Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Lazy Girl Guide to: Skincare

As a self-professed queen of lazing about and procrastinating as long as humanly possible on everything under the sun, I understand the siren call of not wanting to do anything with your self and making every day 'jammie day'. I get that you just really do not want to bother. But as moving to the tropics has taught me, you have to work to be beautiful.

And what's more? Your skin will thank you for it, every single day.

Born from desperation, these are the absolutely essential steps to better skin.

1. Hydrate

You've been told this before but believe me, it makes a world of difference. Keeping hydrated is honestly not the hardest thing to do, but it will keep your skin glowing, healthy and beautiful. Eight classes a day is a good general rule of thumb, but more is great.

Also, when it comes to liquids, remember that juice and flavoured water counts, but caffeine doesn't. Now get sipping!

2. Cleanse

Throw away those wipes. Right now. The path to good skin is paved with good hygiene and that starts with keeping your face clean. Surprisingly for some, the easiest and greatest way to cleanse your skin is also the oldest method – washing it.

Cleanse your skin, morning and night, with cool water and a cleanser gentle enough not to irritate your skin while still getting the job done. Over-washing is very possible, though, so keep the washing limited to twice a day. Rinse well, splashing several times to ensure no excess product remains; product build up is a major cause of blocked pores. Once done, pat dry — do not rub, for the sake of all things holy.

3. Moisturize

Confession: Until quite recently, I refused to moisturize. The only exception I ever made was post-skin treatment or on the occasional winter evening. Wrong. The reason? I have hellish combination skin that tends to get disgustingly greasy at whim. Applying anything to it would only be gross, make it greasier and clog pores; all leading to breakouts. Shockingly, it is quite the opposite.

Your skin is a thirsty little bugger that craves moisture. Drinking liquids is not enough and if you don't hydrate it properly, your body will. To compensate for lack of moisture, skin produces a fun little substance called sebum, the natural oil in skin. Excess sebum makes you more prone to breakouts as it's likely to clog dirt and dead cells in pores.

(Fun fact: puberty and the related fluctuations of hormones also result in excess sebum production; the cause of most people's teenage acne.)

So moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Experiment and find a product that works for you. You will. For a general guideline, go for a super-hydrating, creamy formula – or even an oil – for dry skin and water-based formulas if you're super, super oily.

4. Exfoliate

Speaking of dead cells, let's talk exfoliation. If you don't know what exfoliation is – do you live under a rock? – it is basically using a mildly textured substance (read: scrub and/or exfoliating brush) to get rid of all the pesky little dead cells clinging to your skin.

If you do exfoliate, it is also possible you over-exfoliate. Use scrub no more than twice or thrice a week — no daily business — and make sure it isn't abrasive enough to irritate your skin.

Personally, I'm a great fan of the St. Ives apricot scrubs. The brand is no Lush – meaning it won't break the bank, hurrah! – but it is super reasonable and they just do good scrubs. The apricot ones may be a bit too abrasive to use more than once a fortnight on some people's face, but they're also great for the body! For the face, I've recently shifted to their Green Tea scrub. It's good scrubbing, ladies and lads.

5. Protect

SUNSCREEN, friends. I haven't done this step ever because of aforementioned super greasy skin and sunscreen always made me break out but I have finally found a friend! Experiment with different products until you find something that works for your skin.

[If you have oily skin, try Dove. It's beautifully mattifying.]

6. Hygiene

Don't forget, germs are the nasty little buggers causing break outs so try to incorporate these simple general hygiene tips into your life too.

Annoying though it may be, do not pick that zit. I do this all the time; I'll be sitting in front of my computer, focusing on whatever I'm dong and bam, my hand subconsciously drifts over to pick on that bump on my chin. Be a bigger person than I. Don't do it. Let it be and it will go away by itself. (Try to avoid touching your face much at all, actually.) On the other hand, if you're a not-so-lazy girl after all, also invest in a good spot treatment.

If you wear makeup, clean your brushes. I know it sounds excessive and I often get too lazy to do it, but forget the other ones, your foundation brush in particular needs to be washed after every single use. You don't want the same bacteria-clogged-foundation-germ-circus repeatedly swirling over your skin, do you?

Last but definitely not the least, keep your linens fresh. There is no bacterial breeding ground quite like them, so make a little effort. Change pillowcases once a week at least (I keep a spare just for this) and designate a clean hand towel for just facial use.

Disclaimer: My skin is far from perfect, friends. But lately, I've been getting a lot of compliments for the amazing, noticeable improvement these little tricks has made so I thought I'd share the wealth (and research).

 Now playing: Ink by Coldplay

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got thoughts on what you just read? Share them! Discussions make my world go around.