The Cosmopolitan guide to specialist skincare

Judy Johnson
·3-min read
Photo credit: Jaime Lee - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jaime Lee - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Is your skin a bit high-maintenance? It might be time to kick your skincare routine up a notch with some specialist or medicated additions.

If you’re not sure where to get started, or you’re just nervous about using products that might look more at home in your medicine cabinet than your latest #empties post, we asked consultant dermatologist Dr Justine Hextall to share her top tips.

Luckily, you can find everything from your basic beauty routine and cult products to tailored advice from a pharmacist about specific skin concerns, all under one roof at Boots. If you’re looking for access to prescription-only medication to treat mild to moderate acne, there’s even the Boots Acne Online Clinic, where you can have medication delivered to your doorstep*.

So, ready to get clued up? Here’s everything you need to know about working treatments and specialist skincare into your routine...

1. Could a prescription help my skin?

If you have a skin concern, like redness, flaky patches or pigmentation, getting the right diagnosis is essential. Don’t wait until things become unbearable – if you’re suffering with your skin, book a chat with your GP or a date with a dermatologist, but remember that there are also experts on the high street who can help.

“Speaking to a pharmacist can get you some excellent advice, including, where appropriate, over-the-counter medicinal treatments which can really help common skin concerns,” explains Dr Hextall.

You can even access treatments that could help to manage your acne without leaving the house. Take the Boots Acne Online Clinic*, where you simply fill in a questionnaire to start a consultation process with a Boots clinician, who will use your answers to assess your mild to moderate acne symptoms and prescribe treatment, if appropriate. With no GP waiting times and medication that can either be picked up in store or sent to your home address in discreet packaging, Boots help to make acne treatment accessible*.

Photo credit: Boy_Anupong
Photo credit: Boy_Anupong

2. What ingredients should I look for?

The key is finding the right formulas that work for you. Speaking to an expert can help. Head into store to speak to a Boots pharmacist or log on to the Boots Acne Online Clinic* to see what treatment options they can offer.

“Salicylic acid can help calm acne-prone skin in specialist skincare products, as can an ingredient like retinol, while niacinamide can help to hydrate the skin barrier as well as potentially helping to soothe pimples. To help reduce the appearance of pigmentation, look for vitamin C and topical tranexamic acid,” says Dr Hextall.

Those with eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis could consider ceramide-rich moisturisers that help to keep irritation at bay, like Doublebase Diomed Dry Skin Emollient. For rosacea, consider Dermalex Rosacea Treatment as a soothing addition to your skincare routine.

3. What do I need to know before using specialist skincare or treatments?

If you’re adding treatments and specialist skincare into your beauty routine, you’ll want to ease products in slowly and sandwich them between two soothing steps.

“Active ingredients in medicated treatments can inflame the skin, so it’s important not to overload it and to compensate with gentle, hydrating cleansers and moisturisers that soothe skin without blocking pores,” explains Dr Hextall. The same can be said for retinols, salicyclic acids and vitamins in specialist skincare products, so take care when adding them to your routine.

Try a gentle cleanser, like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, before your treatment or specialist skincare product, then follow with a hydrating moisturiser, such as Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion. Always finish with an SPF, like the brand’s Daily Defence Moisturiser SPF50. Better still, they’re all 1/3 off at Boots**.

Head to Boots in store, at Boots.com or via the app to take the first step in sorting your skincare needs. Boots has everything you might need, from the products to pharmacist advice and prescriptions

*Charges apply. All treatments are subject to clinician approval

**Offer available until November 3rd

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