Geraldine Howard: My personal beauty routine

In our series on women at the top of the beauty industry, the co-founder of Aromatherapy Associates, 61, reveals her tops tips and the beauty products she swears by. By Fiona Embleton

Facial massage is crucial

I incorporate facial massage into my skincare routine every day – it really helps to get the circulation going and gives skin the type of healthy youthful glow a product alone can’t. It’s best to use a face oil and work upwards and outwards using your fingertips to create a lifting effect. As well as having more slip for massage strokes, I’m a huge fan of how face oils keep ageing skin, which is more prone to moisture loss, hydrated and supple.

Skincare in your 50s

I vary my regime depending on the time of year or where I am in the world, but whatever the circumstances I have quite an extensive routine. I’m very careful about cleaning my skin as the last thing I want to do is strip it of its natural oils. So I alternate between my gentle Aromatherapy Associates Renewing Rose Cleanser (£25) in summer and the richer Soothing Cleansing Balm (£37) in winter.

At this time of year, with the change of season, I also religiously layer products to give my skin some extra nourishment. I begin with my Rose Infinity Serum (£114), followed by a face oil and then moisturiser. Once a week, I’ll also use my Overnight Repair Mask (£53), on top of those three. It contains strawberry seed extract, which is great for feeding my face skin-plumping fatty acids.

I apply the same layering technique to my bodycare. My evening ritual begins with a slick of Renewing Rose Hydrating Body Gel (£31) atop an oil such as Relax Body Oil (£41), containing chamomile to help me wind down. I finish by massaging in a body cream to seal in the goodness. Then I relax in a warm robe, allowing the goodness of the essential oils to soak in.

My favourite fragrances

I love First Eau de Parfum by Van Cleef & Arpels (£59). It’s such a timeless classic and full of beautiful floral notes – including my favourite rose – and a comforting amber base.

My haircare heroes

I’ve been getting my hair cut and coloured at the John Frieda salon on Mayfair’s Aldford Street for years. I have quite fine hair, so in between appointments I use the John Frieda Luxurious Volume Collection of shampoo, conditioner, mousse and blow-dry lotion (from £5.99). Together they’re brilliant at giving my hair extra oomph from root to tip.

My make-up bag must-haves

I love Chanel make-up, particularly the Inimitable Mascara in Black (£25), which goes on so smoothly and never clumps. Bobbi Brown Blush in Slopes (£19) is a subtle pink shade that gives my cheeks just enough of a glow. And Laura Mercier Eye Basics in Flax (£20.50) is a brilliant base for eye make-up as it can be worn alone as a pearly beige colour or acts as a primer so any shadow you apply on top will stay put for longer.

The next big thing in beauty is…

Advanced naturals. There have been huge developments in the technology behind ingredients, particularly in naturally sourced ones that have been shown to help slow down the signs of ageing. These days people don’t just want their natural skincare to be worthy, they want to see real noticeable results from the creams they apply.

Last year I introduced the Rose Infinity Collection, which is based on Nobel Prize-winning research into repairing ageing skin’s DNA at a cellular level and increasing moisture levels. The Rose Infinity Serum (£114) uses gardenia stem cells to help boost collagen production and firm the skin’s underlying tissue. The results are staggering. For me it’s one of the products that I’m most proud of.

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