First things first I am not a dermatologist so please don't send me death threats if you end up looking like Viktor Yushchenko after trying these products. I know that skin care is completely dependant on skin type, but I just thought I would take you through some of my essentials.
Know your skin type
1. Oily - your face appears shiny and has large pores which makes you prone to blemishes and blackheads (particularly round the T zone)
2. Combination/Normal - Have slight dryness on cheeks and T zone is slightly oily (have relatively few blemishes).
3. Dry - Your skin often feels tight and well, basically dry. People with dry skin are more prone to developing wrinkles fairly early in life. Moisturising is key with dry skin
4. Sensitive - skin feels delicate and basically doesn't like products with endless lists of ingredients on the labels. Can often appear quite red and is prone to rashes.
My skin type is basically combination to oily (a mixture of 1 and 2). My T-zone is a little oily on an average day, though it can sometimes get very oily (particularly when my hormones go haywire) and my cheeks are relatively normal.
1. Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
I have been using Liz Earle's products for about 6 months now. I can safely say that I am a fan. I use this godsend of a cleanser morning and night. You can get two uses out of this baby - not only just it gently cleanse your skin but using the muslin cloths provided in hot water you can wipe away those panda eyes. I know that heavily scented skincare can put some people off (like me) but the smell is this cleanser is just lovely as it is just simple, light and fresh. Recommended for all skin types.
2. Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray
I'm an adventurous girl. I like to be active, I enjoy travelling when I get the opportunity and I like to occasionally get absolutely bladdered on nights out. Ofcourse enjoyment can often lead me to feeling worn out, jet lagged and hungover all the way to Hades. This product is my miracle cure for these after effects - light and refreshing I use it when I basically want to feel a little more refreshed. I use it after a work out at the gym and particularly after skiing (where my skin can get quite dry and hot). After a heavy night out I use this along with my caffeine fix - it really wakes me up. I also take this everytime I go flying (I transfer the product into the 10 ml em
pty spray bottles ofcourse) as drops in pressure and reduced air content can dry out your skin. Light and refreshing, without being too heavy.... a perfect wakeup call.
3. Liz Earle Superskin™ Concentrate
I have been sleeping with this stuff for quite a while now. The Superskin Concentrates come in either 28 ml bottles or a 10 ml roller-ball. It uses organic ingredients and 100% pure plant oils and the combined scent of lavendar with chamomile helps me to relax after a long hard day. I apply this in small amounts on my face (just at the temples and just below the jaw line) and massage gently into the skin. A natural source of Vitamin E means it keeps the skin healthy over night and it's natural ingredients means that it is particularly favourable towards ladies of a slightly maturer age.
4. Simple Oil Balancing Moisturiser
Because my skin tends towards the oily side quite often I am not really one of those people who constantly needs to moisturise. Therefore I do not deem it completely necessary to fork out on a really expensive moisturiser. This baby is under £5 and simply (no pun) just does the job, it keeps my skin moisturised with being too heavy, and it lives up to its name too as it feels so gentle
on the skin. Towards the winter when my skin gets slightly dry I will invest in a fairly balanced moisturiser - but in the meantime this does just fine.
5. Neal's Yard White Tea Facial Mist
Not only do I love the feel of this mist (I sometimes just spray this on my face when I feel like it) - but I also like to use it as a toner after cleansing and its combination of both a refreshing and soothing feeling means I can use it both morning and night. Neal's Yard Remedies also do another Facial Mist in Frankincense - but I opted for the more gentler sounding White Tea. Because it is a mist it keeps my skin rehydrated without being too heavy, and by using it as a toner I can wipe away any impurities which I may have missed during cleansing.
A couple of skin care tips
1. DRINK WATER - and lots of it (well about 6 glasses a day, not to the point where you resemble a water balloon). Water is essential (well, duh, learnt that in KS2 Science) but not only just it keep you rehydrated and your cells functioning, it also helps to flush out toxins which can lead to blemishes.
2. EAT WELL - (O...M....G... really!? No shit!) ... ok, ok, I'll break it down a little bit for ya. Foods which are high in zinc (like Brazil nuts) can help with skin repair and collagen maintenance, foods which are high in vitamin C (like Citrus fruits) are also high in antioxidants. Fish (in particular oily fish) contain omega-3 fatty acids which help to unclog pores. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant which can decrease aging (so get munching on those sunflower seeds ladies). Oh and ofcourse indulge in a little treat now and again - and please don't fall for that old wives tale that chocolate gives you spots - it doesn't. Chocolate is our friend. FACT!
3. SPLASH COLD WATER ON YOUR FACE - this stimulates blood flow to your face. I do this every morning. It is just a simple and cheap way of getting a healthy boost and glow to the skin.
4. PINCH YOURSELF - every morning I lightly pinch the area of my temples, the top of the cheek bones and just below the jaw line, and hold it for about 10 seconds. This also stimulates bloodflow to the face.
5. EXERCISE - not only does this keep you in shape, but it also works wonders for your skin. Whenever I go on my skiing holidays (10 days skiing in a row) I swear my skin is so clear at the end of it. Ofcourse you do not have to opt for such an extreme regime - but pick light exercises that expose you to fresh air, like bike rides, jogs and walking. I go on the occasional bike ride and I jog nearly every day - and it does wonders for my skin.