BEAUTY may be more than skin deep but let’s face it we all look and feel better when our skin is looking its best.
Besides the dreadful spotty teenage years, I’ve always been pretty happy with my skin. It’s generally been fine and has served me well.
But motherhood and sleep deprivation have definitely taken their toll recently and as the years on my clock start to increase, I thought it was about time to get to grips with my skin and show it a little more TLC.
Tiredness and general busyness meant that a proper skincare routine had fallen waaay down the bottom of my list and most nights I was finding myself curling up in bed without even giving a thought to taking my make up off, utterly grim I know.
Something had to change.
So I started this year on a bit of a skincare mission and kicked it off by reading the brilliant Pretty Honest book by Sali Hughes. (This book is so wonderful, I urge you to buy it for yourself and every woman you know).
I took various tips from Sali and combined them with a few pearls from other places and introduced some changes.
And in just two months, my skin has definitely improved, so much so that it has even started to receive compliments. Not bad ey?
I’m well aware that making positive changes to your skin takes time (around 4 weeks I think before you even start to see an improvement) but finally I feel like I’m on the right track and showing my adult skin the attention it deserves
If your skin is looking more sad than rad at the moment you may like to give some of these things a try. Here is what has worked for me.
1) Never go to bed with your make up on
I’m starting with the obvious deadly skin sin because I totally get it, that when you’re a knackered mum, the last thing you want to do at the end of an exhausting day, is clean your face and take your make up off. I get it.
But it ruins your skin. It really does. It definitely made mine look pretty iffy.
If you’re too tired at the end of the day to remove it or even think about removing it however, just do this…take it off EARLIER, like when you get home from work or after you’ve had your tea. This top tip that I’ve pinched straight from Sali is obvious but genius.
I now take my make up off and pamper my skin every night, as soon as Elsie is tucked up in bed. And what do you know? My skin looks a million times better.
2) Cleanse your face with a decent cleanser and flannel
Yep flannel? Remember those? Another top tip from Sali (I told you she’s amazing) and one that works a treat.
Invest in a good cleanser, preferably something creamy or like a balm (my current favourite is Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm which I absolutely swear by) massage it in all over your face then remove with a warm wrung out flannel.
It removes make up brilliantly and cleans your face so well, leaving your face looking brighter and healthier.
Ditch the muslin cloths (they’re too aggressive for skin apparently) and hop foot it to Wilko’s where you can pick up super lovely white flannels for about 30p! Do what I’ve done and buy in bulk so you can use a fresh one every day as the other goes in the wash.
3) Invest in a serum
I’m one of those women who always believed that moisturiser was the pot of skin care magic I needed to invest my money in but according to the experts (I’m talking Sali Hughes and Caroline Hiron for starters ) this is NOT the case.
Moisturiser should be used to add comfort and protection but it does not solve or tackle skin problems. (Who knew?!) Nope, that my friends is where serums come in.
Serums are the magic potions which address skin problems like redness, dehydration, fine lines and dullness and this is where we should be spending our money, not on fancy moisturisers.
I’ve been using Lancome Advanced Genifique for the past two months and it has worked wonders. My skin is softer, brighter, more even in tone and the fine lines around my mouth are less pronounced.
It’s not cheap and is definitely a luxury product but the results speak for itself. I’m hooked.
4) Drink more water
I’m not a fan of the clear stuff from the tap but I am a fan of herbal teas so this is where I get my water intake.
I also make sure to start each day with a cup of hot water and lemon and I swear this has made a difference in helping my skin look clearer.
5) Wear less foundation (or none at all!)
I’d gotten into the habit of wearing foundation all over my face, every day, which was fine. But sometimes – especially if my skin was playing up- it could look a bit ‘mask like’ towards the end of the day. You know what I mean ladies.
And then I read ‘How To Be Parisian’ and was inspired. Like totally inspired. Did you know that in Paris, women wear hardly any foundation and prefer to go bare faced? And that on a first date, the tendency is to turn up wearing very little make up or none at all?!
“Skin should look natural. Freckles can appear in spring along with the first rays of sunshine. Sometimes your cheekbones blush when you lie and your whole face flushes when you are animated.
You must not stifle the stories behind the natural colouring of your skin.”
When I read this, I cheered inside.
And so, inspired by the oh so chic Parisians, I now hardly wear any foundation in the day. Just a little on my T-zone area to balance things out or sometimes none at all.
And guess what? Quell surprise, the Parisian ladies are right. My skin looks much better in its more natural state of glory.
6) Embrace the skin you’re in
Most of us are so guilty of wanting what we do or cannot have. We want tanned skin when we are naturally pale. We want freckles when we don’t have any. We cover our freckles when we do.
But it’s time to stop desiring and start appreciating, the skin YOU ARE IN. To love it, see it and show it the respect and care it truly deserves.
Sure our skin can be troublesome at times. It plays up. It can get angry when it’s cold outside, it doesn’t do well when hormones run amok and it’s a clear indicator of when we need more sleep.
But one thing I know for sure, is that it responds really well to kindness and care.
Like most living, breathing things, all our skin wants is a little love. Surely we can oblige?
What do you think? Have you got any super duper skin care tips to share? Any tricks of the trade that work for you? Would love to hear your thoughts!
P.S When all else fails, Instagram filters really help ;-) x