We’ve all heard the prolific tips that scatter magazines and blogs: drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen, etc etc…. so I’ll spare you those and get straight to the good stuff. These are my top 10 easy tips to keep your skin looking it’s best. While these are not glamorous by any means, all are tried and tested by yours truly and have done wonders for my skin.
1. Change your pillow case often
This is especially important if you have skin prone to breakouts. Ideally, before bed you should wash your face thoroughly and apply a treatment and/or moisturizer. So why spoil it by sleeping on a dirty pillow? No matter how well you clean your face, oil and bacteria transfer to your pillow while you sleep. This is not only from your face but also from your hair (especially if you use any hair products). These oils are not meant for your skin, so after several days of contact from your pillow to your face…you get the picture. Make your bed a skin sanctuary and change those pillow cases often.
2. Makeup remover is not only for removing makeup
You can use a makeup remover or cleansing water on troublesome spots to keep pimples at bay. I like to use it as a gentle pre-workout treatment to prevent blemishes, concentrating on areas where I tend to breakout like my hairline and cheeks. My favorites are Caudalie’s Make-Up Remover Cleansing Water and Bioderma Crealine H2O, though the latter is more expensive and harder to find here in the states.
3. Vitamin E is a skin saver
You can get a bottle of Vitamin E for as little as $5, and it will last you a very long time. It is probably the single best investment (meaning bang for my buck) I’ve made for my skin . Why do I love it? If I’ve squeezed that pimple or blackhead a little too aggressively or have a cut or scrape, this will clear it up quickly and gently. I use it as a spot treatment as it is a proven antioxidant and helps promote healing. Just don’t slather it on to your face, a little goes a long way. Simply use a cotton swab to dab a small amount on the affected area before you go to sleep at night. Added bonus- you can use it as a treatment for dry skin all over your body including your cuticles.
4. Two towels are better than one
Do not use the same towel you use to dry your hair to also dry your face. It may seem cumbersome, but if you have acne prone or sensitive skin this will truly help. I only started doing this a few years ago and I have noticed a huge difference. When you wash and dry your hair, any chemicals or oils in your shampoo get rubbed off onto your towel. If you use this same towel to dry your face, those chemicals and oils are going straight onto your skin and into your pores.
5. Your sunscreen and face lotion are not mutually exclusive
A Sephora rep gave me this amazing tidbit which seems so obvious, yet many of us search and search for the perfect 2 in 1 product with poor results. While there are some really good moisturizers that can do both, they rarely offer the level of sun protection and the skincare benefits to fit each individuals needs. Since I have combination skin, finding a light sunscreen that I can layer over my moisturizer of choice has been a true revelation. I get the sunscreen protection I want and can choose a moisturizer that is targeted for my oily T-zone. My holy grail sunscreen is Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protector with Broad Spectrum SPF 42.
6. “Waste not, want not”
Just because a product doesn’t mesh with the chemistry of your face, doesn’t mean it’s a complete loss. If it’s too late to return it, repurpose it as a body product. I can’t tell you how many face lotions with spf I’ve ended up using as body lotions because they were just too oily for my face. You can do the same with a lot of products. My favorites to repurpose are lotions, liquid bronzers or highlighters that can be mixed with body lotions for an all over glow, and serums that were too harsh on my face that can be used for sunspots and breakouts on my body. Use your imagination.
7. Replace shower caps frequently
I have thick, wavy hair that doesn’t need to be washed every day so cue in the all powerful, time saving shower cap. Dirt, bacteria and general grime will build up on the elastic band of shower caps so it’s best to change these out frequently so you don’t cause any flare ups along your hairline. That’s why I stick to lower priced shower caps at the drugstore instead of splurging on the fancy ones.
8. Eyebrows are important too
I spent years ignoring those two fuzzy patches above my eyes. Sure I would get them waxed (and I would pluck them in between visits), but other than that it’s as if they didn’t exist. Coloring in my eyebrows just seemed like a waste of time but after having the right product used on them by a makeup artist, I could instantly see the difference. Now it’s a staple in my morning beauty routine. I used to prioritize eyeliner, now coloring in my brows takes top position. With just a few fast strokes, my face looks polished and put together. Not to mention my eyes pop! My favorite eyebrow pencil is Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz.
9. Wash your face at the sink, not in the shower!
I know it’s faster to simply wash your face while you are showering, but most likely the water is too hot for the delicate skin on your face. Water that is too hot will exacerbate any issues you may have i.e.: rosacea and dry out your skin. It’s better to wash your face before or after your shower with lukewarm water at the sink.
10. Sometimes things are simply better left to professionals
While it may cost you more in the short-term, if you are experiencing a skin related issue that you just can’t seem to tackle yourself, a trip to the dermatologist may be just what you need. In the longterm it can save you a lot of heartache and wasted money on products that aren’t suited to treat your condition. For instance, many adult women think they are suffering from adult acne when really it is rosacea they have. They end up treating it with products that just make the problem worst. I suffered from acne as a teenager and spent years trying to cope with over the counter medications to no prevail. With a little begging, my dad finally took me to the dermatologist. One prescription later and my acne was much improved. I wish I could take back those wasted years of suffering!