Category Archives: Advice

The Firm Skin Essentials

It has always been, and still is, my preference to completely personalise every clients homecare and clinical treatment recommendations.

However, as we live in such a digital age, many now want to avail of our home skincare products by online purchase as you may live too far from us to come in for a personal recommendation.

For that reason I have created core groups of products suited to various skin types and common concerns which you will find on my blog. The focus of this article is the preparation for firm skin.

This is where the epidermis is not as strongly adhered to the dermis as it used to be and is characterised by less firm-feeling skin, perhaps some fine lines showing on the cheeks and skin that doesn’t seem as bouncy and plump as it once was.

The aim is to boost collagen peptides in your skin to add back volume and adhesion, redensifying the skin to look and feel firmer.

Homecare essentials:

Vitamin A is essential to add in now if you are not already using it. Find it in Age Slowly Serum.

Use after cleansing with Skin Comfort Cleanser at night 2-3 times per week and follow with your usual skincare. (Lipid Repair Concentrate can be used after Age Slowly Serum for a great duo, boosting skin cell renewal and barrier repair).

Twice per week use C&E Advanced Skin Booster in place of your night serums to revitalise, brighten and plump skin. Don’t forget, always use an SPF30 as the last step in your day routine.

Clinical treatments:

For skin just beginning to lose elasticity I recommend having our SmartMeso dermal peptide firming treatment once every 3 months to keep in front of the ageing process (think PREJUVENATION). For skin that is further along in visible ageing, sagging or wrinkle depth consider our Pyramid Facelift suite of treatments.

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Online Skin Analysis and Recommendations

Although we prefer to see everyone personally before starting a course of Skin Essentials by Mariga corrective skincare,

Understandably right now you can’t get in to see us.

That makes it the perfect time to for us to (re)introduce you to our online analysis service.

Perfect for anyone who is experiencing ongoing issues with their skin that they have not yet managed to find a solution for whether that is chronic dryness, premature ageing, rosacea etc.

If you are happy enough with your skin and want to get personalised product recommendations on making the very best of your skin going forward then our complimentary call with Mariga service is the one for you.

We have been offering this service for almost ten years and have countless happy clients reaping the benefits.

See our TESTIMONIALS page for customer’s review of this bespoke service.

Online assessment:

In-depth assessment – 65.00 €50.00

  • Once purchased, you will receive our analysis questionnaire in an email.
  • Reply to that email with photos of your skin/face.
  • Your answers will be entered into our state-of-the-art diagnostic software to produce a personalised report.
  • Your assessment form will also be reviewed in detail by a senior skin diagnostician and followed up by email or telephone call if necessary until we have a complete understanding of your skin.


  • The results from the digital assessment and the personal assessment will be combined to bring you a full report on your skin’s past, present and recommendations going forward
  • We will send you a detailed, written assessment of your current skin conditions, underlying issues and causes, and advice for correcting any skincare issues you are experiencing. (6-8 page report).
  • We will send you a personalised home-care routine detailed with how and when to use each product and the cost of your package (no obligation to buy your recommended products should you choose not to).
  • Products recommended can be purchased from our webshop or by telephone order and  will be posted to you (payment is securely online through our webshop by paypal or by Visa credit/debit over the telephone).
  • Once you begin your course of recommended home-care you will send us an update and photos monthly for the first three months so that we can adjust your routine if necessary.
  • There is no charge on your monthly reviews.
  • We will always be available to answer any questions you may have about your new skincare routine, either by phone or email.

Online assessment Skin Essentials by Mariga

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Your Skincare Expert Hotline

Your skincare expert hotline,

Schedule a call with Mariga to get personalised skincare advice.

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As we get through these weeks of lockdown, I have been trying to think how I can show up strong and be of best service for my clients (and new clients) when I can’t get to see you.

The number of calls and emails I have been getting looking for guidance and advice has shown me that you are still committed to your skincare and want to do everything you can to keep your skin in great shape.

I have also seen a rise in new clients looking for advice on how to choose the best home-care products online, perhaps you have been used to getting advice from a beauty specialist at a skincare counter when you need new products, and being thrown into the deep end of online shopping can certainly be confusing when there is so much choice.

So to help those who need guidance on beginning a programme of active skincare with Skin Essentials, or to advise existing clients on any issues that may arise I have created a telephone callback service where you can book in a 15 minute call with me at a time to suit you and I can help you address any skin questions you have or recommend the best products from our range for your skin needs. There is no charge for this service, I hope is it of benefit to you and look forward to connecting with you very soon.

What to expect from your call (new clients):

We will chat about your skin, how you are feeling about it right now, go through any allergies/contra-indications and create a home-care solution to help you achieve your short and long term skin goals. You can order products at the end the call if you wish and they will be sent out by post. I will email you after the call with your recommended home-care routine.

How to schedule your call:

Choose a time that suits you from our online booking service and don’t forget to put your phone number in the ‘add booking notes’ section.

Send an email to with your preferred times/dates and we will email you back some options.

Reach out through our facebook page.

Need something more in-depth for a more neglected skin or ongoing/multiple issues?

Our in-depth Online Analysis might be the one for you

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Targeting redness-prone skin

Are you redness-prone? From occasional flushing to rosy cheeks through to rosacea many of us suffer with some type of redness issues with our skin. Whatever the severity of your symptoms we all have one thing in common – everyone wants to correct it!

Why is my skin red? There are many contributing factors to redness in the skin:

Barrier Disruption from over cleansing/exfoliating/inappropriate products: this is extremely common, there seems to be a trend for scrubbing and stripping the skin which is the very worst thing you can do in terms of your long-term skin health and appearance. Your skin has a natural protective barrier that needs to be in place for the skin to function properly. Compromising this barrier allows irritants to penetrate the skin, among other effects, leading to inflammation and redness. Simply easing back on your routine and replacing with gentle, skin-supportive products with anti-inflammatory and skin building ingredients will help enormously in this case.

Shaving: shaving will almost inevitably lead to some skin irritation and inflammation over time. Using anti-inflammatory ingredients in your skin products will hep counteract this.

Rosacea: this is an inflammatory disorder of the skin that can vary in severity from a little redness on the nose, cheeks or chin through to constant raised red patches and disfigurement of the nose. It is very important to begin an anti-inflammatory skincare routine as early as possible to slow the progress. It is possible to dramatically reduce the impact of rosacea with early and correct intervention. See here for more details if rosacea is your main concern.

Food intolerances: there are common culprits in your diet that cause blood vessels to react in those prone to redness, especially alcohol, spicy foods and caffeine. Keep a food diary to pinpoint your particular triggers so that you can eliminate them.

Sun damage: UV exposure worsens every skin issue so be diligent in using your SPF30 daily and reapply every 2 hours during outdoor exposure.

Stress: just like sun exposure, stress has a detrimental effect on any skin issues you might be prone to. I don’t have the cure unfortunately but be aware of it and try to mitigate it.

Weather: apart from sun, cold and wind will also play a part in redness by stripping the skin barrier. If you must be out in it, make sure that you are replenishing your skin barrier after by using products high in anti-inflammatory and barrier repair ingredients.

Visible red veins/capillaries: a side effect of weather exposure, flushing etc. can be visible little red capillaries on your face that don’t fade when the flushing subsides. These can be easily treated with diathermy.

Most redness-prone skins will have a combination of the above triggers. The good news is that with a little care, many redness issues can be controlled. Taking the above advice and daily use of gently corrective homecare will give you great results over time. The top 3 skincare products to use at home for anyone concerned with redness are:

Anti-Redness Concentrate: Use daily under your SPF30, this serum is packed with soothing, calming, anti-inflammatory ingredients as well as essential skin nutrients and anti-oxidants to calm, strengthen, repair and protect your skin cells. 

Skin Comfort Cream: Use at night alone or over a facial oil to deeply moisturise while offering anti-redness benefits of specially selected natural botanical extracts.

SPF30: Every skin, every day, SPF is your number one skincare product! Our Advanced Day Cream has SPF30, UVA+UVB protection, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants to make it a full skincare products as well as sunscreen.

Is rosacea your particular concern? Then add Lipid Repair Concentrate at night to repair the barrier and protect the inner skin structures from outside irritation.

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Using your microfibre cleansing cloth

If you haven’t tried cleansing with a microfibre cleansing cloth, you don’t know what you’ve been missing!

It gives the quickest makeup removal and leaves your skin feeling so clean and fresh.

The microfibres gently but thoroughly cleanse your skin and pores much more effectively than cotton wool or regular facecloths.

While you can use a microfibre facecloth with any cleanser, we particularly recommend an oil based cleanser such as our best-selling Skin Comfort Cleanser.

Step-by-step cleansing routine with microfibre cleansing cloth:

  1. Apply one pump of Skin Comfort Cleanser (or cleanser of your choice) to your hands and gently apply to the face, eyes and neck. If you are wearing heavy eye makeup you can concentrate on this first and gently rub the cleanser well in to dissolve mascara.
  2. Then run your hands under warm water and massage in the cleanser with wet hands, again concentrating on any areas of heavy makeup if worn. Rewet hands and repeat.
  3. Take the microfibre cloth and run under warm water. Wring out excess and wipe away cleanser from face eyes and neck. Rinse, wring out and repeat.
  4. Follow with your skincare while skin is still warm and damp from cleansing for extra product absorption.

How do you like to cleanse?

Buy microfibre facecloths here

P.s. No it is not the same microfibre cloth as you use to clean your kitchen 😂

Microneedling – should it cause your skin to bleed?

The goal of microneedling is to strengthen the skin and support it’s processes to achieve a firmer, smoother and more even skin.

This is achieved by triggering the release of growth factors and cytokines in the skin which promote and increase cell-to-cell communication,

while also enhancing the absorption and processing of your homecare ingredients.

Ultimately the formation of new collagen is the end goal.

In order to get this response it is NOT necessary to penetrate the skin to a depth where you will cause bleeding, despite popular images on social media etc. where you will see a lot of epidermal trauma/bleeding allegedly associated with cosmetic or clinical microneedling.

These images are either used for sensationalism and share-worthiness or possibly because the person posting it is not educated in the latest microneedling techniques and science which has shown us that, unlike early attempts at refining the technique, needling to blood-depth is not at all necessary for results on skin rejuvenation.

In the skincare industry we now know that,

“new collagen forms no deeper than 0.6mm regardless of depth of injury”* 

This tells us that needling beyond that depth is pointless and will just give the skin more work to do in terms of healing, using up energy resources that could be better used in creating collagen fibres, the very end goal we are looking for.

So, absolutely not, you do not need to see bleeding as an end point on microneedling, this is very outdated thinking and not what you should expect from a practitioner who is up to date in education and experience in the field of microneedling.

Even better, the technology is being so refined that skin needling is no longer a treatment to grit your teeth and get through, it is by far more comfortable that it used to be. You may not quite sleep during your treatment but you may be surprised at how much the treatment has changed. Give it a try! Your skin will thank you.

*ref: “The Concise Guide to Dermal Needling”, Lance Setterfield, M.D. “An Alternative Treatment For Scars, Wrinkles and Skin Laxity”, (Matthias Aust, M.D., Des Fernandes, M.D. & colleagues).

New launch coming soon to Skin Essentials! Sign-up for first access:

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The Oily Skin Essentials

Throwback to our blog: Daily Care For Oily Skin – Mariga’s Advice from April 2016, edited to current time.

If you have an oily skin type, this is a must read!

Are you managing your oily skin type correctly?

Like all skin, this requires a daily skincare routine.

First, we have to define and understand what a true oily skin type actually is. Many people mistakenly think that they have oily skin when in fact it’s something else altogether.

What are the hallmarks of a true oily skin type?

  • Large pores, particularly on the t-zone
  • The skin NEVER feels tight, itchy, or dry
  • Daily shine
  • RARELY has blackheads or spots

If the above sounds like you, coupled with makeup that just slides off and hair that needs to be washed every day, then you have a true oily skin.

While it IS possible to have oily skin AND acne, they are two different things and having one does not automatically mean you will have the other. Many people with acne assume that their skin is oily when that is (in Irish Skin anyway) most often not the case. In Irish skin, perhaps 10% of the population will be a true oily skin type.

The benefits of oily skin.

Yes, there ARE many benefits to having oily skin! You usually have a blemish-free complexion, a slower rate of wrinkling and higher tolerance to a wider range of skincare products, treatments and cosmetics.

The downsides of oily skin.

Most people with oily skin get fed up with large pores, too much shine and make-up not staying put. As you can see these are mostly APPEARANCE issues rather than actual skin problems so they can be much more easily addressed then poor dry or red skin types.

How so?

There are two things to know about controlling the appearance of oily skin:

  1. Cleansing and exfoliating often makes it worse (you’re doing it wrong).
    • Trying to deep cleanse and exfoliate away oil is not just a waste of time, but is like trying to drive your car by pressing on the brake and the accelerator at the same time! One action is fighting against the other and you will most likely ruin your engine (or skin) in the process.
    • When you deep cleanse or over-exfoliate oily skin you get rid of the oil that is there at that moment, same as if you did a gentle cleanse. But with deep action products, you have stimulated a deeper reaction in the skin. The response by the oil glands of being ‘stripped’ is that they go into fast production mode to make up for lost resources.
    • So you deep cleanse, scrub or exfoliate then a coupe of hours later your face looks like an oil slick. You did it to yourself! You gave your skin the signal that it was lacking oil and it produced more, it was only trying to please you!
  2. Oil fights oil.
    • The secret is to CONTROL the flow of oil, not stop it. Lipid secretions that are controlled continuously and gradually distribute oil evenly over the surface of your skin. There is no sudden stop/start, no patchy production. The result is an evenly lubricated skin surface with no sudden shine.

How to achieve that?

You need to regulate oil flow by applying minute amounts of the right oils in the right ratios to the skin surface so that it gets the message that oil is always available and stops sudden production. This might sound scary but it doesn’t take long to get in the habit and start to see results. Why not try it? What have you got to lose? Team oil! See more about oil for oily skin in Mariga’s video on daily management tips for oily skin below.

Best targeted Skin Essentials products for oily skin:

  • Lipid Repair Concentrate – The mix of lipids, ceramides, good cholesterols and fatty acids in this super serum mimic exactly the precise mix of lipids found naturally in healthy, balanced skin.
  • Advanced Protection SPF30 – All in one moisturiser and SPF protection. Full of nutrients your skin needs i.e. Mineral SPF, anti-oxidants, moisturiser and vitamin treatment in one. 

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