My skin at the moment is a bit shit, not going to lie. It is that annoying time of year in England where it goes from 10 degrees to 22 degrees in the space of a few hours, air con and heating is on all in one day and drying my skin out, and the nights are far from cold even though it may have been raining the day before. England, please make your mind up.
After countless Instagram images of ladies with flawless skin, I think to myself “what am I doing wrong?!”. First of all, I should not be comparing myself to these girls who have obviously photoshopped and blurred out any blemishes (but it is so hard not to!).
Secondly, I remind myself that there are some lifestyle changes that, actually, are super easy to make to help make my skin feel much better. So, I am going to share them with you :-).
1. Understand your skin
It is important to first, figure out the type of skin that you have.
By understanding your skin, you can adjust the products you use according to what makes your skin worse and better. My skin is combination, like the difficult kind of person that I am.
2. Don’t touch your face
This stops the spreading of bacteria, spots, sweat on areas that will all irritate your face more if it is already. It also stops you from feeling encouraged to pick your face, leading to scarring and skin damage.
I am very weird about spots and feel this inclining urge to just pick at them, pop them, touch them and even to other people, it is gross. And I know I shouldn’t be doing it, because it damages pores and make the spots look and feel so much worse!
But, don’t get it mixed up: touching your face doesn’t cause acne or spots, it just adds to bacteria and dirt from your hands and keeping your skin clear of any irritants.
3. Develop a routine
There are so many impacts of having a good skin routine, and by using products that are suitable to your skin type.
By having a routine, you are able to figure out what may be irritating your face, but also the consistency guides your skin to getting better and to stay clear and healthy.
Using products that take makeup off, cleanse, tone, moisturise, and protect your skin, you are covering the basis to keep it healthy and clean! See “My Current Skincare Routine” for an example of what I do to look after my face.
4. Keep your face clean
By washing your face and keeping it clean and looking after it, your skin will show the benefits.
Wash your face twice a day with warm water, patting it dry instead of rubbing it. Using hot water will damage your skin as it is too harsh, and rubbing your skin increases the chance of irritation or premature wrinkles. Ensure that you are using a different towel for your face and your body.
Similarly, some people find that exfoliating the skin once a week helps to get rid of excess skin and dirt, keeping it healthy. Be careful if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin as this may irritate it more.
5. Go natural
Chemicals are not normal for your skin, even though they may boast “better skin in just 2 days”. Natural products are in the name, natural to your body, so by putting a load of unknown substances on to your skin, even makeup, can unbalance the skin and make it irritated.
With some things like makeup, it is hard to find natural alternatives, but even by making small changes can make the world of difference, especially if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin. Companies such as Lush or Body Shop who natural ingredients alongside some chemicals which are usually dermatologically tested are still better than using pure chemical-based product.
This may include using natural face masks, using plant-based moisturisers, steaming your skin, doing exercise and eating better, which leads me onto my next point…
6. Eat a good diet
Healthy skin doesn’t just come from the outside, it comes from the inside too. I know, that greasy McDonalds or takeaway looks good now, and trust me, it tastes good too. But do you want that good ol’ Kardashian looking glow? Yes? So say no to that takeaway. You can do this.
Eating foods that are rich in vitamins A, C and E, and not having too much dairy and avoiding too much sugar and salt will make a difference to your skin. Good foods for skin include:
- Olive Oil
- Nuts – Almonds, Walnuts
- Fruits, specifically Kiwi, Strawberries and Oranges
- Dark Chocolate
- Green tea
7. Change your bedding often
Cotton absorbs oils and dirt, plus any dust that may be in the room already (vom). If you are using hair products, this will sit on your pillow and can cause breakouts or irritations.
Changing sheets regularly, swapping pillow sides every few days, not using fabric softener on pillowcases or using silk sheets helps to avoid this issue.
8. Clean your makeup brushes regularly
Admittedly, I am really rubbish at doing this and I need to listen to my own advice, because I didn’t realise how important this is and, to be honest, it is a lot of effort.
But it is so important! Makeup brushes pick up dirt, grime, form bacteria from old makeup, dirt, oil, dead skin, and bacteria and everything disgusting about humans.
They need to be cleaned at least once every 2 weeks and left to completely dry before using them again. This will ensure that you not only have totally clean brushes, but also that what you are transferring upon your face is safe and much healthier for your skin than dirty grimy bristles.
9. Keep hydrated
Water is your best friend when you want better skin. There is contradictory research, yet when you are hydrated your skin is hydrated, ultimately making it look and feel better.
It is recommended that we drink about 2 litres of water a day, about 8 cupfuls, but who really does this?! Maybe that is why our skin may feel bad from time to time (I know mine does).
Similarly, as said before, it is not just what you put on the outside. If you feel better, then your skin will too. When you are dehydrated, your skin becomes dull and pores more prominent, but having a good balance can help to flush away irritations or blemishes.
When you are sleeping, your body repairs and renews broken and dead cells. Sleep deprivation can lead to stress and vice versa, and these levels of cortisol increase inflammation to your skin, which damages it and its’ quality, such as eczema, psoriasis etc.
It also impacts the quality of repairing damaged skin cells, like spots or blemishes, as the lack of sleep will show through the skin, looking tired, dull and lacking the love it needs! It also affects the skin area around your eyes, making them seem baggy or sore.
By getting 7-9 hours a night, your hydration will rebalance, it boosts blood flow, and produces more collagen to repair itself, which is what gives skin the plump and glow that coins the term “beauty sleep”.
I want to know if you have any other tips for better skin, or whether you (like me) may admittedly lack doing these things from time to time and then wonder why you have a breakout?! Comment below!