I received a lovely e-mail today from a nice young lady who asked me:
“I hope you don’t mind the random question, but I was wondering about your flawless skin…..what’s your secret, and do you have any skincare products that you swear by?
Also, do you use the same make-up products away from work? Any recommendations there?”
I was very touched to be honest and responded with some of my tips and suggestions. I will share these with you too my readers, starting with skincare health. I have adapted it slightly and added a little humour so I don’t bore you all to death!
Before we begin, I should probably reassure you my skin is certainly not flawless. I get spots from time to time like everyone does. But I do have a regime that I use to lend Mother Nature a helping hand. And with long commutes, working long hours and wearing a face full of slap in front of scorching light sometimes it’s a big helping hand that’s needed! That’s what makes us human!
My Skincare Regime
*Cleansing and moisturising:
Always, Always wash make up off before bedtime. Even if you have been out drinking with friends and feel lazy, it’s essential to remove your make up before bedtime. Whilst I do not endorse the excessive use of alcohol, in the past I have had friends say ‘Hey Kaz, you can’t walk in a straight line, but you can take your make up off and moisturise, why is that!” Make taking it off part of your routine and under no circumstances let it slip. It will then become habit, and even if you do have one more than you intended, you will hopefully be conditioned to treat your skin with respect, if not your liver! For the record, I am a cheap date. 2 glasses of wine is enough to get me tipsy! If this is the case with you too and you are a lightweight like me then you’ll need to give your liver a bit of help! Drink a sugar free isotonic drink before going to sleep and take 1000mg of Vitamin C.
Invest in a good moisturiser which suits your skin. Is your skin is dry, oily or combination?
If you are in your 20’s for example you wouldn’t need a moisuriser as rich as I would for my skin (I am in my 30’s). A lighter moisturiser suits younger skin better, as anything too rich can lead to spots and oilyness. On the flipside, if your skin is very dry you might find it worth investing in a serum to apply before your moisturiser. Audi do an amazing range which is affordable on most budgets, and has won skincare awards, as well as being heralded by many of the women’s glossies such as ‘Marie Claire’. I love the Lacura intensive serum and the Q10 serum. It glides onto the skin, leaving it delectably smooth & hydrated.
Boots No 7 Protect & perfect is also an excellent serum, although in my opinion does not neccessarily supercede the Lacura range. It’s more expensive at about Â£20 for a bottle versus aprox Â£6 for a Lacura serum, but it does go an awfully long way, so you shouldn’t need to buy it to often. Plus if you have a Boots card you can save up your points and treat yourself, or add it to your birthday list as it can get costly buying different creams. Especially as your skin matures and you need more of it!
Exfoliate at least once per week to really clean out your pores. If you find a lot of products irritate your skin, you can use a microfibre flannel and cleansing lotion in place of exfoliator. Or if you are on a budget, try a home-made exfoliator. This will save some pennies and also you will be using natural ingredients on your skin, which are less likely to cause irritation.
If on a budget a small handful of porridge oats & a little honey mixed up is good. The oats which soften and soothe, act as an anti-inflammatory and will also work to gently exfoliate and cleanse your skin. The honey will help stick the oats together and is also antibacterial so will help prevent spots. See this fantastic article about honey on the BBC website http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/3787867.stm
You can also buy a ‘facial’ brush from the body shop to boost your skins ciruclation and exfoliate, rub in soft circular motions and go easy on the delicate eye area. See my video on facial and bodybrushing: http://youtu.be/icNx8Ei88rk
Tackling spots & blemishes:
For isolated spots, use a dab of witch hazel on a cotton wool ball, or if they are severe you can get a cream called ‘Panoxil’ from the chemist – but use sparingly as it can be very drying, you don’t want to end up with scabby dry patches and have people throwing pennies at you in the street. Apply with a cotton bud to avoid spreading bacteria to other parts of the face. An ice cube held on the area (inside a flannel so not to damage the skin) can bring down swelling & redness.
Turmeric powder can also be mixed into a paste with milk or water to form a paste and applied to spots. It will be a very bright orange so you’ll need half an hour spare to sit down somewhere quiet, so you don’t have to listen to hollers of “You’ve been Tangoed!”
A good varied diet should include good complex carbohydrates such as oats, bran, quinoa, rice, lean protein eg; chicken,fish, eggs, pulses, turkey, a reasonable amount of fruit and plenty of leafy and cruciferous vegetables, ie brocolli, kale, cauliflower. Buying a bagful of fruit and letting it sit in the fruitbowl and rot doesn’t count! 😉
For glowing skin and to prevent fine lines you should include plenty of Omega 3’s & vitamin E in your diet. If you find it hard to always prepare fresh meals (it’s not easy in this busy day and age) then capsules such as ‘Evening Primrose oil & Starflower oil are great to take on days when you haven’t met your 5 a day quota. That is 5 vegetables, not 5 fags! (Note to Americans, I refer to the cigarette, not a homosexual person as I believe the term is used in the USA.)
If you are having a really dry skin day you can even burst these capsules with a (sterilised) safety pin) and rub a little of the oil into your dry patches…oh behave! You can leave this on overnight, but do omit the T zone if you are under 30 as it may clog your pores. Also avoid the under area area as it could make them a little puffy.
Lots of vegetables are essential for great skin. For a busy girl on the go vegetable shots can save you a lot of time! Pick out lots of green leafy veg (and occasionally fruit, but go easy on the sugary types as sugar is not your friend, contrary to what the soft drinks advertising companies would have us believe.
Vitamin K does wonders for the skin and can be found in veg such as kale, brocoli, watercress, spinache….you can buy a juicer (you need one that will juice leaves too not just fruit) and you can juice up combo’s such as apple with celery, kale and a dash of lime for example. You can also add honey to taste. If you are not keen on veg you can always drink them as shots, Make up a pint and store in a sealed bottle in the fridge. Swallow down a small shot in the morning,one at lunchtime and then in the evening if time allows (or just when you find time). It’s much easier than trying to glug back a whole load of juice at once & should help to keep you energised throughout the day. I add all sorts to my juice, fresh cayenne peepers (just a teeny bit) sometimes some garlic. Adding a dash of something containing citrus such as lime will counteract the odours from the garlic. I will literally drink anything if it’s good for me, but if you feel a bit queasy with new foods I promise not to tell anyone if you pinch your nose and swallow it back! Trust me, your skin will thank you for it!! (by glowing beautifully of course. If it actually starts speaking to you then it sounds like you have managed to somehow mix up some pretty weird fungi in your juicer! If this happens put on headphones, listen to beautiful relaxing music and stay away from other people!!
Sometimes I like to use the juice from cucumbers and other dark leafy veg directly on my skin. Just apply with a cotton wall ball. It’s really soothing for sore eyes particularly & contains loads of nutrients. You can even freeze into ice cube trays so you have some in an emergency! 😉 Just woke up fondly recalling the previous nights Twerking on the dance floor? Only to discover, your eyes aren’t only burning with your left on mascara, but also your friends mascara…and a weird stubbly rash down your cheek! Oh no hang on that’s someone’s false eyelash! Those cucumber ice cubes you made yesterday are just the ticket for sore peepers! Just make sure you wash off all the make up first, and return the eyelash. Cucumber juice or slices are fabulous for puffy or sores eyes, as are cold used tea bags. (just make sure they are fresh!) Tea bags are great for dark under eyes as the caffeine pulls out excess fluid and toxins. You’ll look more alert in no time? Don’t believe me? Try it! And whilst you are at it some brightening eye drops will bring the twinkle back to your eyes!
Dark under eyes: And in all seriousness now, dark circles can be caused by many things such as late nights, drinking too much caffeine or can simply be hereditery. As I said before, applying caffeine directly to the skin (in a safe form such as teabags or a cream – I don’t want any lawsuits from buffoons who chose to spray a can of red bull in their eyes!) a caffeine pen is also very useful. Garnier is my personal favourite!
If you do like the odd drink now and again….it’s easy to break those good intentions occasionally! Milk thistle will help cleanse your liver (an overloaded liver can lead to spots also & dark circles under the eyes) but use google to check it doesn’t interact with any medications you are on first.
As tempting as it can be to go for an all over tan, always wear a good suncream, especially on your face. A fake tan is sexier than dry peeling skin. I like the airbrush tans as they tend not to clog the pores. Build up gradually over a couple of days to avoid streaks (use l latex gloves so not to stain your hands – about a pound in the supermarket). If you do happen to get a little sunburn, my favourite remedy is to add a handful of greentea bags to your bath, or in a bowl, then use on your skin (once it has cooled a little).
I feel like this one is really obvious and I hate saying it ,but drink plenty of water, herbal teas (especially Green) & low sugar squashes. Sugar is not your skins friend :/ It sounds obvious, but it amazes me the number of people I know who consider themselves to eat extremely healthy, but they won’t drink water and will only drink sugary or caffeine riddled drinks. Then they wonder why they feel crappy and get headaches. Of course if you choose to drink only the caffeine and don’t mind the headaches that’s fine too, it’s just the whingers & malingerers that won’t help themselves tend to make me feel a little exasperated!
Anyway I hope you have found this blog of some use, if you did like it, please pass on to a friend or share on your social networks. Some of the content of course will be what works for my skin, so you will find sometimes it is trial and error as to what works for you. If you have any tips or remedies you would like to share, then please leave your comments below. It will be great to hear from you! My next beauty blog will be on make-up/beauty products, application and other tips, so do bookmark me if you would like to learn more about my thoughts on this subject.
So, run along now you gorgeous lot, and go and show off that radiant skin you sexy thing you!