I’m often told that I have clear skin and asked how I achieve this. Now, I won’t lie; I was blessed with good genes in the skin department – good skin runs in my family. However, there’s a lot more to having good skin than the absence of blemishes.
Warding off pimples is a mere facet of maintaining healthy skin. A clean diet, straying far from processed sugars and drinking 3-4 litres of water a day will help you here. My skin always has minor breakouts (which are BREAKOUTS for me as I’ve never endured acne) when I have been indulging in sugary/fatty foods or drinking large amounts of alcohol – but getting back into a good routine clears it up pretty quickly.
My real concern, when it comes to the delicate skin of the upper body, is looking after it to prevent early aging. I know that sounds somewhat narcissistic, but your face is the most exposed part of your body as a human being. Our face should be the part of us that we take the most pride in keeping healthy and youthful. A good skin care regime, from your late teens onwards, will ensure that you have bright, tight skin well into your late 30’s/early 40’s. I often get the impression that women think that they don’t need to start using anti-aging products until they have noticeable wrinkles. This is where the knowledge gap lies. Skin care is all about prevention! Once you have noticeable to deep wrinkles, no amount, I repeat, no amount of crème or moisturiser will get rid of them. And this is the problem. It’s never a concern until you can see it, and this is not the right attitude to have about one of your most precious physical assets. Start early, because by the time you’re 30 years old you will be thankful that you did – botox is expensive stuff!
I am always shocked by how uneducated women in their 20’s and 30’s are about skin care. I was lucky because my grandma and mum indoctrinated both the importance and the process of a good skin care routine at an early age. But for women (and men to be honest – yes it’s important for you as well!) who haven’t been handed down this wisdom – I urge you to get some professional insight to your skin so you can start to look after it RIGHT NOW.
So what should you be doing to keep your skin youthful?
First things first…SPF. Regardless if you have fair and freckly skin like me, or you’re blessed with olive skin that progresses to shades of gold during the summer months – you need to be using an SPF. Skin Cancer is not a joke; it is a very serious issue that, as Australian’s, we need to be aware of and ensuring we protect our skin (and overall health) from the harsh rays that unfortunately creep through our damaged Ozone. Sun damage is also one of the most prominent causes of early aging and pigmentation. These days, most foundations will come with existing SPF coverage, but generally it’s only a mere 15+ which is not sufficient. Ideally, you should be using 50+ and a product that covers UVB and UVA rays. I recently came across an absolutely amazing product by Lancome , UV Expert BB Complete SPF 50+, that’s a BB (Beauty Balm) cream as well as an SPF 50+ (as well as UVB/UVA protectant). Aside from the fact that it’s protecting my skin, it’s probably the BEST BB cream I’ve ever tried and sometimes I won’t even put foundation on because it makes my skin look so great and natural. Use your SPF AFTER you moisturise but BEFORE you put your foundation on.
CLEANSE & TONE
To remove your makeup properly is a must. Each night I will cleanse in the shower and then again afterwards if not everything has been removed. Don’t let your pores get clogged because you haven’t removed your make up sufficiently. Cheap cleansers won’t do the trick. If you wear particularly heavy makeup that’s more resistant to water/removers, then invest in a toner as well and do this after you’ve cleansed.
Make sure you take the time to get expert advice on your skin type and what products will work best for you. My skin is on the dry side of normal, so for my cleaner I use a Clarins Milk Cleanser for Dry Skin. If I need to tone as well, I also use a Clarins product – Clarins Toning Lotion for Dry/Normal Skin with Camomile.
I ALWAYS moisturise before bed, after I have removed all makeup and showered. Again, it’s really important to find out your skin type and buy products based on that knowledge. I use Chanel Hydra Beauty Crème as I find it not too heavy for my younger skin, but still thick enough to keep me moisturised during the night. I also moisturise before applying makeup. It helps prepare the skin and you’ll also find it makes applying makeup easier.
EYE CREAMS & SERUMS
When I chat to girls around the same age as me (and most of the time women who are older than me) I am SHOCKED of the number of people who know nothing/do nothing regarding eye care. Around the eyes are generally the first place we will notice aging – ummm crow’s feet anyone? The skin around this area of the face is so soft and delicate that it’s prone to fine lines…and early on too – I’m not taking in your 40’s ladies, I’m talking in your 20’s. Eye creams are IMPERATIVE to your skin care routine. You’ll find eye creams much thicker than your general moisturiser, and I always apply my eye crème after moisturising right before bed. Once a day is fine for this, and night time is the ultimate time for the cream to work its magic on your skin. I use (via Strawberrynet) Estee Lauder’s Age Renewal Eye Crème, and yes it is expensive, but it’s going to last you 6 – 9 months per pot. Serums are optional. It really depends on your skin type and age as to whether or not you need to be using a serum. I find them too heavy for my skin if I use it constantly. So I’ll use it for about 3 consecutive days when my skin is extremely dry and then lay off it for a few weeks.
Lastly; I make sure I exfoliate my face and décolletage once a week. No more is necessary for your face, as the skin is delicate, unlike legs and arms, and does not require to be exfoliated any more regularly than this. At the moment I’m using a MAC Volcanic Ash facial exfoliator which was only $37 and has lasted me almost one year. With that being said, I’ve tried more expensive exfoliators by Chanel and Guinot in the past and you definitely notice the difference in quality. I will be investing in a Chanel exfoliator once my MAC product runs out.
Don’t forget your neck and décolletage! Your neck is another area prone to the early signs of aging! Like I mentioned, this stuff is expensive. And the bad news is, the older your skin gets, the more intense the product you’ll need and thus the more expensive the products will get. Just another reason to get on to this immediately so you do not have to remedy poorly looked after skin prematurely.
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