Making sure you cleanse your skin correctly is one of the most important steps for maintaining beautiful skin. The key is to remove dirt and bacteria without over-cleansing, which can dry out skin. For the perfect cleanse, opt for a gentle, PH-neutral and chemical-free cleanser (avoid using soap as this destroys the acid mantle; a protective barrier of the skin) and wash off with a muslin cloth to lightly exfoliate skin.
Go au naturelle
Natural and organic beauty products have increased in popularity in recent years, and it may be time that you jumped on the bandwagon if you haven’t already. Using chemical-based skin products can not only be harmful for your health (as potentially harmful chemicals are transmitted through the skin and into the bloodstream), but they can also lead to premature ageing. Switching to natural products is also a quick and easy way to help the environment.
Contrary to popular belief, dehydration does not only affect dry skin types and in fact even the oiliest of skins can suffer from dehydration. All skin types need to be regularly moisturised, so find a moisturizing product to complement your skin type and use it every day. Also, make sure that you are targeting problem areas by using a separate eye cream and moisturizing your hands and neck, as these are generally the first three areas to show premature ageing.
Maximize your beauty sleep
You may think that the concept of ‘beauty sleep’ is a myth, but research findings published in the British Medical Journal have actually found that those who get enough sleep (around eight hours a night) are believed to be more attractive. To really maximize your beauty sleep, make sure you take your makeup off before you hit the hay, as sleeping in makeup can lead to clogged pores, congested skin and eye irritation. Also, opt for silk pillow cases over cotton to help prevent compression wrinkles and maintain skin’s moisture levels.
Avoid long, hot showers
Our skin contains a protective layer of oils (the acid mantle) which helps to lock in moisture and keep the skin hydrated and supple. However, washing your skin too often, for overly long periods or with hot water can strip the skin of these oils, leading to dryness and premature ageing. To help prevent wrinkles and maintain a soft, youthful complexion, try to keep your baths and showers short, clean your face just twice a day and wash with lukewarm water.
Use a daily SPF
When it comes to wrinkles, prevention is better than cure, so try making an effort now to ward off one of the leading causes of wrinkles. While many of us wait until summer to bring out the sun protection, the UV rays which cause premature ageing (as well as skin cancer) can penetrate through clouds and cause irreversible damage. To help delay signs of ageing, wear an SPF of at least factor 15 every day.
Wash your makeup brushes
While we hopefully all wash our faces every day, you could be spreading dirt and bacteria to your skin every time you apply makeup if you’re not washing your brushes regularly too. To help extend the life of your makeup brushes, keep them bacteria free and prevent build up on your brushes (which can affect the look of your makeup), make sure you wash your brushes every one to two weeks using hot, soapy water, a mild shampoo or a foaming antibacterial face wash.
Ditch your vices
Many of us spend a fortune on expensive beauty products to help keep our skin youthful and glowing. However, the most effective way to improve your appearance could be by making lifestyle changes. We all know that smoking causes premature ageing, but alcohol, sugar, salty food and late nights can also take their toll on your appearance. In fact, sugar consumption is up there with sun exposure and smoking when it comes to the major causes of wrinkles. Try cutting out – or cutting down on – your biggest vice and see what a difference it makes to your looks.
Take some risks
When it comes to our appearances, many of us get stuck in a rut, sticking with the same hairstyle, skin products and color schemes for decades. So, try freshening up your look by taking a risk – as big or small as you like. Get a new haircut, experiment with different blow-drying techniques or try out some bold new makeup colours. You never know, you may find a new look you love!
Throw out old makeup
Just as it is important to keep your makeup brushes fresh and clean, it is equally as essential to keep your makeup kit updated and chuck out anything that’s been lingering too long. Many of us only replace our makeup and skin products when they run out; however old makeup can go off and harbor bacteria, just like old food. Make sure you throw out mascara after six months to avoid eye infections and replace other products after roughly 18 months. And while you’re throwing out old makeup, it’s the perfect time to try out new shades!