By Lottie Jackson, Journalist, beauty nerd and diversity activist.
QUESTION: What are the most important parts of a skincare routine?
ANSWER: Cleansing, moisturizing and exfoliating are the most essential steps in your skincare routine.
Using our Daily Foaming Cleanser, in the morning and at night, will soothe the skin and sweep away any build-up of dead cells which may lead to breakouts.
Follow this with a facial moisturizer like our Daily Hydra Cream which is formulated to deliver intense hydration and antioxidants to the skin — this will protect your complexion from the damaging effects of free radicals and environmental factors such as pollution.
Finally, our Deep Cleansing Scrub should be used two to three times a week to exfoliate the layers of the skin and activate cell regeneration to reveal a beautifully soft, radiant complexion.
Q: What should I do about an uneven skin tone, dark spots and hyperpigmentation?
A: These common skin complaints can be a result of anything from sun exposure to dehydration or even hormonal fluctuations. We advise seeking out products that contain any of the following wonder ingredients — Glycolic acid, Niacinamide or Vitamin C.
Known for its ability to penetrate deeply into your skin cells, Glycolic acid exfoliates darkened areas of skin, as well as reducing acne and revealing smoother skin.
As a daily fix, Niacinamide will work to minimize enlarged pores, improve uneven skin tone and reduce fine lines.
Meanwhile, Vitamin C will calm inflammation and redness, whilst shielding your skin from the oxidative stress that can contribute to an uneven skin tone.
And finally, always apply SPF (even in the winter and on cloudy days) to reduce sun damage to your skin and prevent the formation of age spots.
Q: I am new to skincare, how should I start?
A: Firstly, welcome to the club. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, we recommend starting with the basics — ‘Cleanse, Exfoliate, Moisturize’ is your new mantra. Once this routine is mastered, you can start to add in skincare treatments like rejuvenating masks and serums.
Q: How do I find out my skin type?
A: There are three main skin types — dry, oily and combination skin. Dry skin can feel tight throughout the day and be prone to flaking, whereas oily skin will produce excess sebum that can clog pores. Combination skin will typically see areas of dryness on the cheeks with an oilier t-zone.
The blotting sheet method is an easy, DIY test to determine your skin type — gently pat blotting paper on the various zones of your face, and then hold the paper up to the light to assess how much oil is visible. If the blotting paper is saturated with oil, you have oily skin. Whereas if the paper picked up minimal oil, you have dry skin. And finally, if it reveals oil from only the forehead and nose areas, you most likely have a combination skin type.
Q: Are woods_ skincare products cruelty-free?
A: All our products are cruelty-free. And additionally, all our products are vegan (except for our lip balm, which contains organic bee wax). This means they are free from genetically modified organisms, animal ingredients and animal by-products. Any ingredients found in our products are responsibly derived from natural plants, herbs and berries packed with skin-boosting properties.
Q: What is AHA in skin care?
A: AHAs, which stand for alpha hydroxy acids, are a group of chemical exfoliants that strip away the build-up of dead cells on the skin’s surface to reveal a brighter, smoother complexion. These exfoliants also improve your skin tone, reduce hyperpigmentation and fade acne scarring. Among the most common AHAs are glycolic, mandelic and citric acid, which can be found in an array of products like toners, masks, exfoliators and serums.
Q: What does vitamin C do for your skin?
A: Vitamin C has many skin-enhancing benefits — it revitalizes dull skin, stimulates collagen production and rehydrates the complexion. It will also neutralize free radicals and protect the skin against the excessive oxidative stress that causes tell-tale signs of ageing.
We recommend using our Daily Mineral Gel, which is a lightweight facial moisturizer enriched with cloudberry — an ingredient that’s known to have four times as much Vitamin C as an orange. To stabilise Vitamin C and enhance its efficacy, it’s important to combine it with skincare products that contain Vitamin E.
Q: Why are natural and organic ingredients important in skincare?
A: Woods_ is founded on the philosophy that the most powerful ingredients in skincare originate from raw nature itself. Naturally sourced, organic ingredients will always leave your skin feeling effortlessly smooth and nourished. For individuals with sensitive skin types, they are an essential — preventing the irritation caused by products that contain harsh chemicals.
Using natural and organic skincare is a conscious, environmentally friendly option. Beauty products containing chemicals are more likely to have a damaging impact on our environment, ecosystems and require harmful manufacturing processes.
Q: What does hyaluronic acid do?
A: Hyaluronic acid is the key to smooth, glowing and beautifully moisturized skin. It functions like a magnet for moisture to ensure your skin cells are deeply hydrated. With its antioxidant properties, Hyaluronic acid will help to shield your skin against free radicals — these are molecules that trigger premature ageing and dark spots.
Try our Intense Hyaluronic Mask for an instant boost of hydration that will restore the moisture, firmness and elasticity of your skin in 10 minutes.
Q: Why is my skin aging prematurely?
A: There are multiple factors that speed up the ageing process of our skin. UV exposure due to sunlight is the biggest culprit, as it breaks down collagen and damages the skin’s natural elasticity.
Emerging scientific research has also revealed that air pollution in cities is prematurely ageing our skin — it accelerates wrinkles and age spots by damaging the skin’s natural barrier, leaving it defenceless to oxidative stress and harmful free radicals.
Meanwhile, increased usage of electronic devices will also cause visible signs of ageing, with dermatologists warning that blue light can penetrate the epidermis to trigger hyperpigmentation, free radical damage and collagen breakdown.
Q: What do you recommend as the best cleanser for sensitive skin?
A: If you have sensitive skin, choosing the right cleanser is key to avoiding redness and irritation. Our mild Daily Foaming Cleanser is specifically formulated with natural ingredients that soothe and protect even the most sensitive skin types. The aloe vera, for instance, has calming, anti-inflammatory properties that are perfectly suited to sensitive skin. Likewise, the cucumber extract (which is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants) effectively replenishes the skin and soothes irritation.
Q: How do you treat dry, sensitive, breakout prone skin?
A: There are a number of ways to tackle dry, sensitive and breakout prone skin — but preventing a build-up of bacteria is always a good starting point. To keep blemish-causing bacteria in check, cleanse your face thoroughly using our mild Daily Foaming Cleanser in the morning and at night.
Exfoliation is another effective way to decongest pores and break down dead cells. Try using our Intense Peel Mask — the collagen-boosting formula relies on BHA’s and AHA’s to remove the outermost layer of dead skin and accelerate cellular turnover. We recommend applying it for 2 minutes, before removing with warm water. As the skin builds up resistance, you can leave it on for longer if needed.
Our Daily Mineral Gel which delivers instant hydration (without greasiness) is another essential product in your beauty arsenal. Its formula of hyaluronic acid and nutrient-rich sea buckthorn will keep the skin’s barrier intact to prevent moisture loss and defend against external aggressors.
Q: Can you cure rosacea through skincare?
A: Unfortunately, there is no cure-all lotion for rosacea. But you can certainly curate a skincare routine that will reduce the redness and irritation associated with rosacea.
A mild, non-drying cleanser formulated to clean sensitive skin will ensure your face isn’t left feeling dry and irritated. Try our natural Daily Foaming Cleanser which contains ingredients, like aloe vera and cucumber extract, that calm and protect your skin.
Likewise, it’s crucial to apply moisturizer as rosacea may cause the skin to become excessively dry or oily. A replenishing moisturizer such as our Daily Hydra Cream will give your complexion an instant boost of hydration to ease irritation and roughness.
We recommend avoiding exfoliating ingredients (like lactic acid and glycolic acid) as they can cause temporary redness.
Q: SPF in a natural skincare routine or not?
A: During the daytime, always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30+) to protect your skin from blue light exposure and UV rays — even on cloudy days. We recommend a gentle, fragrance-free formula with a mineral sunscreen agent, like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which is more suited to sensitive skin.
Q: What is the most overrated step or product in skincare routines?
A: At woods_copenhagen, we believe any skincare product containing harsh chemicals to be overrated! Not only are they more likely to have a negative impact on the environment, but they can also cause excessive irritation and redness on sensitive complexions. Naturally derived, organic ingredients always.
Q: Which facial mask from woods_ copenhagen would you recommend for hyperpigmentation?
A: Our Intense Peel Mask is a double threat when it comes to targeting areas of hyperpigmentation. The formula contains lactic and glycolic acids which effectively exfoliate your complexion to slough away dead skin and trigger the production of new cells. Once a week, simply apply a thin layer of the gel-mask and leave for 2–4 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
Q: When should you apply face oils and serums? Before or after moisturizing?
A: Now, this is one of the most controversial topics in skincare! The original school of thought — apply skincare products in order of their consistency, thinnest to thickest — has been increasingly debated. At woods_copenhagen, we recommend the following product order: serums, moisturizers, oils.
After cleansing, serums should always be applied first. This will allow the active ingredients to penetrate deep into your pores. Moisturizing creams should then be used before facial oil — once you apply an oil, it’s harder for other products to penetrate through to the skin. But this can vary from product to product.