Hands up if your skin has been all over the place recently, dehydrated and lacklustre? I am pretty sure you’re not alone on this. The months leading up to Christmas was indulgent and hectic, and January and February has seen interchangeable weather conditions, with minus degrees, rain, harsh winds and drying indoor heating… In other words, no wonder our skin is crying for some help. It‘s thirsty! You might also find you´re suffering from dehydrated and tired skin, due to lack of sleep, your diet, or internal hormonal imbalances (or just a bit of everything) – whatever it is, the good news is you can reverse it and get it back to where it was. Fast track it today with these 5 simple beauty tips, to regain that subtle, smooth skin, and happy body…
1. STAY HYDRATED & SET WATER GOALS
I am all about water goals. Setting yourself concrete targets every single day, makes it so much easier to stay hydrated! We all know that we need to drink a lot of water on a daily basis (and that it´s key to essential health), but far too often, we just tend to forget. Another good reason to set water goals, is because there´s also a such thing as drinking too much water (I know right?!) – as it can throw off the balance between water and sodium in your blood. So to conclude, get going with those goals! That way you know you´re consuming enough, but never too little – or too much.
The experts tend to recommend something between 2 ½ – 3L of water a day. To make it more measurable and easier to keep track of this; you can either break that down into the amount of glasses you need to drink, water jugs or water bottles for on-the-go. I for one never sit at my desk without my glass water jug, and never go anywhere without my water bottle – and I pretty much know once I´ve reached my daily amount. But don´t forget that herbal teas count too, and if you don´t like the taste of water; just infuse a large water jug or a large glass with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables! My go-to favourites are cucumber, lemon, lime, ginger, orange, grapefruit and blueberries. So delicious.
2. RE-BOOT YOUR DIET
Yes, having a good (or bad) diet will naturally show up in your skin. Don´t you ever find that if you´re having bit of an indulgent period, eating lots of trans-fats (processed foods), alcohol, sweets and oversized portions, your skin instantly gets out of whack? I know mine does. Of course it´s fine every now and again to indulge, but you don´t need to be a nutritionist or an expert to know that if you´re eating lots of dry and salty foods, caffeine and alcohol, your skin is going to suffer. Hence why the old saying of “you are what you eat” always rings true; and why dehydration due to a poor diet, will naturally show up first in your skin, hair and nails.
So look at your diet. And no, you don’t need to “go on a diet”, but just step back and examine what you´re eating everyday, distinguishing any culprits which might be causing that dehydration. What IS really good for your skin, mind and body – are foods which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (yes, good fat is good for you!) – such as salmon, walnuts, avocado, olive oil, beans, winter squash and ground flaxseeds. Indulge in lots of watery foods, like soups, cucumber, celery and water dense fruits – such as apples, pears, watermelon, peaches and clementines, which is also a great source of hydration (with the added bonus of boosting your skin and body with Vitamin C, which in turn assists with tighter, fresher looking skin!). Stay away from low fat diets, as they remove all the good fats, replacing them with salt, sugar and other nasties, leaving your complexion even more dehydrated and lacklustre. To sum it up: focus on eating real, whole foods (preferably organic or locally sourced), that has not been through any processing!
3. TURN DOWN THE HEAT
I know hot showers and baths feels so good in the winter (I mean, who doesn’t just love long soaks in the tub, or a steaming shower?). But whenever you can (particularly when just washing your face or hands) choose lukewarm water to avoid stripping as many oils away from the skin. Hot water just dries it out, and the longer you´re in contact with hot water; the more parched and thirsty your skin will become.
I know lukewarm baths may not seem very tempting at first, but if you just fill it with lots of lovely salts, oils and bubbles; make the room nice and warm with scented candles, and pop on some relaxing music with your favourite book in hand – the ambience is set for a lovely and soothing time for your body and mind.
4. INVEST IN A HYDRATING SERUM
Making sure that your skincare is on point, is obviously incredible important to really achieve that dewy glow. But sometimes an intense and heavy moisturiser is not necessarily what you’re after for that real hydration. Of course, we´re all individual; with our different skin types, and ever-changing factors which affects what your skin needs from month to month (yes, it can change this fast). So the key is to stay re-active and on the ball.
Is your skin feeling a bit tight, lacklustre and dull? I hear´ya! Mine felt so tired and patchy after Christmas, so I decided to vamp up my skincare routine, and invest in a new, super hydrating serum. I love serums; they’re so much more lightweight than moisturisers and creams, and as their made out of very small molecules, the skin absorbs them so much quicker and more effectively. My skin was thirsty (to say the least), so I invested in the new ELEMIS´s Hydra Boost Serum, ideal for intense hydration and all-day moisture. With Quinic acid, nourishing Dhatelo oil and Hyaluronic Acid, all blended with organic Myrtle (rich in anti-oxidants) – this super serum, not only quenches that thirst, but also helps maintain the skin’s natural defence systems (another reason for dehydrated skin, especially living in the city). The serum also helps reduce trans-epidermal water loss, reinforcing the skin’s moisture barrier (leaving moisture locked into the skin) and alleviating any dehydration. I have been using the serum since it´s launch last month, and not surprisingly, the brand and product did not disappoint. My complexion is feeling so soft, supple and smooth; I no longer have to hide those dehydrated patches, and my general glow has been rejuvenated.
But don´t forget, even an incredible serum like this one, won´t work half as good, if you´re lacking on the water and diet front! Everything goes hand in hand, so make sure you’re keeping on top of everything at all times (your skin will thank you for it).
5. THE LOCKING-IN-THE-MOISTURE TRICK
You might already know this trick – I for one am obsessed; as since starting this routine, my body has been so much smoother and firmer (and who doesn’t want this?!). So say goodbye to lathering your skin with tons of lotion and thick white cream to beat brittle, cracked and dry skin (did you know that too much cream can work against you, as it clogs up your pores and builds layers on your skin, stopping it from penetrating right through?). The trick is to apply your moisturiser, oil or balm in the correct way (yes, there is such thing as right and wrong when it comes to application!).
So next time you shower or have a bath, make sure you moisturise immediately after stepping out, patting the skin dry with a towel so that it is left slightly wet and damp. That way, the moisture becomes trapped in the skin when your pores are open, rather than evaporating in the air, enabling your lotion or body oil to immediately seal itself and fully penetrate – in other words, when it actually works. I personally tend to favour oils over lotions, as I find them much more intense – however oils do take that bit longer to sink it; so if you´re in a hurry, use your go-to moisturiser, and you´ll be silky smooth in minutes. If you´re opting for a body oil; why not shop around for the perfect one? There are so many amazing aromatic and healing essential oils out there (I love Elemis´s Sweet Orchid Body Oil), which can help with everything from balancing, soothing, energising, toning, relaxing your body AND mind…
Created in collaboration with ELEMIS. All words, opinions, styling & creative direction are, of course, my own.