Updated: Dec 9, 2019
We've all heard the saying, "mother knows best," well imagine your skin knows best when it comes to informing you about your overall health. Your skin is intelligent: it protects your vital organs, regulates your body temperature, allows sensation and acts as an indicator when something is wrong.
In a society obsessed with perfection, we want to remove or hide anything we don't like. We forget to ask or simply ignore why something has appeared, and instead focus our attention on how to fix it instantly.
When we have a breakout of spots for example, our instinct is to want to get rid of them as quickly as possible, rather than consider what your skin is trying to tell you. I can tell you because I have spent years understanding skin health in a bid to heal my own reactive skin.
Your top 10 skin saboteurs:
1. Cosmetic overload
5-step, 10-step, all you product junkies please stand up. Your skin only needs two things: oil and a little water. That's it! That's the big secret. You don't need to spend hundreds of pounds/dollars/days on your skin.
Sun worshipping in the summer and central heating in the winter leaves your skin dehydrated. Pollution clogs your pores. Stress and lack of sleep age your skin.
3. Picking your skin
I've done it, we all do it, it can be addictive. Stop! Don't pick, pull or rub your skin. Massage it with facial oil; I've healed years of scarring this way. Facial massage is a gentle, natural exfoliator and encourages blood flow to the skin whilst stimulating collagen and elastin production; both essential proteins for firm, supple skin.
4. Using out of date products
It's funny how people will throw out food that is a day out of date but hold on to products for months and sometimes even years! Preservatives allow for a long shelf life which means a product could have been made a year before you even open it. I wouldn't eat something that old, let alone put it on my skin. When a client orders an oil from me, it is made fresh for the best efficacy and contains no preservatives. I always recommend using products within 3-6 months.
5. Chemicals, preservatives and toxic overload
I take the same approach with my skin care as I do my diet. I like fresh, unprocessed whole ingredients. Less is always more. You want to choose a product that contains less than 10 ingredients with the least amount of processing.
6. Poor Diet
Feed your skin from within. We all know how bad we feel when we eat a diet high in fat and sugar; your skin doesn't like it either and it shows. Antioxidant-rich foods such as cantaloupe melon, dark chocolate, berries, leafy greens and citrus fruits improve the skin’s appearance.
7. Not changing your skin care routine with the seasons
By this, I don't mean changing your product but change how you use it seasonally. I remove my make-up with a pure plant oil, like grapeseed oil, applied to a large, damp cotton pad to remove all traces of make-up. In the spring and summer I will then wash my face liberally with tepid water before applying my facial oil. In the autumn and winter, I remove my make-up in the same way but I do not wash my face with lots of water as it is dehydrating, and the weather has already started to change. In the colder months, I wipe a squeezed out baby sponge (the ones you can buy for infants) over my face as it is gentle and uses minimal water. I then apply my facial oil in the same way. If it's particularly cold, I will use my facial oil three times a day.
8. Not using oil
Discovering oil changed my life, and I haven't stopped going on about it since. If you have dry skin use oil, if you have combination skin use oil, if you have oily skin use oil! Pure plant and seed oils mimic the skin's natural pH level, thus bringing the skin into balance.
9. Not practising facial massage
It's not just about getting the right product, it's about how you apply it. Facial massage is exercise for the face. Using oil and facial massage healed my acne-scarred complexion; it also tones, lifts and improves the skin condition.
10. Not maintaining a healthy skin care routine
Like that gym membership, skin maintenance is key. It's what we do over the long-term that produces results. Treating your skin kindly once a month is not enough. Keep it simple and do it daily.