ABOUT THE WRITER: Elizabeth Best is a journalist, beauty expert, foodie and travel lover with a mild obsession for all things shimmery. She likes long walks down the makeup aisle and you can follow her adventures on Instagram @thebeautypalate.
It took me years to find the perfect skincare regimen for me but there are some things that should have been second nature from the start. Sun cream anyone? So I’ve gathered the best tips to pass on to you, to make sure you’re not making the same mistakes I did. It’s never too late to start good skincare habits!
1. For the love of good skin, use sunscreen
People have been harping on at me to protect my skin from the sun forever, and stupid teen me kept saying, “But I don’t burn! I only tan!” Blah, blah, blah. If I could grab my 16-year-old self, I’d shake her and say “Just put the damn sunscreen on your face!” Because here’s the thing, lately I’ve noticed my skin tone is super uneven. And the first thing my dermatologist says to me is, “Oh that’s sun damage.” Yeah, all the times I thought it was fine, the little brown splotches on my face were just waiting to show up in my 30s. Slip, slop, slap, people; your future even skin tone depends on it.
2. Get sleep
Here’s a shocker for you… one of the biggest ways to not look so tired is to not be so tired. I know, groundbreaking, right?! Get seven to eight hours’ sleep a night and your skin (including that baggage your peepers are sporting) will look markedly improved. Plus, you get more sleep and sleep is excellent so that’s a win.
3. Exfoliate…but make sure you do it the right way
Skin looking a bit dull? Probably because it’s got dead skin cells all over that need sloughing off to reveal the glowy complexion underneath. But before you break out the apricot scrub, you might wanna consider chemical exfoliation. Physical exfoliants aka the cleansers with gritty bits in them, can scratch and damage the surface of your skin and lead to premature fine lines from all that scrubbing. On the other hand, chemical exfoliants such as glycolic acid brighten and smooth the skin without all the pulling of a scrub.
4. Moisturise… always… everywhere
I’m talking face, neck, decolletage, boobs, tummy, hips, legs, ALL THE PLACES. I have met more women this year who admit they never moisturise their body than I’ve been legitimately gobsmacked. All your skin needs a big drink every now and then and you won’t believe how soft it will feel with regular moisturising. Plus, regular moisturising can prevent stretch marks before they even form so GET ON THAT WHILE YOU’RE YOUNG.
5. Use eye cream on your eyes
The skin around your eyes is the thinnest so it’s gonna be the first thing to wrinkle up when age creeps up on you. Don’t wait til you already have fine laugh lines to start using eye cream, use that stuff preventatively and you’ll look younger for much longer, trust me.
6. Use eye cream for other stuff too
Think eye cream is just for your eyes? Think again! These little pots of liquid gold usually have active ingredients in them that are perfect for other wrinkle-prone areas, too (think the lines between your brows, and around the edges of your lips).
7. Eat green stuff
Green stuff has antioxidants, antioxidants are great for skin, so eat allllll the green stuff to reduce the chance of blemishes. This means broccoli, spinach, rocket… you know the deal. Add side salad to your normal meals and you’re golden.
8. It’s not too early for retinol
Retinol is a form of vitamin A that encourages collagen production and gets your skin cells turning over. Using retinol is pretty much magic as it can reduce the appearance of sun damage, lines, wrinkles, brown spots and large pores. But you don’t need to wait until you’re ageing to use this miracle formula. Get on the retinol train around your mid to late 20s. This is when skin starts losing its elasticity and starts being more affected by environmental factors. A little retinol early on can go a long way.
9. Clean your damn brushes
YES you have to clean your makeup brushes (I am looking at you MOTHER). Yes it’s true, my own mother didn’t know you needed to clean your makeup brushes and kept them in an OPEN box in her vanity. Dusty, germy, grossness; especially when you think of the different types of particles flying around the bathroom. Ew. And then you go swish that all over your face. No thank you please. To clean, dampen the head of the brush, not getting the handle wet. Then massage a small amount of baby shampoo into the dirty part, rinse and lay the brush on a towel with the head of the brush lower than the handle to ensure all the water drains from the brush.
10. Brush your body… you heard me
Speaking of brushes: Use a loofah or a body brush to scrub your body before a bath or shower. Dry body brushing is amazing for getting rid of dry, dead skin cells all over so that your body wash and moisturiser can sink in better. Doing this while your body is dry means more flake off, which means more exposed glowing skin beneath.
11. Keep antibacterial wipes handy
Your phone is disgusting. Seriously, think about how many times you put it to your face even after you took it to the bathroom with you. (Don’t lie, we know you update your Facebook status from the loo.) If you don’t wipe your phone with antibacterial wipes regularly, you’re ensuring the germiest of germs winds up on your skin. Hello breakouts and bacteria! Wipe. Your. Phone.