Goal setting for better skin?
When a birthday comes and goes, few of us will spend at least a few moments pondering what we can do better in the next 12 months. Work, life, family, love, money, being the change you want to see in the world. All worthy of reflection. But what about your skin? Can it actually be better than it was a year ago?
Another year, another year older. Your skin? Is it better than last year? Despite another year, is it possible to have better skin with the passing of another year?
When it comes to our skin, I often think many of us get to a point where we feel a little ambivalent. Cest La Vie’ I hear you say. What more can be done?
I say, don’t do that. You can have great skin. Will you have the skin you had at 19? Maybe not. Can you have amazing skin for the age you are now? I believe, yes, you can.
Or, can you reverse the damage of the past? Of course, you can.
How far you want to go in your efforts to reverse any damage in your skin is up to you and it’ll come down to how much time and commitment you’re prepared to give it.
Perhaps the idea of spending exorbitant amounts of money will be the thing holding you back, or you’re just too busy to give any time to yourself. Or, you’re on the beauty carousel, and the choices can be dizzying, and you can’t seem to jump off.
Before you push aside your last jar of hope in total frustration, please take a look at my top 10 skincare tips for better skin.
Great skin doesn’t have to be time-consuming, complicated or expensive. It just needs to work for you. Right?
1. Bringing your A-Game
The birth of skincare enlightenment came along back in the ’60s. Nothing even comes close to this one ingredient in its efficacy and dramatic results.
Retinol or Vitamin A remains the ‘Number One’ skincare mainstay. The stalwart in your bathroom cabinet, or at least it should be.
It may take you a while to find the perfect retinol product for you, but once you do. Keep going. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using it for blotchy pigmentation, lines and wrinkles, sallow discolouration or overall good skin health. Retinol will work. How long it takes will depend on the concentration and quality of the formulation. But, with time, you can rely on vitamin A to get the job done.
The trick is finding the best one for you. You can go straight to the chemist with a prescription from your doctor for Retin-A, or you may opt for a milder cosmetic preparation. Either way, if you’ve found a good one. It will work.
Key things to look for? Packaging. It needs to be airtight with minimal exposure to light and air. It also needs to contain a worthy amount of retinol. A sprinkling from heaven is nice but not what you need. You can find more information on this amazing ingredient here and here.
2. Plan B
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) should sit front and centre alongside your retinol product. While retinol works at restoring your skin’s DNA, niacinamide protects the skin from the ravages of our environment, particularly the sun.
Niacinamide stands up to the dysfunction of your pigment-producing cells known as melanocytes triggered by overexposure to the sun. Niacinamide protects your skin’s immunity, giving it a chance to repair itself in times of environmental stress.
If it’s a war on dull, blotchy and dehydrated skin, your waging? Well, niacinamide is the superhero you’ve been looking for! You can read more about this smart skincare ingredient here.
3. The power of C
Everyone deserves at least one good love affair in their life. Right? When it comes to your skin, the affinity, the connectedness, the pure joy of vitamin C is unrivalled. It’s true love.
Vitamin C is to the skin as air is to life. Vital. Maybe you’ve heard Vitamin C builds healthy collagen. That’s true. Your body delivers Ascorbic Acid to the deeper layers of your skin, where fibroblast cells take it and synthesis it into collagen. So, with this in mind, keep up your daily dose of vitamin C through the whole foods you consume.
But what about topically? In your skincare routine? Yep, vitamin C is a big help to the skin in keeping it robust and healthy.
Include Vitamin C in your daily routine to increase protection against the heat of the sun and restore balance to the pH of the skin for a healthy acid mantle. Want to know more? Settle in for a good read on the power of C by clicking here.
When it comes to your skin, the affinity, the connectedness, the pure joy of vitamin C is unrivalled. Vitamin C is to the skin as air is to life.
4. Sun protect your skin like you mean it!
Yes, I know, you wear sunscreen. But are you doing it right? If it’s in your makeup, great. But that’s rarely enough. In many cases, the SPF in makeup may not be broad-spectrum. You want broad-spectrum protection not only to prevent your skin from burning in the sun, but a broad spectrum preparation will prevent and protect damage to the deeper layers of your skin where a lifetime of sun exposure will damage the DNA of your skin and leave you with blotchy pigmentation. You don’t want that!
Protect with a broad spectrum that goes beyond your makeup application. Take it all the way down to exposed areas of your chest and keep it on hand in the car to protect your arms and hands. Too much? Okay, but if a luminous skin is your goal then, it’s never too much. Stay protected every day of the year.
5. Throw away the scrub
Okay, if you’re like me, you don’t want to throw anything away. In that case, keep it for thicker skin, like your elbows, feet and hands.
Your face? Your neck? Please no. There are other, better ways to stimulate cell renewal and remove dead skin cells. Scrubbing isn’t one of them.
But you’ve got flakey skin? That’s your skin screaming out for a bit of love. Scrub away those flakes, and you’ll stimulate more of the same. Stop. Get to the cause. Fix that, and your dry flakiness will disappear with never a scrub insight. I know you doubt, you’re going to have to trust me on this and if you want a real rant on this subject? Go here.
6. Give away the soap and lather
Even the oiliest of skins will do better with gentle cleansing. Lather up, and you’re going to stimulate more oil to compensate for any tautness caused by your foaming cleanser.
Dry skin? A mild balancing cleanser or cleansing oil. Nothing too heavy, but with enough emollients to leave a slight residue behind on the surface of your skin to protect your acid mantle and lipid barrier. If this challenges you, then you might like to read my two-part series on the right way to cleanse your skin: Here and here.
7. The good oils
Oils provide balance, harmony and a softening to the skin. Oils can cleanse as well as nourish. The right kind of facial oil will be simple in its formulation, not too many essential oils (the fewer, the better) and a natural fragrance derived from the raw materials over anything synthetic. Use them when your skin feels particularly dry, taut or stressed. You can more on this subject in this article here.
8. Chemo Exfoliation
What? Yep, your alternative to abrasive scrubs. Chemo exfoliants usually contain lactic acid, glycolic acid and salicylic acid but can also be derived from fruit acids and enzymes. The chemical peels for home use are generally a milder version of something you may have done by a skincare professional. By the way, I strongly recommend you consider part of your goal for better skin in 2016 and beyond.
Chemical exfoliation is good for lifting dead skin cells, stimulating cell renewal, activating enzymes in the skin to encourage it to behave in a healthy, youthful way and bring hydration to the skin from within by stimulating hyaluronic acid.
Professional peels can be done in a series of 4 – 6 over an eight week period to kick start the skin and then maintain the results with a monthly chemical peel. You might like my Peels Series for the right peel for your skin type and condition.
9. Challenge your skincare professional
With so much knowledge available, you can still get confused; you’ll wish you could find someone to trust, you’ll come back to the internet. You’ll get more confused. A great skincare professional knows their product, and they know and understand your skin. They have an intuition about it. Ask them questions. If the answer sounds a bit contrived or a sales pitch, then find someone else. Don’t settle. Failing all that, come back here. I’ve been around the industry for 30 years. I’ve got plenty of advice. I can help you.
10. Commit – Making a Plan
Like all good goals, they come to fruition when you make a committed plan. When it comes to your skin? How does one set a goal? What would that look like? If you’ve found wonderful skincare professional, they’ll set a few goals for you. Or they should. They know what’s achievable. Failing that? Find a good brand and work with it. Call the brand advice line. And, then, commit.
And now you.
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See you next time,