I don’t know if it’s just me, but I have definitely noticed a change in my skin as I have got older and even more so after having both of my girls. It is always so dry and this never used to be a problem before. I don’t know if it is an age thing or a hormonal thing, but my thirties and my delightful daughters are really doing a number on my skin. So, getting silky smooth glowing skin is becoming a bit of an obsession of mine. It’s seriously right up there with my keen interest in red liquid lipsticks.
My sister is a personal trainer, and understands food and nutrition a lot better than me. This makes me quite lucky because as well as correcting my squats, she often gives me nutritional advice. Part of which is that it’s what you put into your body that makes a lot of the difference to your skin. Her point is, if you are what you eat, do you want your skin made from cakes and biscuits? She may have a point…. (For the record, my sister also has amazing skin and doesn’t eat a lot of cake and biscuits)
I’m still on a journey with improving my skincare routine as adult acne and signs of ageing are starting to creep in as part of the joys of being over 30. This means half of the battle now is keeping the fine lines at bay. It’s somewhat depressing! But, I have been exploring and trying new things and it’s only recently that I felt like I’d made an improvement with my skin. It’s clearly a ‘marathon not a sprint’ kind of journey…. however, this is what I’ve discovered works for me so far.
Good Skin Starts From The Inside
I keep being told (by my delightful younger sister) that cultivating glowing and hydrated skin starts from within, so I am now making a conscious effort to drink more water. The cliché is true, you really are what you eat. I am drinking a lot (water not prosecco – just to clarify) but I won’t lie, it is so much harder to do in the winter when all I want is hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows.
Keeping hydrated is so important especially when the central heating is cranked up high and drying out my dry skin even more. I’d contemplate turning it down, but frankly I am just not designed for cold weather so on it stays.
To monitor my fluid intake, I keep a 1 litre water bottle on my desk with another at home. I aim to get through 2 litres a day. I won’t lie, I struggle, but I do try, because I definitely notice a huge improvement in my skin when I drink a lot of water. I’m also more than a bit obsessed with grapes and fresh fruit and I do think that also helps to contribute to my water intake, especially when I add fruit slices to my water bottle.l to jazz up my water.
I’m not a medical expert (or any kind of expert unless you count the world of Harry Potter or Beauty and The Beast) so if you are considering taking any kind of supplements then please consult with a medical professional first. Some people swear by supplements, others disagree but I am currently taking 365 Vitamins’ Advanced Collagen Complex and after a couple of months of taking them regularly, I am really starting to notice a difference.
I was sceptical at first, but my skin is now a lot smoother, glows and I have managed to reduce my dry patches. I’m also delighted to see a difference in my hair and nails too, so I can’t complain at all! Especially as my nails are usually weak and bendy but are finally getting stronger. Supplements aren’t a quick fix, but with time and patience, they have definitely helped me and my skin.
Facial Skincare Regime
I’ve been using The Ordinary skincare for a few months after hearing lots of really good things about it. I have to say then when I use it consistently, it does help to improve my acne-scarred, blemish-prone, dry skin. (What a delightful trio, I’m so lucky!)
The Ordinary is available at a few places online but I found that buying from Victoria Health was easiest as they have great customer service. If you email them letting them know your skincare concerns, they will then email back with a detailed list of recommendations.
My ‘The Ordinary’ Regime
AM: Hyaluronic Acid + B5; Niacinamide; Natural Moisturising Factors
PM: Hyaluronic Acid + B5; Alpha arbutin; Azelaic Acid; Natural Moisturising Factors.
As you can see, at the moment the range doesn’t include a cleanser but if I’m honest, I’ve just been using whatever has come in my beauty boxes. I have no specialised cleanser. My skin is still looking pretty good even without a consistent cleanser as personally I feel as long as I’m removing my makeup and cleansing my skin properly, the next step of what I actually put on my skin that stays there, is much more important.
Don’t be put off by the amount of products here, I know that this looks like a lot and like it costs the Earth but it really doesn’t! This little lot cost me less than £30. The only issue I’ve found with using The Ordinary products is that they are frequently out of stock as they as so popular so if you like it, stock up.
This is what the experts say…
As I mentioned, the team at Victoria Health are incredibly helpful. I emailed them my concerns. They suggested the routine that I currently use, and it has worked amazingly.
Hyaluronic Acid is used to hydrate the skin at the dermal level. Dehydrated skin is quite often the cause of internal inflammation which can be the cause of redness and spots and blemishes. Niacinamide + Zinc helps normalise oil production which will help to balance combination skin, reduce spots and the appearance of pores and blackheads. Alpha Arbutin will tackle hyper pigmentation, reduce scarring and dark patches. Azelaic acid helps calm inflammation; gently resurfaces skin, unclogs pores and brightens and freshens skin appearance. Natural Moisturising Factors will help hydrate skin at the surface level.
It’s so easy to hide skin under layers of thick clothing during winter and simply forget that it’s there! The trouble with that is that you eventually gave to deal with it, either when you get your legs out for the party season or your summer holiday. In my mind, it makes sense to keep on top of maintaining soft and beautiful skin. Plus, I don’t know about anyone else but I just feel so much better when I feel that I look my best, and little things like supersoft skin really help me to feel my best. That’s why I follow this regime all year round.
Truth be told, exfoliation used to always be the step that I missed out if I was pushed for time. It sounds ridiculous to admit to that now, as it is such an important stage. How can I expect moisturiser to soften and hydrate my skin when it has to penetrate layer upon layer of dead skin? Ugh! It’s disgusting just to think about it! I now exfoliate three times a week when I have my pampering sessions.
I have to say that as a packaging snob, the Soap and Glory packaging hurts my eyes… but if I look past that (and hide it in my bathroom cupboard) Scrub of Your life is a fantastic body scrub and leaves my skin silky smooth. It helps that it’s a total bargain with a beautiful fragrance too.
I can’t emphasise the importance of a good quality moisturiser and ensuring that you moisturise as regularly as possible. I aim for twice a day but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. I’ve tried lots and lots of different body creams and essentially found that not a lot were compatible with my very dehydrated skin.
I use the Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Cream every single night, as it is exactly what my very dry skin needs. My skin just seems to drink it up. Like the Soap and Glory products, it’s also a bargain at around £6 for a 300ml bottle. Seeing as I get through it quickly, that is always appreciated! It’s not fancy but it is a good basic.
For the mornings, I tend to use floral scented body lotions to layer under my fragrance and to make sure it lasts longer. At the moment, I am currently using the Ted Baker range as I was gifted some. It not only smells beautiful but it looks extra pretty on my bathroom shelf. The packaging is gorgeous. The downside is that it’s not massively moisturising, hence why my dry skin needs a top up of Aveeno, but it definitely does the job during the day.
Last but not least, hands! My mum used to always say that your hands were the first signs of ageing, so to look after them. I took this advice literally. I have little stashes of hand cream everywhere: my desk, my handbags, by every sink… it is all over my home but looking after my hands is so important. Nobody wants to greet someone with dry, scaly hands. I’m currently using this Polaar hand cream that came in one of my beauty boxes and I quite like it! It’s thick and keeps my hands moisturised all day, which is all I need it to do.
And there you have it, my rather long-winded skincare regime. What do you do differently? Which products do you use to keep your skin hydrated?