Just how do leading ladies like Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, and Gwyneth Paltrow boast such flawless faces? Savoir Flair can let you into a little secret – it’s Linda Meredith. Not only is she the go-to facialist for countless celebs, but she also works with none other than Queen Rania and is creator of her own award-winning skincare line that’s now available in the UAE.
With over 40 years in the industry and a client list to rival the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it’s safe to say that this is one woman who knows a thing or two about getting sensational skin. So, naturally, we just had to find out her top tips and tricks. From the foods you should be eating to turn back time to the biggest anti-aging myths busted, read on to discover how you can put your best face forward.
What ‘magic’ ingredients should we be looking out for, and why?
There are so many these days! I love coconut oil in skincare. It’s a fabulous oil that’s absorbed very well into the skin and really helps with protecting the surface layers whilst locking in moisture. Beta-glucan is a great collagen stimulator, and we all need some of that! Essential oils have immense effects on the skin and all come from natural sources.
But the key is to make sure you use the highest-grade quality, and this is difficult to find in a lot of products these days. It’s not just about reading the front of the bottle, you really need to look at the ingredients list on the back and see where the ingredients sit on the listing. The ingredients listed first are the strongest percentage. I would also like to point out that it’s not only looking for the good ingredients, but also knowing which chemical ingredients are harsh. Don’t choose products that have these ingredients in them. My products have the highest grade essential oils and nutrients in them – this is why they are so effective and smell divine.
When we see individuals with good skin, approximately 60 percent comes from genetics and the rest is down to lifestyle.
What lifestyle changes make a real difference to skin health?
When we see individuals with good skin, approximately 60 percent comes from genetics and the rest is down to lifestyle. There are, however, certain aspects that affect our body and, in turn, our skin. We have no control over things like the environment in which we live, which has been flooded with synthetic chemicals for several decades. Diet is a huge issue and – of course – lifestyle aspects, such as emotional stress, really affect our skin. A commitment in changing to a clean diet (less preservatives, sugar, junk food, and smoking) will make a huge difference, too.
Speaking of food, what should we eat for healthy, younger-looking skin?
As the saying goes, we are what we eat! And I am a true believer of that. My philosophy for skincare is to feed the skin with essential nutrients in order to rebuild it, as there have been huge changes to our bodies since the introduction of chemicals that alter the balance from the inside.
Diet and lifestyle now play a huge part in what we are seeing on the surface. My tips are to choose foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients, be selective on fat intake, cook with coconut/avocado/olive oil rather that corn oil, and reduce the amount of red meat you eat. Also always choose local produce rather than produce that has been flown halfway around the world.
Linda Meredith ‘Oxygen Mask’
Debunk the biggest anti-aging myth you’ve heard.
That drinking water will hydrate the skin. When we drink water, it works first and foremost inside the body – flushing out toxins, regulating body temperature, and keeping our organs functioning before finally reaching the surface. This is why using the right products on the outside is as, if not more, important.
Why would anyone want to harm themselves just to increase the production of collagen?
What are the biggest mistakes women make when it comes to skin?
The biggest no-no for me is too much skin peeling. Chemical peels that are more aggressive than natural peels and laser resurfacing can become addictive as the skin feels much tighter. The problem is that with overuse, the skin will become thinner. Part of the aging process is the skin getting thinner, so why would you want to speed up the aging process?
My feeling on the huge rise in invasive treatments is one of horror. If any form of damage or harm is inflicted to the human body, one of its first responses is to produce collagen. For instance, microdermabrasion – why would anyone want to harm themselves just to increase the production of collagen? Damage to the surface can have many long-term consequences, which I have personally seen over the years. Our largest organ is the skin, and it has many important functions, which is why it should be nurtured and protected.
What three products should a woman always use?
This is a difficult one to answer as all skins are different, so all women will have different concerns and needs. But as a general guide, we do need a variation of products – or, I should say, ingredients that deal with different problems. We need humectants that draw moisture from the environment to help hydration, emollients to improve and replace lost nutrients, and then an occlusive to seal in the first two and prevent dehydration.
Cleaning your skin well is extremely important, but this doesn’t mean scrubbing harshly. Using effective products to emulsify makeup and surface oils and pollution is a must, then you can use a wash cleanser for a deeper clean. Next, treat skin concerns: pigmentation, aging, oiliness, dehydration, loose skin, etc. The final step is moisture products.
Linda Meredith ‘Intro Box’
What big things do you predict in skincare for the next year?
I believe the shift towards clean ingredients will increase, as global markets are becoming more aware of harsh chemicals. Beauty giants are being forced to reduce the amounts of chemicals they put in their products. I see more and more peel-off masks trending, and products that are easy and perform quickly will take preference in our high-speed lifestyles.
Help! I have a big party tonight and I’ve woken up with a big blemish. What do I do?
Whatever you do, don’t squeeze it! With all blemishes, you need to try and calm the area and reduce inflammation. Squeezing the blemish will aggravate it and pass bacteria from your hand and nails, which will cause more irritation. Better to schedule a facial so that a qualified therapist can use a selection of calming and non-irritating essential oils and nutrients to reduce the redness and infected area.
Linda Meredith ‘Hydrating Mist’
Is it true that the more expensive the skin cream, the more effective it is?
I think there are quite a few misconceptions in the beauty industry, one definitely being that the more expensive the cream, the better it will work. Not true! Products that are ridiculously expensive return huge profits that are needed to pay for celebrity endorsements – even when the celebrity rarely uses that product! I know celebrities that use mine, but endorse others…
When should we start using anti-aging creams?
From the age of 24, our skin’s collagen production will start to slow down, so we can use anti-aging creams as a preventive measure and to help stimulate collagen production from this age. But as I mentioned earlier, have a healthy diet and you’re halfway there!
What’s your top tip for getting a gorgeous glow?
Get a good night’s sleep – a minimum of nine hours. Eat well and follow a healthy work-life balance. Don’t let the small things in life take over. Relax more, breathe deeply, and follow a good skincare routine every single day. My motto is, “Feed your skin and love the skin you’re in.”
Linda Meredith facials and products are available at Emirates Palace Spa, Abu Dhabi.