Monday, 9 April 2012

Cheat Sheet - Top Tips for Great Skin

I've noticed doing the Clinic these last two months that I am repeating a lot of the same basic tips week after week. None of which I mind, that's the point of the Clinic - but it did get me thinking that it might be useful to do a quick cheat sheet about basic care and how to get the most out of your skin.
Interestingly, most of the tips are based around diet and lifestyle - not particular products - but I will do a follow up of good products too...

Obviously everyone is different - but in general - these are your basics if you're wondering where to start....
  • Cleanse your skin every night without fail - cleanliness is next to Godliness. Double cleanse if you are wearing make-up or sunscreen - which means most of us. I've already written a cheat sheet on cleansing - read that if you haven't already - incorporate the massage techniques here - and you're pretty much done.
    And a little tip for those of you that say you have no time: either take your make-up off as soon as you get home OR take your make-up off before you take your bra off (if you sleep in your bra then do the first tip!)
  • Cleanse your skin every morning. It obviously doesn't have to be as intense as the night time - but a quick hot flannel and milk/balm/gel wouldn't go amiss to get rid of the overnight shedding. *gross* I know some brands say you don't need to cleanse your skin in the morning. That's OK. They're wrong. If you're body doesn't sweat/shed why do we have to change the bedding? Yeah. That's what I thought.
  • Do not smoke. I won't dwell on this one because its obvious and I've preached before. Unfortunately, in my experience the majority of smokers don't care. They'd rather smoke than have good health. That's really the beginning and end of it. Also - sidebar - they are more likely, again in my experience, to have Botox/fillers/use fad products - like BB creams for example. Why? Because they aren't willing to do the work themselves. Sorry smokers - but in your heart of hearts you probably know it's true. And if you're in the minority who smoke and do everything else organically, you still smoke. Get over yourself. And if you do try and I've offended you, you still smoke. Get over yourself.
  • Get some sunshine. The term 'everything in moderation' really applies here. You will never catch me putting SPF50 on my face. For normal day-to-day use, I get my SPF from my make-up. I would of course use SPF if I was sitting on a beach - but no higher than 20 if I'm honest. Otherwise I wouldn't reapply and I'd look like a beetroot. I don't use skincare with SPF. *gets taken outside and shot by some dermatologists*
    The fact is that yes, obviously too much sun is damaging to the skin. But so is too much chlorine. And too much pollution. Get out there and get some sunshine. We need it. And in the right dosage it can be amazing for your skin. Some brands would have us all in full burqas and hijabs.  That's ok. They're wrong too. Get some sun. Just don't be stupid about it. Read my SPF Cheat Sheet.
  • Sugar. You need to think of sugar as the Devil. And fizzy drinks/soda as Liquid Satan. Empty calories. Drink water. Sugar is the easiest addiction to stop - after a few days you won't even think about that mid-afternoon chocolate. Trust me. One of the best things you can do for your health and skin.
  • Stop eating crap. It's not rocket science. If 'cooking' to you means 'piercing the film', you are not cooking - you are reheating. And eating processed food. Which has no benefit to your health or skin. I'm not going to tell you what foods to avoid. You're not a moron.
    A tip - if you're a parent and you won't let your toddler eat what you are eating - why are YOU eating it?
  • Consider supplementing your diet. If you have problem skin and don't take fish oil, try it - in large doses. If you are vegetarian try flax - but in my experience its not nearly as powerful. I am big on supplements and have posted a frequently about them - most recently, here.
  • Cut down on dairy. Dairy is designed to take that cute calf and turn it into a 1500lb cow/bull in under a year. And it does a bloody good job of it. I have skimmed milk in my tea. That's about it these days. Yes, I've even cut back the cheese.
  • Watch your alcohol intake. It's extremely dehydrating and again is predominantly sugar. If you are disciplined and can have the odd glass of good red wine, fine. If not, you may want to reconsider altogether - especially if your idea of a good drink is beer or a Bacardi Breezer.
  • Use quality skincare. I'm not talking about £400 creams, I'm just suggesting you step away from the £2.99 packet of wipes and moisturisers in the chemist/supermarket and step it up a gear. Outside of the organic market - up to around £150 you get what you pay for (in some circumstances - you still need to check the ingredients to see what you are paying for!). After that you're paying for packaging, the rent and payroll and holiday home of the name on the box. I fully get that the majority of us are on much smaller budgets - but honestly - you need to look at the £40-£100 mark for serums and moisturisers if they are hi-tech. Cleansers can all be around the £25 - £60 mark - but it would have to be a bloody good cleanser/larger size to get me to £60. If you want quality skincare and are willing to forgo the hi-tech, you can get amazing quality natural/organic products that are very affordable.
  • A final tip - equate your skincare spending to what you would spend on a handbag or shoes. I'm not saying you should - I'm saying you should be willing to. If you would spend more on a bag than your face - you're reading the wrong blog.
    I welcome you with open arms, but you are reading the wrong blog. 

53 comments:

  1. This is a fantastic post. Love the last bit!! I would go without a designer bag anyday if it meant I felt confident frolicking around with great skin :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks - a really useful post, full of great advice

    ReplyDelete
  3. THANK YOU!!

    I get so annoyed with people who say "you spent HOW much on a moisturiser?" and then promptly go out and buy a Mulberry bag. You get one skin; treat it accordingly. If you only got one pair of shoes, would you leave them with mud and crap all over them?

    I also hate the "sun is evil" brigade. Yes, getting too much sun is ageing but how many people have Vitamin D deficiencies these days? This is partly because their diets are crap but also we all use sunscreen and don't get any sun for our bodies to synthesise it.

    I'm going to try the fish oil and try to reduce the dairy and sugar although they are my only two vices- I neither smoke nor drink. But if it makes my skin look better, I'm willing to give it a go although I'm not sure what state I'll be in by the end of the week ;-)

    I will also say that cleansing when you get home from work is a great idea as I am notorious for not cleansing if I leave it until I go to bed. So when I get home I change out of my work clothes and take off the make up. At least that way if I do nothing before I go to bed I'm not sleeping covered in make up etc.

    Brilliant post and I love your blog! I've learnt so much from it and if I ever hear people using soap or similar on their skin, I point them your way! Everyone needs a bit of BeautyMouth in their life :-) xxx

    ReplyDelete
  4. Diet is about 70-80% of good skin, I reckon. I see a big difference if I am forced to eat rubbish for a while. Agree with you on all of these...except the sunscreen ;) (although that's aesthetics for me too - my skin looks better pale than tanned.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know - that's why you're my spf guru! :)

      Delete
  5. Headstaggers8yka9 April 2012 21:21

    My hero. Can you come round and convince my husband? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hallelujah! Love this post. I haven't so much as sniffed at an item of shoes or clothing since discovering your blog and subsequently spending my wage on wonderful products that have much improved the appearance of my skin!! I also rejoiced at your take on sunshine. The sun brings out my freckles and covers my scars. Whats not to love?!! Oh, in moderation of course. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know - me too - in moderation! :)

      Delete
  7. It feels good to read something you always quietly suspected put into such simple yet authoritative (in a good way!) language.

    My trick to silence those people who think it is outrageous to spend money on skincare: I tell them that they think next to nothing about spending the same amount of cash on their hobbies/car/appliances and that taking good care of my skin is *my* hobby.

    I'm with Grace on the sunscreen, though. ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I know I know! Grace loves a bit of SPF - and like I said - I DO when I'm sunbathing - I'm very olivey though and Grace is more English rose complexion - I don't burn - honest!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Reading your blog has totally changed my skin care routine and the way I viewed things!! Thank you so much for your tips and updates.
    The spending more on a bag etc really hit home with me! xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. Reading your blog made me totally change the way I treated my skin, particularly the bag spend/skin care spend!
    I now take so much more care and am really seeing a difference! Thank you :-)) xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Some very good points. I also equate good skin to good genes and exercise, as well as everything you say including products. I'm a product junkie. I'd live & die for Dior if I could afford it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For makeup maybe but for skincare? really? And yes - obviously good genes are a huge part - these are just things that you can do to help your situation! :)

      Delete
  12. I am so glad to have found your blog this evening! (Via Katy on Twitter) So many people just don't care about their skin at all and then in 20 years time they will be the first people to complain and sign up for the latest £1000 fad that claims to un do years of damage.

    I am in the mindset that if you have great skin then everything else you put on your face will look a lot better. Unfortunately, I do have problem skin but I can see a massive difference by the things I do to it.

    The only thing I disagree about in your post is not wearing spf every day. If you are super skin concious I think you should look into using something like Soltan by Boots which has 5* UVA protection as that's what does the damage. SPF in a moisturiser or foundation isn't necessarily enough. You are right though in that our skin needs the sun. I think too many people these days think sun = bad. It's getting the right kind of sun though ie. not midday sun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly - if I was sitting in the midday sun or sunbathing I would absolutely have separate SPF on - but not for day-to-day - I do have olive skin though - I've looked at my skin a hundred times under woods lamps etc for sun damage - its good considering my age and that I was raised in a ridiculously hot temperature! :)

      Delete
  13. I gave up the fags and the booze completely, I can kick the sugar demons ass...I can, I can, I can!!!! I bloody have to, it really does make me look shocking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your blog - you make skincare simple - i get very overwhelmed by all the products out there - in short of going around and trying everything it`s great that your blog steers people in the right direction.
      I have one question though - you don`t very often mention Dermalogica - i use this brand all the time and love it - i have sensitive skin and had bad acne for most of my life (im now 35 ) the spots have gone now - but i put that down to my diet (i cut out dairy and my life changed)
      what do you think of Dermalogica ?

      Delete
    2. In all honesty I'm not a huge fan. I know it works for a LOT of people - I do respect that - I just always found it 'not life-changing' if that makes sense?
      It was also - bar none - the worse facial I have ever had. Ever. *shivers*

      Delete
  14. This is a brilliant post! Lots of great tips that we sometimes forget about but are so true.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great post. I'm seriously trying to cut out as mch sugar as possible.

    I'm investing in me when I make a skin care purchase.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you everyone - I'm off to hide from the sugar industry.
    And the dairy industry.
    And the red meat industry.
    And every ale brewer.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Loved this post! Since changing my skincare routine to include the Emma Hardie Cleanser and moisturiser it has worked wonders!

    I would rather miss out on a meal out with friends or a night boozing and buy a decent skincare product, gone are my days of buying cheap products as they just don't work for me!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Caroline

    I already know the answer but just for clarification; should I drop the Splenda too as a sugar substitute? :(

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ouch. Ouch! OUCH! Hmm yes I'm a smoker and no I don't care and yes I love a bb cream. I guess I'll save up for Botox now rather than waste £ on organic skincare :-( Plus I think I'll go back to sugar and diet coke. But I'll still cook properly and not re-heat. A great post nonetheless from my favourite skin guru C x

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great post!
    You need the sun to give you vitamin D. So covering up is useless. Like you said everything in moderation.

    I was tired the other night and had make up on. Knew I'd regret it next morning do I did the cleanse, tone, moisturise... No extras but I did feel so much cleaner. If you brush your teeth you have time to clean your face in my book ;)

    Take Care on those supplements
    Daisylou xxx

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great post, definitely agree with the last point! Many people spend £40 on a pair of shoes they wear once or twice - your skin is on your face everyday - people look at it day in day out - wear for wear £40 on a moisturiser is a far better investment!

    http://thegreenbeautyinsider.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  22. Greatly informative post! Just wondering what the reason is for getting your SPF from makeup and not from skincare?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get SPF from skincare if I'm sunbathing - just to be clear! For normal day use, I would use a primer with SPF and foundation - but adding an SPF on top of my skin under my foundation has just not worked for me personally - its to much and my skin is so predisposed to acne that I am just uber-careful.

      Delete
  23. GREAT POST :) I agree with 100% with everything... BUT...

    I stand by the SPF ;) I have been using super high SPF on my face for more than 15 years now. I do, however, have light skin and freckles, so... in my case it's a must: plus a hat, and sunglasses and an umbrella LOL ;)

    Another issue I have is with FRAGRANCE in products... don't get me wrong: I LOVE a gorgeous smell as much as the next girl ;) HOWEVER, that is an extra in beauty products that MANY times has irritants in it... I know it so much more pleasant to put on something with a nice smell... but... I'm torn... And what I've been doing is lighting up more times my lovely organic candles or use my reed difusers for my scent-fix ;) chose products without fragrance and compensate with using my fave perfumes all the time, intead ;)

    What do you think??
    xx raquel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should absolutely use whatever level of SPF works for you. I'm not advocating not using it - I just don't cover myself in a 50 for everyday normal living.

      Delete
  24. This blog is absolutely AMAZING!! had to come and check it out after hearing Viviannadoesmakeup on youtube raving about you :) and you have really inspired me! that last comment about the handbags really hit home with me ha xxx Debbie.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi, I have just found your blog and I love your way of writing and your philosophy! I am Italian and I totally agree with you about the sun "dosage" we should get and the good food. I love my skin when is tanned and healthy... I remember when I was a teenager and I used to sunbath using Johnson Baby Oil all over my body and go back home fried!

    I have been using Origins - makeup remover - and Avène - serum - lately and I am enjoying both... but I am still looking for a good daily moisturizer! I will go through your blog to see what you recommend! thank you again!!

    Letizia - letiziaelle.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Letizia!

      Just to be clear - I advocate a LITTLE regular sun - not a Johnson's baby oil 'fried' sun!! :)

      Delete
  26. just found this blog, sitting here feeling sorry for myself about my skin, whilst drinking fizzy and eating haribo.....OOOPS! in this post you say about quality skincare. Do you have any recommendations as I want to invest but dont want to waste money on the wrong products. (oh and I will TRY to change my diet!)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm doing a separate page on favourite products - keep an eye out! :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. I read the cheat sheet on Cleansing last year and I headed out to Primark for flannels, I'm so pleased I did, I've been using a flannel morning and night with a cleanser since and my skin is glowing and the fine lines that I saw appearing have gone.
    Another tip I've followed from Caroline is taking supplements, I read the post on supplements and did my own research on the different products out there, and for the last month I have been taking 1100mg of fish oils, with Omega 3 included and for energy I am taking iron tablets. I was very sceptical about supplements, never thinking I'd see a difference but I have and saw my skin change within 2 weeks of starting to take supplements. My skin texture is better, my skin seems plumped and I think I look younger too. I never thought I'd see a difference in my skin by using a flannel and taking supplements! Thanks Caroline! I will pass your advice on to anyone who will listen!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi,
    Ive heard some great stuff about you, i have got really ultra sensitive skin and have been diagnosed with eczema, do you suggest anything that is organic its just im fed up of using steroids and doctors prescriptions,
    thank you

    http://bfaffair.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  30. What cleansers do you recommend? I am currently using Cetaphil, but find it doesn't remove make up well enough. I have an olive skin that is combination, little bit sensitive and I do get hormonal spots which I dread as they leave little marks/scars. Thank you. CQ

    ReplyDelete
  31. I just found your blog through Vivianna Does Makeup and it is great! Plus, you are hilarious. My skin is crap so hopefully I can collect some helpful info here!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wow. I am about dying of happiness over here reading about your philosophy on sunscreen. I think it's essential on the beach but for daily life I find that it suffocates and clogs my skin. I've tried just about every brand there is to try and I've finally decided I would rather have a couple extra wrinkles than scars from acne I get from sunscreen.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Great post and advices!
    I disagree on sunscreen though...Probably when you live in UK, where the sun is a pretty rare guest to use SPF 20 is fine, but living in the Middle Eastern climate you can't go without it. I use SPF 30 in winter and in summer La Rouche Posay SPF 60 is my best friend :).

    ReplyDelete
  34. Haha! This is the most 6am-anything I have rwad...love your style of writing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. don't quite understand the need to bring religion into this. "burqas and hijabs" i mean come on. the truth is no one is gonna make anyone wear it (people will be going around naked first than wearing conservative type clothing) and second thanks to these hijabs and burqas the women of the middle east have wonderfully amazing skin. they have beautiful complexions and look much younger than they really are. btw, the heat of the middle east is basically, hell, so any type of protection there becomes a necessity.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Great advice! So glad that I came across your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Just saw you on pixiwoo and immediately shared the video on facebook. Love your smart, no-nonsense way of writing. I am for sure going to look into supplements. And you totally validated my opinion of my clarisonic. Not impressed. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  38. CAroline, I need help. I try to do all that I know I need to, I do my BEST to moisturize and cream cleanse and the whole nine yards. I'm a makeup artist and I know the value of skin care. BUt I love in an extremely hot and humid climate, and my face sweats CONSTANTLY. Moisturizers make it worse, and generally get wiped off within minutes of being put on because I'm just sweating non stop. my skin is always raw from patting off sweat and not being able to keep anything on my face. I als have ridiculously oily

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hiya!
    I just found your blog after watching you on the Dailymix with the girls from Pixiwoo. I do understand all you're saying everyone should do to look and feel healthy, but the thing is, I can't do all "we're supposed to do" due to suffering from a severe intestinal illness. I can't eat all healthy stuff with fruit, vegetables and whole grain bread cos my tummy can't process it. Also the sugar, yes I'm a huge sugar junkie even that is due to my illness. My tummy "makes" me crave sugar all the time and it's bloody impossible to not eat it! I try and not eat as much as I used to.
    Then one might think that with eating this kind of crappy diet my skin must look like a drunken sailor but nope! My skin is softer than a baby's bum, just a few lines here and there (38 yrs old ;-)) and I hardly ever get any break outs. Lucky me some might say, me I'd prefer worse skin and a not so sick tummy...

    ReplyDelete

Follow this blog with bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin
Related Posts with Thumbnails