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Dear Derm: What Are The Absolute Basics I Need In My Routine?

If you've ever wanted to peer inside the bathroom cabinet of the cream of the skincare crop you're in luck: Irish Tatler asked Dublin-based skincare specialist Ciara Darcy to lift the lid on what she really uses.

With the cacophonic influx of skincare must-haves in today's Instagram-curated world, it can sometimes be a little tricky to figure out the real from the noise. 

We spoke to skincare specialist Ciara Darcy to help us whittle down what we actually need to put on our faces from what's being overly marketed. 

"Ain't nobody got time for a 10-step routine – sorry Korea, you may disagree!" Ciara laughs.

"A daily skincare routine that's quick, easy and one you see results with is what most people are after.

"In the morning you should always cleanse first. Overnight oils can build up on your skin. Water alone won't remove them so overtime your pores can become blocked. Choose a cleanser depending on your skin type, condition and concerns. For oily/acne-prone skin, look for a salicylic acid-based face wash. For dry skin something hydrating like a cleansing milk/cream or balm."

Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk (€20.20)

"Your second step should be to apply a Vitamin C serum. Vitamin C serums are inherently unstable. When they are exposed to air or light they oxidise, turning a brown or orange colour. When this happens, they are no longer beneficial to your skin.

"Your Vitamin C serum should be clear or straw coloured. Vitamin C breaks down pigmentation, strengthens capillary walls and brightens your skin. It will also help protect it from environmental damage during the day. Alumier Ever Active C & E contains 15% L-Ascorbic acid, peptides and Vitamin E with the Vitamin C powder kept in a separate cap keeping the Vitamin C optimally active. Nothing on the market compares for visible results after only two weeks, I've tried a lot and this one, hands down, is a game-changer!"

"Your next step should always be SPF. Sun damage accounts for 90% of skin ageing. UVA rays are there all year round, they can pass through glass and clouds. HEV (high energy visible light) rays are emitted from phones and laptops also causing damage to healthy skin cells. Protect yourself with a high factor physical barrier you'll be so glad in ten years time that you did."

READ: Replace Your Foundation This Summer With These Tinted SPF Moisturisers

"In the evenings, you should cleanse twice, or even three times if you are a makeup fan. Ditch micellar waters for your face and eyes because they cause redness, sensitivity and dehydration. Choose a cleanser based on your skin type.

"Look for an eye makeup remover that's oil-based, a firm favourite of mine is the Garnier 2 in 1 Express Eye Makeup Remover. Whips off mascara in a flash with zero irritation.

"The next step is a serum. The ideal one for you depends on so many factors. A skin consultation and trying out samples will allow you to suss out what works for you. Samples will really only give you an indication of whether you like the texture and feel of the product on your skin. Results with any new product will take a few weeks to show. If after two months you see no difference in your skin at all – thank you, next.

"Next is eye cream. It's so underrated! Your eye area shouldn't be forgotten about and is the area that's the hardest to treat later in life. Start using an eye cream from the age of 25. Pat the tiniest amount around the orbital bone. Hyaluronic acid retains moisture so this is your go-to ingredient for plump hydrated skin!"

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% (€6.75)

"To book a skin consultation with me please email [email protected]"

Main image by @intothegloss

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