Caroline Hirons has stuck to her promise of keeping her best-selling skincare book fresh, relevant and up-to-date with a revised and updated edition – Skincare: The New Edit by Caroline Hirons – that goes on sale today.
If you’re one of the 200 million visitors to the skincare expert's blog , you’ll already be familiar with her straightforward, honest take on the skincare world. Never one to mince her words, Caroline isn't afraid to call out beauty brands on their BS and help us mere mortals get to grips with the latest launches worth investing in – and that’s exactly what she did in her debut book, simply called Skincare: The Ultimate No-nonsense Guide , when it launched in 2020.
The guide quickly cemented itself as a Sunday Times number one bestseller, scooping the British Book Awards' 'Lifestyle Book of the Year 2021' and becoming Amazon's best-selling skincare title of all time. Now, sales are set to soar once again with the release of Caroline's latest version.
"When I started the process of writing a skincare book, my caveat was that I be allowed to keep it as up to date as possible," she says.
"The beauty industry changes so quickly, from legal advice on SPF to new ingredients to new formulas. It's vitally important to me that it remains relevant," Caroline explains.
True to her word, the new version features brand new content on topics such as SPF, black skin, 'maskne,' menopausal and perimenopausal skin, as well as new photography and additional brand and product recommendations.
Who’s the book for?
This is an absolute Bible for any skincare junkie; whether you’re dipping your first toe into the skincare pool or have been swimming at the deep end for years, we can guarantee you’ll learn something you didn’t know before opening the pages.
What's in the book?
The 304-page book kicks off with an explainer on the different layers of skin and what goes on in each to give readers a better understanding of how skincare works. “To understand how your skincare products work, it can help to have a basic understanding of what goes on beneath your skin,” Caroline writes. She talks through the epidermis, the dermis and the subcutaneous tissue without bamboozling readers with unfathomable science terms, explaining that knowing the basics of how skin works helps us to understand the claims brands make, allowing us to decipher what will work and what is impossible (spoiler: “Over-the-counter skincare will only ever treat the epidermis. If you want to go deeper, you’ll need a prescription or a needle.”)
Skin routines explained
After the brief scientific intro, Caroline gets into the meaty section of the book with around 90 pages on skin routines and why it’s so important to get into one. It’s broken down into sections including morning routine and evening routine and peppered with image-led step by steps for cleansing and Q&A sections on her most asked questions from her blog.
Followers of said blog will recognise the format of her cheat sheets throughout the pages, explaining topics such as acids, spot squeezing and how much product to use for every formula (a pinenut blob for eyecare, two blueberries for night cream).
As always Caroline has no qualms about stating the products she avoids like the plague (foaming cleansers and mattifying products, for example) but she is quick to point out that if you’ve been using a product for years that works for you there’s no reason to get rid of it on her advice.
As we’ve come to expect from Caroline, she pulls no punches when it comes to calling out brands for misinformation, casually saying they’re completely wrong about beliefs such as there being no need for a morning cleanse. There are also pages throughout the book on skincare myths (products need to be warmed in your hands before applying to the face, for example) which Caroline debunks in her inimitable way “If your product is such that it needs to be ‘warmed’, I probably wouldn’t bother,” she writes.
While we might think we’ve nailed cleansing (how hard can it be), you're sure to finish the book with a head full of facts you might not have known before - she bestows the benefits of washing your face post-shower, rather than in it for one. Why? Because the water is too hot for your face and your face will be covered in surfactants from shampoo.
How to double cleanse
Queen of the double cleanse, Caroline spends a few pages on exactly how to nail the two-stage wash with a photo step by step and valuable knowledge on what to use for each step (save your expensive cleaning product for your second cleanse, she advises.) Other skincare lessons include how to adapt your routine for each season and exactly what to do when it comes to wearing skincare during exercise - she breaks it down into exercise type and what to wear on your face.
Skincare to use at every age
The second bulky section of the book focuses on skin type and conditions and runs through what to use at every age and where to spend the most money (always serums, FYI). She doesn’t shy away from honesty at any point, using a few precious pages to call out the products she abhors (wipes and sheet masks) and also debunking industry buzz phrases such as “shrinks pores” and “silky smooth”, before writing that skincare waiting lists simply aren’t a thing and explaining that dupes aren’t worth your time when it comes to skincare: “There is no ‘dupe’ for a high-quality, years-of-research-behind-it skincare product. Just because the packaging looks the same, it does not mean the juice is similar.”
The book rounds off with a glossary of terms you’ll regularly come across in the industry (think comedogenic, keratin and medical-grade, for a few examples) and an alphabetical list of brands Caroline is most asked about.
Whether you're a bonafide skincare boffin or just getting to grips with the sometimes confusing world, Caroline's words of wisdom are invaluable when it comes to decoding the waffle and this is one book we know we'll be turning to again and again when we're feeling bamboozled by product descriptions or confused by what an ingredient does.