Thursday, 30 September 2010

Skin, how well do you know and care for YOURS?

The skin on your face to what you present to the world on a daily basis and its the only one you're ever going to have so it make sense to look after it as best you can. You have to get to grips with your correct skin type, use the right skincare products and give your skin due love and attention. 

As one of my favourite skincare experts (Dr Leslie Baumann) says 'if you owned a Porsche, you wouldn't follow the maintenance procedure for a VW Golf.' Meaning, if you had oily skin, it wouldn't make sense to adopt the same skincare routines of someone who had dry skin!

For years, I've been on a mission to uncover my skin type and make sure I'm using the right products. Skin type can change as we mature or go through different things in life, so its important to keep on top of these changes, so your products can be adapted as necessary.

Below are some top tips I follow to make sure I'm keeping my skin in tip top condition.

  • Get up close and personal. By that I mean once a month, get a magnified mirror and look at your skin in front of a bright light. Notice any changes, look at your pore sizes, any dry patches, any lines or deeper lines, sun spots etc. Its good to know what's going on your face so you can tailor your skin care regime.
  • See a dermatologist at least once a year. If you've got any deep seated skin complaints, they would be able to prescribe specific medications and creams, that you can't pick up over a counter.
  • Wear an SPF of between 20 and 30. We may only have a week of summer in the UK, but the harmful rays of the sun can penetrate even on cloudy, wintry days. I have to be honest and admit, when I was younger I purported the idea that because I've got black skin, I can leave off the SPF. Not true, everyone - black, white, pink and blue - needs to wear sunscreen.
  • Follow a good skin care routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising with your skin type products, making sure you use eye cream as well. Your cleanse is most important and forms the basis of a good routine.
  • We don't pamper ourselves enough and always cite cost or being too busy, but visit a facialist at least once a month. Your skin sheds every 28 days and no matter how much you wash and exfoliate at home, it will never compare to the intense clean and work out your face gets from a good facialist. Carline Hirons (a lady who knows a lot about skin) wrote a good piece on facials here. Read it, it will help you make the most of your facials and your skin!
  • And finally....
......Don't believe the hype of expensive products that say things like 'packed with hylauronic acid or will restore collagen to your skin' are not always telling the entire truth. Your skin is actually a protective barrier and will stop of lot of products penetrating in, due to the size of the molecules in them. 

Therefore, to look after your skin well, you have to do it from within. Start by eating lots of fruit and vegetables - they are packed with vitamins and essential nutrients for your skin. 

Drink lots of water, at least eight glasses a day to keep hydrated. 

Exercise, (I know, I hate it too) but it encourages perspiration, which is an excellent way of ridding toxins from the body. 

Take supplements if you have to. I love Functionalab's Hair, Skin and Nails supplements, which has eleven active beauty nutrients. They even have supplements to boost collagen production, which is necessary for plumping up the skin.

Remember, by not knowing your skin type, being receptive to any changes in it and thus not using the right products to care for it, you are essentially damaging it and throwing a lot of money down the drain. Money you may be able to get back, but sometimes, the damage to your skin can be irreversible.  

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