By Shae Marshall-Rae
You’d be surprised some of the things all of us do at some stage or another, that our skin doesn’t like us for… you’d also be surprised how easy these habits are to change:
— Just doing it once.
Once is not enough unfortunately.
At night time especially… (you can get away with one cleanse in the morning). During the day, our faces face a polluted world; collecting dust, dead skin cells and pollution —germs and allergens… safely stuck to our make up residue and sebum. It’s great that you cleanse your skin, yes it clears that build up nicely. But what a good cleanser should be doing is also conditioning your skin. So, when you cleanse a second time, it’s able to concentrate it’s conditioning powers on your fresh, pollution-free face. Much nicer.
— Doing it in the shower.
Before you turn your nose up at me, don’t fret — I’m not taking away your right to clean your skin in the shower. But, some of us might need to rethink the way we do it… water is actually a different pH level to our skin (it’s more alkaline), so even though it’s neutral on the pH scale, to our skin it’s actually an irritant. Hot water even more so. Seeing as the skin on our face is our most delicate, it’s best not to let hot shower water run over it. Instead, use your cleanser then remove with a face washer or cotton pad.
Soap isn’t the best thing for our skin, believe it or not. In actual fact, water can actually clean our skin as much as soap does, due to the difference in pH between water and our skin. Soaps can be harsh… especially bar soaps. If you are going to lather up, liquid soap is best, as the pH is slightly closer to our skin and less irritating. The best thing you could actually use to cleanse your body is oil – especially during winter, oil is a fantastic alternative for the shower, as it also helps to protect our skin from the hot water of the shower.
Starving our skin when it’s been bad to us
Big pimple? I get it, it’s not fun. Especially if you’re oily… sometimes the last thing you would want to think about is moisturising on top of that. But leaving moisturiser out is the last thing you should do if you have oily skin that’s starting to break out. Skin reacts for a reason. There are many reasons that we break out, one of the causes of breakout can actually be dehydration in the skin. When the skin is dehydrated, it goes into panic mode, and starts producing more oil to compensate for the lack of moisture. This causes an imbalance in the skin that can lead to breakout and sensitivity issues. Healthy, hydrated skin breaks out much less, if at all.
Three step programs
I am talking about the famous cleanse, tone, moisturise regimen. We need to start breaking this habit. Why? Toning isn’t necessary. Although many toners are getting much less harsh — with many brands now offering alcohol-free toners — toning is a step that might not even be necessary at all for you. Traditionally, toners help to bring the skin back to it’s regular pH level after being stripped back by a cleanser. Cleansers for oily skin are big culprits for this stripping behaviour. This stripping isn’t great for our skin’s protective acid mantle barrier in the long run, and not really necessary. Seek out a cleanser that suits your skin type, that is pH balanced and gentle. Then, a toner is just not necessary. But, before you go weaning yourself off three steps, don’t forget you could substitute the toner for a booster or serum… Hyaluronic Acid serums are great for those restoring the balance after being mean to their skin’s acid mantle.
Brushing again, and again… and again… and again.
This one I am very guilty of. I don’t know many women that couldn’t honestly say they aren’t guilty of this. Our make up brushes brush over all kinds of things on our faces. Unfortunately, this means more than just make up (I know, doesn’t that paint a pretty picture). Then they keep coming back again and again, day after day… collecting more pollution… possibly bacteria (even p acnes bacteria which causes breakout to spread). The most gentle way to clean make up brushes is with hair conditioner. And in-between proper washes, a little hand sanitiser gel will help to keep them (and your face) happy.
I can’t say I am guilty of this, because sunscreen is my most favourite thing in the world… but I have had so many clients tell me that they don’t need sunscreen when they are just going to be at the office or at home all day. WRONG. So wrong. Please read some of my many sunscreen articles (here) for a bit of a refresher as to why that is so wrong!
Not enough time for that
Let’s face it… we only have one face. It has to last us a lifetime. Even though there are lots of good treatments out there to correct skin issues and give us better skin… underneath it all, we are always working on the same canvas. I would think that something you need to wear for the whole world to see for your entire life is worth looking after. It doesn’t take much effort to care for your skin properly, and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune. I can also give you plenty of shortcuts and tips for looking after your skin in a hurry. But, consistency is key. If you are going to sleep in make up one night, don’t expect your routine to make up for it the next night. Inconsistency (and things like sleeping in make up) can make your skin quite upset, causing issues like sensitivity and congestion in the long run. Teach yourself to stick to it at first — no matter how hard it might seem late at night when you just want to go to bed. Once you start seeing the results you can get with a simple double cleanse and proper-moisturising skin routine you’ll be inspired to maintain it, I promise!