Top tips for fabulous skin
Are you getting the most out of your skin?
Everybody’s skin is different but there are some basic rules we can all follow to achieve the best possible complexion. These recommendations are focused on care, not products. I cover recommended products and ingredients in other blogs.
1. Cleanse your skin every night
Make-up harbours bacteria and debris from everything you’ve come into contact with during the day, clogging pores and causing a dull complexion. Cleansing at the end of the day is even more important than cleansing in the morning, and if you’ve been wearing make-up or sunscreen then you need to double cleanse. When time is short or energy low, an evening skincare routine is often skipped but it’s so important to remove make-up, impurities, dead skin cells and excess oil before bed.
Our skin can tell night from day, just like our organs, and cell mitosis is at its peak during the night –when cells divide to renew and repair skin. So this is when cells need nutrients the most. Thoroughly cleansing your skin before you sleep will give the process of regeneration a head start. Your skin needs oxygen to repair itself and sleeping with make-up on deprives it of this vital nutrient.
Finish with a quick tone and moisturise using a good night repair cream and you’ll be rewarded with brighter, fresher skin every day.
2. Cleanse your skin every morning
So if you’ve thoroughly cleansed your skin last thing at night, do you really need to cleanse again in the morning? The simple answer is yes. The skin’s recovery process overnight leaves dead skin cells and excess sebum which need to be cleared away. Water alone removes only about 65% of oil and debris from the surface of the skin. Nobody wants to apply make-up on top of dead skin cells & excess oil, so a quick cleanse, tone and moisturise will freshen and prepare your skin before you apply make-up and set out for the day.
3. Do not smoke.
Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide which displaces the oxygen in your skin. It also contains nicotine which reduces blood flow to the skin. The result? Skin is left dry and discoloured. Smoking also depletes many nutrients, including vitamin C which helps protect and repair skin damage.
"In addition to being bad for your overall health, smoking has a negative impact on the skin, including bags under the eyes, premature aging, a loss of natural glow, and a susceptibility to psoriasis," says renowned dermatologist Dr Amy Wechsler.
Smoking just one cigarette constricts blood flow for up to 90 minutes. This means your skin is starved of oxygen for an hour and a half which inhibits circulation, breaking down collagen and elastin. And when your blood isn't flowing properly, you're more prone to broken capillaries and veins, which can cause dark scarring on the face.
4. Watch what you eat
It’s not rocket science – avoid eating rubbish. Processed foods might be convenient but they offer no benefit to your skin or general heath. Use your common sense – plenty of fruit and vegetables, watch your salt intake, and most of all try to avoid sugar.
When you eat sugar or high-glycaemic foods which rapidly convert to sugar, your body breaks down these carbohydrates into glucose which raises your insulin levels. Spiking insulin levels leads to a burst of inflammation throughout the body which produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin. This results in sagging skin and wrinkles. Digested sugar permanently attaches to the collagen in your skin through a process known as glycation which can exacerbate skin conditions like acne and rosacea. Plus, the more sugar you eat, the more likely it is you'll develop insulin resistance which can manifest as excess hair growth and dark patches on the neck and in body creases. Sugar really is bad for your skin!
5. Watch what you drink
You probably already know the value of drinking plenty of water every day. Skin cells, like any other cell in the body, are made up of water. Without water, the organs will not function at their best. If your skin is dehydrated because it’s not getting sufficient water, your skin will become dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is much more prone to wrinkling.
Staying with the theme of avoiding dehydrating, watch your alcohol intake. Alcohol is extremely dehydrating. It’s predominantly sugar, and point 4 above outlines the effects of sugar in relation to your skin.
6. Fresh air and sunshine
The sun can be immensely damaging to your skin, but moderation is key here. You need some sunshine. Sunlight triggers the synthesis of vitamin D within the body which causes immune cells to travel to the outer layers of your skin where they are available to protect and help repair damage. The most important thing is to respect the sun. Always wear SPF protection (SPF30)..... and using mineral make up will provide extra natural protection. Make getting outdoors part of your daily routine rather than regular, intense sunbathing. Keep exposure to the sun to a minimum, but don’t avoid it all together.
7. Invest in good quality skincare
Quality skincare is essential, but good quality does not mean the most expensive. To a certain extent you get what you pay for so avoid the £2.99 packs of wipes, but don’t assume the most expensive products are the best. Choose your skincare range carefully, and pay attention to the ingredients more than anything else, and to the origin of those ingredients.
Make sure you’re not paying for glamorous packaging and expensive marketing. Stick to gorgeous, natural products (like Tropic) which will actually feed your skin with goodness. You will definitely notice a difference in your complexion once you turn your back on chemicals and synthetic creams.
Everybody can make the best of their skin with a little extra TLC. If you follow the rules above, you'll get a head start on enjoying great skin all year round.