I have always been conscious on looking after my skin (you only get one) and with it being the the body’s largest organ, I believe it’s important to take care of it. No matter what age you are, healthy skin is faster at healing and better able to fight signs of ageing than unhealthy skin.
The skin is affected by every aspect of your life, from what you eat (in my case, also what I drink too), to where you live. Skin is constantly growing and changing so I always try to keep it looking healthy by maintaining a balanced diet with plenty of exercise.
Below are my top five skincare secrets in keeping my skin looking healthy all year round:
1. SHEET MASKS
I adore using sheet masks and I have always have a giant collection of them to include the face, hands and feet, and eyes. My skin feels more dry in the colder months so I use hydrating ones to replenish moisture. Garnier’s Moisture Bomb is amazing and it is currently on offer at 99p each in Superdrug. It retails at £1.49 each which is still amazing value. Oh K! is a Korean brand that has become my favourite for go-to masks. I recently used their Coconut Water Fibre Face Mask which is cooling and deeply hydrating, leaving the skin feeling soothed and fresh. Estee Lauder Recovery Masks and WOW Masks are my luxury masks that give me a boost each fortnight. For my hands and feet I use Etude House before I go to sleep so they feel buttery soft the following morning.
2. HERBAL TEA
I confess I don’t drink coffee or tea purely because I’m not keen on the taste. Once every blue moon I get the odd craving for a nice cup of tea, but generally I am not a fan of either. I would say that 99.9% of the time I stick with herbal teas such as Green Tea or Matcha Tea, or fruit-infused water. In addition, alcohol doesn’t sit very well me. Although I like the odd cocktail every now and then, but too much alcohol gives me the ‘Asian Flush’ where my face looks like a red tomato. I don’t want to turn this post into a biology class so to cut the long story short, the reason is that majority of Asian people (primarily from China, Japan and Korea) can’t process alcohol very well because of a gene deficiency, hence the flushed skin. It happened to me on my first night out with my girlfriends and all I remember is that it felt like my heart was beating out of my face. It may sound funny but I remember feeling uncomfortable and my skin just looking blotchy and dry the following day.
3. BIRDS NEST SOUP
I have been eating Bird’s Nest ever since I was a baby and if you are Chinese, you may have eaten it before as well or heard of it. It is very expensive and you may have seen this as an ingredient on Asian skincare products. Birds Nest is solidified saliva produced by the swallows.I know it doesn’t sound very appealing but Birds Nest is popular in Asia and its nutrients are believed to provide many health and skin benefits, including collagen production to help maintain youthful and radiant skin. The great thing about Birds Nest is that any one at any age can have it.
I am lucky to have had this ever since I was a baby where my mom made it from scratch. It can be made as a soup or as a dessert, or you can take them in small bottles. It doesn’t have much taste to them and the texture is quite slimy and jelly-like. It is very pricey and a box of birds nest like this can set you back around £1000.
Having a busy lifestyle and now working full-time, I have the ready made drinks which is more convenient and handy to carry around. I use the famous Chinese brand BRANDS where you can buy a box containing six small bottles. These are still pricey but they definitely cost a lot less than buying the actual box of birds nest.
4. CLEANSE & EXFOLIATION
I have an established daily skincare regime where I rotate the products I use depending on the seasons. In the winter, I use richer creams and cleansers and use lighter ones in the summer time. I am a believer in gentle exfoliation so that dead skin cells and impurities can be scraped away so that skin feels fresh and clean.
For cleansing my face I like to use Micellar and Bioderma Water which are great at removing impurities from your skin, but that’s all they do and I don’t find them nourishing for the skin. So in winter time I use my Lancome Cleansing Milk which is gentle yet effective on my sensitive skin. I always, always, always use moisturiser with SPF to protect skin from harmful UV rays. I sometimes use my Shiseido SPF 50 on my face when I want a higher SPF for sunnier days.
5. GYM & SWEAT
I’ve always been a gym member as one of my favourite ways to exercise is to take part in exercise groups. Not only is it a great way to meet new people but I know that I get more from doing classes in general than if I worked out alone. I love doing HIIT and, body barre and pilates type workouts as they really get the heart pumping, and I love the post-work out glow you get after doing exercise. By exercising regularly, your skin is more toned and supple. Even if you’re not a gym member, it’s so easy to be active on a daily basis. At work, even swapping the lift/elevator to stairs will make a difference and get the blood flowing, flushing out unwanted toxins and giving you that nice glow.
6. BEAUTY SLEEP
Now this would have been my 6th Top Secret to skincare, but I find myself struggling to catch enough ZZZ’s myself so I didn’t want to sound hypocritical to have it on my list. I know my body needs around 8 hours to be able to function in the day but I am no way near that on some days. Getting a good night sleep on a daily basis allows your skin and the rest of your body to rebuild and repair itself. Chronic lack of sleep will ultimately have a negative effect on the way you look and feel. For the skin, it leads to dullness and sallow-looking, and eyes with dark circles.
Share your skincare secrets with me (I promise I won’t tell!)