The skin is the biggest organ of the body. Look after it. You can’t do without it! And the skin on your face is the first thing anybody sees when they meet you, so take care of it.
You need to start young!
Cleansing…..stop using soap. Never use soap on your face. It dries the skin and, if the Dove adverts are to be believed, it leaves a residue on your skin which continues the drying process. Use water or a proprietary cleanser.
At night cleanse thoroughly, especially if you are wearing make-up. Take it off carefully…don’t drag at your skin. Don’t use the cotton wool pad or tissue more than once…you’ll just put the make-up back on again. Use a separate pad for each eye. The odd missed night won’t hurt but get into the routine of cleansing and moisturising every night if you want good skin in later life. (Later life comes around quicker than you think). Don’t forget to cleanse your neck every time you cleanse your face. It gets much dirtier than you think.
A good moisturiser used every morning is essential. You need to start this as a regular routine when you are 20 or so. Cream your face and neck every morning, after cleansing. Similarly at night, after cleansing use a night time cream. These are usually of a thicker consistency and need the warmth of sleep to be absorbed properly. Use an eye cream/gel on your eyes. The skin on your eye lids is much more delicate than that on your face and needs to be treated accordingly.
You should also check the SPF of your moisturiser. This protects from the sun’s harmful rays and is especially important if you don’t wear foundation on your face. The higher the SPF the greater the protection from the sun. Foundation creams also have an SPF rating so apply the same criteria when you choose which one to use.
Your face creams do not need to be expensive. If it feels good when you apply it and it absorbs easily then that’s OK for you. If it’s too greasy then choose a lighter cream or lotion. As your skin gets older it will need a creamier product as older skin tends to get drier. Using the same skin creams all through your life can be a mistake as the skin condition can change. Remember, a huge proportion of the cost of expensive creams is down to packaging and advertising. Think what it must cost to get a Hollywood actor to front an advert for skin care. You are paying for it.
If you have a combination skin, usually a greasy nose, chin and forehead with drier cheeks, you may need to use 2 different creams and a toner on the centre greasy part. You may not need to use a toner at all if you don’t have greasy skin. Experiment and see what’s best for you.
Don’t squeeze the spots if they appear. Use a good skin treatment such as Clearasil, and DON’T squeeze. You may break the skin around the spot and you will undoubtedly make it look a whole lot worse.
Drink water, plenty of it. If you enjoy alcohol drink lots of water to flush it out of your system. Beauticians can always tell who drinks enough water…it shows on your skin and in the plumpness of your face.
Tanning is a no-no if you want good skin. The more you sunbathe or use tanning machines, even with a sun cream, the more you will age your skin. Tanning machines have exactly the same effect as the naked sun. Isn’t that why you use them? If you really over do it your skin will just look like brown leather. Be honest with yourself when you look in the mirror. When you are out and about in strong sunlight use a good sunblock. If you are going to be playing sports do what the Australians do and lather your cheeks and nose with really thick sunblock, especially if you like water sports. The sun reflects off the water and exaggerates the sun’s effects. If your face gets an uneven tan use make-up. That’s what it’s for…to even up your skin tone.
Don’t smoke or if you do stop. It’s perhaps the single most skin ageing thing you can do. My sister is a nurse and she can spot a smoker at 20 yards. She just looks at their face. It’s a poison after all. The same goes for drugs, including alcohol. Too much and it shows in your skin. And most of the damage can’t be put right once it’s happened, so just think about it. The ‘drinker’s nose’ is a reality. People with too much consumption of alcohol do get a very red nose, complete with open pores and cheeks to match.
Eat well by which I mean eat plenty of fresh fruit, salads and vegetables. Have a nibble box of crunchy salad nibbles eg carrot sticks, celery sticks, radish etc. Don’t eat too much red meat or loads of dairy products. Too much saturated fat will show in your skin, but don’t cut it out altogether. Fat soluble vitamins are important in your diet so you need some fat. Aim for a balanced diet with a good variety of foods. The Chinese say you should eat 30 different foods (not dishes) every day. Good advice. Did you know spices count as vegetables?
Once you are older you can start to use a serum after cleansing and before moisturising. There are various formulae, including the one I use which is for very mature skin! These serums feel completely different from a moisturiser and do seem to help keep the skin in good condition. I find I need to use 2 different ones, one to combat open pores on my nose and chin and one for the rest of my face which is becoming drier as I get on in my 60’s.
Exercise helps with all round health and that improves your skin. If your whole system is working well it will show in your skin tone and condition.
Get some fresh air. If you work in an air-conditioned building it can dry your skin and it can also make you feel sluggish and headache-y. Combat this with fresh air…take a walk in the park at lunch time, get off the bus a stop early, open a window if you can. It all helps.
Sleep enough. If you burn the candle at both ends your skin will suffer and not just dark circles under your eyes. Lack of sleep may also result in more spots.
So….eat well, sleep well, drink plenty of water, take exercise, cleanse and moisturise……..easy.