I have a confession. I am a little bit obsessive with skincare. I say a little bit, I will spend daft amounts of money on products despite having already overflowing shelves with things I haven't managed to try yet. And if I ever come to visit your house, I WILL be checking out what you've got in the bathroom and nodding in approval or making a note of things I haven't tried yet. And I spend hours online watching and reading all about what's new and what's great and what's rubbish and who is using what. AND I love to test out new things. I kinda suck when it comes to sticking to a routine, but I love to indulge in a face mask or treatment when I can and I know how important it is to look after your skin regularly and try to make sure I'm using the best products I can. I'm really glad that I can now start to share some of this experience/knowledge/shopping addiction with you! (and have a reason/excuse to buy more!)
1. Diet, exercise and hydration
It's really boring but going back to the basics really can make all the difference, not only to your skin but also your hair, nails and general well-being, as well. The whole thing about eating too much chocolate or chips giving you spots is a myth, but a poor diet certainly won't help with the state of your skin. Filling your body with nutritious foods, especially things like almonds or fish (full of essential fatty acids which your skin loves), really will show on the surface. Exercise and getting lots of fresh air will make your skin glow and boost your circulation, while making sure you stay hydrated will keep your skin looking plump and healthy.
2. Cleanse your skin morning and night
Your skin does most of it's healing and repair at night time, much like most of your body. Old make up, dead skin and grease on your face when you go to bed is not helping your skin to perform at it's most efficient. By cleaning all of this off at night, you allow your skin to breathe and give it a fighting chance when it comes to recovering from the stresses of the day. Washing it in the morning not only helps to support this cycle, but it also helps remove all of the sweat that you produce at night which can potentially cause spots and blocked pores (do you know how much you sweat at night?! SPOILER ALERT - it's loads! And you don't want to walk around with that all over your face all day now, do you?).
3. Regular facials
Now, I'll be honest, I perform facial treatments at the shop so yes, I am biased on this one. But with good reason! Not only do you get a super deep cleanse that you will struggle to do to yourself, but it's just really, really relaxing and soothing to have someone stroke your face and massage in beautiful products. Plus, if you go for a luxury facial, shoulder and neck massages are included which is just the greatest thing. In terms of making your skin glow, then a facial is really hard to beat and getting them regularly keeps your skin looking gorgeous for longer. The top layers are exfoliated whilst your skin is nourished with moisturisers and massaged to improve blood flow and help to remove toxins. AND if you get them done regularly, the benefits in terms of relaxation and self care are huge. It is a lovely gift to give to yourself and you are worth the investment. Your skin will thank you for it, too!
4. Keep your make up tools clean
What's the point in cleaning your brushes and sponges if it's just you that's using them? Bacteria loves them, that's why! Particularly anything you might use with liquid make up like foundation, primers, concealer or brow gel. The liquid encourages bacteria and germs to cling on and then they breed. Especially in warm, damp bathrooms or that old make up bag you keep meaning to clean out but never do. Plus, our faces aren't exactly the cleanest places in the first place (unless you're already following steps 1 - 3 above, that it!). We touch our faces with our hands all day, and just think about what they come in to contact with on a daily basis! Through the odd pimple or eye infection or the buzzer on the bus you pressed earlier today and just bleugh... So please, for the sake of your skin and my stomach, wash those brushes!
It doesn't have to be everyday and it doesn't have to be complicated: a good wash with a gentle shampoo or hand soap (baby shampoo is supposed to be one of the best things to use), reshape and then leave to dry thoroughly. Heavy make up users might want to do this once a week, less frequent users once a fortnight or once a month. As a make up artist, I sterilise my brushes after every use so that there is no chance of cross contamination and my brushes are spotless for every client I make up. I also use disposable mascara spoolies and lip gloss applicators and NEVER DOUBLE DIP. That's a bit far for most people using make up at home, but just by keeping your brushes clean on a regular basis, you will greatly help to boost the appearance of your skin.
This links back to the point about keeping your skin hydrated. Drinking water can keep your skin hydrated from the inside out, moisturiser will work from the outside in. Finding the right moisturiser for you can work wonders for the appearance of your skin. The right one will plump and boost tired, dry skin and by applying it, you will be giving your face a mini massage which helps bring blood to the surface and adds to that glow. Key ingredients such as vitamin E or C, essential oils like rose or plants such as aloe vera can all help give a healing boost to your skin, too. Tinted moisturiser can give a little pop of colour and some even contain sun protection which will ultimately keep your skin looking healthier for longer. Fine lines can appear less noticeable when the skin is moisturised and plumped up so it is a great thing to incorporate in to your beauty routine.