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Dublin: 23 °C Saturday 18 August, 2018
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Skin Deep: How to transform your dry husk into glowing skin for summer

It’s been a long winter.

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Welcome to Skin Deep with Louise McSharry, my opportunity to put years of obsessing over beauty products and techniques to good use. I won’t tell you something is good if it’s not. I won’t recommend products I haven’t actually tried. As the magical sitar in Moulin Rouge said, I only speak the truth.

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It has been one lonnnnnng winter. At one stage I became fully convinced that I would never feel the sun on my face again. I don’t know about you, but in that bleakness, I really let myself go when it comes to hair removal and body skin maintenance.

Ok, if I’m honest, I’m pretty relaxed about that stuff all year round. What can I say? I’m lazy! However, bare legs weather is right around the corner (if not entirely with us), and this year I’m determined to transform my dry exoskeleton (too dramatic? Ok, my dry husk) into the kind of glowing skin we see on red carpets around the world. Want to join me? We’ll be goddesses in no time.

The first step is really simple and won’t cost you anything. Despite that, I really struggle with it. I’m talking about drinking water.

As much as we like to think we can sort out our dehydrated skin with creams (and we can, to a certain extent, as you’ll read in a bit), there’s nothing like literal hydration via H2O to make an impact. We should be aiming for two litres a day. If, like me, you’re lucky if you get two glasses in, then try to make a plan to up your intake.

Some people like to fill a two litre bottle and simply aim to finish it before the day is over, but I find this too intimidating. I also don’t like water if it’s not very cold. Instead, I’ve bought myself a five hundred milliletre water bottle which promises to keep water ice cold. I bought a gold one, telling myself that if it looked cool I would be more likely to use it. What can I say? Sometimes I’m a shallow cow. Anyway, whatever way you do it, you need to be drinking water.

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Next, let’s get rid of all the dead skin which is dulling your gleam. Exfoliating is essential at this time of year as the winter’s cold, dry air has robbed us of lots of moisture, but fortunately we can scrub the most damaged stuff right off.

There are lots of exfoliants on the market, but in my experience a really good scrub in the shower with some exfoliating gloves or an old school face cloth does a great job. Failing that, sugar scrubs do a great job. There are lots of recipes online for you to make them at home (they are essentially sugar and oil), but if that’s not your bag, I love Voya’s Effervescence Nourishing Sugar Scrub.

Now, what about those creams? You absolutely can make a big impact in your skin’s texture and appearance by moisturising regularly. The best time to do it is straight after the shower when your skin is still damp so that the product can trap in a layer of water for your skin to absorb. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth moisturising at other times, though. A good product will have a positive impact whether your skin is wet or dry – the key is to do it regularly. My favourite product is the Body Shop’s Body Butter. I always see a dramatic difference in the texture of my skin once I get into the habit of applying it. I also really rate Soap and Glory’s Butter Yourself Body Cream, and if you fancy a treat Kiehls Creme de Corps Soy Milk and Honey Whipped Body Butter is lovely. Of course, you can also use Coconut Oil to moisturise, if you’re into it. It definitely does a job, and can be used to moisturise almost everything on your body from your feet to your hair. All of these product are fairly heavy duty, so if you like something light and rapidly absorbent then they won’t be for you. In my experience, however, at this time of year something heavy duty is required.

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Once you’ve hydrated your skin and it’s resembling something more human than reptilian, you can doll it up. No self-respecting celeb would dare grace a red carpet with bare skin these days, it’s all about the glow. As a result, there are lots of body products to choose from. Charlotte Tilbury’s Supermodel Body Shimmer will have you gleaming, as well as promising to protect your skin’s collagen fibres. Fenty Beauty’s Body Lava was created after Rihanna spent years concocting shimmering cream to make her body look it’s best on holiday, and it certainly looks great on her. My go-to is Nuxe Huile Prodigiuse Or, which is light but leaves the body with a golden sheen.

Let’s be honest, we all want a sheen, and it’s one hundred percent achievable with a little attention and consistency. Let’s do this!

New Product

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I wasn’t overly excited when I heard about Glossier’s Lash Slick mascara (€16), despite the fact that I love the brand. Their ‘your face but better’ angle on beauty works brilliantly for complexion and brows, but I want a bit of drama from my mascara. Then I met someone who was wearing it, and I couldn’t stop staring at her lashes. Lash Slick promises to give the appearance of lash extensions, without the damage that comes with them. One is winging its way to me as I type. (Did you know they’re shipping to Ireland now? They are!). I can’t wait to try it.

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