How To Get That Glow
Glowy healthy skin that’s supple, smooth and plump is the holy grail in beauty. Your skin is your canvas: the more perfect your skin, the less makeup you need to look good. If you have blemishes, then makeup is more about hiding flaws then highlighting your features. And who doesn’t like to have a healthy glow?
As someone who’s had breakouts, enlarged pores, oily/dehydrated skin, beautiful flawless skin is something I’ve always worked towards achieving. Years of smoking, bad eating habits and lack of exercise took its toll on my skin. It has in the past made me really self conscious, and there were days when I just wanted to hide under a rock. It didn’t help that I didn’t have a comprehensive skincare routine either. I was always receiving conflicting advice: some advocate a simple wash and moisturise, others say you need facials and expensive serums. I have tried everything from going on the pill to control my hormones to going for microdermabrasion sessions and peels to renew my skin.
Nothing gave me the results I was looking for and for awhile I gave up on the idea that I’d ever have the skin I so desperately wanted. But my engagement 2 years ago gave me fresh motivation and I became determined to look my best on my wedding day– I had 10 months to make a difference. Below are the changes I made that has helped improve my skin drastically along with some cautionary tales on the lessons I’ve learned on the way.
1. Beauty is not skin deep
Good skin starts from within. If your diet is bad and you’re constantly smoking or drinking, no amount of Liquid Gold is going to compensate for that. If you want to look good, start with what you put into your body. Culprits such as sugar, deep fried foods and caffeine should be minimised if not eradicated. Make friends with fresh fruit and veg, introduce green tea and green juices to your life and you’ll soon start to see results in a few months. Just remember that it will take time. If you’ve been eating junk for awhile, one kale shake isn’t going to work miracles over night. Your body takes about 3 months to properly detox and rejuvenate so be patient. Click here to find out which Veg and Juices are your skin’s best friends.
2. Nothing is more important than Hydration
Remember that scene in Zoolander when Ben Stiller’s a mermaid (“Merman!”) in a TV ad and he says “Moisture is the essence of wetness and wetness is the essence of beauty”? Well he’s absolutely right! Hydration is the most important element to good skin. Without hydration, your skin will be dry and flaky, which leads to premature ageing and wrinkles. Dehydration can also cause oily skin that’s shiny around the T-zone. Your sebum glands produce more oil to compensate for the dryness on the skin.
But don’t be fooled into thinking you’re getting adequately hydrated by just drinking 8 cups of water. If you’re in a dry and cold climate, work in an air conditioned office or sleep with the radiator on, your skin is going to be dehydrated, regardless of whether you drink 8 cups of water or not. The fix: buy a humidifier and put it next to your bed while you sleep and you’ll wake up with dewy skin. Aside from environmental factors, your skin care might be zapping moisture from your skin as well. Foaming cleansers, harsh face scrubs and products with alcohol in it will do you no favours. Instead opt for gentle cleansers such as balms and oils, double cleanse instead of scrubbing and use night oils to keep your skin’s moisture barrier reinforced.
3. Treat your skin with TLC
If you want your skin to glow, you’ve got to work (and pay) for it. If you’re past the age of 28, a basic routine of cleanse, tone and moisturise just isn’t going to cut it anymore, you’ve got to use a serum. Serums are targeted formulations that treat your skin concerns. They’ve got an ultra fine texture to them that’s able to penetrate your skin easily, making them way more effective than moisturisers. There will be serums for all sorts of skin concern: anti-ageing, blemishes, hydration, dryness etc. Pick the right serum and apply morning and night after cleansing. You’ll see results in about 4 weeks. Our favourite serums:
4. Get your sweat on
You may think sweating is gross but it’s so good for your skin. When you sweat, it allows your skin to get rid of toxins. It also boosts your blood circulation, giving you rosy cheeks and a dewy glow. Exercise is the best way to get a sweat going, but if you’re feeling tired, a hot epsom bath or 20 minutes in a steam or sauna can do the trick as well.
5. Beauty Sleep
We all know what a lack of sleep does— you wake up looking like a Panda. Dark circles and a puffy face. Add a good measure of grumpiness, lack of motivation and lethargy to the mix, and it’s no wonder it’s difficult to look fabulous when you’re feeling down in the dumps.
Good quality sleep is so important for staying young and looking fresh but it’s not just the hours you need to put in. Making sure that you are relaxed when you hit the pillow is equally important to ensure your mind switches off. That means limiting screen time. The blue light emitted from your phone, laptop and TV messes with your body, tricking it into thinking it’s earlier than it is. Excessive alcohol and sugar should also be avoided, as these only create stress on your system, wasting your body’s energy reserves on fighting that instead of repairing.
6. Get yourself a facial
If you’ve tried everything above but still have troubled skin, consider seeking out a facialist for some professional help. A facial every 4-6 weeks can really help rebalance your skin and address your skin concerns in a thorough and comprehensive manner. If you have clogged pores, then deep cleansing facials that include manual extractions and peels will be the most effective.
Extractions may sound scary and to be entirely truthful, can be painful, but they are absolutely necessary to clear the build up of dirt in your pores. Infrared light is another treatment that’s great. It’s an intense blast of light that encourages your skin to heal and product collagen, resulting in plumper, more youthful skin. Whatever the treatments, just know that real results will probably only show after 3-6 visits.
When it comes to skin, patience and consistency pays off. If you have any tips, do share!