Hi! I’m Anna and I write a blog called On the Dressing Table (found at www.onthedressingtable.blogspot.co.uk) which is primarily about all things beauty. I am so excited to be writing this post for one of my favourite blogs and I hope you will enjoy reading it. If you do, I’d love it if you’d come and say hi on Twitter @OTDTblog or head over to my blog and leave me a comment.
I met some fellow bloggers the other day at an event and one of them was kind enough to comment that I don’t look my age and asked what my secret was!
I wasn’t blessed with the skinny gene or the long legs gene but one thing I have been lucky with is my skin, I am often complemented on it and I have been lucky in that it’s always been pretty clear and I only get the odd blemish around that time of the month. A lot of this is down to genetics but I do think my passion for skincare has helped and as I approach 30 (despite a couple of very bad habits), I am relieved that my fine lines are at a minimum and my biggest skin complaints are a slightly oily t-zone and some redness along my jaw (also inherited as both of my brothers have the same).
So, for anyone who is interested, here are my top tips for improving and maintaining your skin.
I try to drink 2 litres of water every day, not including any cups of tea or fruit juice. At first when you start doing this you can end up running to the toilet every 5 minutes but if you persevere this passes and you really notice the difference in how hydrated and plump your skin is. This is even more important if you like the odd glass of wine, cup of coffee or salt on your chips as they all have a diuretic effect which can leave you and your skin feeling dehydrated.
Cleanse, cleanse and cleanse again!
I can’t emphasise enough the importance of regularly cleansing your skin, especially if you wear make-up. We’ve all had those nights when you are so tired you want to just fall into bed and the thought of washing your face seems like too much effort. But trust me – if you clean your face morning and night and follow up with a good quality moisturiser you will start noticing a real difference after 3-4 weeks.
Invest in a High Quality Moisturiser
Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream is my number one skincare product and I will never be without it. It isn’t the cheapest moisturiser in the world but I think that you pay for quality, and when it comes to skincare I am happy to invest in products with those ingredients that will really make a difference long term. The Pro Collagen Marine Cream contains Padina pavonica – a clinically proven, collagen-boosting marine algae. If you’re interested to know the science behind it: it stimulates the synthesis of hydrophilic (water loving) molecules in the skin that retain moisture and therefore improve the texture and elasticity of the skin. I also love to use a hydrating mask regularly; my favourite is Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask which has a lovely fruity smell and really intensely hydrates my skin.
As our skins cells are constantly renewing it doesn’t take long for dead skin cells to build up on the surface of the skin. This not only leaves the skin looking dull and lifeless but also prevents the products that we put onto the skin from penetrating down to the layers in which they work, so you might be using some great products and really not seeing the full benefits.
My favourite chemical exfoliant is Alpha H Liquid Gold which contains Glycolic acid to dissolve away dead skin cells, and my favourite manual exfoliant is the Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains which you can add in to your favourite cleanser to give it a rough texture which loosens and removes any dead skin cell as you massage your cleanser into the skin.
A healthy diet really does make the difference to your skin. Whatever you put into your body shows on the outside. Now I’m not going to pretend that I don’t indulge in all those things that are bad for us (alcohol, processed foods etc.) but I try to make sure I always eat a variety of fresh (organic where possible) fruit and vegetables and have at least 5 a day. I love to make fruit smoothies for breakfast or fresh vegetable soup for lunch. The trick is to eat a variety of colours of food to ensure you are getting the range of different nutrients that you need.
Exercise & Rest
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and as with other organs a good blood supply is essential in order for your skin cells to renew. You need to keep the blood pumping and regular exercise, especially if it’s outside in the fresh air, really does wonders for your skin and your general health and well-being. Rest is also really important as our skin cells renew while we are asleep so the more sleep we get the better our skin will look!
It’s so easy to think that sun cream is only needed for that week abroad in the summer but the harmful UV rays are hitting your skin every time you are outside, even if it’s overcast. At the time you don’t notice the damage that exposure to these UV rays is doing but they are prematurely aging your skin so if you want to hold on to your youthful looks, in the words of Baz Lurhman, wear sunscreen every day! If you try and incorporate it into your skin care regime you will soon be doing it without even thinking about it. I would recommend investing in a product designed specifically for your face as those for the body can be too rich and result in break outs.
Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have managed to pick up a trick or two!