The beauty rules to break

What do you mean you don’t drink two litres of water a day? Nor do I, admits Rosie Green, who has other surprising confessions to share



dmg media (UK)


Despite having tested 167, 542 products I still love beauty. I’m as intoxicated by serums, perfume, lipsticks and liner as I was when I first interned at Elle in 1993. I love how scents can make you feel empowered, comforted or sexy. How sharing a great budget buy is like handing someone a tenner – a feelgood moment for you both. Or even just how the ritual of cleansing can be calming in tough times. But there are things I don’t like about the industry. How it plays on insecurities to make you purchase products you don’t need – always pushing the ‘you have to get this’ narrative. When I started out (back then skinny brows and even skinnier models proliferated), that was how ads and glossy magazines drew you in. ‘Your skin is dull because you don’t drink the equivalent of a reservoir daily, follow a 12-step skincare routine or smother it with unicorn tears nightly. You must spend time and money to achieve perfection.’ Now I’m in the unique position of being able to try everything, so I can tell you that some beauty ‘rules’ have no credibility, or are not applicable to us all. My main takeaway from over two – oh crikey, make that three – decades in beauty is we are all individuals, so what works for you might not do so for me. And vice versa. So don’t feel lacking if you don’t follow a beauty diktat dreamed up by a marketing team. Here’s my approach – but you do you. I skip moisturiser I remember when, on the advice of a dermatologist, I first went cold turkey – it felt like going out with no knickers on: indecent and exposing. While my skin missed its comfort blanket of unctuous cream, I stopped using moisturiser because it aggravated my rosacea-prone skin (with rosacea, skin feels dry but is just inflamed and acne-like). Was my skin any drier/duller without it? Nope. It recalibrated. Many cosmetic doctors I’ve interviewed agree that active ingredients come best delivered by a serum, and moisturiser can be superfluous or optional. A good SPF often suffices. If my skin needs a drink, I use a hyaluronic acid serum (current favourite: Teoxane Advanced Filler, £84, or I have moisturiser injections. I forgo facials In my job I’m offered facials daily. I don’t have them because, afterwards, my sensitive skin often looks worse rather than better. Now, not all facialists are equal, and there are some amazing therapists out there who are able to tailor a treatment to your skin type and have an arsenal of toys (such as LED lights, pro-strength peels and derma rollers) that will make a difference. But the facials offered by high-street brands mostly stick to a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all protocol of scrubbing, steaming, multiple cleansing and masks that might aggravate challenged skin. That said, I do miss their de-puffing, circulation-boosting, relaxing elements, so I think facials can deliver for many. I don’t double cleanse Skin isn’t like dishes – it shouldn’t squeak. We are taught that super clean is the way to avoid blemishes and ageing, but the opposite is true. If you overdo it with the washing and scrubbing it compromises the skin barrier, which is key to keeping it healthy and thus ageing optimally. My skin is happiest with tepid water and a simple wash-off cleanser (try Avène Tolérance Extremely Gentle Cleanser, £14.49, superdrug. com). I will, however, concede to a separate eye make-up remover (Lancôme Bi-facil, from £15, I stretch out haircuts beyond six weeks The perceived wisdom of regular trims doesn’t work for me because, rather than having a short, high-maintenance style, I have long layers that can wait. But as I have got greyer and my hair shade lighter, I’ve realised it’s my colour that necessitates more regular salon visits. Now it is six-weekly ‘toning’ sessions that give me the biggest bang for my buck. Phillipa Lock of John Frieda’s Aldford Street salon in Mayfair explains, ‘It’s a treatment that revives faded colour, counters unwanted brassiness and can be inexpensive.’ I (sometimes) leave my make-up on at night Of course, it’s good to wash it – and the day’s detritus – off. It allows night-time skincare to penetrate and reduces pore-clogging. But a few lapses won’t destroy your skin. I’ve seen models with perfect complexions who are skincare slovens and others, who are scrupulous, suffering persistent breakouts. A lot is to do with genes, so ‘shaming’ those with blemishes is unhelpful. Also – confession – if I’ve had my make-up done by a pro, I often remove everything except for the eye make-up. As Liz Hurley says, it looks better the next day. Drink two litres of water a day? Not me Being well hydrated is a good thing. It aids digestion, circulation and recovery from illness. But one skincare expert told me that you’d be dead before signs of dehydration showed on your face. Dermatologist Dr Stefanie Williams adds, ‘It’s a myth that drinking lots of water gets rid of dry skin. The problem is you lose too much via evaporation, so it’s like trying to pour water into a bucket with a hole. Fix the leak first!’ Keep your skin barrier intact by treating it well and use a ceramide product (try Dr Jart+ Ceramidin Cream, £15, as needed.