What is your number one skin concern? This will vary depending on age and lifestyle, but you’ll probably not be surprised to hear that some of the most popular skin niggles are blemishes, signs of ageing and dullness. Whilst fine lines and wrinkles don’t make it on my list of skin woes (the benefit of an oily T-zone), the other two certainly do. From the age of thirteen I’ve been dealing on and off with acne, clogged pores and combination skin, with hormonal outbreaks, questionable diet choices and stress levels thrown into the mix for good measure. That said, there are lifestyle and skincare adjustments that can help achieve clear skin. Here I share five simple and – relatively – easy tips that can help keep skin healthy, clear and radiant over time.
1. Remove makeup as soon as you get home…
… and not when you go to bed. It seems so simple right? I thought I’d be able to easily switch the timing of my bedtime skincare routine from last thing at night to first thing in the evening, and at first it seemed effortless: I would cleanse, mask and moisturise while chatting to my 3-year-old having his bath. But things got out of whack when covid hit and there was no distinction between your working day and your home life. Even now I struggle to regain the habit of wiping away the day’s accumulated grime and pollution from my face as soon as I’m home. Even though it would mean 3 extra hours of clean skin and time for active ingredients to sink in and work their magic. I’m partial to a double cleanse on days when my skin feels particularly congested, so I’ll go for a cleansing balm like JunoCo’s Clean 10 Cleansing Balm with its gentle buttery goodness and only 10 ingredients, followed by Nourish London’s Kale 3D Cleanse, an organic, vegan and cruelty-free foamy cleanser that promises to detox skin by removing impurities and protecting against pollution.
2. Embrace multi-masking
As well as ridding your skin of the daily grime, cleansing as soon as you’re home has the added benefit of providing the perfect opportunity for masking – or even multi-masking. Take a few seconds to assess your skin’s health during your evening skincare routine and consider how it is feeling and looking: tight? Dehydrated? Congested? Irritated? Maybe a mixture? One of my favourite multi-masking combos consists of Meadow Botanical Calm & Soothe Face Mask along my jawline to soothe and calm breakouts, Caudalie Vinosource Mask on my cheeks for drenching rehydration, and Evolve Bio Retinol Gold Mask on my forehead for radiance. If this all sounds a bit too much of a faff, one mask a week will also do the trick, and it can be as simple as smearing Manuka honey over your face and licking your lips while watching Netflix.
3. Don’t be afraid of oils
I’m a bit of a broken record when it comes to facial oils: I can’t recommend them enough, they have been a part of my skincare routine for years and I am adamant there is an oil out there for everyone, no matter their skin concern. When I was recently asked in an Insta Live what my favourite skincare product was, my answer was not the name of a product but an ingredient: rosehip oil, a fantastic anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing and scar fading all-rounder. And no the right oil won’t cause spots – Votary founder Arabella Preston even recommends massaging oil onto spots to soothe and nourish the area. Nourish London Radiance Firming Facial Oil not only contains my favourite oil for radiance, but also my second favourite jojoba oil, great for dissolving dirt to help unclog pores. If you’re really not – yet – convinced by oils then Nourish London Balance Essential Anti-Blemish Moisturiser is the non-greasy alternative I reach out for to help regulate sebum. And the apple scent is delightful!
4. Start from the inside
Online ethical and sustainable beauty store Counter Culture predicts that one of the key beauty trends for 2022 is beauty starting from within for healthy glowing skin. And I couldn’t agree more. If skin is unbalanced, chances are it’s a reflection of a gut imbalance. I swear by Neal’s Yard Remedies Mahonia Skin Formula to keep my breakouts under control – just 2ml every morning in water reduces the severity of flare ups. And I’ve also rediscovered the benefits of Neal’s Yard Remedies Frankincense Intense Beauty Boost which contain anti-inflammatory zinc to control acne.
5. Exercise for increased blood flow
Okay so not so much a simple and easy tip, more of a massive lifestyle adjustment if exercise currently features absolutely nowhere in your daily routine. In the last couple of years I’ve completely thrown my exercise commitments out of the window, even though I remember the healthy glow I’d invariably achieve after a run or a dance class. Just remember to wash off the sweat afterwards to avoid sebum build up.
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