Get with the new beauty programme!
As the clock strikes midnight and you make your New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget to add these to your list to refresh and update your beauty regime. Your skin (and the environment) will thank you for it!
1. The beauty facecloth
Pollution, harsh climates, office air conditioning – just a few of the things that add dirt and grime to your face on a daily basis. Combine it with make-up, and at the end and start of each day your face needs a good clean. While some face washes or scrubs might leave your skin feeling dry and stripped of natural oils, the beauty facecloth saves the day. The secret to these cloths is the material they’re made from and the dense amount of fibres they contain compared to the average facecloth. With an increased surface area, they’re able to attract and remove make-up and grime much easier, using only water. Yes, that’s right, no soap required! The increased surface area means that dirt is absorbed and trapped into the cloth, making it even more effective in cleansing your skin. The fibres gently exfoliate, unlike harsher face scrubs with microbeads, which can damage the surface of your skin (and are bad for the environment). We love the Wow Jude facecloths. You can get them here.
Did you know?
Microbeads (plastic fragments made of synthetic polymers) are used in hundreds of beauty products, from face
washes and scrubs to body washes and cosmetics, and are polluting our environment on a large scale. Because
they’re so small, they pass into the water systems and end up in the ocean, finding their way into the tissue and blood vessels of many aquatic animals, and ultimately becoming part of the food chain. Countries around the globe are calling for a ban on products containing plastic microbeads. Help the environment and choose products that contain natural, plant-based exfoliates, or make your own.
2. Look after your lotions
You’ve found the products you love, and maybe even splurged a little, but did you know that storing them incorrectly can damage their quality? While you may love displaying all the beautiful bottles your products come in on the bathroom vanity, sunlight and warm environments could affect the ingredients and their potency. We suggest storing them in a cool, dark place or cupboard – and most importantly out of direct sunlight. Keep the lids screwed on properly as free radicals in the environment can cause your products to change colour, separate, or their active ingredients to become unstable.
3. Change the way you use sunscreen
The sunscreen debate is a hot one: before or after your moisturiser? We spoke to Karen Bester, product specialist at Lamelle, about the correct way to apply sunscreen.
‘Your sunscreen needs to work in the corneum, or top layer of the skin, to protect the underlying structures, so I always recommend putting it over your moisturiser,’ Karen advises.
If using a moisturiser with active ingredients, those active ingredients need to get into the viable part of your skin to do their work. ‘If you put them on top of your sunscreen the actives will get trapped in the corneum with the sunscreen and will be unable to do their work. Your sunscreen needs to go on top of these products.’
And while we love the convenience of SPF moisturisers as we hit two targets with one product, Karen warns that the moisturiser shouldn’t contain active ingredients. ‘At Lamelle we do not add our sunscreens to our moisturisers as our moisturisers all contain ingredients that need to get into the skin. If we add sunscreen to the ingredient listing they will either keep the active ingredients in the corneum, where they will be wasted, or the sunscreen will penetrate into the viable part of the skin where it could cause allergic reactions (worst case scenario).’
It’s worth investing in a quality sunscreen and separate moisturiser, which can take care of your skin while protecting it from UVA and UVB rays.
Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to exposed areas such as the neck, décolletage and shoulders, which can show signs of ageing as much as your face.
4. Cleanse correctly
If just water and a magical facecloth aren’t enough for your cleansing needs, make sure you’re cleansing correctly. When it comes to cleansing your face, the most important thing is to understand your skin type and select an appropriate cleanser. Cleansing shouldn’t leave your skin feeling tight and dry. If it does, or it feels a bit agitated and red, try a milder cleanser. With a wide variety to choose from – gel and cream to soap-free – there’s a cleanser to suit every skin type and condition. Wash your skin gently with a soft cloth (like the beauty facecloths), so that your skin is
exfoliated moderately without damaging the top layers of the epidermis. Massage your face with light, upward strokes, concentrating on areas of excessive dryness and impurities. Rinse with lukewarm water. Never use hot water when cleansing as this strips the skin of natural oils. Follow with a toner to remove excess dirt and tighten pores, but make sure it doesn’t contain alcohol, which will dry out your skin.
5. Opt for less is more
A big beauty trend continues to be ‘less is more’, with natural, radiant and bare skin looks dominating. Instead of daily foundations and heavy concealers, give BB (beauty balms or blemish balms) creams and tinted moisturisers a try for
lightweight cover. These hybrid products not only offer moisture, they have the added benefit of a light foundation or concealer coverage and are available in a wide range of shades to suit all skin tones.
6. Highlight your best feature
Whether it’s your lips, eyes, cheekbones or flawless skin, learn how to highlight your best facial feature. Beauty and make-up consultants at department stores, such as Edgars, are there to assist with your queries and can help pinpoint your best feature and advise on products to accentuate it. Learn techniques such as strobing, highlighting and contouring to take your make-up to the next level and give your face a finished and professional look.
7. Au naturel
We all know that the environment is in a terrible state and it’s up to the individual to make choices which, although might seem small, will ultimately have an impact on the planet. Many beauty and skincare products contain ingredients that are damaging to the environment and packaged using unrecyclable plastics and materials. Not
only are these materials a huge burden on natural energy resources, they’re bad for your health too. Avoid products containing parabens, synthetic colours, fragrance, phthalates and tetrasodium EDTA, which are synthetically created and pose a risk to your health. Parabens, for example, can mimic important hormones in your body, such as oestrogen, causing an imbalance in its natural function and accumulating in tissue and organs in your body. Shop around and look into companies that are making a conscious effort to limit their footprint on the planet by using sustainable ingredients and materials.
8. Clean up
With the usual rush in the mornings for the school drop or to beat traffic to work, making sure your beauty tools are clean isn’t high on the priority list. But did you know that failure to regularly clean your make-up and other beauty items might have terrible consequences for your skin? If you’re serious about your skincare routine and spend
time and money on buying the best products to look after your skin, you could be doing yourself a disservice
by not taking care of your daily beauty tools. Diet, hormones and other factors can cause breakouts and blemishes, but make-up tools can contain a host of bacteria and microorganisms that might affect your skin health too. The build-up of old make-up, bacteria, dust, and other debris can cause skin irritations, infections, allergies and even hair loss (eye lashes and eyebrows). Consistently using dirty make-up tools and putting them into contact with your products can cause a cycle of recontamination, as well as affect the quality of both the products and the tools.
Washing brushes and sponges
- Rinse sponges frequently with warm, soapy water and leave to dry.
- Rinse bristles of brushes with water streaming downwards (you don’t want water to get into the base of the brush and affect the glue), lather with a mild soap before rinsing off and gently drying between a towel. You can add a step of dipping them (tips only) into a diluted solution of vinegar and water for an added antibacterial cleanse.
- Don’t neglect eyelash wands, tweezers and eyelash curlers. These can harbour bad germs that cause problems like conjunctivitis. Clean in soapy warm water, and disinfect in alcohol.
- Your make-up bag that holds all your items should also be washed regularly to keep everything clean and fresh.
9. Seasonal treatments
While pampering your skin and treating yourself to a monthly facial might be outside your budget, a new trend of seasonal facials helps your skin transition between changes in the weather while being pocket friendlier. Sunlight, temperature, wind and moisture vary by season and affect your skin in different ways. Seasonal facials target your skin’s needs at the end or start of each new cycle. Schedule all four treatments in January and you’ve booked in some great self-care time throughout the year. Win!
10. Try a new shade of lipstick
Dip into a woman’s make-up bag or handbag and you’ll discover the same shade of lipstick that’s been her go-to for years. While the market is constantly flooded with new colours and lip trends from bold and bright to dark and rich, many of us are often too daunted to try something new and daring. Take the plunge and try a new dashing shade or two to update your look. If going for bright or bold colours, don’t forget to understate the rest of your make-up,
letting your lips do all the talking.
COMPILED BY TARYN DAS NEVES PHOTO: FOTOLIA.COM