"I always start my morning with prayer or meditation – a 'me' moment to set my intention for the day." Content creator, stylist and writer Erica Matthews uses her online space to create a "wholesome self-care guide for women", championing mindfulness every step of the way.
She explains how rituals that allow time to pause are integral to her daily routine. "No two days are the same. Some days I’m filming at home, often I’m pulling clothes, packing cases or going on set for a shoot and others I’m sitting at my laptop, finishing off my writing deadlines," she says. One ritual that she finds herself turning to throughout her day is a solid skincare routine. "Skincare is major for me," says Erica.
"My lifestyle definitely impacts my skin. The tiniest things can have a strong effect on it, like sitting in front of screens all day or when I go out cycling. It’s important to me that I am looking at products that protect my skin from environmental aggressors like pollution," she says.
Erica is particularly taken with Shiseido Ultimune Serum Power Infusing Concentrate. She explains that her followers are deeply invested in her skincare product choices and routines. "Skincare presents a moment to tap in and look after yourself and it’s nice that I get to share that with my audience."
It’s worth knowing that Erica is far from just another 'skinfluencer' pushing skincare products she knows little about. In fact, she spends a huge amount of time reading up on a product before she tries it. "I’m always exploring more. I’m reading up about the products I use, researching them and seeing exactly what the technology does," she says.
Finding products that marry her love of wellbeing and science-led skincare, slot easily into her day and tackle her major skin concerns is of utmost importance. "I want something that helps with texture, as well as evening out pigmentation. I really like a good glow but I want something lightweight at the same time," she explains.
This is why Shiseido Ultimune Serum Power Infusing Concentrate (available in sizes from 15ml to 120ml) has proved so impressive. Infused with ImuGenerationRED technology, the lightweight serum utilises years of scientific research to improve the skin’s natural ability to defend itself against damaging aggressors like stress and pollution. It also boosts circulation and blood flow for a healthier looking, more radiant complexion.
"My skin is naturally combination so I have drier patches but also an oily T-zone. I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and when I’m not tapped in with my body and skin I do get a lot of hormonal breakouts. I had adult acne last year and that was a lot for me. I take good care of my skin and I felt like nothing was working, but it’s about trying to deal with that and balance it," says Erica.
Erica saw the benefits of Ultimune's defensive effects after just a few days. "I video called my mum yesterday and she said how good my skin looked. Seriously, it’s glowing. I posted a video after a week of use and my community all wanted to know what I was using. I haven’t got as many breakouts as usual, my skin is hydrated, I’m glowing and I’m not as oily – my skin just feels really soft."
Erica is the first to admit that it takes something really special for a skincare product to be perfect. Surface level results aren’t always enough. "My mindful practices help to keep my stress levels down but a ritualistic approach to skincare helps, too. When I’m irritated, my skin is irritated. Our skin is our biggest organ and it often tells us what is going on internally and mentally. I take a holistic approach to skincare because I find my skin isn’t as glowing if I haven’t taken those moments to pause and tap in with myself," she says.
With iris and reishi mushroom extracts to help minimise the effects of stress on the skin, it’s no wonder that Ultimune slots seamlessly into Erica's holistic skincare rituals. "It’s easy to fit into my routine. I usually love the art of layering my skincare but it’s helped me pause on that and realise I don’t need as many [products]. Some days I don’t even need to moisturise after applying it but I like that it bears no extra weight. It makes it easy to use with existing favourites in my routine."
When it comes to skincare, Erica believes that the most important thing is to find a product that helps you feel like your very best self – a mindset she embraces in all aspects of her life. "Natural ageing is just that: natural. And it’s inevitable. Skincare should be about keeping a glow, hydrating, plumping the skin, being in the moment with who you are now and looking like your best self," she muses.