Clear, glowing skin never goes out of fashion. Taking time to get your skin looking and feeling beautiful is so rewarding, and doesn't need to be overly complicated or expensive. The better your skin is, the less makeup you will need to wear, and the less time you will spend getting ready.
THE FUTURE OF SKIN
Korean women are leading the skin care trend globally with a huge emphasis on a perfected, clear complexion. Skin care is more popular than makeup in Korea, with the average woman using sixteen products in her daily skin care regime. Clarifying and brightening the skin is a focus, with women actively avoiding the sun and layering products with SPF.
Translating this trend for the more low-maintenance among us simply means a renewed focus on quality, active products that make a difference. The key here is to keep it simple.
1. CLEANSE GENTLY - WITH A TWIST
Cleansing is often a rushed ordeal, with many of us skimping on our cleansing products, or using inappropriate products for our skin type. Proper cleansing is an essential part of skin care, with personal preference playing a large part in the method chosen. Over-cleansing can actually cause a multitude of skin issues, including dryness, eczema, breakouts, and excess sebum production.
Choose a gentle cleanser that isn't too foamy - go for something creamier if your skin is dry. Finish your cleanse by wiping your face with a damp cloth: The Eve Lom Muslin Cloths from Mecca Cosmetica are a dream to use and leave your face perfectly smooth.
2. EXFOLIATE THE RIGHT WAY
Scrubbing your face vigorously may feel rewarding, but over-exfoliating causes major stress to the skin, with many scrub particles causing micro-tears that can even damage collagen and elastin production. Yep, that's right, overdoing it with your scrub can age you.
Using a non-manual exfoliant like a Beta Hydroxy or Alpha Hydroxy Acid will gently dissolve and break down old, dull, "glued-on" skin cells, bringing forth fresh, plump cells that will give you skin a lovely glow. These wonder ingredients also boost collagen and elastin production and increase hydration. BHA is particularly good for oily and break-out prone skin as it is the only ingredient that can penetrate the pore lining and clear out the gunk. Expect fewer break-outs, refined pores, and clearer, even skin. AHA is a dream for sun-damaged, pigmented, aging skin.
Because these products are acids, they must be stored at the correct PH, in an airless, opaque container. Unfortunately, many of the AHA and BHA products on the market fail these criteria, rendering the ingredients useless. Paula's Choice AHA and BHA products are the best available and are extremely affordable. I swear by them and have used them for years. I regularly get asked how I keep my skin so clear, and what skincare I use, and I put it down to these products.
For $15 off your first Paula's Choice order, click here.
(I am not being paid to promote PC - I am a hardcore fan and use their refer-a-friend link!)
NOTE: Always, always, ALWAYS use a sunscreen if you're using an AHA or BHA product. The fresh skin cells that have been revealed are susceptible to sun damage and sunburn.
3. PROTECT YOURSELF
This is a boring, repetitive message, but a crucial one: WEAR SUNSCREEN.
Nothing, I repeat, nothing, will have more of an anti-aging effect on your skin than sunscreen. It is the ultimate anti-aging cream. If you can't give up tanning your body, please at least protect your face and neck with a broad spectrum SPF every day.
Many primers and foundations contain SPF, so layer up for comprehensive daily protection. You will thank yourself in years to come. And no, it's never to later to start.
SKIN CARE DON'TS
Don't buy into the 'expensive is better' mentality. It's simply not true. Luxury packaging does not always equate to effective products.
Don't feel like you must exclusively use one brand. It is absolutely fine to intermix different skin care brands. Any brand that tells you otherwise is simply trying to sell you more of their range.
Don't purchase anything in a jar. Delicate ingredients in jars cannot remain stable once air and fingers have entered the product. Though heavy glass jars of face cream may feel luxurious, the benefits will diminish quickly once your have opened your purchase (usually within two weeks). Save your money and opt for airless pump or tube packaging.
Avoid gritty and grainy face scrubs. Rough particles can do more harm than good, creating mirco-tears on the skin.
Never use any skin care product with benzoyl or isopropyl alcohol in it. Some alcohols, like cetyl-alcohol, are actually emollients, not alcohols at all.