I have far from perfect skin! From the age of about 12 I have had acne, at times being really bad and at times its been more than depressing, I can tell you that.
My skin is not clear, but its now a lot more under control and clearer than its been in years and I put it down to a lot different things I have learnt. We all know the obvious ones like take off your makeup before bed, drink lots of water and use SPF but here are some other lessons I have learnt along the way….I wish I had learnt all of this a long time – I could have saved myself a lot of stress and would have had much better skin in the long run!!
Now, I know we are all different but here are some well known and not so well known things I have picked up along the way, and what I think have led to my skin clearing a lot:
1) Even if you have oily skin use a serum and or a moisturiser. I used to skip moisturiser thinking its the last thing my normal/oily combo skin needed but actually since using moisturiser my skin is much more balanced and less oily. At night I like to use natural oils (as a night time moisturiser) like Rosehip seed oil and Argan oil – these have both done wonders for my skin. Honestly.
2) A lot of bloggers and magazines advocate double cleansing – I used to do this but I actually think it did more harm than good. It meant I was stripping my skin and leaving it really dry and then to over compensate my skin produced more oil. Some are fine with double cleansing but be careful not to over do it! Also do you really need to do it? If your cleanser is good enough then its probably an necessary step.
3) Do not use a foaming cleanser, no matter what kind of skin you have, they often contain sulphates which are very drying and will do more harm than good! My skin has improved SO MUCH since I stopped using soaps and foaming cleansers – stick to gels, creams and milks to cleanse.
4) Try and avoid alcohol in your skin care, it can really dry out the skin making it imbalanced and your skin will be mad at you and react. Less is more when it comes to alcohol. Other ingredients, in particular in acne fighting skincare can be too harsh – my skin doesn’t like Salicylic acid for example……proceed with caution!
5) Avoid mineral oil in facial skincare (including lip products) at all costs – this can clog pores leading to breakouts. Ideally avoid in your body skincare too if you can….Its known as petroleum and paraffin liquidum as well as other pseudonyms. In lip products it can really dry out your lips – it does that badly to me! I try and avoid it in all products, its so cheap and nasty and its basically a by-product of petrol! Nice – er, no!!
6) Try and use a skincare product for a good 4-6 weeks to see if its really working for you, sometimes products work really well to begin with, then less so. At other times it can take time for a product to show its full (hopefully positive) impact on your skin.
7) Following from No. 6 I think its important not to try and use too many new products at the same time – introduce one new thing at a time, allowing your skin to get used to it and not get “confused” – this is where I was majorly going wrong in the past, trying lots of new things within days of each other, my skin is much calmer now!
8) Dont start using anti-aging products too early, I have spoken to facialists and derms who say you should avoid them until you are about 25 and even then there is no need to go overboard.
9) Get lots of sleep – getting your beauty sleep is important, its not just a saying. The fact is, if you get one hour less sleep a night for 4 nights, by the 5th day/night its like you have not slept for whole night in terms of your skin – its THAT important!
10) Read the ingredients label, for me, I prefer to avoid certain things like sulphates, glycols and parabens (as well as mineral oil as stated above) – I avoid these not only for the look of my skin but overall health in the long run. I have done a post on what ingredients do to your skin and why you might want to avoid certain ones – read it here. Personally I have really benefited from using natural beauty products – it might not be for everyone but it works well for me!
11) Eating healthily is important, we all know that but certain things can really help in terms of skin. In addition to lots of vegetables and fruits, omega 3 is really good for the skin. You might want to consider taking supplements if you are not getting enough in your diet. Zinc is also an important mineral, not only for skin but for hair and nails too.
I am by no means an expert, I dont even have lovely skin but my skin has improved dramatically and I think a lot of it is down to the above. Everyone is different and so is their skin but these things helped me.
If you have tips or comments please let me know – I would love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading!
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