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Notes on ‘Normal’ Balanced Skin

It’s important to point out that ‘normal’ skin isn’t a medical term, it’s a marketing term. Despite what Instagram might have us believe, nobody has 100% ‘normal’ skin all of the time. In fact, most of us will experience varying skin states at different points throughout our lives. 

While there is technically no ‘normal’, the term is a blanket description for those who don’t fall into the other skin categories like acne-prone, oily, dry or sensitive. Balanced is a more adequate term to describe this type of complexion. So if you find that your skin isn’t overly greasy or dehydrated, you’re not experiencing major break-outs or irritation in response to products, you most likely have balanced skin. 

This skin type allows you to focus your skincare efforts on your list of nice-to-haves (such as brightening or fine line reduction) rather than just trying to achieve balance and neutrality. Follow a simple and purposeful skincare regime full of well-rounded ingredients to add radiance and boost skin health.

Double cleanse
In the evenings, use a double cleanse to deep-clean the skin. I like to use an oil or balm as my first cleanse to remove makeup, sunscreen and any debris built up throughout the day. Follow with a second cleanse using a more active formula with AHAs or enzymes to unclog the pores and prep the skin for the rest of your routine.

Boost your brightness
Vitamin C is a great all-rounder that can help with a myriad of concerns like hyperpigmentation, dull skin, sun spots/freckles and premature ageing. I like to incorporate it into my morning routine before moisturiser, always followed with an SPF. Balanced skin can generally tolerate serums containing L-ascorbic acid; vitamin C in its most potent incarnation. Begin with a low dose of 10% and work your way up to 15% or 20% as your skin builds tolerance.

Load up on antioxidants
The equivalent of eating a well-balanced diet rich in a rainbow of natural colours, antioxidants in skincare products provide the foundation for healthy skin. Antioxidants are vital in fighting free radicals (unstable molecules that latch onto healthy cells and gradually weaken them) caused by UVA/UVB rays and pollutants. Look for formulations with key ingredients such as resveratrol, ferulic acid, niacinamide, vitamin E, spintrap and vitamin C.

Incorporate retinol
An ageing skin must have! Retinol is a vitamin A derivative able to penetrate the dermis (the layer of skin below the epidermis) to promote skin cell turnover, revealing new layers of skin while smoothing wrinkles. For its many benefits, retinol is a highly active ingredient so should be used with caution. I suggest starting with a low dose, using every other night working your way up to nightly use. After at least 2 months of use, your skin will have built up a tolerance to the ingredient, you can then increase to a formulation with a higher percentage.

Make your make-up work harder
I personally love a less is more look when it comes to make-up and opt for a light natural covering that enhances the complexion rather than concealing. There are some fantastic new hybrid formulations out there that embrace tried-and-tested skincare ingredients for boosted beauty: foundations featuring argan oil, tinted moisturisers with squalane and SPF, blush sticks boasting jojoba, the list goes on.