As the iconic brand celebrates its centenary year, listen to what is considered an ideal skincare routine at Elizabeth Arden. ARCHANA SUBRAMANIAN

“To be beautiful and natural is the birthright of every woman.”

Elizabeth Arden

O ne of the most well known names in the beauty industry, Elizabeth Arden has been around for a century now. An expensive line of luxurious “Total Beauty” products and novel marketing initiatives has seen the brand rise to the top. This year is Elizabeth Arden's centenary year. Here Charmaine Khatri, Training, Elizabeth Arden, India, tells you she thinks is the ideal skin care routine.

Tell us about skin care for different age groups: 20s, 30s and 40s.

The 20s: Work towards maintaining elasticity. Try to avoid pulling the skin when applying facial products. Tanning and being out in the sun results in skin damage. Use sunscreen to save your skin from premature aging. Don't go out too much when the sun is at its peak.

The 30s: This is when changes in skin texture are noticeable. Skin colour may become uneven and blotchy. Lines and crow's feet start appearing around the eyes. A good pigmentation and anti-ageing cream can check this.

The 40s: Mature skin requires more attention. Pores become prominent primarily around the chin, nose and cheeks. Wrinkles appear and skin may look blotchy. Some develop broken capillaries under the eyes. The skin becomes loose at the jaw line.

Skincare products with ceramides help strengthen the moisture barrier and SNAP-8's additional ability to plump up the lines and wrinkles keeps the skin well hydrated. Dry skin is the cause of many problems, so moisturising is an important part of your 40s skin care regimen. Also do not forget to exfoliate.

There's a sudden influx of cellulite creams in the market. What exactly is cellulite?

Every woman shudders at the word. Unfortunately, there is no real cure for cellulite but it does not mean that you are fat or even overweight. Plenty of thin women have cellulite as well.

Cellulite is the appearance of dimples and bumps in the skin. It develops in the thighs and buttocks, which then bulge and form an uneven layer of fat underneath the top layer of skin.

Regular exercise is an excellent way to stave off cellulite. Drinking lots of water is also good. It helps eliminate toxic waste that could develop into cellulite. Women who starve themselves trying to lose weight don't realise that they are actually increasing their chances of developing cellulite.

With so many new products in the stores, how does one choose the right brand?

I wouldn't blame you if you find it a challenge trying to decide what is best. First, get to know the various facial skincare products: facial cleansers, facial toners, moisturisers, night creams, facial masks and facial scrubs. Each product has been designed for a specific purpose. Do you really need all of them? Find out what they are used for. Second, figure out your skin type before you buy.

What about skincare during a holiday?

In cold places: When you feel uncomfortably and itchy, use creamy moisturisers with 80 per cent oil.

In hot places: Use water-based creams or lotions to moisturise. Also drink water to hydrate your skin from within. Don't say goodbye to your sunscreen because summer is over. Before you step out, apply sunscreen or a product that combines sunscreen with moisturiser.

On the beach: Hit the beach before 10.00 a.m. or after 4.00 p.m., Wear tightly woven dark coloured suits and pants. Apply water-resistant sunscreen lotion 20-30 minutes before going out and again after swimming. Apply sunscreen even when under the beach umbrella as the rays reflect off the sand. Apply medicated lip guard with SPF. Wear sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB rays. Wear hats with wide brim for additional protection.

Men have also started looking after their skin. Any tips?

Men with oily skin should opt for a soap-free cleanser followed by an alcohol-free toner that will rejuvenate and cool the skin without disturbing the ph balance. Since men have considerably rougher skin due to shaving, exfoliation is a must, especially in warm weather. A simple rule of thumb would be to Cleanse, Shave, Tone with aftershave and moisturiser. Those with oily skin can skip the moisturiser.

Quick tips Don't touch your face often. Make sure your hands are clean before touching your face. Poking, picking, squeezing, and scratching can lead to scarring. Stick to the basic steps of cleansing, toning, moisturising. Protect your body from both environmental and emotional stress. Eat plenty of vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables. Get adequate sleep and rest. Skin reacts to stress. Pimples break out; skin becomes blotchy or dry. Do not smoke. Don't forget to exfoliate. Prolonged exposure to dead skin cells could interrupt regeneration of healthy skin. Do not go to bed with make-up on.

What's your skin? All these factors will affect your skincare regimen. Skin type: Is it oily, dry, normal, sensitive or a combination? Complexion: Do you have fair skin that burns easily? Or a light to medium one that may burn? Or a medium tone that usually tans? Or a darker complexion that only rarely burns? Or is it so dark that you never burn? Concerns: Do you want preventive maintenance to avoid premature aging? Do you have a skin problem such as persistent acne, age spots and blemishes? Does your skin have large pores, sun damage, facial wrinkles or fine lines that require special attention? Do you have puffy eyes or under eye bags that require special care? Personal habits: Are you a smoker? Do you spend a lot of time in the sun? Do you take a daily vitamin? Is your diet well-balanced? Do you exercise regularly?