Stewart Long

Cookies on our site

We use cookies to provide you with the best experience on our site. If you continue shopping with us we'll assume that you're happy to receive cookies. Find out more about cookies x

WebMD Link

  Can't find country?

Please note that changing your country whilst shopping will remove all items from your basket.


Information & Advice

Beauty Uncovered

WrittenbyJennifer Needhamon01/09/2008

Stewart Long

Stewart Long has been Boots Skincare Scientific Advisor for 2 years and has been developing methods for testing skincare for over 10 years.

Stewart Long has been Boots Skincare Scientific Advisor for four years and has been developing methods for testing skincare for over 10 years.

Stewart is married and lives in Oakham, Rutland with his wife and 2 children, Alexander and Amelia.

1. How long have you been a skincare advisor?

Four years. Before that I ran the product testing. I have always been involved in products and how we test them.

2. What is the best thing you can advise for a facial skincare routine?

The best advice is understand your skin type, and base your cleansing routine on that. So, you should be using an oil-free cleanser if you have an oily face. You should never be using soap on your face or shower gel. I wouldn’t use any bar products on the face either.

3. How can you tell if you have dry skin?

It should be fairly obvious, it should be flaky and feel tight, particularly after washing. It should be slightly more sensitive to the weather so when it gets colder it will feel tight and dry.

4. Is there anything you can do to permanently change your skin type for example if you have dry skin, will it always be dry?

It always going to tend to be dry but you can prevent the symptoms. You can use a good moisturiser that will restore the barrier which will make it much less susceptible to dryness. Don’t damage it by using things like soap bars and detergents on your face.

5. Give us your most invaluable skincare tip?

Always use sun protection. If you do nothing else then do that because 90% of what we call ageing is caused by the sun and changes our skin. If you avoid sun exposure religiously, your skin would look years and years younger. People forget that the amount of UVA in sunlight is pretty much the same all year round so even in the winter you are still getting a lot of the ageing affects of the sun. You need to wear an SPF 15 everyday.

6. What about smoking?

Smoking has a pretty serious affect on the skin as well, especially around the mouth area. It’s because the amount of free radicals that it produces.


7. What’s your skin care prediction for 2010?

I think what people are realising now is that skin ageing is much more than wrinkles. People can tell your skin age by looking at the condition of your skin. So how radiant and luminous it is, for example. I think we will see products that respond to this.

8. What do you think of all the technical claims that are on a lot of skincare products?

I think as a company we have avoided techno-babble and if you look at No.7, it says what it does; it doesn’t say how it gets there. I don’t think it’s of interest to people, what I think is of interest to people is what kind of difference is makes to the skin. I think that is what you will see more of in the industry. When you look at somebody you will see evenness of skin tone etc, you instinctively know what healthy is, even if someone is twenty or seventy, their skin either looks good or it doesn’t and it has nothing to do with wrinkles. It’s about looking as good as you can for your age.

9. How do you get inspiration for new products?

It comes from all over the place. It comes from working with some of the leading dermatologists in the world. We work with people that are right on the edge of clinical research. Working with the best people you get the best ideas. We always have to be challenged because women know as soon as they put something on their skin whether it works or not. They won’t keep buying it if it doesn’t work.

10. Do you use a lot of customer research? 

Oh yes. Particularly in terms of what are people’s skincare needs are. We might come up with a great idea but if nobody cares about it, it’s not worth having a product and that’s why we do the research.

11. If I use a product that is not designed for my skin then will it to it harm? For instance if I use something that is meant for mature skin will it not work? 

It won’t damage it but if you use an anti-wrinkle product and you don’t have any wrinkles then you won’t get the benefit that it is trying to provide. So retinol for young skin will have no benefit at all because you have enough retinol in your skin already so you won’t do any harm but you are wasting your time. What you should be doing is protecting it from further damage.

12.What did you look like 10 years ago?


13. What’s the biggest skin care myth you have ever heard and want to put straight?

That your skin gets used to products and so you have to keep changing them. That’s not the case. Or the other big myth is that more of something is best. So if a product has 2% Vitamin C in, and another has 10%, it doesn’t matter because your skin can’t use it. Your skin is the same as your body, it needs a whole range of nutrients to work properly. If you just give it tons of the same thing, it can’t do anything with the excess.

  • Our partner sites

  • Boots WebMD Macmillan