Spring makes me think of dewy skin and rosy cheeks, but a fresh teint does not come without care and effort.
I am definitely guilty of neglecting my skin. Most winter nights, I want to curl up in bed with a bowl of cheesy tortellini and a good film. Around midnight, I begrudgingly drag my body to the bathroom to brush my teeth. Skincare never even passes my mind.
BUT, the light breeze of spring is bringing change. Time for me to get out of my crusty bathrobe and flaky skin shell, and welcome bright, beautiful skin radiating with health.
I know, it’s not going to happen overnight. But, I’ve done my research, and I’m ready to implement a strict regimen of moisture slathering.
To remove that layer of dead skin cells, exfoliation is key.
Here’s what I know about exfoliation: There are two ways of exfoliating your skin. Physical and chemical.
Loofahs, face brushes, exfoliating cloths and scrubs (usually gritty in consistency and thus help ‘polish’ the skin) are forms of physical exfoliation.
Chemical exfoliation is composed of chemical substances – usually liquids – which penetrate the pores and dissolve dirt and dead skin cells. They come in the form of AHA’s, BHA’s, lactic acids and glycolic acids.
Ideally, you should use an exfoliant only once or twice a week. The last thing you want is to start breaking the structural integrity of your skin. Your target is dirt, dead skin cells, and whatever lies on your face after a long day outside.
I personally prefer using chemical exfoliants on the face where my skin tends to be more fragile. Rubbing with an abrasive cloth might do more damage than good. I also make sure to remove the chemical exfoliant form my face after 3-5 minutes. If you start feeling a burning sensation when putting a chemical exfoliant on, it’s been on for too long and it’s time to remove it.
For the body, I love a loofah. It emulsifies the soap and, in my opinion, foam = fun. Scrubs make showers a little bit more interesting all while helping baby-smooth skin come to the surface.
Dry skin. No one knows the plights of having dry skin better than me. I can’t even wash my face without feeling the surface of my face go tight and uncomfortable. The first thing I do when I step out of the shower is moisturise. It’s not a luxury. It’s a necessity at this point.
And, if like me, you rely on makeup to save all of last night’s sins from showing on your face (in my case, that’s excessive salt from crisps and late nights of Netflixing), dry skin will just make things worse. Putting makeup on dry skin doesn’t look good or feel good.
When it comes to moisturising your skin, it’s all about experimentation. No one’s skin is the same. You might react differently to any ingredient, so it’s crucial you find a formula that works for you.
I personally love Nivea Soft. It reminds me of the Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream for a fraction of the price. I will never get over how expensive the Charlotte Tilbury moisturiser is. The claim that it contains skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid still doesn’t justify the price for me. I can easily add hyaluronic acid (The Ordinary sells it for about £10) to any regular-priced moisturiser.
If you have particularly sensitive skin, something like Cetaphil is a great one to add to your skincare routine. It’s without any frills, but that’s the whole point.
Some studies have also shown that adding hyaluronic acid on top of the skin does not actually do much because it doesn’t penetrate the skin deep enough.
Eating foods that help your body produce hyaluronic acid might be a more effective way of plumping up your skin. Foods like starchy root vegetables, citrus fruits and leafy greens can help trigger your body in producing more hyaluronic acid. It’s also a lot less expensive than Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream, that’s for sure.
Instead of spending big money on skincare, find a basic moisturiser that works for you. As long as it doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy or oily, sit on your skin like butter on coffee and doesn’t give you an allergic reaction, you’ve found a keeper.
Because my skin is so dehydrated, applying moisturiser needs to feel like drinking a tall glass of water.
Generally, skincare from The Ordinary is eco-friendly, affordable and effective, which is why I can’t recommend them enough. It’s the perfect way of customising your skincare: Just add a few drops of the serums of your choice to your moisturiser. I usually add some Matrixyl to promote collagen growth, Niacinamide to shrink those gaping pores and buffet to improve the general texture and look off my skin.
Skin can be especially fragile after long winter months of virtually no sunlight. Wearing an SPF of at least 30 is an excellent way of ensuring your skin stays protected. However, certain SPFs can be very damaging to the environment. Make sure yours is oxybenzone free. And make it part of your morning routine, so you never forget.
If you wear makeup, I recommend investing in a compact powder infused with SPF so you can reapply every time you’re about to step into direct sunlight. Otherwise, a tube of SPF in your bag and a brazen attitude to lather your face in that white stuff frequently works too.
Facial massages are an aspect of skincare that is often neglected. They’re usually considered more of a pamper thing, but massages help stimulate your skin in creating more collagen and also promotes blood circulation.
I’m particularly keen on buccal massages having heard a lot about them, including the fact that Meghan Markle stands firmly by their effectiveness. I can’t wait to try one when COVID 19 is over.
Until then, self-massages is a 100% free way of levelling up your spring skincare. The famous celebrity makeup artist, Lisa Eldridge, is an ardent fan of self-massages. She dedicated a whole video to it; recounting how she used to watch her mum do it and how she’s incorporated self- massages in her beauty rituals to maintain youthful-looking skin. And no one can deny it, Lisa Eldridge has incredible skin!
You can also try to depuff your lymph nodes by yourself with this massage. The sudden rise in pollen in the air can irritate your nose, leading to swollen lymph nodes. A lymphatic drainage massage, done carefully, can help depuff the face. It works wonders for me, and if there’s a special occasion to look good for, I’ll make sure to block 15 minutes out of my morning to do it.
A Healthy Lifestyle
Exercise helps blood flow which means rosy cheeks, pink lips and a healthy glow. Cinnamon has also proven to help improve blood circulation; adding some to your porridge in the morning might be a great way of improving your blood circulation.
Make sure you’re eating enough protein and dark leafy greens to ensure a healthy amount of red blood cells can go a long way. Sallow skin is not sexy.
Drink water – Yes, you’ve heard it a million times, but your body is up to 65% water, so it makes sense to do so.
I love a hydrating face mask. Paula’s Choice has a range of facemasks which come in tubes, and some of them are super affordable! Avoid buying the single sheet masks as they are very wasteful and not very eco-friendly.
Splurging on expensive products doesn’t guarantee healthy skin; wise lifestyle choices, consistency and care do. Make sure you customise your skincare to your particular skin type as no routine fits all.