“I know some brands say you don’t need to cleanse your skin in the morning,” skincare expert and aesthetician Caroline Hirons writes in her debut book, Skincare. “They’re wrong.” That type of matter-of-fact advice – which took the Brit from working part-time at an Aveda counter to being a bona fide skincare authority – is what makes her comprehensive guide so compelling. Using step-by-step instructions and her encyclopedic knowledge, Hirons draws a clear picture of how to best take care of skin, no matter the concern. As for the pie?ce de re?sistance? We can’t decide if it’s the droolworthy snapshots of Hirons’ own beauty stash or the handy brand glossary, in which she spills on which products are worth spending on. We chatted with Hiron about Skincare, her quarantine beauty routine and the one skincare ingredient she can’t live without (surprise, it’s not SPF).

Why did you decide to write a book considering the huge amount of information you have already made accessible to readers via your blog?

It was my blog readers. I never wanted to write a book, but at events my readers kept telling me that they were screen-grabbing different parts of the blog and printing them out to put on their bathroom walls or to send to friends. In the end I thought I better make their lives a bit easier.

What was the process like writing Skincare? How did you decide what to include and what to leave out?

I put my heart and soul into my book. But everything about writing the book has been…different. It was the first time in ten years that anyone except me had edited anything I’d written. That was a challenge.

What are your tips for getting the best skin of your life while in quarantine?

You should adapt your skin routine every day depending on what your skin needs. For me personally, lockdown is doing as much damage as a transatlantic flight. I’m spritzing and moisturizing three or four times a day and it just disappears. People think makeup is bad for their skin but it’s another layer of protection [against] central heating and airless houses. Everyone I know is getting dry skin and breakouts.

What’s a common step people miss in their skincare routine that makes a huge difference?

Lots of people just buy expensive moisturizers, instead of actually washing their faces properly and using a good serum. Serums are where you get your true active products, and?they are by their?very nature, more expensive.

Favourite product of all time:

I don’t think I have one –?I feel like I’m being asked to pick my favourite child. It’s impossible.

Favourite skincare ingredient:

Vitamin A. Everyone lies and says SPF, but everyone really knows it’s Vitamin A.

Most overrated skincare ingredient:

There’s just so many, but gold is up there with one of the most overrated. It looks pretty, but you’re just paying extra for something that in flake form would never even work.

Favourite SPF:

There’s a few that I recommend: La Roche-Posay Anthelios, Ecooking, EltaMD, Heliocare, Evy Technology and Zelens Daily Defence SPF30.

Will you write another book in the future?

Who knows! It’s not like I’ve written a fictional novel, so I can update the book when I need to.

Skincare: The Ultimate No-Nonsense Guide will be available June 23, 2020. Pre-order a copy of the book here.

A version of this article originally appeared in the June 2020 issue of ELLE Canada. Subscribe to ELLE Canada here?or buy a digital copy of the June issue?here.

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