The £3 Hack A Celebrity Facialist Taught Me For Glowing Skin

Photographed by Poppy Thorpe.
Adeela Crown is the skincare expert pretty much all your favourite actors visit before stepping on set. From Marvel Pictures and Universal Studios to the Oscars red carpet and soon, the Met Gala, her role as a film facialist and RéVive Skincare ambassador ensures that celebrities appear on camera with their best skin ever.
So in demand is Adeela that she spends the majority of her time flying between destinations like the Maldives, LA and New York to meet her VIP clients. London's Dorchester Hotel came calling recently thanks to a handful of stars who couldn't resist namedropping her in the luxury spa.
In other words, what Adeela doesn't know about healthy, happy skin isn't worth knowing so I couldn't turn down an appointment with her on her recent visit to the UK. During an hour of being preened and prepped, I learned so much about how to achieve incredible skin naturally. Here's everything you need to know.

'Serum cocktailing' could give you your best skin

Serum cocktailing is basically layering to get the most out of your skincare, said Adeela. "Always start with a hyaluronic acid serum, which should always be your base. It's a bit like your flour and eggs. On top of that, you can build anything you like." For example, Adeela likes to follow her hyaluronic acid serum with a vitamin C serum in the morning to protect skin against the environment (e.g. pollution and sun) and switches to retinol in the evening, which encourages brighter, smoother skin.
Before you do that, though, make sure your skin is prepped by exfoliating gently. Adeela swears by peel pads like RéVive Glycolic Renewal Peel, £220, which comes complete with towelettes. "You can use the most expensive serum with the best ingredients in it but if your skin has a layer of dead skin, oil, bacteria and bits of makeup on it, most of that serum will sit on the surface and get soaked up by the dead skin. It's a wasted opportunity."

Try activated vitamin C for glowing skin

For plump, glowing skin ahead of summer, when you might want to dial down the foundation, opt for an activated vitamin C, said Adeela. "These usually come in powder form," for example The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder, £5, or The Nue Co. Topical C, £50. "It's not blended into a product already — you have to blend it in the palm of your hand." You could do this with your hyaluronic acid serum or moisturiser.
Adeela said that this is a much more potent version of vitamin C and that she prefers it to ready-mixed serums. Why? Every time you open them, the vitamin C can be exposed to air and become less effective. Combined with hyaluronic acid and then followed by SPF, she revealed that activated vitamin C has fixed a lot of her pigmentation. "It saved my skin," she said.

The best skin-rejuvenating product is one you might not expect

"You'd be surprised how many people don't wear sunscreen," said Adeela, who revealed that the best pro-ageing skincare ingredient is SPF 50. "I place my sunscreen bottle on top of my moisturising tub and that way, every time I get to use my moisturiser, I spot it and apply it immediately afterwards." What about moisturisers that contain SPF? They do exist and you can use them but take it from Adeela, who also has qualifications in cosmetic chemistry: "It doesn’t matter if your moisturiser contains SPF 30. You have to have a separate SPF to see the full benefits."

This is a super cheap (and very effective) exfoliating hack

If you're scared of skincare acids, try gentle, mechanical exfoliation. "I've been doing the cheapest hack recently," said Adeela. "Get your creamy cleanser, then go to Boots and buy a couple of handheld face brushes. Apply a very thick layer of cream cleanser and use the brushes over your skin in circular motions for two minutes." Adeela said it's a bit like dry brushing without the dry part — and the brushes will only set you back £3. "Thanks to the creamy cleanser, your skin will be hydrated immediately so you shouldn't feel irritation or dryness." Gentle exfoliation also provides a good canvas for your skincare products and makeup.

How copper peptides can transform your skin

Whether you're a skincare aficionado or a novice, you might've noticed brands championing copper peptides in multiple products. This ingredient helps to produce collagen and elastin, resulting in smoother, plumper skin. Adeela loves them. "I think copper peptides are the way forward and they really work on skin texture," she said.
R29 rates Biossance Squalane + Copper Peptide Rapid Plumping Serum, £52, and The Ordinary "Buffet" + Copper Peptides 1%, £28.90, both of which can be used morning and night after cleansing and before moisturiser.

You could be using hyaluronic acid all wrong

Adeela said that dehydration can make skin appear dull, develop blemishes on the top of your cheeks or become peppered with fine lines. If this sounds familiar, you might want to add a hyaluronic acid serum into your AM and PM routine. But according to Adeela, a lot of people end up using it incorrectly. "Once you use a hyaluronic acid-based product, you have to create a protective seal of moisture on top so that it keeps the product inside. That's when it works best." The solution is pretty simple. After applying your hyaluronic acid serum in the daytime, follow with SPF; in the evening, follow with moisturiser.

The problem with LED masks

"Professional LED masks are stronger than at-home versions," said Adeela, "but they aren't useless if you have around 30 minutes before bed." For LED to work, Adeela said it has to be in close contact with your skin. "This is why I have a problem with handheld LED tools, which you move along your face. You're not getting the best results and you might as well just sit in front of a light bulb." When used correctly for the right amount of time, Adeela said that LED has the ability to heal skin (for example wounds or spots) because it kickstarts your skin's defence mechanism. You'll need a big beauty budget for this one, though.
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