The real difference is somewhat difficult to quantify. It's a glow or a brightness. I can see it in how make-up applies now, too. Coming out of winter, it's not as apparent and I don't have great side-by-side comparison shots to really nail it down but I can see it in myself. And that's what matters, right?
So, here are some tips on how to improve your skin that I've both known for a while and learned recently.
10. Clean your phone.
It's obvious that you should clean your brushes (?) but most people probably don't even think about their phones. You're pressing it against your face, day after day, after leaving it on multiple surfaces and handling it. And now that most phones are touch screen, your dirty little paws are all over it! I'm not really a believer in going too mad with anti-bac and ruining your immune system buuuuut, all those germs are jumping onto your face when you make a call and can cause breakouts, irritation, redness and more. Make sure you clean your phone, if not every day, then on a regular basis!
9. Tie your hair back.
When you go to bed, think about tying your hair back. Not only will it give it a touch more body and wave but it'll also help prevent breakouts. Think about the bangs/fringe you had as a teen, thinking it'd make you look like Zooey Deschanel. All it did was make your forehead oily and spotty. You don't want that all over your face, do you? And, no, it won't be as pronounced but if you get breakouts along your cheeks, this might be why.
But don't over-do it. You need to rid yourself of dead skin to keep the appearance fresh and healthy but it's also necessary to make sure that you're not abusing your skin. I've read differing points of view on this one but I personally don't exfoliate more than three-four times a week and never use anything overly harsh with large grains or bits in it that are just going to create microscopic abrasions all over the place.
7. Always wear SPF
UV damage occurs on a daily basis so, even if the sun isn't shining you need SPF in your life. It should also be topped up on a regular basis throughout the day if you're going to be outside. If it is sunny, avoid long periods of exposure to direct sunlight. Pay particular attention to your forehead, brow area and the tops of your cheekbones where light naturally falls. These areas usually have the most UV damage and warrant some extra protection.
6. Clean your Make-up Brushes
I know I said that I didn't think this needed mentioning but here we go. Do it. Seriously. You would sleep on dirty sheets, wear dirty clothes or wash yourself with a dirty cloth, so why would you apply make-up with dirty brushes?
5. Consistency is Key
I was majorly guilty, as a teen, of going through phases of intense concern about skincare, devising elaborate routines and ditching them when I inevitably failed to see results after a week. It can take months for any sort of change you make in your diet, skincare etc to become visible in your body. You have to stick with it.
4. Store your Night-time Skincare next to your Bed
Lazy in the evening? Skipping out on the regime? A really good shift that I've made is placing my night-time skincare next to my bed. This means that when I chill out in the evening with a book or a show, I can do my skincare in bed as I wind down. And this makes me much less likely to bail on the whole process.
3. Be Gentle
It's easy to think more is more is more. You want to see results, right? So, you get enthusiastic. You scrub your face, pile on creams. But your skin won't like you for that. As I said; exfoliate gently; don't pile on moisturisers as they can cause blemishes if overused; when drying skin, pat rather than rub; use your ring fingers for eye creams and pat into the skin very gently as it is very thin and delicate in this area.
2. Don't Forget your Lips
Dull lips age the face, as I was recently told by the head MUA for an international luxury brand. Winter can be really hard on the lips, especially. But we often forget about the lips. It's more products to lug around and apply and who needs that? You do. We all do. Exfoliate the lips gently a few times a week, apply balm multiple times a day and don't forget the SPF! It's still skin and it needs the same treatment. Like with the eye area, however, be a little more gentle.
1. Double Cleanse
You don't want to overdo anything and, with cleansing, you don't want to strip the face too much. However, you need to remove your make-up and then cleanse again. This is the only way to ensure your skin is actually clean. And, for the love of God, do not just use wipes. Shudder.
Bonus: Coconut Oil is your Friend
Seriously though. It removes make-up, works better than foam when applied before shaving, moisturises intensely and smells good. It's super-cheap and a multi-tasker so this is a very wise investment.
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