So I’m quite a low maintenance kind of woman. I am not up for 1 million different face oils, serums and gels 3 times a day. I’m just not. If you want that sort of beauty advice then sorry this blog isn’t for you. I am however really good at simple, real advice that you can actually follow and will make you look and feel better.
I have been making a big effort lately to be the best version of me I can be; I started off the year with my confidence at an all time low, I felt so drab and just bleurgh. Since then I have given myself and my self esteem a kick up the bum and a new focus on my skin has been part of this so, I thought I would share it with you! Here is what I have been doing (I do honestly feel better since upping the focus, I recommend it).
You wouldn’t slap paint on a rough brick wall and expect it to look smooth and beautiful would you? So why do we expect that flawless just-had-makeup-done-by-Daniel-Sandler-himself look when we have dry, dull skin flaking all over the show?! I don’t know why it took me so long to realise this but now I have it is everything. There are so many exfoliators out there for face and body there is no excuse not to find one that suits. Personally I like a grainy scrub; I have a finer one for my face and a rough textured one for my body. I have also been known to make my own from brown sugar, lemon juice and honey – the lemon juice acts as a natural chemical exfoliant so be sure to chuck that in if you do go all diy. I do this twice a week and it really does make all the difference, especially on upper arms where in the winter mine resemble a plucked chicken which has been left out in the cold for months.
Now the real revelation in the last few weeks has been scrubbing my lips before applying lipstick and also exfoliating my scalp! I attended a Bodyshop party (yes they really are still going and actually, the products are better than ever) and I purchased some lip scuff on a whim and I am so glad I did! You just rub it over your lips like a lipstick and use a cotton ball with a little cleanser on to wipe it off and voila smooth lips! It is such a simple step but my god does it make a difference, I don’t know why this isn’t more of a thing already. Maybe it is but no-one told me!! Thanks me later.
Exfoliating your scalp might also sound a little odd but again it is such a revelation! If you are anything like me and skip washing your hair in favour of leathering it in dry shampoo most of the time (sorry, not sorry) then you will know what I am talking about when I say product build up is the enemy of glossy, healthy hair. The answer – cleansing shampoo. A decent, expensive-ish cleansing shampoo may I add, deffo not a £2 number or you will just dry your hair out. I’m afraid you really do get what you pay for with hair products. Honestly, use a cleansing shampoo once a month, shampoo twice when doing so to give it a real good clean (you should do this anyway but I know most people don’t) and give your scalp a good rub. Rinse for what seems a ridiculously long time and then thoroughly condition. Your hair will feel amazingly soft and shiny afterwards and this is because you haven’t got layers of hairspray/dry shampoo/environmental build up coating it! Only do this once a month though or you will dry your hair out. Repeat after me – *does hair swishhhhhhh like i’m Cheryl Cole on crack*!!
One last word on exfoliation (well, two words): Dry brushing.
There is nothing like it that will simultaneously make you feel like a goddess on the outside but also realllyyyy give you a boost from within. You should start at your feet and work up, brushing in small circles toward your heart. It gets rid of old, dead skin and also get’s your circulation going – this gets all the blood and nutrients moving around your body and you can really feel it, you will become an addict if you do it right! You will find you have more energy after doing this so it is great to do first thing in the morning before your shower to wake you up! If you concentrate on areas prone to cellulite it really does help shift this too so give a few extra scrubs on these areas for good measure.
This again might seem an obvious, basic tip to be giving out on a blog in 2016 when we have every fancy smanchy skincare product we could ever wish for, but in looking at all of the posh stuff it is amazing how much we forget the basics. Water; nature’s moisturiser. How many of us really, really drink enough water? Since Christmas I have been aiming for 2 litres a day and besides needing a wee literally all of the time I feel so fab! I used to get dry patches of skin on my face and also occasionally on my body and these have gotten less and less frequent! My skin is clearer and I just feel more awake. The amount of ladies I see spending so much money on expensive moisturisers and failing to drink enough water is astounding.
Obviously water isn’t enough on it’s own I am not adverse to moisturiser, I just don’t rely on the stuff! I use one with an SPF, because why wouldn’t you, extra protection for the skin for no more effort than usual. I stick with just the routine of cleanse, tone and moisturise, I haven’t yet succumbed to any of the new skincare steps on offer these days such as serums or BB, CC or any other letter creams for that matter. They may be amazing and I might be missing out but honestly I just know if I buy them I won’t stick to it. I don’t have the patience to spend so long beautifying myself, I wish I did. I need a straight forward routine, no extra steps if I can help it.
One thing I will say about moisturising is this: If you have oily skin, you still need to moisturise, end of, goodnight. My skin is terrible and I have the largest oiliest pores you have ever seen and if I don’t put a little moisturiser on them, it just makes everything worse. The skin feels dry and produces more sebum to make up for the lack of moisture and you end up looking like you have just ran a marathon by the time you leave the house. If this is you, look for an oil free, pore minimising moisturiser and this will sort you out a treat! Also if it says on the packaging ‘non-comedogenic’ then this is perfect as it means it doesn’t cause spots as it doesn’t clog your pores.
Same goes for your body, moisturising with a simple product that does the job makes such a difference. If you are like me you will 100% not do this every time you shower but even if you do it half of the time it helps. Have you ever moisturised one leg and before doing the other think to yourself why does it suddenly look browner, slimmer and glowy when all I’ve done is slap a bit of Nivea on it? It makes such a difference.
And before you go…
Just a couple more things I think make a real difference with no real effort needed:
- Sunshine. I honestly think around 10 minutes a day outside in the sun, even if it is cold, makes a massive difference to your skin. This is especially true if, like me, your job involves hours in artificial office air, which is not good for your complexion let me tell you! I have been recently making sure I walk at lunch and it has perked my skin up more than I expected.
- Face masks once a week. I like a calming, soothing one with something like cucumber or aloe in. They make me feel very fancy and girly and relax me big time!
- Have a bath with the door shut and turn the fan off. Essentially, make your own steam room. Steam is so fab at giving you the fresh from a holiday look and also makes your skin more susceptible to products you use when you get out of the bath.
- Clean pillow cases, phones and makeup brushes regularly. The reason? Bacteria. Seems obvious but such a simple step to better skin that you wouldn’t think of straight away.
- Sleep more than 8 hours a night and your body will work more efficiently at renewing your skin cells naturally. Any less than this and your skin suffers as it is not the bodies priority when using limited energy to function. Same goes for your hair, the body will stop looking after this before anything else when it needs to save energy and nutrients.
- Exercise. For the same reasons as dry brushing this is great for getting the blood pumping around your lovely limbs which equals lush skin and hair!
I would love to hear your tips if you have anything to add as I really am being a total cheeseball lately and trying to be the ‘best version of myself’. Sounds like an Instagram cliche but actually, it is a nice feeling I intend to hold on to!
PS. Happy Spring Equinox!! Such a pretty time of year xox