I’m a woman on a mission. It’s bold and it is daring. My name’s Bond…
Okay, so it’s not quite that intense! And my name’s Sacha, not Bond. However, the truth of the matter still stands.
As a bit of skin science boffin, I regularly guide people in the right direction with their skincare needs. But, it may surprise you to know that there is more to good skin than just good products.
Read below for some pearls of wisdom you need to add to your beauty regime…
The 3 S’s (SUPER SINNERS)
SUN: When did looking like a leather handbag look good? The UVA/UVB rays from the sun can be deeply ageing, and these rays are out all year round. So, it’s a good idea to use SPF. However, a little sun is good, as our bodies absorb Vitamin D from it. So, I suggest that in cooler seasons, use an SPF that is within your makeup already, and in warmer seasons up it to SPF 25 or more if you’re planning on being in the sun for long periods (and don’t forget to reapply it every couple of hours, at least!!)
SMOKING: These nicotine nasties are going to age you rapidly. Each cigarette narrows the blood vessels, reducing blood flow, which means less oxygen and nutrients are being delivered to the skin. This free-radical damage will affect important connective fibres, such as collagen and elastin, which will cause permanent wrinkles. Sadly, once elastin has gone there is no way of getting it back. So don’t smoke, Capiche?
SUGAR: They say “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips” However they forgot to mention the other phrase “Each sweet sin will age your skin”. This is because of a process called Glycation, a natural process in which sugars attach themselves to proteins and cause harmful molecules. The more sugar you eat, the more of these molecules are created and cause damage to proteins like collagen and elastin, which are fibres that keep skin firm and bouncy. So every time you lick your lips over a doughnut or cake, carry a mental image of yourself with a face like a used teabag. Gross!
DAIRY: You know that stuff your corn flakes are swimming in? That is from a calf that gets pumped with so many hormones that its weight skyrockets to a ton! That is some Amazonian-like Cow juice there. So, firstly there is that fact, in that you’re ingesting hormones that could affect the balance of your own. Secondly, it’s pretty sweet too! As we’ve discovered, this sugar spike in your blood is not good for the skin. The hormone “insulin” has to take rapid action to help your cells absorb the sugar, and Insulin has also been linked to acne. This is because the blood sugar increase causes inflammation and oxidative damage (glycation). So go for soya, yeah?
DIET: If you can keep anything clean in your life, make it your diet. What you put in your body will make a big difference to the outer appearance; that being your body shape, or in this case, your skin. A good diet keeps the skin luminous and healthy, and you’ll see you have invested wisely later down the line when you’re still getting I.D’d! So eat fresh and organic (no packet piercing!) avoid white carbs (like that bleached bread you may as well use as loo roll) and eat plenty of protein. Protein contains amino acids which are the building blocks for your body. They help repair and rebuild cells and keep everything ticking over. So enjoy oily fish, lean meats, lentils, nuts, and beans. Most importantly, stay hydrated! Your body is mostly water, and dehydration will leave you looking and feeling cruddy. So be sure to drink between 1.5-2 litres a day, and more if exercising.
Lastly, PRAT 😉 (Don’t be a prat!)
PRODUCTS: Once you have sorted your diet and lifestyle out, now is the time to focus on protecting and preventing your skin from the effects of ageing from the outside. A basic cleanse, tone and moisturise is a brilliant start for anyone. For those of you who are more daring, invest in a good exfoliator (to slough away surface debris and dead skin cells, eww) and a serum suitable for your skin’s needs. A face-mask once/twice a week should also help restore your glow. Remember, a good product won’t necessarily be found for £1.99, but you shouldn’t need to stretch to 100 times that price either. Look at the list of ingredients, speak to an expert for recommendations on your skin type and establish a routine.
ROUTINE: This is about maintenance, people! You have to start as you mean to go on. Once you’ve found your products, then be sure to do it EVERY DAY. It is vital to cleanse every morning and night (the morning to remove sweating and shedding…grim. And the night for daily dirt removal) toning is important at removing all traces of cleanser, dirt and tightening pores, and moisturising to keep skin hydrated and boosted with antioxidant protection. Honestly, it takes such little time to do and you’ll be grateful you spared 5 minutes extra on yourself each day to keep you looking 10 years younger than your digits.
ALCOHOL: This sort of goes with the Double D’s, but watch your booze intake! It’s extremely dehydrating and is mostly sugar. Albeit have a good time, but if your skin is important to you then you’ve got to stay disciplined!
TECHNIQUE: Some facial massaging techniques are really good at working with the lymphatic system (by helping drain waste from the tissue and also strengthening our immune system) because mechanical responses are sent as a result of the manipulation of pressure, and reflex responses are sent when the nerves respond to the physical stimulation. It also provides a good facial workout, by helping to tone the muscles under the skin and keep things looking tip-top!
So, there you have it. There’s a lot to digest there, but if you can just remember the hilariously titled “3 S’s, double d’s and prat”, you’ll have the tools to achieve healthy skin! These changes will aid more than just your outer appearance, so relish in the new you that comes as a consequence. A happier, healthier and more positive, you 🙂