The changing weather means parched patches and dullness are slowly but surely taking over any trace of a post-summer glow, though not for a handful of editors in the know. At an event not too long ago, I couldn't help but stare at a colleague's luminous complexion. Plump and clear, the light bounced off her skin in all the right places. Even without an ounce of makeup, her skin looked ultra healthy. Brand-new, even. What's her secret? I thought. Retinol? Sunscreen? Vitamin C? All of the above? It was then that I found out she had paid a visit to Jasmina Vico.
If she isn't on your radar just yet, Jasmina Vico is arguably London's most booked and busy facialist. You might follow her on Instagram, in which case you'll know that hers are the magic hands behind Jodie Comer's perpetual glow and Sienna Miller's youthful appearance. Jasmina also counts Bridgerton's Phoebe Dynevor and Nicola Coughlan as recent clientele, proving that TV's most esteemed stars trust her to transform their faces.
Jasmina has a direct, no-frills-and-nonsense attitude to skin. Talking to her over the phone is equal parts daunting and compelling. From laser and acupuncture through to skincare ingredients and must-have products, it seems there isn't much she doesn't know about how to achieve incredible skin. After years in the beauty industry I consider myself something of a beauty know-it-all but in just 30 minutes Jasmina turned all of my skincare habits on their head. Other editors are right: what she says is pretty much gospel.
Ahead, the sought-after facialist divulges her very best advice for achieving incredible skin all year round (but especially in winter).
How to rejuvenate skin & stall the signs of ageing — without spending a fortune
The one rule Jasmina swears by? Prevention is always better than cure. She says it pays to invest in skincare and places a focus on using vitamin C in the morning, followed with a hydrating moisturiser and then a high factor sunscreen. All three will protect skin against the environment, which accelerates ageing. In the evening it's all about retinol and she suggests looking to a substantial moisturiser, too. "In the winter, you need more ceramides and fattier creams to create a barrier against the cold and wind," she says. R29 rates Face Theory's CeraQuench Renewal Cream M6, £24.99, for the colder months. "I follow this very simple, effective routine which has been the same for years." She also uses face masks twice a week and gets a professional glycolic peel twice a month.
Besides DIY skincare, Jasmina suggests looking into mesotherapy treatment, which involves small injections of vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and other glow-boosting ingredients to plump up the skin and make it glow. Diet also plays a big part in her skincare business. "My whole approach is inside/outside," Jasmina said.
How to get clear, dewy & radiant skin like Jodie Comer
Jodie Comer is skin goals — and one of Jasmina's most high-profile clients. There are two skincare ingredients that Jasmina would recommend for emulating Jodie's enviable glow in particular: exfoliating acids to remove dead skin cells (for example glycolic peels) and vitamin C. "People will always buy expensive creams but these ingredients are proven to work," said Jasmina. "We start losing collagen from the age of 25. For some people, that's when they tend to notice the first signs of ageing — earlier if they are sun worshippers. These ingredients boost collagen production in the skin."
Jasmina suggests using glycolic acid twice a week and mentioned that this goes for any exfoliating acids, whether AHAs (glycolic and lactic acid, for example) or BHAs (like salicylic acid). "Some people like an overnight glycolic exfoliator, for example. I like a light exfoliating product," she said. R29 recommends The Ordinary's Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, £6.80, or Pixi's Glow Tonic, £18, if you're an exfoliating acids beginner.
As mentioned above, Jasmina employs vitamin C daily in the morning, teamed with SPF — but it pays to get the formula right. "With vitamin C products, look for L-ascorbic acid," said Jasmina, which you'll find in the ingredients list. "For your topical vitamin C to work it needs to have 10-15% vitamin C," which she said ensures it is a proper anti-ageing treatment. "There are so many vitamin C creams, serums and boosters out there," added Jasmina. "Technically, they are not going to give you what you want." She recommends vitamin C products by SkinCeuticals, Medik8, ZO Skin Health and Dermaceutic.
The golden skin rule all of Jasmina's celebrity clients swear by
"Stay out of the sun," said Jasmina. "Sun kills collagen and that's a fact. Even five or 10 minutes in the sun at the end of the summer is going to add up to unprotected sun exposure and you'll pay the price later." She compares skin to a beach ball. Left outside, the ball will deflate over time. Similarly, collagen loss causes 'cracks' in the skin, which become wrinkles. As a result, Jasmina is a big advocate of wearing SPF every day. "There are people that think they don't need it and people that know they need it but don't wear it because they haven't found the right one," said Jasmina. "It might make them break out or it's too thick, for example. When it comes to SPF everyone is different, but I would recommend La Roche-Posay [R29 rates Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid Sun Cream SPF50+, £18] or Dermaceutic's K Ceutic, £36, as well as Actinica's Very High Protection Lotion, £12.85." She continued: "I always wear SPF on my hands, too. Ideally when you're wearing SPF, pull it down to the chest and the neck area, also."
Why you should give lasers a chance for better skin
"When it comes to skin, I don't think about anti-ageing," said Jasmina. "I think about giving your skin a photo finish, so it's more prevention, which involves plumping and tightening." Lasers are a surefire route to smoother, more even-toned skin. "A lot of my clients have laser treatments if we're doing prep for a red carpet event or during filming," she revealed. "When people think about lasers, their mind goes to one of two: fraxel (which penetrates deeply and resurfaces skin) or hair removal lasers. But lasers offer a broad spectrum of treatments, from tightening to removing broken capillaries, minimising acne, eczema, rosacea and helping with collagen remodelling," said Jasmina. "I might do five or 10 different things on a client, using different attachments so that we can promote the skin's collagen. It's basically removing any imperfections."
When asked whether ablative lasers (which exfoliate the top layer of skin, uncovering newer, brighter skin cells) are painful, Jasmina answered honestly. "Beauty is pain," she said. "When you create an injury in the skin, the body receives a signal that it needs to repair itself. What your body then does is try to heal. It then sends blood and nutrients to heal the 'wound' and that's when you get the new collagen formation. The pink colour of your skin afterwards suggests you've done the job correctly." At Jasmina's clinic, the VicoGlow Laser will cost you £365 for 60 minutes and targets acne, ageing, scarring, skin discolouration and inflammation.
You're probably over-washing your face — here's how Jasmina does it
"I think people are over-washing their faces and stripping all of their natural oils," says Jasmina, which leads to skin that feels tight, uncomfortable, irritated and may even start producing more oil. "Washing your face in the evening is a must," said Jasmina but she advises against doing this in the shower using scorching water. "Hot water dehydrates and inflames the skin," she said.
Though double cleansing is a hot trend, Jasmina personally doesn't do this as she isn't a big makeup-wearer (however she suggests removing your makeup before cleansing if you wear foundation and other products). Interestingly, Jasmina doesn't wash her face at all in the morning. "I use ice cold water and then I apply rose water," she said. "First of all, it wakes you up, but it also tightens your skin. Then I use the rose water to hydrate. This is personal to me so, if you have oily skin, you'll have to wash your face in the morning. Less is more but at home you need to find what works for you."
The under-the-radar skin ingredients everyone should know about
Jasmina's own skincare routine consists of an ingredient not very many experts talk about: stem cells. "I like to use skincare products which contain stem cells and growth factors in the evening," she said. "Stem cells simply rejuvenate your skin. They can be plant-based or animal-based and you can even grow your own in a lab, though that will cost you thousands." Jasmina loves easy skincare brand Bioeffect, which uses stem cells extracted from barley. Try Bioeffect Hydrating Cream, £60, or EGF Day Serum, £115, under moisturiser.
This is the single most important step in Jasmina's skincare routine
Jasmina rates regular facial massage for encouraging lymphatic drainage, which essentially stimulates blood circulation and decreases skin puffiness by removing fluid from your face. "Ideally, facial massage should be done every day," said Jasmina, "but who has the time? Even if it's just during the application of your skincare products, doing a little massage using your fingers in outward motions is enough." In terms of tools, she suggests anything from gua sha stones to facial rollers, which work a treat. "The pressure should be somewhere between soft and firm," she said.
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