Glow and Go! Top Tips for Healthy Skin!

Skincare routines and beauty trends have navigated many changes over the years.

The '50s brought us pin-up curls, matte skin and beauty marks. The '60s was all about lashes and flicks whilst the '70s arrived with minimal makeup and maximum bronzer. We saw the '80s introduce us to perms and heavy foundation taking us to the fun of the '90s when crimping and overlined lips ruled a rebellious way forward. Today, it is all about a natural glow, nude lipsticks, and rosy cheeks and whilst of course, makeup can cover a multitude of sins, there simply is no substitute for healthy skin to create a healthy glow to shine from within.

When it comes to good skincare, there is no 'one size fits all' solution not surprising, given the numerous different types, colors and ages of skin. That said, there are some basic rules you should follow to ensure you are doing the very best to achieve glowing, radiant and healthy looking skin.

Skincare Routine
The first thing to say about a skincare routine is - to have one! However, the wrong skincare regime can cause skin irritation, breakouts, the appearance of premature aging and at worst, permanent damage. Great makeup starts with great skin, so it is important that you choose the right products that contain only the very best ingredients because the right skincare routine will make huge, positive changes to the health of your skin.

3-Step Basic Regime
Time pressures of modern living often force us to neglect our skincare regime and opt for the quick easy options such as cleansing wipes or soap and water. However, this is false economy in the end because you are very likely to stress out your skin faster, dry your skin out more and dull your skin meaning that you will have to buy more skincare products to repair the damage caused by the lack of a helpful skincare regime.

Alternatively, by adopting a very basic regime of 'cleanse, tone and moisturize' you can shave off several years from your skin and it literally only takes as little as 3 minutes (even faster once you have the hang of it) and is so worth the extra effort. Look for products that provide a 3-step regimen of products that compliment each other.

If you have more time and feel inclined, several other products can be added to your regimen to provide the ultimate 'spa style' skincare regime in the convenience of your home. These include:

Day/Night Serums: These are designed to penetrate into the skin's deep dermal layers and provide the ultimate nourishment and protection. They renew and repair skin cells and many contain added collagen and retinol to boost the skin's elasticity.

Eye Creams: Hydrating eye creams are formulated to be gentle around your eye area as the skin is much more delicate there. They should be gently applied (using your ring finger) and work to fade dark circles, reduce puffiness and erase laughter lines. After the age of 20, this is an essential product to combat the signs of aging.

Exfoliation Scrubs: An exfoliating scrub should be carried out once a week to remove dead skin cells. Look for a gentle, non-abrasive scrub that contains natural ingredients.

Facial Masks: There are a variety of options available on the market but their primary tasks are to extract impurities and dirt from the skin. A weekly face mask would be sufficient to achieve great results.

Key Ingredients
Many skincare products are full of harmful ingredients, so it is important that you educate yourself about which ingredients are going to get you the results you are looking for.

With so many skincare products available, it is often hard to know which to choose, so it is always a great idea to check out those ingredients that are clinically-proven, patented, trademarks and third party tested - that way, part of the work has already been done for you. Some of the key ingredients to look out for include:

Glycerin Usually found in cleansing creams and moisturizers, provides optimal moisture and does a great job at plumping, smoothing and revitalizing skin, reducing dullness and increasing glow for more luminous skin.

Lipids Lipids are natural fats, which can be found in the skin. They are an essential element for maintaining the strength of the skin's layers and act as a protective barrier to keep in moisture and protect it from further external damage.

Butters Cosmetic skincare butters help hydrate and nourish the skin and can be usually found in lotions, emollient creams, body butters and soaps.

Natural Oils Natural oils are absorbed easily into the skin to offer antioxidant protection and provide the optimal support to lock in moisture and increase skin cell renewal.

Vitamin C The is a key ingredient to help protect your skin from aging and is essential for collagen production and maintenance. It also is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals on the skin.

Antioxidants These are your 'knights in shining armor' working hard to offer your skin the best protection possible. Antioxidants found in beauty products are key to improving the appearance of skin and reducing the signs of aging.

Retinol Retinol has been shown to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by positively affecting the production of collagen, as well as, stimulate blood circulation to greatly improve skin color and tone.

Ceramides Found in the top layer of the skin, ceramides hold skin cells together and form a protective layer that helps retain moisture and plump the skin.

Ingredients to Avoid
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate AKA soap! These two are commonly used as emulsifying cleaning agents that allow cleansing products to foam such as facial washes or cleansers. For sure they make your skin feel clean BUT...they strip it clean of moisture and are proven skin irritants.

In skincare, you usually find two types of alcohol - fatty acid alcohols (that are skin conditioning) and the more abrasive (astringent) types of alcohol. In short, avoid the latter. This type will leave your skin feeling dehydrated and dry, as they remove that protective skin coat.

Alcohols are added to make creams feel lighter, absorb faster and act as a preservative. However, they are not good for your skin. Watch out for ingredients called ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, alcohol denat, methanol and benzyl alcohol that can cause skin to become dry, irritated and/or cause breakouts.

Parfum (Perfume)
Skincare products that smell strongly of perfume should be avoided. Not to say that they shouldn't smell nice, they should. But the smell should be derived from natural oils such as rose oil, bergamot and lavender for example.

Colorants and Dyes
Often, coloring and dyes can be added to products to make them look good and more appealing. These do nothing for your skin and have zero benefit, in fact, they may even make your skin worse that is if you have an allergic reaction to them. Make sure you look for products without any coloring for the optimal pure effect for your skin.

Whoever said "You are what you eat" is spot on! You are. Simple. Eat fast, cheap and easy, your skin will reflect that.
Many studies suggest a diet rich in vegetables and unsaturated fats and low in dairy, salt and sugar may lead to healthier skin. Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring, are excellent foods for healthy skin. They are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for maintaining skin health. Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary to keep skin thick, supple and moisturized.

- Foods rich in omega-3s and natural fats include:
- Avocado
- Fish
- Walnuts
- Seeds (such as sunflower and Chia)
- Yams (Beta Carotene)
- Broccoli
- Bell Peppers
- Tomatoes
- Soy
- Cocoa

Your skin will also benefit by reducing fried foods, limiting red meat intake, staying hydrated and reducing caffeine.

Look at the person's lifestyle and it will explain the skin. The way we live is written all over our faces so it is important to be aware of the significant factors that may be contributing to damaging skin or premature aging.

Get more sleep The average person needs around 8 hours sleep per night. Sleep is where the body repairs itself and is the kindest gift that you can give yourself.

Reduce or avoid alcohol Alcohol dehydrates your body generally, including the skin. This happens every time you drink. Drinking too much is also thought to deprive the skin of vital vitamins and nutrients. Over time, drinking heavily can have other, more permanent, detrimental effects on your skin and body in general.

Stay out of the sun - at the very least, use sunscreen Chronic overexposure to the sun can change the texture and weaken the elasticity of the skin. Sun induced skin damage causes premature wrinkling, sags and bags, and easy bruising.

De-stress Stress can also make skin problems worse. For example, stress can aggravate psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema. It can also cause hives and other types of skin rashes and trigger a flare-up of fever blisters.

Your skin is the largest organ of the integumentary system in the body, made up of seven layers of tissue and responsible for so many functions. It protects from external elements, regulates temperature, determines your sense of touch, stops you from losing moisture and drying out and more. Be kind to your skin. It requires careful attention if it is going to last you throughout your lifetime.