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The Skincare Routines of Irish Athletes, Comedians, Presenters and More!

Irish skin is a proper blessing and oh, sometimes, a curse. It comes in all shades and patterns, and all of it needs the same care, consideration and true grá (that’s love, in case you were wondering). 

We all know that skin is my favourite thing, and with that in mind I’ve been using St. Patrick’s Day as a chance to chat to some amazing Irish hoomans all about their skin. I’ve had the good luck to speak to Irish athletes, comedians, presenters, and more all about their skincare routines!

Nerdie bit: Most of the folks on this island of ours fit into the classification of Fitzpatrick Skin Type 1 or 2, meaning that we are quite pale (even us brunettes - hiya!), have a lower amount of eumelanin in our skin (the pigment which protects us from burning), and can burn more easily in the sun. Irish hoomans are disproportionately likely to suffer from eczema, and rosacea too. This means that the Irish skin barrier can be - to put it delicately - a bit banjaxed. 

Our shkin is beautiful, in every variation - and so, in honour of St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve been chatting to some notable Irish hoomans, who were kind enough to share their skincare routines, tips, and feelings about their skin with us!

Derval O’Rourke is a former sprint hurdles athlete, who represented Ireland in numerous competitions in her field, including two Indoor World Championships, five Outdoor World Championships and the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics. That’s a lot of Olympics!

Top beauty tips of Jennifer Zamparelli, Derval O’Rourke, Síle Seoige

After her successful career in athletics, Derval started, her website combining food, fitness, and wellness all together, and she took the time to chat about her skincare habits.

“Every day, I cleanse, and I moisturise and I use an SPF during the day - I cleanse and I use a night cream in the evening, and actually, I’m not even making this up - I use the Cleanse Off Mitt! I wasn’t for a while and then lots of my followers on Instagram pointed out to me that it was great and it was also environmentally friendly as opposed to me using cotton pads, so I’ve been doing that for the past few weeks. I have three of them on the go! It’s great - that’s about it, I know my skin looks better if I’m sleeping well and eating well, too!”

G’wan Derval, and we swear Derval mentioned the Cleanse Off Mitt of her own volition - and we’re loving the SPF mention. It’s super important and we’re passionate about getting all the hoomans to SPF everyday!

Ben Fletcher is an Irish Olympian, too, who is hoping to return to the Olympics later this year! He is a Judo player who fights under the Irish colours, and holds an absolute heap of titles and even more medals - most recently, he has won the gold medal at the Grand Prix in Marrakech in 2019, and claimed a bronze medal at the Grand Slam in Baku in 2019! 

Top beauty tips of Jennifer Zamparelli, Derval O’Rourke, Síle Seoige

Ben found a bit of time between training sessions, and all of his protein rich mealtimes (we hear athletes need a LOT) to chat skincare with us!

Ben’s routine is simple - training takes up the majority of his time, and so eating well and resting is a huge priority. 

Ben is sponsored by Protocol UK, and so along with nutrition supplements, “they allow me to use some of their beauty products - no doubt I need them! I use one of theirs called Microdermabrasion! It just seems to freshen my skin up a little bit!”

Microdermabrasion from Protocol UK is an exfoliator which doesn’t use microbeads. Even Olympians need to exfoliate.

“Outside of that,’ Ben tells us, “I sauna quite a bit and then just try to moisturise and stay hydrated!”

Keeping hydrated is super important, particularly for an athlete, and keeping hydration in the skin when you’re training so much is a challenge, but I’m fairly sure that Ben is equal to it! It's important to cleanse before you head into the sauna however, to insure that sweat and other debris on your skin doesn't end up stuck into your pores!

Jennifer Zamparelli is an Irish comedian, writer, and presenter of television and radio, and I've had the pleasure of blabbing away about shkin with her on 2FM once a month. She is a host of Dancing with the Stars, where you can find me behind the scenes doing the skin prep!

Top beauty tips of Jennifer Zamparelli, Derval O’Rourke, Síle Seoige

I had a chance to have a chin-wag with her about her skincare favourites!

“I use a lot of IMAGE products along with Environ and Skingredients (love the Skin Veg)! In my 20’s, I abused my skin, inside and out. Never really took care of it, never wore SPF and rarely had a facial. Binging on nights out and lack of hydration over the years creeps up on you and in your 30’s and now I spend most of it trying to undo the damage and get back on track!

There is one thing I can honestly say I have never done in all my life, and that is going to bed with make-up on no matter how tired or tipsy I was! But I’m good now, and I do have regular facials, probably every six weeks. I like a good results facial. You can keep your facial massage - give me a peel or microdermabrasion any day! That and a heap of water every day really helps... for now anyway!”

Jennifer Zamparelli? On the Skin Veg?! Pinch me.

We were the lucky ducks to have Síle Seoige, a proud Nerd Networker, as well as Gaeilgeoir, presenter, BEO speaker, and all-round wonderful hooman take part in our podcast recently, and chat to us all about her skincare routine, and how much she’s gotten out of the Nerd Network so far! You can listen to her episode of our podcast here!

“In terms of brands, I’m using a lot of Environ, and Skin Formulas, and of course, Skingredients. So, in the morning, I love the pre-cleansing oil, the Environ one, because I love an oily feel on my face. Obviously, I have a gazillion of them, and I know I should bin some of them, but I like to have them everywhere!

So in the morning, I use the PreProbiotic Cleanser from Skingredients, and then I’ll serum, so I love the Skin Veg and there’s one from Neostrata - (Neostrata Skin Active Tri-Therapy Lifting Serum), so I love that. And I’m on Environ AVST at the moment. So I think I’m going to stay on Number 2 for now, and this is where Lisa the Nerdette is amazing …. It hasn’t just been about getting the products for washing of the face and moisturising of the face, but due to the conversations with Lisa and educating myself on what we’re putting on our skin, so I’m now using the Glo range of makeup, which I really love! 

At night time, the main difference is that the cleanser is different - I use a more purifying cleanser, the Environ Sebu-wash, it’s lovely, and I love my skin feeling really clean, after a day of makeup wearing, or not. Love the clean, clean, clean feeling, and the serums - and the Neostrata - a lovely blue bottle, a hydrating balm! And if I have a spot, I use a teeny bit of ASAP gel!”

We can also recommend checking out Síle's amazing podcast - a personal St. Patrick's Day companion

Mark Rogers is Benefit's Head of Marketing, as well as a makeup artist and all-round fashion icon. You can also listen to his episode our podcast here, but here's a snippet of Mark's routine:

“I trial a lot of skincare products which can be hard on the skin, but I will always do a pre-cleanse, a cleanse, I don’t use wipes, which is great, I mean come on people - did you not get the memo? I always wear an SPF, I use serums - I don’t use moisturiser or eye-creams because I used them for years and I just felt like they caused more problems, for me personally, and I’m into things which give a more long-term buzz.”

Love how Mark and I are on the anti-wipe team together. Keep fighting the good fight, Mark, and keep curating that routine that works for you. 

Irish skin is gorgeous in each of the 40 shades (50, if you’re thinking Fenty), and each individual skin needs its own care. However, we have some widespread advice which stands for all Irish skin ever - cleanse day and night, tap on a vitamin-rich serum, and SPF every single day. Bin your wipes and never, ever sleep in your makeup!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!