Every morning, I put on primer, foundation, concealer, blusher, bronzer, powder and highlighter. I can feel the layers of paint blocking up my pores, concealing the pigmentation of years of spots and teenage acne – years of medicines, tablets, creams, treatments and dermatologist appointments, going down the drain with every makeup routine I have started in the last few months. Yep. Call it skin abuse. I used to be able to spend days without putting on the extra few layers of nude creams, I felt so comfortable in how clear my skin was. I only touched makeup when I wanted to treat myself. But with a change of work routine, and a need to look my very best, my skin has suffered.
Last week, after a one-to-one skin counselling session with one of my most knowledgable girlfriends on how to treat my skin (as well as actually massage my face the CORRECT way) I decided to start taking care of the one layer of skin I am most conscious about, and give it a little TLC.
Rule Number One – No Touching
Now I am a notorious skin toucher. In the most politest way. When sitting on and thinking, or staring at a screen, or being on the phone, my hands some how wonder to the edges of my cheeks, grazing past my chin, touching the little fresh red bump that has decided to show itself on the tip of my nose. I just can’t stop.
But the sheer thought of what I’m touching my skin with – the bacteria from the tube, the dust from the suitcases I move, the grease from the escalators, I have made the conscious effort to stop.
Rule Number Two – Always Wash.
Your brushes. Yep, aren’t we all guilty of this. I never really thought about it, I never really made the effort. The beige thick gloopy layer that had formed on ALL of my makeup brushes, really was part of the brush. It matched the brush perfectly. What does it matter any way?
Unknowingly, that thick layer of colour that matches the brush handle so very well, contains a multitude of bacteria that laid on the upper layer of your skin, surrounding the freshly visible spots and white heads that you tackled years ago. Yep, always wash.
Rule Number Three – Oil.
The greatest product I have used (other than the magical cream that the dermatologist prescribes), and that is the incredible 100% organic evening primrose oil. After a week, I can happily say that my skin has been thanking me for giving it a natural nutrient to help repair and restore itself.
Primrose oil is PERFECT for boosting the skin with Vitamin C and fatty acids that help to replenish and renourish the skin – in a way, it speeds up the repairing process of pigmentation and damage, perfect for that time period after a spot has left the skin and you’re left with that awkward dark brown patch that you never expected.
Rule Number Five – Pain is Pleasure.
It’s that pain that you know is good for you – that sharp stinging pain that makes your eyes water but secretly, you know it’s doing good. The pain of Dermo-rolling. A small plastic/metallic roller covered in tiny spikes, this little device helps to raise blood to the service of your skin -creating small holes in the top layer – the blood rising speeds up the repair process of damage, helping to repair scaring and pigmentation.
There are a lot of different thickness’ for demo-rolling, all dependent on the thickness of your skin – combined with primrose oil, this is has been the perfect pairing this week, to really calm down my skin and offer it emergency care.
Bonus points – Retinol.
Now this isn’t for the faint hearted, nor the perfect skin. Retinol is the sister product to medically prescribed Retinoid, and should be used with care. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A – it increases the skin cell turnover, stimulate collagen and elastin production, helping to calm skin irritation, stay hydrated and reduce hyper-pigmentation.
However, because of making the skin a little more sensitive, it is ALWAYS recommended to use sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher after the use of retinol.. even when there is no sun. We don’t want any more skin damage than what we have already.
I always say I’m no expert. This is purely notes made from my own research and awareness, as these products are one step away from the high street skin care we are all used to – after years of using the products I found in Tescos, or on the front shelf on Boots, I decided to choose the alternative route and really look into what will actually help and support my skin, rather than hinder it. I am in the process of working on my skin; renewing it and really letting it restore itself. This is only the start.