10 skin-boosting tips

A older woman lying in a hammock wearing a sun hat and admiring her glowing skin in a hand mirror
Feel good about your skin: follow these simple skincare strategies Credit: Getty

Tom Kallis, Boots pharmacist, gives his top tips for dealing with problems from dry patches to sensitive skin. Try these tactics to help take better care of your skin

1 Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Tom says: “Dry skin isn’t helped by being dehydrated from not drinking enough water. Fruits and vegetables generally have a high water content, so incorporating them as part of a healthy, varied diet will also help keep you hydrated." If your urine is pale that’s a good sign that you’re well hydrated. If it’s darker, reach for some H2O.

2 Watch your alcohol intake

It’s not just drinking enough water that’s key for hydration – it’s also vital to be mindful of what else you’re quaffing. Tom says: “Both caffeine and alcohol act as diuretics and cause the body to lose water, so keep within sensible limit."

3 Pick the right pamper products

Everyone’s skin is different, so there’s no one-formulation-fits-all rule for picking toiletries. But do take note of how your skin reacts when you try something new.

Tom says: “Some shampoos and body washes can have harsh detergents in them, so if you find your skin is dry or irritable after using them, it might be worth switching to a formulation which has built-in moisturisers or an unperfumed brand. Some scrubs contain exfoliating beads or particles, which can irritate or further dry sensitive skin.”

If you suffer from a skin condition such as eczema, psoriasis or rosacea, always make sure that any skincare product you use is suitable for use with the condition and won’t aggravate it.

4 Slick on some oil

Tom says: “The drier your skin is, the oilier you’ll want your moisturising cream to be, as these creams work by forming an oily layer on top of the skin to prevent moisture from evaporating away from its surface,” explains Kallis.

5 Be savvy about the sun

Sunlight can cause general damage to the skin, not only by causing burning if skin is exposed for too long, but this also carries an increased risk of skin cancer. As well as this there’s the general ageing effect of UVA radiation. Using sunscreen is therefore very important.

Tom says: “Don’t forget to slather on sunscreen with a high SPF for protection against UVB radiation and with a five-star UVA rating whenever you’ll be catching some rays, to help prevent UV damage.”

Stay hydrated: drinking plenty of water will give your skin a boost Credit: Getty

6 Get a second opinion

Do you have seriously dry skin and nothing seems to help? Tom says: “Your pharmacist can act as a triage point, advising you about suitable over the counter products and also will advise you if you should go to your GP for further advice or investigation.”

If you have a skin condition your pharmacy team can advise you on suitable products to help you manage it.

7 Don’t self-diagnose

Sure, Google may seem to know a lot about health matters, but it’s always important to get professional advice. Tom says: “Once you know what you’re dealing with, your pharmacy team will be able to advise on suitable skin care products for you to use."

8 Know your triggers

Some skin conditions such as general dry skin, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea can be made worse by certain triggers. The inflamed, itchy skin of eczema is often triggered by such irritants as detergents, cold weather and dust mites.

Psoriasis can be aggravated by stress, alcohol, too much sun, cold dry weather and smoking. Rosacea usually begins with facial skin flushing and can lead to redness, spots, and burning sensations on the skin.

Some common culprits for causing rosacea flare-ups include stress, hot drinks, alcohol, spicy food, intense exercise and sun exposure.²

Tom says: “It’s worth keeping a diary of your symptoms alongside what you’re up to in a day and what you’ve been eating and drinking, to see if there are any links." Avoiding your triggers may help to ease the symptoms. But always visit your GP if the condition becomes more of a problem.

9 Don’t bottle it up

Tom says: “Having a visible skin condition such as eczema, psoriasis or rosacea can sometimes affect sufferers’ self-confidence, possibly having an impact on their social lives. Don’t suffer in silence.”

Speak to your GP if your well-being is being affected.   

10 Stick at it

Managing the symptoms of a skin condition may not be a quick win. Tom says: “You may not get on well with the first suggestion or treatment that you use, but don’t lose faith. Sometimes it can be a case of trial and error, and don’t forget to seek advice from your pharmacist and GP who can support you through your journey.”

Boots pharmacists can also offer information about which beauty products, such as cleansers, might be suitable for those with skin conditions.

For advice on skin conditions, ask your local Boots pharmacist or visit boots.com