Forget all those New Year’s beauty resolutions which most of us will have broken by now – follow these simple expert tips to have gorgeous skin all year round. By Karen Pasquali Jones
The single definition of beauty? Flawless skin – and while most of us fake it with primer, tinted moisturiser and lightweight foundation dusted with powder, wouldn’t it be amazing if ours was naturally plump and dewy? Well, it can be if you follow our experts’ simple rules for a natural-looking glow…
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
We live in a hot climate dashing from foundation-melting temperatures outside to chilly A/C blasted interiors, which all take a toll on our complexion. The best way to combat that assault on our skin is from the inside with six to eight glasses of water a day and eat foods such as pumpkin, carrots and soy which all plump, and nourish skin.
‘This will combat dry skin, flush out toxins and give you a healthier and more youthful glow,’ says Lisa de-la-Plain, beauty therapist and co-founder of Beauty Flash.
Our make-up routine needs to change too. ‘Your lighter face creams should be swapped in for richer night creams and oils to really keep your skin hydrated, says Dr Ejikeme, an aesthetic medicine doctor with extensive global training in surgery.
She also recommends exfoliating as it allows moisturisers and oils to reach deeper into the skin for a better glow. ‘Exfoliate the skin two or more times a week for best results for removing dead skins and aiding circulation,’ she says.
Get your beauty sleep
Sleep is nature’s fountain of youth as your body recovers and repairs itself, boosting your blood flow to the skin while you snooze, meaning you’ll wake up with a healthy glow. ‘Skimp on sleep and your complexion can look drab, ashen, or lifeless,’ warns Lisa.
Aim for a minimum of eight hours’ a night and to give nature a helping hand, use Dermalogica’s Age Smart Overnight Retinol Repair, £64, night cream. It accelerates skin renewal and reduces the appearance of ageing overnight.
Exercise three times a week
Now that the weather’s cooler, there’s no excuse to sit indoors watching the entire box set of Peaky Blinders (though we did love every second!) – it’s time to get outdoors and exercise.
‘Movement enables lymphatic drainage and constant circulation which then enables skin to be energised and glowing,’ says Dr Ejikeme, medical director at Adonia Medical clinic. It doesn’t matter what you do – a gym workout, run, even a brisk walk around the marina will help as long as it gets your blood pumping.‘Exercising three to five times a week will help maintain your overall health, as well as youthful, healthy skin,’ Dr Ejikeme adds.
Don’t stress it!
Stress deprives your skin of oxygen and essential nutrients, increasing your chances of getting breakouts, warns Lisa. ‘The best way to manage stress is to learn healthy coping strategies. Regular exercise and stretching are some of the best solutions and relieves muscle tension too. Meditation and yoga can also be highly beneficial.’
Go Make-Up Free
Allow yourself a day a week to give your skin a break from cosmetics. ‘This will help de-clog pores, reduce breakouts and even skin tone,’ says Lisa. Consider the ingredients in your products too.
We’re not just talking microbeads, palm oil and all the formaldehyde-related preservatives and benzene – but anything with chemicals in it. ‘The cooler months at the beginning of the year are more likely to encourage skin problems, such as eczema or dermatitis, to flare up it is important to avoid anything that worsens this,’ warns Dr Ejikeme. ‘Using moisturisers designed for your specific skin type will also improve skin quality.’
Avoid hot and cold water
The cooler weather and hot showers can suck the moisture out of your skin, leaving it dry, rough and flaky.
‘Counteract this by applying a primer before your makeup base,’ says Lisa. ‘Whether you wear a full face every day or you prefer to keep it simple, it’s perfect for creating a smooth base and can even have anti-ageing properties. Amazing Cosmetics anti-ageing face primer is perfect for blurring fine lines, hydrating and brightening.’
‘Only use luke-warm instead of hot water to shower, bath or wash your face,’ says Dr Ejikeme. Your pores aren’t designed to deal with extreme temperatures and water that’s too hot or too cold can cause flare ups and outbreaks. Hot water can actually burn the skin and strip out all the natural oils while cold water doesn’t have any scientifically-proven benefits and will leave skin feeling tight and uncomfortable.