It almost goes without saying how important protecting your skin and treating it well is. Not only is this good for your health and sense of wellbeing, it will also mean you look great/fresh/well slept and ready to take on the world – makeup or no makeup.
You will read a lot within beauty columns about how skin hydration is key – but taking in enough water really is essential if you want your skin to be supple and maintain elasticity. If you’re not a natural water drinker – set yourself a challenge to drink more every day and you will notice the difference within your skin immediately, I promise you. Correct nutrition also goes a long way in ensuring the skin is healthy and blemish-free. Easier said than done when we are all working our busy lives and oftentimes, convenience food suits, but the saying ‘you are what you eat’ is never more true than when it comes to skincare.
Before I go any further – a couple of obvious matters to mention too; avoid smoking and excessive sun exposure. These two thing are the most common causes of premature skin ageing and are associated with cancer.
With so many skincare products on the market, choosing the right ones for you might seem overwhelming. Which brand should you use? What pot of age-reversal magic should you order? Before you attempt to fill up your online shopping baskets with the best serums and skin creams, you should first figure out what type of skin you have. You can then put together a personalised regime of cleansers, toners, moisturisers, exfoliators and masks. Using the right products will absolutely ensure that within a few weeks – you’ll be able to see really positive results with healthy, glowing skin.
A daily skincare routine
1. The importance of correct hygiene
Never ever ever go to bed with an unwashed face or whilst still wearing makeup. No matter how tired you are! We’ve all done it – just make sure you never do it again. Make that promise to yourself today. This is the one sacramental rule that should never broken when it comes to daily skincare.
Wash your face gently with a good cleanser but don’t ever scrub too hard. Wet your skin with warm water – making sure it’s not hot water. Warm water helps remove dirt but hot water will dry out the skin. Work the cleanser in using a gentle touch and a circular pattern. Then rinse and pat dry. Again, don’t rub your skin when you dry it.
Gently cleanse twice a day – morning and evening – to remove dead skin cells, makeup, oil and dirt. When your skin is clean it allows other skincare products to work so much more efficiently.
2. Apply toner after cleanser
Toner softens and calms the skin whilst removing the last traces of makeup, oil and dirt. Toners can also hydrate and replenish the skin’s surface when used immediately after cleansing. Hydrate being the important word there.
Pump or pour a small amount of toner onto a cotton pad and simply wipe it over your face taking care to avoid the area around the eyes. Then let the toner dry – there’s no need to rinse it off.
3. Moisturise your skin
The final step of your skincare routine is as important as the first. No matter what state the skin is in, it needs to remain hydrated. Luckily there are moisturisers made for all kinds of skin complexions, either oil-free or loaded with skincare goodies such as antioxidants and vitamins. Moisturiser should be applied after the toner has been fully absorbed. Massage the moisturiser in using upward circular motions on your face and neck (always upwards, never downwards – we’re fighting gravity girls, OK?). Alternatively, you can apply it to clean palms and gently pat it in.
Moisturising products – I personally recommend Aurelia’s Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser (a product I know A Life Loved founder Annabel swears by).
Serums – deliver targeted ingredients which depend on the type – such as anti-ageing, brightening or soothing. Serums also help refresh, rejuvenate and renew the skin’s appearance. Apply twice daily – morning and evening – after cleansing and toning but before the moisturiser. A little can go a long way. Try Aurelia’s Cell Repair Night Oil (pictured below) or Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair.
Eye cream – reduces the appearance of puffiness, smooths the look of fine lines, brightens dark circles and replenishes moisture. The skin around the eyes is delicate and thin, it loses moisture rapidly so needs to be treated with extra care. Gently pat the cream along the ocular bone – the outer edge of the eye – before applying moisturiser. Again, use eye cream twice daily – morning and evening. Try Estee Lauder’s Revitalizing Supreme Eye Balm.
Face mask – the benefits are endless. Face masks draw out impurities from beneath the top layer of the epidermis; they also exfoliate, tone, hydrate, protect and leave the skin feeling smooth and soft. Author Kate recommends some fantastic face mask products in this feature.
Myth: you should exfoliate every day.
Fact: over-exfoliating can inflame the skin.
This should be a crucial step in your skincare regime, but definitely does not need to be done daily. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and speeds up cell renewal, enabling new healthy skin cells to grow. It is very important that you don’t over exfoliate (do it once or twice a week) and that it is done correctly so that it doesn’t damage the skin.
Chemical exfoliators are best for sensitive skin and physical ones (with gritty bits) are good for occasional use for dry skin that is on the flaky side.
Be gentle when you exfoliate – soft movements are all that are needed. Vigorously rubbing or scrubbing can be harmful. Any exfoliation that causes your skin to develop certain changes means you’re likely to be exfoliating more than you should.
Here are three signs that you’ve been overdoing it:
- Shiny forehead – you know you’ve over-exfoliated when your forehead shines like a mirror.
- Puffiness – overdoing it can also cause your skin to look a little puffy or swollen.
- Breakouts – You think that scrubbing your face will keep it clean enough so that acne won’t be a problem, but doing it too much can have the opposite effect. When you’re overdoing it, you’re also getting rid of all those healthy skin cells which protect it.
5. Wear sunscreen every day
Myth: makeup with built in SPF is as effective as sunscreen.
Fact: it would take almost 14x the normal amount of powder and 7x the normal amount of foundation to get the correct amount of sun protection from SPF makeup.
Up to 90% of skin ageing is due to sun exposure making sunscreen use the easiest way to prevent sun damage. Don’t be fooled by winter – the sun can come out whatever the season. Take a supplement if you’re concerned about vitamin D deficiency as daily sun exposure can cause premature aging and hyperpigmentation (where patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin) amongst other issues. Even if you don’t plan on going outside for long, put on sunscreen before you leave.
The factor should be SPF 30 or higher – apply it fifteen minutes before going outside. Sunscreen should always be applied after you have moisturised but before you have put on any makeup.
Also wear your sunglasses daily – they protect your eyes and the delicate skin around them from the sun’s harmful UV rays. They also help avoid squinting and frowning which lead to lines around the eyes (crow’s feet) and between the eyebrows (frown lines).
6. Get your beauty sleep
Sleep is so important! I cannot stress enough the importance of a good daily sleep routine. The body repairs itself during sleep and this includes skin cell renewal. It’s so essential to allow your body the time, nutrients and hydration it needs to heal and regenerate. If you’re lifestyle means you are struggling to get a good minimum run on sleep hours every night, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate commitments and priorities? Sleep should be your number 1 priority.
Choosing skincare products to help you look younger and healthier doesn’t have to be difficult. You just need a basic knowledge of good/sound ingredients which will help you to check product labels and make informed choices. When looking at moisturising products, natural is always best: coconut oil, olive oil and avocado oil are all great ingredients to watch out for. They are similar in composition to the natural oils found in the skin so are a great replacement when your skin is too dry.
One of the best when it comes to combat ageing is Retinol-A. This is a fat-soluble vitamin that can drastically improve the look and health of the skin. I’ve tried this myself and recommended it to many clients. It really does work.
Also look for products containing Retinol; vitamins A, C and E; and alpha hydroxyl, salicylic and hyaluronic acids. If these terms bamboozle you a little then I encourage you to do some Google research. But the latter is a powerful moisturising agent that is soothing and especially beneficial for people with sensitive skin as Retinol can sometimes cause irritation.
Regardless of how old you are – it’s always important to cleanse, hydrate and protect your skin.
We’d love you to share your own tried and tested product recommendations below.
Article written by K-Team member Inga at Kristina Gasperas.
Al images Copyright (c) to Kristina Gasperas Makeup Artist