Obviously, everyone is different – but in general – these are some 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.
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 warm flannel and milk/balm/gel wouldn’t go amiss to get rid of the overnight shedding. I know some brands say you don’t need to cleanse your skin in the morning. That’s OK. They’re wrong.
- Do not smoke. That’s really the beginning and end of it.
- Get some sunshine. The term ‘everything in moderation’ really applies here. I work indoors all day and live in the northern hemisphere. I don’t get a lot of sun. I supplement with vitamin d (under doctor’s advice). I don’t use skincare with SPF. I apply it separately in between moisturiser and foundation/primer. SPF is too active an ingredient and can interfere with other anti-ageing ingredients, making all of your expensive moisturisers potentially redundant.
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. Some brands would have us believe the sun is the ultimate enemy. That’s only true if you don’t respect it. Get some sun. Not a lot, some. Just don’t be stupid about it.
- 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. 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 it’s not nearly as powerful.
- 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. Consider non-dairy alternatives.
- 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 – £40 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.