What a beautiful relief: according to the professionals when it comes to transforming your skin, thankfully it's those small steps that have greatest effect. So start thinking big by practicing these 20 steps by leading skin experts.
1. Don't rely on just skincare
"Skincare cannot work by itself, your lifestyle needs to be complementary," advises renowned French cosmetic doctor Dr Jules Nabet. "The best advice is to use skincare in conjunction with anti-ageing treatments, including laser, light therapy and even Botox for example, to promote longer lasting results."
2. Count your units
Avoiding excess alcohol intake is obviously the right advice for your skin. Elsewhere, it's about changing what you drink. "You should especially avoid sweet cocktails – which is a double whammy for skin which loses collagen with excess sugar," says leading dermatologist Dr Stefanie Williams.
3. But enjoy a glass of wine
"One glass of wine (biodynamic, organic and natural) actually has some skin benefits as it improves circulation - but again a bottle of the stuff does not," explains expert nutritionist Eve Kalinik.
4. Beware of buffing
"Ease back on the exfoliation, it's a very over-rated step in skincare," explains Dr Mervyn Patterson, cosmetic dermatologist Woodford Medical. "You wouldn't exfoliate your house plants nor would you scrub your non-stick frying pan, so why do it to the skin of your face?"
5. Stay out of the UV light
"Minimise the amount of UV light exposure on areas that will always be on show. That's the face, side of neck, upper chest and backs of hands. Incorporate a good quality high-level sunscreen every morning, 365 days of the year," says Dr Hilary Allan, cosmetic dermatologist at Woodford Medical.
6. Eat fat
"We need healthy oils in the diet to nourish skin and keep it supple. Often acne is mistaken for excess oil but sometimes it can be the total opposite. In fact eating healthy oils doesn’t make your skin oily. Think cold water fish, eggs, avocados, cold pressed oils such as olive, pumpkin seed, linseed (all unheated), coconut oil and butter," explains expert nutritionist Eve Kalinik.
7. Always wear SPF outside
"Never leave the house without applying a good SPF. We recommend SPF 30-50. Nowadays there SPFs for all skin types so there is no reason not to include it in your daily skin care regime. A good protector encourages the prevention of future skin concerns," explains Dr Salinda Johnson.
8. But avoid excess sun
"Avoid excessive sun exposure. The message is not to solely rely on your sun protection cream, but instead actually avoid direct sun as much as possible," warns dermatologist Dr Stefanie Williams.
9. Massage your face
"Massage is an essential part of my treatment philosophy, at home or in the clinic. Fantastic for stimulating your skin, massage boosts the vital supply of oxygen and nutrients into skin cells while draining toxins from the lymph nodes to de-puff and prevent the blockages which can cause congestion and breakouts.
"You’ll be amazed how healthy and radiant your skin will look after just a couple of minutes," says Sarah Chapman, founder of Skinesis and leading UK facialist.
10. Clean sensibly
"Choose the right cleanser; there are so many cleansers out there and it’s important that you choose the right format for your skin type. Good skin starts with the right cleanser and the selection of the wrong type can, over long term, cause damage to your skin and lead to poor skin health," explains Dr Mike Bell, Head of Science Research, Boots UK.
11. Catch up on your beauty sleep
"Never, ever, ever accumulate sleep debt over prolonged periods of time – put sleep first," advises Dr Stefanie Williams. "Lack of sleep causes the hormone cortisol to rise, which in excess amounts, breaks down collagen which keeps our skin bouncy and thick."
12. Antioxidants are for the am, retinols for the pm
"Use topical antioxidants each morning and a topical vitamin A derivative (including retinol or retinaldehyde, or intermittent prescription strength tretinoin) in the evening to strengthen your collagen levels," explains Dr Stefanie Williams.
13. Go sugar-free
"Reduce your sugar consumption to protect skin. By that I'm also including starch intake, as every single starch molecule is cut down into sugar molecules as soon as it enters your body," explains Dr Stefanie Williams. "Sugar molecules mean higher insulin levels, inflammation and a breakdown of insulin and collagen, ergo sagging skin and wrinkles."
14. Wipe it out
"Don't wipe. Very convenient face wipes aren't great for the skin. Instead cleanse makeup and grime off thoroughly particularly in the evening using cleansers such as Epionce Gentle Foaming Cleanser that are formulated to repair the delicate skin barrier," says Allan.
15. Go light on acne
"If you suffer with breakouts, avoid lipid-rich, heavy skincare. Use oil-free products including make-up, and if you suffer with dry skin, avoid foaming cleansers and bubble baths," advises Dr Stefanie Williams.
16. Think with your head first
"The scalp is simply an extension of the skin on your forehead – a useful rule of thumb is to treat your scalp in a similar way to the skin on your face. Cleanse daily to remove excess sweat, pollutants and oils. Exfoliate weekly to remove dead skin with betaine salicylate, aloe vera extract and zinc. And drink enough water. When you are dehydrated, your scalp is likely to be so as well," warns Anabel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley.
17. Go pro with skin problems
"If you suffer with breakouts make sure to seek professional help from a dermatologist - don’t try to soldier through it on your own," advises Dr Stefanie Williams.
18. Eat your greens
"Greens are natural agents of helping to support detoxification processes so try and have some on a daily basis - broccoli, spinach, watercress, rocket, spring green, chard, kale, any herbs, just add them to your plate or a morning smoothie," says Eve Kalinik.
19. Life through a lens
"Wear sun glasses as often as socially acceptable to protect the delicate skin around your eyes," explains Dr Stefanie Williams.
20. Freeze frame your face
"Roll ice wrapped in a muslin cloth over your face to give yourself an instant glow and de-puff," explains Sarah Chapman.