Occasionally we all feel like we’ve lost a little bit of that sparkle and that despite our best efforts our skin isn’t as fabulous as it might be. With Valentine’s day fast approaching, we’ve put together some skincare tips that you can put into action now and get back that amazing glow in no time. Don’t forget, if you don’t have a date lined up to plan something lovely for yourself anyway.
When you don’t get enough sleep, it shows on the outside. The amount of sleep each person needs varies, but most of us, according to the National Institutes of Health, need roughly eight hours of uninterrupted, quality sleep. While you sleep, your skin repairs and regenerates cells. Switch off the TV and your phone, take a long relaxing bath and then curl up in bed in a set of clean sheets. You’ll be asleep in no time. If you can manage this five nights in a row, your skin will look markedly different. Our in depth sleep guide is here.
Cleanse with care:
Treat your skin with care when you get clean! That means:
1. Use warm water instead of hot. Being in steamy, hot water for a long time can remove the protective oils from your skin and strip its moisture – especially in winter.
2. Lather up with mild soaps and cleansers, as strong ones can remove oils from the skin and irritate it. Consider fragrance-free, unscented cleansers with added fat that can leave a helpful, oily barrier on your skin. Try oil cleansing if you fancy nourishing your skin.
3. Use shaving gel, lotion or cream to help lubricate and protect your skin when you shave. Cayli Cavaco Reck tells us that her favourite beauty trick is using coconut oil to shave her legs.
4. When you’ve finished, blot or pat skin dry gently with a towel.
5. Once your skin is dry, immediately apply a moisturiser or oil.
We’ve all heard the saying, ‘you are what you eat’. A cliché, yes, but it is true. When you eat healthily, your skin shows it. That means plenty of whole grains like oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice, lean proteins like poultry and beans, as well as fruit and vegetables in a variety of colours.
Avoid too much alcohol and caffeine – which can dehydrate your skin – and guzzle plenty of water.
Don’t forget to take a quality supplement to help ensure that you get the nutrients essential to healthy skin like vitamins A (good for cell division and keeping skin moist), C (which is linked to wrinkle prevention and elasticity) and E (helps repair damaged skin).
Stress can make your skin more sensitive, triggering acne breakouts and other skin issues. So do whatever works for you to let off steam. Take a yoga class, go for a walk, call a friend – do what helps you keep stress levels in check.
If dead skin cells stick around too long on your skin’s outermost layer, it can make your skin look dull and flat. That’s where exfoliation comes in. You can use a scrub or brush to remove dead skin cells (mechanical exfoliation), or apply an acid that will dissolve the cells (chemical exfoliation).
How often you exfoliate depends on the strength of your treatment method and your skin type, says the American Academy of Dermatology. A dermatologist can help you start an exfoliation regimen thats right for you.
Watch those rays:
The more you expose yourself to the sun, the more prone you are to wrinkles and age spots. Protect yourself with a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 15. Avoid the sun at its strongest hours and keep covered. You should never skip sunscreen – even in winter.
Find the right moisturiser:
Extra moisture can brighten your complexion and decrease the appearance of fine lines. Look for a moisturiser suited to your skin type and consider one that contains SPF. And know that you’ll likely need to change your moisturiser depending on the season — heavier for cold weather, lighter to withstand summer’s heat.
The American Academy of Dermatology says making these changes should help give you skin that’s glowing. But if it’s still looking lackluster, consider seeing a dermatologist, who will examine your skin and suggest the right treatment regimen for you.