We're all after it. Glowing, clear, radiant skin that is .... I definately think its achievable and often there are several factors at play if you're finding your way to having more balanced skin and a beautiful complexion. If you feel like you've tried it all or you're in need of a gentle reminder then read on. You may already know that what we put on our skin matters, often its the really easy things we can let slip by. So lets take a look at my 5 simple tips to clearer gorgeous glowing skin!
Firstly, lets give thanks to this miracle that is skin! Wow hey. Our skin is such a wonder, working tirelessly to protect us and regulate our temperature. It is also our most superficial part and therefore it plays a huge role in how we present ourselves to the world and how others see us!
Although there are 3 factors that affect our skin health
2. hormonal (all aspects but especially stress and our menstrual cycle)
3. topical – what we put on our skin
.... this blog will focus on the TOPICAL aspect, and the other 2 factors will be explored soon!
So what does topical actually mean ? Basically anything we to put on our skin. This can be creams, soaps, oils, perfumes, fake tans or sunscreens, even types of supplements like magnesium oil or iodine. As our skin is the largest organ in the body, weighing around 16% of our total body weight, its vast surface means it has a lot of contact area which means it also has a lot of contact with the interior body too. This level of contact is a great way to understand that what we put on affects not just the superficial layers of our skin that we see but also the deeper layers of our tissues and even things like our organs and bones through any number of our body systems.
There are a lot of products and even more information out there about health and beauty and it can definitely get confusing. Below are some important tips which I think are easy and achievable and have made a big difference for me. I follow these myself and have used them as the foundation in my skincare range ILA + AVA. I’m hoping these can shed some light to help you on your way to clearer gorgeous glowing skin.
1. avoid cleansers
Traditional face cleansers are often soap based and using these can dry out our skin, disrupt our natural oil production and imbalance the delicate pH of our skin. Opt for high quality gentle face cloths (I create 70% bamboo and organic cotton ones)
and use them with warm water, gently rubbing the face and neck in circular motions. These are so great as they help buff off any dead skin cells, even out the skin tone and remove any dirt but leave the healthy face oils in tact. When using face scrubs, masks, exfoliants or peels usually 1-2 times per week is enough. You can also try oil cleansing by rubbing 1-3 drops of your favourite face oil onto your wet skin, then rinse and pat dry. To remove makeup a little oil on a face cloth can help take off most of it, then use a face cloth for cleansing afterwards.
2. avoid chemicals
We hear it all the time but its worth saying again. Our skin breathes, which means it absorbs and can carry anything we put on it topically, deeper into the body. Chemicals in beauty products are detrimental to our health, affecting our hormones, emotions and physical body. The chemicals used in the beauty industry also have very negative effects on the environment, as they are toxic to our waterways when we wash them off in the shower or down the sink. A good rule of thumb in most cases is if you can’t read it, or it has numbers, its probably not so great for you.
A lot of ingredients are also derived from animals, and often the toxic chemicals and finished products are tested on animals under horrific and torturous conditions. Many companies use a loop hole whereby they use ‘tested on‘ ingredients but do not test their final product, so use the ‘cruelty free’ labelling. There are also numerous who just copy the cruelty free logo and use it. Please know that this is not monitored properly unless registered through companies like Peta. plant ingredients have been used for thousands of years so there is absolutely no need to test these products for their sensitivity. When a company knows about their ingredients, they will know how to make a safe and beneficial formulation.
3. choose plant botanicals
Mama Nature has all the answers and I strongly believe there is no need for animal ingredients to be used in our beauty products. Plus its pretty off-putting to consider rubbing parts of an animal into your face, ewww. If you have found your skin is sensitive to some ‘natural’ products chances are the formulation the company has is too high in a certain ingredient or not balanced well for your needs, and I see this often with the use of essential oils. I use several essential oils in my range and they are powerful little bursts of nature so need to be used properly and with respect, especially on the face. There are also numerous essential oils which create sensitivities with sun exposure (tend to be more of the citrus oils) or during pregnancy, so please be mindful of this when choosing your skincare products.
4. minimise greasy products that sit on the surface
When using moisturisers opt for ones that hydrate deeply rather than greasy versions that sit on the surface. This can block the pores and prevent them from breathing which can make your face sweaty and trigger breakouts. You may feel more comfortable applying a thicker cream or more cream at night but during the day go lighter. When using oils on your face there are varying degrees of absorption as well. Some may be highly beneficial on 'paper' meaning their qualities sound great but do not penetrate deeply enough and again cause the pores to be blocked and can trigger breakouts in certain areas. Cold pressed organic oils are usually best. Many customers tell me when they used to use richer oils like rosehip and argan just on their own they were far too heavy for them and didn’t seem as beneficial as they had thought. In my formulations I always combine a few base oils. I suggest using oil blends so several oils can work together to benefit your skin and assist eachother to penetrate deeper.
5. less is more - always !
A minimalist skin routine is key and the more we intervene with what our skin is designed to do the more we can disrupt its delicate nature and innate function. This less is more approach is also for the ingredients list!! Countless extracts and enzymes does not necessarily mean the product will be more beneficial. Everything is 'information' and in most cases too much is just confusing for the body. Big ingredient lists also mean there is less active ingredients as their percentages within the finished products are so minute! Looks good but not so good after all.
A gentle routine with some clean and organic products is a beautiful ritual, is manageable and can often help the skin the most. I suggest keeping your face routine nice and simple. Gently cleaning, and then choosing products that hydrate, moisturise and nourish all layers of the skin from the surface to the deeper structure. I suggest a light hydrating cream for day use and an oil for night. I often mix it up a little and use my oil during the day too. If you're after a little more richness then combine both! Tune in to what your skin is asking for and responds well to. You may like to start incorporating some facial massage too (I've recently added some beautiful jade gua sha tools for this, YAY!) which can help stimulate cellular renewal, clear wastes and tone the skin to improve circulation.
If you do use makeup, opt for more water based concealors and foundations and use them sparingly, especially if you are prone to skin breakouts. Often allowing our skin to recover and repair without being regularly covered by make up can do wonders, and although it can take a little time it is SO worth it. Sometimes a tinted moisturiser can help give a more even skin tone in the transitioning period when reducing heavier make-ups.
Remember there are 3 factors that influence our skin and I’m excited to share the other 2 soon, which are so important: digestion and hormones!
If you're struggling with some skin concerns or you have any feedback or questions, I’d love to hear from you. I treat skin issues in my clinic and often, as mentioned, its a trifecta of factors that may be the culprit, and I can give advice on how to best use the ILA + AVA products if you are using this organic vegan range for your beauty ritual. Most important.... always be gentle with yourself, and ask your heart and your body what it may be trying to tell you through its most outer layer.