Skin is our body’s largest organ, and the protective barrier between our insides and the outside world, so why do so many of us fail to properly care for our skin? I think we forget that it is affected by literally every aspect of our lives, what we eat, where we live and how we care for it. I know for sure I cannot claim innocent in caring for my skin properly 100% of the time… I probably don’t drink enough water, and I definitely forget to moisturise my body more often than I should, but I thought I’d compile a little post to make us all think about why and how we should be looking after our skin. This is going to be a very long post… so be prepared.
Cleansing my face twice is a day, is probably one of my favourite things to do!! However, I know for some people it requires pure effort. Cleansing your skin in the evening gets rid of all the daily grime, pollution and dirt that has landed on your skin throughout the day; in fact by the end of the day, your face is one of the dirtiest parts of your body. And if you’ve worn makeup, that’s a definite reason to cleanse, you don’t want your makeup clogging up your pores during sleep, ew! Also remember, sleep is when our body repairs and replenishes itself, so having dirty skin won’t allow the skin to do this job fully.
Cleansing is also just as important in the morning, to remove dead skin cells and oil collected onto the skin during the night. It boosts skins hydration ready for the day, and gives your skin a fresh canvas ready for any products to be applied, or a full face of makeup.
The type of cleanser you use is also very important to the impact it has on your skin. Many foaming cleansers contain Sulfate (SLS) which is used as a surfactant, so when combined with water makes the cleanser foam. This can actually strip the skin cells from the surface of the skin and take away the skins natural oils, leaving skin feeling very tight and dry. Meaning, any serums or moisturisers applied after this will only be replacing the hydration taken away, rather than adding to. That’s why using an oil or cream cleanser is an absolute winner, because it will cleanse your face thoroughly without stripping the skin. Just a little tip, most shampoos, hand washes and body washes will contain Sulfate too; it’s worth looking at switching out to Sulfate free products, and you might find your skin less irritated if you suffer with it! I also like to remove my cleanser with a muslin cloth, as I feel this really gets rid of any makeup and product on my face, and gives the skin a slight exfoliation every day; getting rid of those dead skin cells completely.
Just another little tip, face wipes are a big no no to cleanse your face with. They do not properly remove makeup and you end up just smearing it around your face. Think of it like applying a cleanser, rubbing it around but then not washing it off. Kinda gross?!
This is a step that I think A LOT of people think doesn’t matter, and just cannot be bothered with, but a step that is actually super important and once you do it you’ll notice a huge difference!! One thing I feel quite strongly about, is trying to avoid toners with alcohol in. I know there is a long believed myth that having alcohol in a toner will close your pores, but pores literally do not open and close. Essentially, having an alcohol in your toner will dry out your skin. However, what a toner is good for is rebalancing the skin after cleansing. No matter what cleanser you use, it will always disrupt the PH balance of your skin, therefore needing something to readjust it. And the most important of it all, a toner will add hydration to the skin. Dehydrated skin is quite often confused with dry skin; your skin can be oily but dehydrated… confusing right?? Toner is the perfect way to add a layer of hydration to the skin whilst also helping the next lot of products you’re going to stick on top by aiding in absorption of the products, helping them get to work!
We all realistically know what a moisturiser does, but hands up, how many of us put it on morning and evening? I certainly do on my face, but I am rubbish at applying it to my body! Moisturiser keeps our skin hydrated and lock in water on the top layers of the skin. Keeping our skin hydrated allows skin to function at its best, which allows for rapid repair and turnover of fresh cells, naturally fighting the ageing process; winner!! One very important thing I think people should remember is to not always choose a moisturiser on your age, but rather on your skin type. There are certain brands who target moisturisers on your age; and this is not always the way it works. For example, oily skin is very common in teenagers/young adults, however, I have always suffered with very dry skin. Of course, as the ageing process kicks in; you will want to start looking at richer moisturisers to boost collagen production and so on. But if you suffer with dry skin and are using a moisturiser for oily skin, your skin won’t be receiving enough hydration, and if using a moisturiser for dry skin on oily skin, your skin will become congested and most definitely oilier!
I have the same theory with exfoliators as I do with cleansers; to avoid sulfate as an ingredient. Also look out for exfoliators with natural exfoliating beads; they won’t scratch at the surface of the skin. I often mix my cleanser and exfoliator if I want a more gentle exfoliation; perfect for people with sensitive skin. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells, ensuring that they do not build up on the surface and cause skin to look dull/clog up pores. Exfoliating more than once/twice a week will over stimulate the skin, so don’t feel like you should be scrubbing away at your face every single day.
Serums are a product a lot of people add in for many different reasons; as different serums have different results. For example, it may be for extra hydration, brightening the skin, pigmentation and so on. One great thing to know about serums is that, no matter what you are using it for, a serum is made up of smaller molecules which can penetrate deeply into the skin and deliver a high concentrate of active ingredients, which in turn will target specific skin concerns. I personally love using a serum, as for me it helps with my dry skin; adding more hydration deeper into the skin, anything to combat my dry skin! It also helps with the red pigmentation I have in my skin as the one I use targets evening skin tone. Serums can also be a good alternative to a moisturiser for those with very oily skin, but probably not a good idea to switch it out for a moisturiser if you sit more on the dry side, as serums only draw the hydration in, whereas moisturisers lock it in… think of it like your skins barrier.
The eye area is the most delicate part of the face, and the skin is a lot thinner. It is therefore prone to being dryer and the first place to show signs of ageing, dark circles may appear and fluid can also collect under the eyes causing puffiness; and eye creams essentially combat all of these issues. What eye creams will not do, is fix anything that is showing up because of poor health; as the saying goes ‘the eyes are the window to the soul’. Ill health and not looking after your body will show around your eyes, and unfortunately creams will not completely fix this, but they may temporarily cover it. There are many types of eye creams out there, and lighter creams can be found for those wanting to start using one in their early 20s, and of course richer ones for a stronger result. What is important to remember when using an eye cream, is to apply it on the orbital bone (around the eye), rather than straight onto the eye; this can cause congestion, drier and puffier eyes than you started out with, and a waste of your money/product. This also goes for how much product you use, don’t be tempted to use more than the recommended amount, a little goes a long way.
I am a lover of face masks and believe they can target specific skin issues quite quickly, literally in minutes. Again this is very skin type specific, and not all masks are for everyone. If you suffer from sensitivity of the skin; be careful with using deep cleansing masks, as clay or charcoal within them may irritate the skin; nourishing or hydrating masks will be better suited (same for dry skin). People who suffer with oily skin, however, may benefit from deep cleansing masks to unclog pores and eliminate excess oils. Another thing to remember is that you can target face masks to certain areas of the face; e.g if you suffer with dry/sensitive cheeks, but have an oily nose; simply use a deep cleansing mask just on the affected area, problem solved!! Double/triple masking at the same time for different problems/areas, saves so much time and combats multiple skin issues.
For the most part, I would always say use an oil at night time a few times a week. Oils are great for rebalancing the skin, and can give your skin an instant softness feeling. Oils are packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants for the skin and can form a protective layer for the cells. If you suffer with dry skin, mixing an oil with your moisturiser and applying them together will give great results, normal skin you can do the same but not too much oil, and oily skin apply after moisturiser. If you suffer with oily skin; do not be put off by oils! Oil on oily skin will rebalance the skin and help to stop excess oil production, but don’t overload, less is more.
I know this post has been SUPER lengthy and there is A LOT of info within this post, but I really hope you enjoyed it and that it has been of some use?
Let me know in the comments below!
SHOP THIS POST