My latest Age Confidence web chat

Sarah Brown is the founder of Pai Skincare. Entrepreneur, mum and sensitive-skinned soul – trying to find time to practice more of what she preaches…

Last Friday I held a live web chat as part of our Age Confidence celebration.

As always, there were some fascinating questions asked, so I’ve reproduced the questions and answers below for anyone who wasn’t able to attend! 

If you could recommend doing or eating one thing each day to improve your skin, what would it be?

I’d say cleansing without detergents would be the best thing you can do for your skin as detergent based cleansers strip all natural oil from your skin leaving it exposed and imbalanced.

As for eating – upping your intake of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) will always improve your skin, they’re the absolute building blocks of healthy skin.

I’m 43 now. What’s the most important thing I can do now to age-proof my skin?

Keeping your oil and pH balance in check will really help to maintain long term condition of your skin.

So avoid all cleansing products that contain detergents or alcohol based cleansing wipes.

Also try to cut down on refined sugars as these breakdown collagen.

In terms of products – use a deep conditioning oil at night and moisturise daily in morning.

Eyes are the first place to develop fine lines so our Eye Cream is good to use daily – Echium contains Omega 3 & 6 (in Stearidonic and GLA forms) so helps keep skin smooth and supple in this delicate area.

I can’t decide between the Echium & Argan Eye Cream and the Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil as I have both mature skin and suffer from pigmentation. Could you also recommend a sunscreen?

You can use both the Echium & Argan Eye Cream and the Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil – they actually make a very nice pair!

The Rosehip Oil is brilliant for fading the appearance of dark marks and pigmentation whilst the Eye Cream is great for smoothing out fine lines around the delicate eye area.

I’m afraid we can’t recommend a particular sunscreen as we don’t know which options are available to you – but you can check with your local health food store.

In the meantime, this blog and this blog may be useful. 

I’m mid-30s with sensitive combination skin & would love to be able to switch away from facial soap to a more gentle creamy cleanser but whenever I try something like this (most recently a hot-cloth cleanser) I seem to get breakouts. Do some types of skin just need soap to get clean?!

Soap is fine for the body but really, really not good for the face!

It strips your skin of its natural oils and upsets its pH (soaps/detergents are very alkaline).

With cream cleansers the key is to ensure a thorough removal of any cream residues so maybe do a double rinse with the cloth and finish with a splash of water.

The breakouts could be a symptom of your skin taking time to adjust.

If you think your skin has been used to having its natural oil stripped away every single day it will have affected its oil production so suddenly not having the oil stripped could result in a short term oil build-up.

You might need to allow your skin a little time to find its balance so I would persevere a bit longer.

Long term your skin will benefit from no soap!

Do ensure you’re using a clean cloth each day or one that has had a chance to thoroughly dry out after use.

Cloths can get a bacteria build-up which could be contributing to breakouts.

Which moisturiser would you recommend for very sensitive but also dry skin?

All of our products are formulated for sensitive skin, and as you’re on the drier side of things I’d recommend the Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Cream.

It’s very nourishing without being too heavy and leaves a lovely finish on the skin.

I’d really like to try the Echium & Argan Eye Cream, but it’s part of the ‘Age Confidence’ capsule – is it okay for all ages?

Absolutely! We have customers of all ages who adore the Eye Cream, it’s also a real favourite with beauty bloggers.

There are some great reviews here and here.

Any advice on overcoming adult acne? I’m not winning the battle and my confidence is really suffering.

I’m so sorry to hear you’re having a tough time.

Hormonal imbalance tends to be the most common cause of acne amongst adults, but stress, poor diet and unsuitable beauty products can also be contributing factors.

Hormonal acne is characterised by the large, painful spots that appear along the jawline and chin.

It can be hard to treat and I often recommend customers visit a naturopath for advice on rebalancing their hormones naturally.

You might find this blog post helpful and if you’d like anymore in depth information you can always email our team of skincare experts on

I’m currently using the Chamomile & Rosehip Cream and your Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil and seeing good results. What other products can I add to my routine to keep my skin looking calm?

A great product for helping to calm redness is our Lotus & Orange Blossom BioAffinity Skin Tonic.

Lotus actually has amazing ability to inhibit the release of curtaneous neuropeptides – the molecules that cause skin to flare and redden, it’s also super soothing and smells great!

What’s your take on ‘anti-dark spot’ creams? I have a pigmentation problem due to a hormonal change and am tempted by these ‘high-tech’ and scientific ranges as I age. Will you ever develop anything like this or would you rather keep your products ‘safe for sensitive skin’?

I don’t really agree with companies claiming specific product properties for anti-pigmentation sunscreens.

Sounds like they’re just trying to flog you an additional or more expensive product!

An SPF product is an SPF product!

For you I’d suggest opting for a sunblock over a sunscreen.

You can read difference between them here.

More natural SPF products may be a better fit to prevent further pigmentation occurring.

The best advice of course is to keep your face out of direct sunlight completely!

I passionately believe natural ingredients are better for the skin than synthetics – they tend to be better understood by the skin and better metabolised by the body.

For overall skin health that’s really important, and healthy skin is what’s going to look better and age better.

I would look inwards and try and establish what might help with the hormone changes.

A visit to a naturopath might be a good investment.

Hope this makes sense – I guess I’m a bit biased on the subject but I don’t believe that ‘high performance’ and ‘natural’ have to be mutually exclusive things.

Sometimes it’s just a case of the synthetic ‘high tech’ brands just marketing themselves better or bamboozling their customers with pseudo-science!

Can I use the Rosehip Oil also for the eye area?

Yes absolutely, but it’s worth remembering that skin needs Oil and Cream to be at it’s best.

Oils are amazing for conditioning the skin whilst the high water content of Creams helps to hydrate the area.

I often use Rosehip around my eye area, but the next night I’ll always follow it with our Echium & Argan Eye Cream.

Do you have any skincare tips to recommend that perhaps not everyone is already aware of?

Good question! One thing that I don’t think many people are completely aware of is the difference between Oils and Creams, particularly in terms of hydration.

Your skin cannot be hydrated with an Oil – they’re amazing for conditioning and regenerating the skin but as they don’t contain water they can’t drive moisture into your skin.

Ideally, you would incorporate both an Oil and a Cream into your skincare regime for maximum benefit – sticking to an oil at night and a cream throughout the day.

Do you recommend using the Rosehip Oil on its own or underneath moisturiser for night-time?

I’d recommend using it without moisturiser at night.

If your skin is very dry, you can try mixing a drop or two of Oil into your moisturiser.

I’m 32 with dry and sensitive and I’m starting to develop signs of ageing around my eyes and forehead. Should I be using the Age Confidence Oil or the Rosehip Oil?

Great to hear you’re a fan!

As you have skin on the drier side, I’d recommend you go for the Age Confidence Oil – it’s a really nourishing blend of specially selected oils which all help nuture and protect the skin as it ages.

I’m 46 and have combination and dry skin. Foundation is a real problem as it clings to dry patches!

I’d recommend getting a great base first, so using a gentle Moisturiser is a good first step.

It sounds as though you’d get on well with our Avocado & Jojoba Day Cream which is very nourishing without being too heavy.

I’d also advise some light exfoliation to get rid of flaky, dry patches – our Kukui & Jojoba Bead Exfoliator is great for brightening and smoothing the skin, alternatively you can try using a muslin cloth.

I’ve used eye creams (including your lovely Echium & Argan one) from the fridge but still have bags under my eyes. Is this an age thing too?

Unfortunately, bags are often hereditary and can increase with age.

Here’s a blog post with some more information about dark circles.

If you ever suffer from puffy eyes there are some great tips in this post to help alleviate them.

I am 32 and have oily but very dehydrated skin – how can I balance my skin?

I’d recommend looking at your cleansing first – you should avoid any foaming or detergent based cleansers as these strip the skin of all its natural oil which can cause the skin to become more oily.

Try sticking to a gentle Cream Cleanser which won’t disrupt the skin’s delicate pH and oil balance.

As for a moisturiser, I’d definitely recommend trying out our Geranium & Thistle Rebalancing Cream.

There are some tips in this blog post you might find helpful.

I have really deep wrinkles on my forehead. What can I do to lessen their appearance?

I’d recommend incorporating some simple facial massage steps into your routine and also using a product like our Echium & Amaranth Age Confidence Oil which is amazing blend of oils which have been specifically chosen to support the skin as it ages.

Here’s some more information.

How long should I wait before seeing results using the Stretch Mark System? I have been using it now for a few weeks now on my hip area.

I’d wait around a month to see results, but it’s worth bearing in mind that once a stretch mark is there it’s essentially a scar, so nothing will eradicate it completely.

You might also want to consider using the Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil which is amazing for diminishing and lightening the appearance of scars.

I recently completed a round of chemo and am currently going through immunotherapy treatments which are a little different. My skin has changed a bit since going through this transition – from super dry and dehydrated to more normal yet slightly on the dry side and prone to small patches of itchy, irritated skin and occasional congestion. Which moisturiser should I be using? Also curious about your BioAffinity Toners and if adding one of them into my routine would make a difference as well?

Go for the Lotus toner –  it helps reduce skin reactivity by 30% and is very soothing/calming so would be a good skin tonic for you right now.

The aroma is also lovely!

Little tip, post cleansing doing a light spritz of the Lotus tonic on the skin and then apply the Rosehip oil directly on top.

The tonic will provide just the right level of dampness and they are a totally winning combination.

Wishing you a swift recovery.

What’s your top tip for instantly brightening eyes?

Two things – apply (cold) steeped Chamomile teabags to your eyes and relax for five minutes, then apply our Echium & Argan Eye Cream cold from the fridge.

Ta dah, instantly bright eyes!

I have fine lines around my eyes which are super sensitive. Is your eye cream ok for a very, very sensitive eye area?

Yes – absolutely! Our Eye Cream is formulated for very, very sensitive skin.

Remember we have a 30 day money back guarantee, so if you don’t get on well with it then you can always return it for a refund or exchange.

I have olive-toned skin and last year started to get touches of melasma on my cheeks. As I tan easily, I know I’m going to have to use full sun block to stop the patches getting dark this summer but I wondered if you had any tips for products which could help reduce them or protect from them?

Rosehip Oil is thought to help even out skin tone so could be worth trying on melasma.

We have some customers who developed melasma during pregnancy but had good results with rosehip afterwards.

It’s best applied in the evening on slightly damp skin.

Definitely invest in a good sun block (rather than sunscreen – you can read about difference here).

Also think about wearing a wide brim hat as that’s the best (and chicest!) protection.

What would you recommend for someone who has atopic dermatitis and scars?

For the face our Camellia & Rose Cleanser (for cleansing skin without stripping oil or upsetting pH) and our Chamomile & Rosehip Moisturiser.

Both are great for allergy prone skin.

The Lotus Tonic would be a good addition too post cleansing and nice to spray on the face when it’s feeling tight or hot.

For the body I would recommend our Comfrey & Calendula Calming Body Cream.

It’s an intensely nourishing cream so would help drive some water into skin surrounding dry scar damage.

You want a high water content cream for reducing appearance of scars.

I would also add a few drops of Rosehip Oil into the cream – you could mix a few drops into a few pumps of cream in the palm and apply together.

The Rosehip Oil will help to reduce the lighten scar discolouration and is a good overall skin regenerator.

You could also use a few drops of Rosehip Oil on the face in the evening on damp skin after using Tonic.

Any tips on how to hide fine lines around the lips?

Try patting in a pump of our Echium & Argan Eye Cream into the area – it’s brilliant for plumping up the skin and diminishing the appearance of fine lines.

I am 54 and my neck is starting to show signs of ageing, what do you recommend?

Two suggestions – try some at home massage techniques – as shown here.

Also you could try applying our stretch mark oil and cream – oil at night and cream in the morning.

Both contain pomegranate which has excellent skin firming/tightening properties and contains a rare form of omega 5 for extra conditioning benefit.

Is it wrong to use products from different brands which have the same active ingredient?

Great question! In principle it’s ok to use products from different brands, but different manufacturers use different techniques and ingredient ‘systems’ so the more you can use products that incorporate the same techniques and types of oils (e.g. vegetable oils vs sterified oils) the less your skin has to adapt each time.

Also the ‘same’ ingredient can actually be very different.

Rosehip oil is a great example of this!

Seed only oil that’s cold pressed is a far cry from a CO2 extracted fruit oil.

You also don’t know if different manufacturers have over heated them so they could have a completely different fatty acid or carotenoid content etc.

I’ve been a vegetarian for 20 years, now in mid 30s and feel that although I’m exceedingly happy with that choice perhaps the lack of omega and proteins are beginning to show physically on my skin.  

I’d recommend taking an Essential Fatty Acid supplement.

EFAs are the building blocks of healthy skin and work wonders both topically (in products like our Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil and Age Confidence Oil) and also internally, helping calm, smooth and plump the skin.

As you’re a veggie, try Flaxseed or Hemp Oil to get started.

I’m 55, live in France and spend a lot of time outdoors running long distance. What is the best way to protect my skin (which is sensitive)? Also should I change my skincare routine to prepare for the menopause which is yet to hit me?

Have a look at this blog post on exercise and skin here and here.

In terms of products to use, during long runs, in cooler weather you want to protect against elements – so use a richer moisturiser than you would normally to protect against stripping and drying effects of wind exposure.

Our Avocado & Jojoba Cream would be a good one for you.

After washing post-run, pat 3-4 drops of Rosehip oil into damp skin, it’s a great skin regenerator and soothing on top.

Foods – I’m no expert I’m afraid – but seeds and nuts are the obvious ones.

Oats and bananas also good because they give a slow energy release.

Some people with eczema have issues with eating porridge oats especially when consumed with milk so something to be aware of.

I’m pregnant and my previously combination skin is now quite dry and flaky. Should I just continue using the Chamomile & Rosehip Cream which I love? Also can you recommend a firming body cream or oil to help my post-pregnancy body?

Congrats on your pending motherhood!

I would stick with the Chamomile & Rosehip cream for now and just add a drop of Rosehip oil into a couple of pumps of cream (you can mix together in your palm) to give a boost to the really dry areas.

Your skin is going to continue to change over the coming months as your hormones take a nose dive postpartum so sit tight and then review in 3-4 months time.

Also we’re going into warmer weather now so you’d be looking to go for a lighter moisturiser come May/June anyway.

In terms of a firming body cream/oil – our stretch mark system would be great as both contain pomegranate which have skin firming/tightening properties.

You use the oil at night and the cream in the morning. Hope that’s of help. Good luck!

I haven’t had a good night’s sleep for ages and my skin is dull, dehydrated and just looks stressed. What can I do to brighten it up?

You must try and get some rest – sleep is so important for healthy skin!

There’s some more information in this post.

For instant brightening I’d recommend using our Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator.


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