It’s Elizabeth as guest blogger again, this time writing about skin.
Someone once said that youth was wasted on the young. With each new wrinkle that forms, I am starting to see the truth in that saying and often imagine how great it would be if I knew then what I know now.
As a teen girl, I often neglected to pay my skin any attention and, while there is no magic fountain of youth or a fool proof solution for perfect skin (what a shame!), I have learned along the way that there are certain things that can help to put your best face forward.
Firstly, let’s talk about skin care. Since our skin is unique to us and our life-styles, I like to think of caring for my skin in terms of feeding it with both inner and outer nutrition.
Inner nutrition is having a healthy diet with plenty of water and consuming less of the things that are bad for my skin, such as sugar and alcohol (okay, I’m not a saint and do indulge every now and then!) As a girl, however, I didn’t really understand the connection between sugar and break-outs, for example. You live and learn, a good segue to outer nutrition.
This is why I nourish my face with a good moisturiser and full body with body cream to hydrate from the outside. Long gone are the days when I use just a face-wipe before bed, but that’s something I’ve only realised in my 40s! Experts say that a good skin care routine should start in your teens, ideally from the age of 14 years. However, as Jenny Hawkins points out in Episode 3: Your Skin Inside Out, it is important to use age appropriate products. The products in your mother’s cupboard, for example, are likely to be too mature for your skin.
Next, let’s talk about skin and the sun. In my late teens and early 20s, it used to be a case of applying sun cream and then forgetting about it for the rest of the day, the lower the SPF the better. Now, and with the benefit of hindsight, a tonne of research and hot tips from our podcast, it is clear that the reverse is true. That is, the higher the SPF the better and it is important to re-apply regularly. My kids, however, don’t agree and you might not either. But take it from someone who has been there and done that, protecting your skin from the sun is non-negotiable.
And finally about the topic of make-up, less is most definitely more. When I was a teen, I wasn’t allowed to wear heavy make-up and no doubt protested at the time. In hindsight, I’m thankful for my parents’ guidance as I only ever got the occasional spot. Don’t get me wrong though, I love to wear make-up. It makes me feel more confident and ready to face (sometimes literally!) the day. The key is age-appropriate make-up and products that are right for our individual skin type. A heavily made up face all the time, particularly for young skin, could cause blemishes and other damage, too.
No wonder I love the clean feeling of taking off make-up at night and lately I find myself trying to have days where I take a break from wearing it altogether. In my 20s and 30s, I wouldn’t have dreamed of venturing outside without a full face of make-up on, but ironically as I’m getting older and probably need it more with bags, dark circles and wrinkles, I find it strangely empowering to go without.
I love this quote from actress Drew Barrymore, ‘I like to take a break from vanity…when a woman is laughing, fresh from a workout or just enjoying her life…that is when she at her most beautiful.” Personally, I couldn’t agree with her more and feel the key to a happy life is ultimately to be happy in your own…you guessed it…skin.
For more tips on skin and how to care for it, tune into our podcast with skin expert Jenny Hawkins – Episode 3: Your Skin Inside Out. Jenny offers some amazing tips and inspirational advice, too.