all we can do really.

Take pleasure from the now, enjoy simple pleasures and take each day as it comes.

At the time of writing, beauty services remains one of the last, arguably most overlooked sectors of industry. There is disparity with services available and recent announcements that many services would not re-open on the 1st August, as previously announced. It feels an eternity that our intimate relationships with our team of self-care support has been off limits and we miss that interaction, that trust relationship and the guard-down understanding that comes as part of the setting.

The reality is, that we have had to take more of our essential self-care practises ‘in-house’ since March and since then we have most likely scrutinised our complexions and explored more options to improve skin health.

 It may seem that pots of creams and lipsticks are not high agenda points, but self-care is vital as we navigate ourselves and our families through these strange times.

So let’s tackle a few frequently asked questions about the world of beauty and self-care that may help with navigating the noisy, busy, tempting and exciting world of beauty!

When shopping for skincare products I find the list of ingredients complicated and overwhelming. What are the best ingredients to improve my mature skin?

Beauty Insider:

Today in beauty, we face an array of products. As a product developer and writer, there seems an unending stream of new innovation and new discovery of exciting ingredients, from the depths of the amazon to the icy plains of the artic. It can be exhausting keeping up to date and not always clear to see what is for your specific needs. When it comes down to it, there are a few tried and tested solutions that are key in overall skin health and age management.

  • UV Broad Spectrum – ok, so technically not an 'ingredient' but if you aren’t applying this every single day, you are wasting money on correction to what is somewhat preventable skin damage. Applying an SPF30 broad spectrum daily will help protect skin from hyperpigmentation, slow down collagen degradation, minimise inflammation, fine lines and wrinkles – not to mention more serious medical concerns. Check out my UV Protection article to read more guidance on this.

Ok, I am climbing off my soapbox now, but not before I recommend a few favourites available at Elys:


  • Ceramides - think of these as the cement in the outer skin cells to help keep unwanted irritants and toxins out and hydration locked in. Our skin is a living, breathing organ, our greatest protective shield for the delicate system that lies within.
  • AHAs – Alpha Hydroxy Acids are a group of exfoliating acids that vary in intensity and are a non-abrasive way to rid the skin’s surface of dead skin cells that cause texture change, congestion and dull the complexion. As a non-physical exfoliant they don’t cause micro tears to skin that is perhaps more fragile. Using an AHA helps create a pathway for fresh skin cells to deliver clarity and radiance.

Ren Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial

I love the REN Skincare Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial - an overnight booster treatment to wake-up to brighter, fresher, smoother skin.

  • Hyaluronic Acid – This is an essential in any skincare product. It acts as a sponge drawing moisture to it and can hold 1,000 times its own weight in moisture. This helps gives the skin a plump, ‘juicy’ appearance, minimising fine lines.

With a 38-year pedigree and generations of loyal fans, it’s impossible to not recommend Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair here. While it has gone through a few modernisations over the decades, this iconic formulation remains delicious to use, weightless to apply and the enduring results speak for themselves.

 Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair


  • Retinol – a form of vitamin A with a proven efficacy to help stimulate cellular turnover. This is fantastic for combatting and evening out skin damage, hyperpigmentation, acne texture concerns, fine lines and wrinkles.

Retinol percentage treatment needs to be matched with your skin tolerance levels as it can be irritant so you need to build up your skin’s acceptance in gradual increments.

A little goes a long way, use only a pea size amount once or twice a week of a lower percentage retinol and build with your skin’s acceptance.

It is quite common to experience some mild irritation, redness and sun sensitivity with retinol use. Retinol is used at night while skin is in repair mode and it is therefore essential to use SPF protection every day during treatment particularly, to protect fresh, recently exposed skin cells.

  • Vitamin C – when we feel a bit ‘blurgh’ we instinctively reach for trusty vitamin C, a freshly squeezed juice to pep you up and fend off a cold by boosting your body’s protection system.

 Skin needs the same - beauty is inside out.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant, these help neutralise the damage from free radicals caused by environmental aggressors, UV and lifestyle choices, including helping counter hyperpigmentation by naturally brightening skin tone.

According to a recent article using data from Google, Vitamin C is the most searched ingredient for skincare with over 1.2million searches. Ceramides, Retinol, acids and Hyaluronic acid also all featured in the top 10.

Are gummy vitamins beneficial? Should I be taking these supplements to complement my hair and skincare regime? 

Beauty Insider:

For me, it’s capsules for the win. The trouble with gummy vitamins is that while they are more palatable, they can often be lacking in significant essentials or are lower in dosage. If you’re going to add wellbeing supplements into your beauty regime, I favour capsules for a more comprehensive balance of ingredients. I think probiotics are a good idea too, to help balance gut health as so many skin concerns relate back to digestive health and balance.   

What type of foundation is best for mature skin? 

Beauty Insider:

Mature skin tends to be drier and often dehydrated. Historically, women have been directed to more coverage and powder based products as their skin matured, encouraged to attempt a camouflage of fine lines, wrinkles etc. In truth, this can have the opposite effect as this texture may emphasise dryness, settling in fine lines and wrinkles.

More dewy finish base products will add a more natural luminosity, (without shimmer!), to the complexion. Go for buildable texture that can sheer out where it’s not needed for coverage.

Lancôme Teint Idole is a classic go-to for buildable, naturally luminous finish.

Lancôme Teint Idole Foundation

 It is also important to note that being sparing with product will help when hormones cause flushes as these sweats and flushes can cause product to ‘melt' and shift on the skin.

For invisible finishing and an imperceptible luminosity without coverage, Hourglass Ambient Light or the iconic Laura Mercier Transluscent Setting Powder, just on the t-zone area and eye area create a sheer finish.


Keep it simple.

That’s it really. Find your essentials, enjoy augmenting your skincare wardrobe, finding solutions to specific needs that may change seasonally, hormonally and so on, but keep the essentials in mind.

 Shop Beauty online at Elys now.