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September 6, 2010 | by  | in Opinion |
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How to care for your skin

Before you reach for the anti-ageing cream or spend more money on more moisturisers to sit next to all of your other moisturisers, before you slather yourself in soap every day, before you see bags under your eyes and crows feet beside them, and cry because you’re 21—have a think about all of the trash you put onto your skin.

Most people who care about their skin have probably heard all this before, so I’ll do the usual stuff quickly. Bad for your skin: caffeine, alcohol, late nights/no sleep, dehydration, stress, bad diet, lack of B vitamins, no sunscreen (even on a cloudy day), not taking off makeup at night. Basically anything remotely bad for your body will show up first on your skin—it’s the largest organ in the body and you can’t really expect any less. Good for your skin: lots of fluids, sunscreen, moisturiser, eight hours sleep, meditation/relaxation, good diet.

Firstly, moisturiser is great daily if you get one matched to your needs, and your skin! Some have nasty ingredients which, as they soak into your skin, may do more harm than good. Be logical—it needs to soak into your skin, not sit on top of it—using more than you need is a common skin sin. Perfumes, glitter, and other trash often have ingredients which dry out you skin—your skin isn’t only absorbing the moisturiser bits, it’s absorbing all of it. Using stuff recommended for pregnancy (or most LUSH cosmetics) is great because they’ve thought hard about every single ingredient.

Soap is not necessary every day! Suds and lather do not represent cleanliness—they are extra ingredients. Use what you need to get clean, and no more. If you can bear it, only use soap once every few days. There are some great products out there that are not technically soap, or have a lower soap content, for example body milk, which cleans you but doesn’t strip your skin as badly. This goes for facial cleansers too. Your body likes having a bit of dead skin and fluff on it as it protects the tender new skin, so avoid anything with much exfoliator in it, or don’t use an exfoliant cleanser every day. Most importantly, after cleansing, use toner and moisturiser. Toner will neutralise any leftover soap, so your skin’s PH is back to normal. If you don’t use toner, your body will freak out and produce oil to compensate. Moisturiser puts back into your skin what needed to be there in the first place, as well as compensating for the drying cleanser.

Whatever you do to your face, do to your neck. This includes washing, toning, moisturising, use facial products there, not body ones, and do it every time. This avoids creepy old person neck waddle. Pay attention to the back of your neck as much as the front here. We’ve all had to sit behind creepy oily pimply neck-backs before.

If you must pop your pimples, use a needle and gently push the grossness out. Popping them with fingers and nails does much more damage to the skin and you’ll get a huge amount of redness.

Under your eyes is a good representation of your immediate wellbeing, so to perk up your eyes immediately, shotgun a glass of water. Seriously. Also, that skin is among the most delicate in your body, so be careful what you stick on it, like cheap makeup, and you shouldn’t use exfoliant anywhere near your eyes!

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