I’ve published a couple of body-related posts (about my scoliosis and about self-criticism) so figured I might as well continue along this train of thought. Recently, a number of people have asked me to share my skincare routine and secrets; favourite brands; and which products I find to actually work. And I get the sense that this is what the skincare industry relies on… we are far more likely to trust the word of a friend or trusted blogger than the annoyingly pristine TV adverts boasting incredibly beautiful women with impossibly flawless skin. But then there are people like me for which the world of skincare is far to daunting to enter and who pick up only the necessary products largely because they look pretty or because they don’t cost the world. So this post is about my ignorance when it comes to looking after my skin- I can only hope I am not alone in this position and that some may find this post relatable and relieving- and if not, perhaps it will do something for promoting a simpler (and I’m not necessarily talking about the brand) kind of skincare “routine”.
So I guess a big factor in keeping my skin at least mostly clear is that I don’t wear any skin makeup and never really have. It seems being forced to turn my face orange with foundation for numerous dance shows as a child was a blessing in disguise- this is the association I now have with anything like foundation. The feeling of being caked in claustrophobic mud and looking like an Oompa Loompa. I know there are alternatives like tinted moisturiser and these things called BB and CC cream (though please don’t push me for an explanation as to what they are) that are better alternatives for your skin. And I am sure you can watch a range of YouTube videos telling you which are best and why, but for me there are too many opinions and I don’t know which to trust. So I end up with nothing, and whilst my freckles may stand in full force without a shield of makeup and my face remains fully prone to blushing profusely at embarrassing times, at least it can always breathe. So perhaps my ignorance in the face of skin makeup serves me well?
I have to admit that when a breakout does appear, as it has a tendency to do so monthly… (girls, you know) I do resort to using concealer. Again, though, I cannot recommend a brand, for I tend to use whatever is available (generally from my housemates’ makeup bags). This I keep on only for as long as I am out of the house though. Home-days becomes a blessing when I can remain makeup-free with a full blown light-house on my chin or forehead- open to breathe without being clogged down by concealer. Apparently using toothpaste on spots can dry them out, so I do this overnight, but more because I read this in some ‘authoritative’ magazine than because I’ve seen any results. Try it, if you like, and let me know what you think… though do NOT do so when the skin is broken- its an equivalent pain to getting toothpaste in your eye.
As a teenager, a beautiful woman once told me that moisturising your face on the reg was vital to avoid early-onset of wrinkles. I mean this now strikes me as a ridiculous thing to say to a thirteen year old, and yet it has influenced my nighttime routine ever since. I will promote this product with my hand on my heart, because I actually love it. Every night, after washing my face with water, I massage Good Things Superfruit Miracle Mattifier Moisturiser into my face and neck. It smells good enough to eat and maintains its deliciousness until you wake up. Good Things products use natural ingredients to rid the skin of unnecessary oils thus freeing up space for nutrients, they are all free from damaging ingredients, animal cruelty/testing and the super fruits range is vegan. It also leaves your skin feeling delightful and fits well within my student budget. Hey, maybe the fact that I have a favourite moisturiser makes me less ignorant!? Or maybe it doesn’t- I mean, I only discovered it because it was the prettiest bottle on the shelf.
Another key factor that indirectly looks after my skin is the quantity of water I drink. This is a lot. I know it’s such a cliché thing that everybody says, but drinking water works wonders on everything. If I’m dehydrated I consciously feel more tired, hungry and lacking in energy. My body is craving something and if I’ll quite happily indulge it with cheesecake when the relevant craving appears, why would I not with water? I’m pretty much convinced that my skin is an even balance between dry and oily because I allow it plenty of H2O. I base this claim on the fact that I wake up, after 8 hours without water, to oily skin. This balances out again after a simple splash of water and some fluids.
Speaking of mornings- my skin is at its absolute worst after I’ve been drinking alcohol… I mean a hangover is bad enough, but a subsequent breakout that lasts days is just so unnecessary. At this point washing my face and consuming water just isn’t quite enough. Admittedly, I have no idea where to begin when it comes to recommending face-masks and other nutrient-building skin supplements (my housemates use Kiehls and seem to rave about it… so if word of mouth is anything to go by, I’d say their products are a pretty good (if pricey) bet). Fortunately, Hangover Box have come to my rescue recently with a morning-after survival kit complete with numerous skincare products to rejuvenate and detox my face after I poison my poor body with alcohol. After a late night of dancing, there isn’t much more appealing than a bed day with snacks, movies and a pamper sesh… the Hangover Box caters for the latter. I guess it makes for quite a funny present for the birthday girl/boy who will inevitably be suffering to the extreme the following morning.
So this hasn’t really been an advice post, so much as an admittance of my sheer naivety when it comes to looking after my skin and the various methods and products which go beyond the primitive. I follow the guidance my mum gave me from the beginning of adolescence: don’t wear face makeup, and any that you do wear be sure to take off fully every night. Drink bucket loads of water or fluids, eat your vitamins. Wash your face day and night with pure water and a quick exfoliating scrub with the towel. Be prepared for outbreaks after drinking alcohol or approaching your period. Try out other products like face masks, oils, creams but be wary of falling into a sense of placebo. And actually, this works well for me… whilst I am always open to trying new recommendations or products and would love to have a greater knowledge of beauty and skincare, I’m currently doing okay without.
Please do let me know your own tips and secrets! x