Our Beauty Expert, Melissa Day, founder of Niroshini Cosmetic Acupuncture and Niroshini Skincare, answers your reader questions

‘I have combination skin and at the moment I use drugstore products but I’m looking for a better skincare routine, what could you recommend?’

Emily Sangster, via Facebook

Thanks for writing in to Eaux. This is a great question and one we are frequently asked by our clients at Niroshini who are all keen to find natural products which supplement or even replace traditional “drugstore” skincare products.

More and more, we are hearing that some well-known drugstore brands are laden with chemicals and additives such as sodium lauryl ether sulfate, paraben and polyethylene glycol. These chemicals are often found in industrial products; solvents or detergents and can not only do more harm than good to the skin but also aren’t particularly eco-friendly. Although worrying that some use these chemicals, that’s not to say that all drugstore brands do but it’s certainly worth watching out for, if you are having skin issues and feel it may be to do with your chosen products.

In terms of skincare routine, it’s important when deciding what products to use, to work out what skin type you have, the main ones are: combination, dry and oily. You mention that your type is combination – combination skin – means exactly that; not always dry, not always oily and often both at the same time on different areas of the face.

The key to successfully managing combination skin, is to use products tailored to balancing oil production, whilst letting the skin breath and providing some extra moisture – tricky! There’s a wide variety of natural ingredients that work wonders on the skin but the most popular and easiest to get hold of, are tried and tested and often you can find bottled products with these included.

To benefit oily or spot-prone areas, try to find a light, delicate cleanser which includes either Witch Hazel or Tea Tree. Both are antibacterial and anti-inflammatory which will help keep the oily area clear and help to dry out existing spots. Use the cleanser morning and night, particularly if you wear foundation or other cover-ups as these block the pores and encourage oil production.

After cleansing, use an alcohol-free toner that is specifically to help hydrate the skin.

Lastly, moisturise. Combination skin won’t be pleased if you apply anything too rich or creamy so look for a moisturising gel or a product which doesn’t leave any residue. A good way to test this is to apply a little to the back of your hand, leave it to settle in and then using a clean finger, run it over the area. You shouldn’t feel any drag or pulling and your finger, should glide over the area if it has sunk in well.

For less frequent use, face masks are great for nourishing the skin and provide a once in a while “pep up to the skin”. A great example is beating a raw organic egg; whole for dry skin or just the egg white for oily skin and leave on for 10-15 minutes. Once you wash it off, your skin will feel hydrated, smooth and plump.

Aside from having a great skincare routine, it’s important to remember that what you put in to your body shows in your skin. We recommend drinking plenty of water, eating an antioxidant rich diet and to be sure to include plenty of Vitamin C, E and B12 which will encourage healthy skin, hair and nails.

I hope you have found this helpful Emily.

Find out more about Melissa: niroshini-acupuncture.com