5 mins with skincare guru Abigail James…

I first met Abigail James years ago when she was working with Oskia skincare; I was Beauty Editor for SIX Magazine and for one of our features I was lucky enough to experience one of her wonderful facials. I remember it being brilliant. Fast forward a few years and Abigail is now one of the beauty industry’s leading experts, and her ‘healing hands’ are very well sought after. Abigail released her book ‘Love Your Skin’ last year, and it is one of my favourite books for sure. It is packed full of information on how to look after your skin – from products to massage to diet, it really is a great read. Abigail also has a great blog and brilliant videos to watch – this post took quite a long time to write up because I got so distracted watching so many videos!! (was a good thing as I learnt a lot..)

With the summer almost upon us, it is a great time to shake up your skin routine – or maybe just time to get into a routine. I know mine goes in and out of being good due to varying factors. Abigail very kindly answered some skincare questions for me, which have already helped me loads.. I hope they help you too!!

What should we be changing up in our skincare to make it work better for us in the summer months?

Upping your antioxidants; serums are great for this – Vitamin C is perfect for under your SPF. You might choose to cut back on retinol, you can still keep in it your routine but maybe a lower percentage and be vigilant with SPF 30 plus on your face.

Cleaning morning and night to ensure SPF is fully removed to prevent clogged pores.

You might choose a slightly lighter moisturiser because it’s a little more humid than winter.

Should we be wearing SPF all year round – should we up the ante in the summer and wear a higher one every day?

SPF all year round on your face, the damaging rays are there daily!

Summer months and/or holidays, 30 plus on the face and the key is reapplication in the summer – what you applied first thing is not working in the afternoon.

How else can we protect our skin from the summer elements? Can antioxidants in our skincare make a difference?

Big hats, cap when running, cycling etc, big dark shades.

Antioxidants won’t protect from the sun but they will help in the damage limitation.

Pigmentation often gets worse in the summer – is there anything we can really do to get rid of it?

Pigment holding ingredients in your skincare – liquorice, kojic acid, are just a few, each brand uses different methods to support pigment. Serums are the best way to use them. Avoid hydraquinon which is a bleaching agent.

What product should every woman have in her regime?

If you want results you do need a routine – cleanse, serum and SPF would be my absolute bare minimum and I would be using a different serum AM to PM. Personally I know results come with more than that, I would include some sort of exfoliating acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and cleansing is essential along with SPF, what’s the point in doing the good stuff if you’re not protecting.

What beauty product couldn’t you live without?

So difficult to say! So I will say a type of product balm / oil cleansers – Rituals Cleansing Balm, Origins Cleansing Gel, Aromatherapy Associates Calming Cleansing Gel, Elemis Cleansing Balm, Darphin Cleaning Balm, Caudallie Cleansing Oil. Soooo many favourites..

What is the best piece of beauty advice that you were given and by whom?

I can hand on heart say I’m struggling to find that one person. I have self-taught, read books, blogs, papers and studied etc through beauty college. I knew it was literally the tip of the iceberg when it comes to knowledge and advice, and some was not what I now believe to be the best advice.

However the most fabulous person in the industry I had the pleasure of receiving a facial from was Eve Lom, a lady I have so much respect for, one of the first “celebrity facialists”. I’m not a fan of her cult cleansing balm however she is an utterly fabulous and unique lady. I think the best way to describe the experience is one I will never forget.

Jade rollers – are they really worth all the hype?

They have their place, a nice addition, if I had a choice of a jade roller or a gua sha I would opt for the latter. (brilliant links to videos on both by Abigail)

How important is organic and natural skincare to you?

Natural yes, I would love it to be organic from a health point of view, however results are also important. That’s why I combine natural and active ingredients, and the professional brands I choose to work with I select on their effectiveness as well as their ingredient ethos.

What is your top beauty food that we should all be eating every day?

Too much of just one thing is never good for us! Think of it as a combined approach; if it was one food group then it would be vegetables, but even then we would be missing out on essential proteins, fatty acids, omegas etc.

What is the worst culprit for zapping our glow?

Smoking, cuts the circulation like nothing else and we all know how rubbish we look after a late night and too much grape juice!

Thank you so much Abigail for your words of wisdom! They really are fabulous.

I hope you enjoyed them too. Will you be making any changes this summer?