A scientist and author who works in beauty has revealed the five things she wishes she knew in her 20s, including that you’re not too young for retinol and that the SPF in makeup isn’t enough to protect your complexion.
Hannah English, from Sydney, said she always thought she was “too young” to use retinol when she was 20, but if you start before you need to, you’re much more likely to see the positive effects.
“You’re not too young to start using retinol and yes, you can use it in the sensitive eye area,” Hannah explained in a Instagram video.
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A scientist and author who works in beauty has revealed the five things she wished she knew in her 20s (Hannah English photo)
Hannah English (pictured) said she always thought she was ‘too young’ to use retinol when she was 20, but if you start then you’re much more likely to see the positive effects
1. You are not too young to start using retinol
Retinol refers to a form of vitamin A, an ingredient added to skin creams, lotions and serums.
It has anti-aging effects and can help clear acne when used in different concentrations.
Retinol increases skin cell production (proliferation), as well as unclogging pores.
It exfoliates your skin and increases collagen production, which can reduce fine lines and wrinkles, leaving your skin looking fresher and plumper.
Many are afraid to use it because it can lead to skin peeling and can be delicate around the eyes, but if you start slowly and build up to using it every other night, Hannah said you can see great results.
“Retinol can be used in the eyes and it’s fantastic for dark circles,” said Hannah.
She recommends Olay’s Retinol 24 ($29.99) to get started.
2. Niacinamide gives you smooth and radiant skin
The second thing Hannah said she wishes she knew is that niacinamide (or vitamin B) is great for brightening your skin.
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B-3, an essential nutrient.
When used topically, niacinamide can improve skin hydration by preventing moisture evaporation from the skin to the environment.
“Niacinamide at 1.5-2 percent gives you smooth and glowing skin and minimal pores,” said Hannah.
She uses it every day in combination with her retinol for the best effects.
While many of us think SPF50 in our foundation and/or moisturizer is enough to protect us from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays, Hannah (pictured) said that’s just not the case
3. The SPF in your moisturizer or makeup is not enough
While many of us think SPF50 in our foundation and/or moisturizer is enough to protect us from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays, Hannah said that’s just not the case.
Your foundation might say it’s SPF30+ or SPF50+, but the correct amount of sun protection you need to apply is 1/4 teaspoon or about 1 ml – which is way more SPF than you would ever apply foundation.
“If you’ve ever measured out 1ml of foundation, you know no one ever wears that much foundation,” said Hannah.
Instead, apply your SPF and top with your foundation, BB cream, or tinted moisturizer.
You may be tempted to skip the sunscreen if it’s raining or overcast, but Hannah (pictured) wishes she’d known you should wear it every day to make sure your skin is protected
4. You should wear SPF every day
You might be tempted to skip the sunscreen if it’s raining or overcast, but Hannah said she wishes she’d known you should wear it every day to make sure your skin is properly protected.
Hannah recommends a broad spectrum product, as this means you’re protected from both UVA and UVB rays from the sun.
“At least put on your moisturizer, let that dry, then put on your sunscreen and let that dry, and then go in with any makeup,” Hannah said.
“But please don’t mix any tint, bronzer, or foundation with your sunscreen.
“The reason for that is that it needs to form an even film on your skin and this can make it patchy and destabilize the whole thing.”
The five beauty red flags
1. Use a loofah: The first thing Hannah says she never does is use a loofah, which is dirty and probably filled with “mould.” “They’re disgusting, no one ever washes them and they probably have mold in them,” said Hannah.
Hannah (pictured) previously shared her top beauty red flags, including thinking that preservative-free is a good thing
2. Spray perfume on the neck and chest: Second, Hannah said she never sprays perfume on the neck or chest. The reason for this is that they “contain compounds that aren’t necessarily bad for you, but they do make your skin more sensitive to light.”
3. Mix Sunscreen With Other Products: Hannah doesn’t mix these products because SPF needs to form an even film on your skin and this can make it patchy and destabilize the whole thing.”
4. Think Preservative Free Is A Good Thing: While many people look at a product and think that if it markets itself as “preservative-free” that’s a good thing, Hannah said the opposite is true. “Preservatives are put into products to prevent mold from entering,” she said.
5. Rely On SPF In Makeup: Your foundation might say it’s SPF30+ or SPF50+, but the correct amount of sun protection you need to apply is 1/4 teaspoon or about 1 ml – which is way more SPF than you would ever apply foundation.
Source: Hannah English
5. Retinol and niacinamide form an ‘iconic duo’
Finally, the beauty scientist said her ultimate skincare secret is the combination of retinol and niacinamide for the most radiant skin.
“When used together, retinol and niacinamide tackle breakouts, uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles,” said Hannah.
If you use them alternately morning and night, you can expect radiant skin within weeks, as the skin cells turn over and reveal a new layer.