Ask Dija: How often should I exfoliate, steam and mask?

There is not a one size fits all answer as everyone has a different skin type with differing concerns. So I followed the question with my own question, as you do.

How would you describe your skin type and what age group do you fall into?

Answer: Combination skin, early 20’s.

Combination skin tends to have an oily T zone – forehead, nose and chin – and dry/normal areas on the cheeks. The pores tend to be larger on the T zone which produce more oil and shine on the surface of the skin. Early 20’s would fall into the young skin bracket, so we’d expect supple, plump and firm skin.

In addition to your CTM routine I would recommend the following.


A steam will warm up your face to open pores and dislodge dry skin and you can do this on a daily basis whilst cleansing with a flannel. Simply run hot water over the flannel (as hot as your hand can stand without scalding, we don’t want any burns!), wring and lay on your face. (make sure its not too hot, again I worry about scalding!) This is a an extremely gentle steaming method, but highly effective. Leave super-duper steams to your facialist who by the way you should be seeing on a monthly basis. If you aren’t, start now because all skin types benefits from a deep clean!


You need to exfoliation to remove dead skin cells that have been dislodged through your gentle steam and are just hanging on. Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant is perfect for combination skin and all time favourite. Its rice based enzyme scrub so its gentle enough to use everyday. Gritty exfoliators are a big no-no as they’ll only vex your skin.


When it comes to masks,  I don’t subscribe to a one size fits all mantra. I truly believe with combination skin you have to tackle the different areas in isolation and there’s nothing strange or extravagant about using two different types of masks.

On the T zone a clay based mask is best. This will soak up oil straight up out of the pores to purify and help mattify the skin. Depending on how oily your T zone is every 2 – 3 days should suffice. One of the best for general day-to-day maintenance is Garnier Pure 3 in 1 Wash-Scrub-Mask which contains kaolin – the oil absorber.

On dry cheeks or other generally dry areas, you want something that’s going to moisturise and hydrate your skin deep within. 1 or 2 times a week should be fine. I would recommend something along the lines of Weleda Wild Rose Intensive Facial Masque. It will brighten any dull skin and balance moisture levels.

See products here.

Having said this, it really very important to pay close attention to your skin and listen to it. Feed your skin what it needs and set your own standard for your personal skin care.

Ask Dija: I’ve got dry skin and it always looks dull and grey? How can I turn it around?

Firstly, make sure you are following a proper and consistent face cleaning routine using the correct products for your skin type. I’m going to focus on products that will give your skin a super boost for a long-lasting glow.

  • Exfoliation helps to get rid of dead skin cells which sit on the top layer of skin and stop skin care products from being absorbed properly into the skin. It’s this layer of dead skin that can cast a dull tone on the skin. I love Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant which is a rice based enzyme powder you mix with water to create a creamy exfoliant. As the name says it gentle enough to use everyday, but I normally recommend every other day, so as not to irritate the skin.
  • Once a week do a moisturising mask that hydrates the skin, help reduce flakes and dry patches. Try Elemis Exotic Cream Moisturising Mask which soothes and hydrates with honey and samphire.
  • Invest in an anti oxidant serum. They can be pricey, but I believe they are worth it for excellent skin. A serum has particles small enough to be absorbed in the deeper layers of the skin and nourish from the inside. Look for ones that contain hylauronic acid as this plumps up the skin for a youthful look and glow. SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 is a firm favourite as it not only plumps but repairs tissue.
  • Suti Rejuvenate Face Oil makes a great non greasy moisturiser and you only need a few drops to keep your skin hydrated and glowing. Its perfect for parched skin that’s crying out for moisture.

Following these few tips you can turn skin that’s dull and grey to glowing and radiant in no time at all.

You can view all products here.

Brides – this one’s for you!

When I was getting married, I didn’t so much as want to be a blushing bride, I wanted to be a glowing bride. One of the things I knew would help, was having good clear skin that I wouldn’t have to worry about. Lord knows, there are a million other things to be worried about!

It’s key to follow a good beauty regime as the day approach as stress and worry can take its toll on the skin. So if you’re getting married this summer, this little nugget will be right up your street.

Dermalogica are holding a Big Day Masterclass at Liberty’s in central London. Both the brand and the store have dear places in my heart, so I’m hoping this will be an excellent event for anyone wanting to know how to take care of their skin better as ‘the day’ approaches.

It’s a 45 minute interactive workshop, led by an expert Dermalogica educator that should leave you armed with the knowledge and tools you need to achieve a glow on your special day and I hope for many days and months after. There’s a chance to get Face Mapping done, which breaks up your skin into zones and analyses each one to tell you about the condition and how you can look after it better. And of course, you get to play and experiment with Dermalogica products.

When: 6pm – Wednesday 30th May 2012

Where: Heritage Suite – Liberty London

Cost: £30, which as they do nowadays is redeemable against any purchases you make on the day.

Extras: Yes! A VIP goody bag 🙂

Booking is required – 0207 734 1234 EXT 2125