Over Christmas I was pretty kind to my skin. Having a few days off meant I could take my time with my skincare, do lots of face masks and go make up free most days too. As we hit the new year my skin was looking pretty good – any blemishes had subsided, my redness wasn’t as bad (although still there) and the texture was pretty even. With this in mind I’ve made a conscious decision over the past few weeks to keep up a good routine and see if I can keep my skin looking great. I think I’ve done a pretty good job to be honest and I’m really pleased with my skin right now, so I thought I’d share some of the changes I’ve made and some of the products that have helped me.
- Drink More Water – I know this isn’t really a secret, but it does work and I thought I’d get the obvious one out of the way! Since I’ve been diagnosed with an overactive bladder (although I’m still going backwards and forwards to the doctors about it) I have to ensure that I drink at least 1.5L of water a day and my skin has definitely seen a difference since I’ve been doing this. I aim for 2L and I don’t count what water I drink at the gym, as that’s just replenishing the water you’re sweating out. I picked up a Chilly’s bottle last year and it’s the best thing I’ve ever bought – I even bought them as Christmas presents for my mum and dad. Mine is a 500ml one and I know that I have to drink 3 of them a day. I carry it around with me wherever I go and sip on it throughout the day. The more you do it, the easier it is.
- Eat Less Sugar – This one is a biggie for our skin. I’m going to share a little bit of science here for you and I’ve borrowed this quote directly from this article, as it already explains it really well. ‘When there’s an excess of sugar in the body, those sugar molecules can link up with protein molecules, and turn into advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are not natural in the body. These AGEs often attach to collagen and elastin, causing wrinkles, inflammation, and making any kind of skin condition –from Rosacea to acne — worse. This process is known as glycation, and can also cause our immune systems to work overtime to get our systems back to normal.’ With this in mind I’ve tried to limit my sugar intake (after Christmas of course, you won’t stop me eating sugary treats at Christmas!) and I can already see the changes in my skin. The main difference is that I’ve only had a couple of spots so far, instead of the 5 or 6 that usually take up residence on my chin! Now, I by no means have acne so I wouldn’t be able to advise on that but for me cutting out sugar has definitely helped my skin.
- Use Less Oil – This is one that I think may shock some people, but others not so much. Facial oils are everywhere right now and I do love a good facial oil. However, I’d gotten to the point where I was using one twice a day, every day which for some people will work, but my skin couldn’t take it. The problem with using too much oil, is that your skin starts to rely on you feeding it oil and stops it’s natural oil production process. Helen over at Natural Beauty With Baby did a brilliant blog post on this, which I would recommend reading as it tells you all the ways your skin can benefit from oil free skincare. The benefit that stuck with me the most, apart from balancing oil production, is that your skin can’t get rid of impurities when there is a thick layer of oil on it and this seems to have proven true with my skin. Any blemishes I’ve had have cleared up much quicker than they usually do and I think this is a factor in that. I still use oils in my routine because there’s nothing better than giving your skin a little massage with a good quality face oil, but I now limit my use of them to once or twice a week, instead of every day.
- Use More Serums – With the above point in mind I’ve started incorporating more serums into my routine, so that my skin can still get the goodness it needs but without a thick oil. I’ve been using both the Evolve Blemish Serum and the REN Evercalm Anti-Redness Serum * each morning and night and they are working well together. By layering thin products like serums I find that my skin doesn’t get as clogged as it did when I was using oils all the time. It’s still moisturised and supple, but isn’t overloaded with product. I was actually quite surprised as I thought that I would have dry patches appear on my face when I stopped using oil, but it actually hasn’t dried out at all. By picking the right serums to target my skincare issues and using a good moisturiser I’ve managed to settle my skin but without compromising on nourishment.
- Double Cleanse If Wearing SPF – Now I know most people say to double cleanse but in all honesty I’ve never had time for that! Or so I thought… I decided to do a first cleanse with micellar water, so after I’ve removed my eye make up I then run a cotton pad over my face too and lift up the top layer of make up and dirt. I then do a proper cleanse with a balm/cream/face soap to remove everything else. This way I get in a double cleanse, but I don’t have to actually wash and scrub my face. Washing my face is something I hate to do unless I’m in the shower, so this makes it much easier for me.
- Weleda’s Aknedoron Purifying Lotion * – One last thing I’ll mention is this product. I’ve been using this in place of a toner for the last few weeks and it’s cleared up blemishes a treat. It dries them out without drying out the rest of your skin – I know that sounds impossible but it’s true. Trust me! If you have any acne or spots I would suggest trying this out. Of course, it won’t work the same way for everyone but for £10.95 it’s worth a go. I actually found out the other day that this has been around since the 1920s and is a total unsung hero. There’s obviously a reason why it’s lasted so long and I won’t be without it now!
- Use Green Beauty Products – As you may have figured out this is a green beauty blog. Since going natural & organic with my skincare and make up I have noticed a difference in the quality of my skin. In general it’s much smoother, even, and less prone to breakouts – I do still get them of course, but not as much. With all the above in mind we want to carry on being gentle with our skin and don’t want to cover it in nasty chemicals. By using clean beauty products, we ensure that our skincare and especially make up are working with our skin, instead of just covering it up.
I know that everyone’s skin is different and what works for me might not work for you, but I thought I’d share some of the things that have helped my skin in the hopes that one or two of these might help you too. My skin seems to be behaving at the moment and I’m hoping that I’ve finally learnt what works for it (it’s only take me 15 years!). Although I’ve probably jinxed it now and will have a breakout tomorrow!! I know not all of these are secrets but hopefully one or two of these might be new to you and give you something different to look into. Have you got any skincare secrets to add to this list?
*This post contains products that were sent to me free of charge. The company has provided them for review but have not had any control of this post. All opinions are 100% my own.