Flawless skin is seemingly everywhere: celebrities, magazines, TV shows, billboards – everyone appears to have perfect complexions, and although most of us are aware of airbrushing and makeup tricks, the idea that you could effortlessly sport radiant skin is something many of us desire.
The state of your complexion can set the tone for the entire day. I know that if I wake up with raging spots, it’s likely that I’ll be feeling a teeny bit grumpier than I would if I woke up looking like I’ve just walked off a catwalk (I’m still waiting for this day by the way), and if like me your skin is closely related to your confidence levels, you’re probably tempted to pile on makeup and pretend that your bad skin day never happened. Unfortunately covering up the problem to look like you have great skin can often irritate your skin further, and, quite frankly, it’s hard work having to slather on the layers when you have early mornings and other priorities fighting for your time.
While completely flawless skin may be a tall order, healthy skin is certainly more obtainable, and once achieved your makeup bag will simply exist to gather dust in the corner!
Skincare is more than products…
Skincare is far more than lotions and cleansers; it should be a habit that encompasses beneficial lifestyle choices. So, if you’re really concerned about achieving healthy skin, you need to consider what else can affect your complexion.
Nutrition plays a massive role in skin health. Minerals like biotin, iodine and zinc, vitamin A, and B vitamins like niacin and riboflavin all contribute to the maintenance of normal skin. Copper is also great for normal skin pigmentation and vitamin C contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal function of skin. Antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E and C are also great for protecting cells against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can lead to cell damage which can lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Stick to fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts and seeds and you’ll have yourself a diet that’s rich in all these kinds of nutrients.
When you’re sleep deprived, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. This can lead to stress, which can make your skin more sensitive to internal and external irritants. Deep sleep also provides an opportunity for cells to repair themselves if they are damaged, so if you are lacking such sleep, your skin is in danger of developing fine lines. So, if healthy skin is on your agenda, make sure you have scheduled in enough shut eye so that you can get the beauty sleep you need.
Your whole body needs hydration in order to function properly, and if your skin is dehydrated it can look dry and feel rough, which I imagine isn’t the look you are going for! Everyone knows what you should do in order to keep yourself hydrated, and this combined with a hydrating moisturiser will keep your skin looking healthy and feeling soft and supple.
We already know what the stress hormone cortisol can do to your skin’s health, so if you are feeling stressed it’s important that you make time for something that can balance out your agitation. This may be a relaxing massage, a gym session, a dinner with friends or quiet time; whatever works for you, schedule it in!
BUT SKINCARE PRODUCTS ARE IMPORTANT TOO…
A balanced lifestyle will of course benefit the health of your skin but let’s be honest, it’s not always easy to control sleep patterns and stress levels. The fact of the matter is that you never know what life is going to throw at you but if environmental factors do go awry, it’s good to know that you can always control what skincare products you introduce to your complexion.
High quality ingredients
Ingredients do make a difference and understanding the benefits of individual botanicals, oils and extracts can help you, as a consumer, make informed decisions. The best skincare products will contain ingredients that are hydrating, deeply moisturising and with the ability to balance your complexion. Such products will leave your skin looking healthy, smooth and soft.
Many ingredient labels use what are called INCI names. INCI stands for International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient and these ingredient names can often sound scientific; in reality they are recognisable vitamins or botanicals under a different guise.
Also, if you’re are keen to use products containing natural ingredients, you need to weigh up this want against how effective you want that product to be. While nature does offer an incredible amount of beneficial ingredients amongst the flora of this world, effective skincare often requires naturally derived ingredients that have been boosted by science to ensure the natural substance remains stable and performs at its best throughout the product’s lifespan. You can learn a little bit more about what skincare ingredients to look out for in our blog, ‘Skincare Ingredients That Really Work’.
Fragrance may sound like something that’s desirable when you think about skincare, but artificial, chemical fragrances that have been added to products can be huge irritants to many people, prompting skin conditions, sensitivities and allergies. For some, these allergies can be quite severe and debilitating (they can even be affected by others who are wearing such products), but for others they may just experience headaches and feelings of fatigue – they may not even realise that fragrances are the cause! Choosing fragrance free products may help your skin to look healthier if you do have a mild sensitivity you are unaware of, but it also means that you’ll be doing your bit towards building a healthier humanity as others around you won’t be at risk. You will also be benefitting the environment since fragrances can add to environmental pollution.
It’s important to note that fragrance free doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be an aroma. Natural scent derived from essential oils, fruit extracts and botanicals can cause a product to have a smell, but these scents are not artificially added or chemically produced.
If you want to arm your skin with the best in anti-ageing technology, you can’t go wrong with SPF. SPF stands for sun protection factor and because the sun is the primary cause of premature skin ageing, SPF products can provide your skin with a protective barrier that shields it from harmful rays. Decent sun protection will be labelled as ‘broad spectrum’, which means it can protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are the rays responsible for skin ageing and UVB rays are rays responsible for skin burning. UVA rays can penetrate your skin even on overcast days which is why wearing sunscreen or a daily protective day lotion containing SPF will help to give you the healthy complexion you’ve been hoping for.
Adopt a routine
If you are really concerned about achieving healthy looking skin, you need to ensure you are consistent in all that you’re doing. Eating well two days a week and using high quality skincare three days is probably not going to cut it – you need to make skincare a habitual and daily practice in your life! If you’re not sure how, choose a ready made skincare routine like Infinite by Forever or Sonya Daily Skincare, but if you do want to create your own, a good starting point is to ensure your skincare routine includes at least a high-quality cleanser and a moisturiser (or moisturising serum).
SO, WHAT ABOUT MAKEUP?
There are so many fun and creative makeup products out there that allow you to change your look and vibe to suit different styles and occasions. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this and if you follow the same rules regarding high-quality ingredients and SPF, makeup products shouldn’t cause your skin any harm.
Healthy skin and makeup can exist side by side, and makeup can bring all sorts of colour to our lives so no one wants to rid of it completely. But when makeup is used to cover up skin concerns that can be addressed through quality skincare, it’s time to take a step back and consider what you could change.
What’s your go-to skincare technique for healthy-looking skin? Let us know in the comments.