It has to be said that establishing a good skincare routine is something that most of us have every intention to do, but somehow all the hustle and bustle of everyday life seems to get in the way!
Everyone can improve their skin
Great skin is not something you necessarily inherit, but is something that most of us can enjoy. Many people believe that beauty comes from within and your skin reflects the foods you eat and your lifestyle. There are a myriad of different opinions about every aspect of skin care, there are numerous products available and their use. A visit to any large store with counters run by a variety of different skincare companies is likely to leave you totally confused and bewildered!
Patience is a virtue
The important points about your skin are that if you give it some TLC you can definitely get it looking better and more radiant. If you have peered into the mirror and have been disappointed with what you have seen, it is true that there is no ‘quick fix solution’, so you will be equally disappointed again tomorrow, but there is a lot you can do to nourish your skin and improve its condition that in six/eight weeks time, you will be ‘doing a double-take’ when you look in the mirror and a new radiant you smiles back!
Adopt the holistic approach
If you are starting a skin care programme to get your skin looking really good, it is well worth taking a holistic approach and ensuring that you are eating healthily too. It is the perfect time to ‘cut the carbs’ too as fewer carbohydrates like chocolates, pastries and bread, will help trim your body and extra vegetables and fruit will definitely benefit your skin. It is best to cut down on alcohol too as it is not good for clear skin – moderation is the key and maybe enjoying a drink just three/four times a week will work well. If you have promised yourself to cut down on cigarettes, now is a good reason, as smoking can cause clogged pores, skin pigmentation and wrinkles.
There are other ways to improve your skin and these include getting enough rest and sleep and plenty of fresh air. It is really good to get out on a brisk walk a few times a week in the fresh air as this helps to get the body’s circulation working well and this will give your skin a nice healthy glow.
Choosing the right beauty products.
Skin care products are carefully designed by scientists using the finest ingredients – many of them suitable for hypoallergenic skin. If you are going to buy some new products, you need to buy them carefully, checking that they are appropriate for your skin type and also your age. Skincare products are being refined in laboratories constantly and there are some excellent ones on the market. You will need to give them time to work and that means using them regularly, once or twice a day, so that they do have the opportunity to work effectively on your skin. If you use a product constantly, you will certainly be able to see a noticeable change in your skin in about six/eight weeks.
Back to basics
Even with the dazzling array of different products now available, there are three key steps that are the proven foundations of a good skin care routine that can be used wherever you are and whenever you have the opportunity. The three steps are:
- Cleansing – cleaning impurities from your skin
- Toning – re-balancing your skin and preparing your skin for rehydration
- Moisturising – re-hydrating and softening your skin.
Cleanse your skin thoroughly
Cleaning your face is the most fundamental step because everyday living means that your skin gets incredibly dirty from dust, pollutions etc. You need to cleanse your face well, first thing in the morning and again at night time – and yes, it is naughty to skip this, more than very occasionally, no matter how tired you are! Cleansing your skin thoroughly, but gently, will avoid clogged pores and acne and prevent your skin from looking dull.
There are an incredible number of different cleansers on the market. Importantly, you want a cleanser that is suitable for your skin type and gentle – certainly not one that feels like paint stripper! The cleanser needs to be efficient and remove any dirt from the skin, and, if you have oily skin, a cleanser that removes excess oil, without drying out the skin by removing the healthy oils too, is beneficial. Copycat Facial Wash is enriched with aloe vera which offers intense hydration and healing power and also contains eucalyptus and pomegranate extract which help your skin to feel fresh and invigorated.
If you have very sensitive skin or suffer from eczema there are some really good products available that contain glycerine and shea butter which are both perfect for rehydrating skin. There are also several different cleansing oils to choose from too, which might not sound as though they will be good for cleansing, but they are very light and work well. Importantly, they rarely cause any reaction and do help to keep the skin moisturised.
If you would like to try something a little different that is good for all skin types, watch out for some Micellar water. This is a firm favourite with French women because it is so quick and easy to use! The water seems to somehow draw out the dirt from your skin because you will be amazed by the colour of your cotton wool pad! The other big advantage is that having used the Micellar water, you do not have to rinse the skin, just gently pat it dry.
Did you know there is a right way to cleanse your face?
Before you start cleansing your face, wash your hands gently in warm water with soap and dry them well. Pour some cleanser onto a cotton wool pad and begin by wiping your forehead from the middle to the right side, continue carefully down the outer edge of your right eye. Cleanse your nose and then your right cheek as far back as your ear. Repeat this procedure, using a fresh cotton wool pad, cleansing the left-hand side of your face, in the same way. When you have finished this, take a third cotton wool pad and pour on some cleanser – it is time to cleanse the most neglected part of your body- your neck! The cleanser removes dirt, unclogs the pores of your skin and prepares your skin for moisturiser. Face masks are also a very popular way of doing this.
Toning your face perfectly
If you have nasty memories of the toners used some years ago, fear not, there has been a revolution in this area of skincare too! In the past, toners were astringents that were used to remove any residue of dirt, but were usually so effective, that they stripped the skin of any good oils too! The latest generation of toners, feel amazingly different on your skin as they are light and thin liquids that contain nutrients for your skin. Toners balance your skin after cleansing and help increase its absorption. There has long been an argument that toners can be left out of the skincare routine, but they are important to use as they bring the skin back into perfect balance. Toners are lovely and easy to apply, just pour a little onto your fingertips and gently wipe the toner onto your skin – including your neck.
With the help of special ingredients...
Toners contain some special ingredients that help them in their work and it is worth looking for these on the boxes as you peruse the skin care counters. Many of these toners are now described as ‘serums’. As they contain concentrated doses of live ingredients. Amongst the most commonly used ingredients are Alpha and beta hydroxyl acids as they continue the cleansing process by opening up the pores of the skin and they can help replenish skin that has been sunburnt or is looking dull. Rosewater has been used for generations by women in countries like Cyprus to calm any irritation or redness of the skin and green tea is also a popular ingredient in toners as it has these same properties. Many toners contain vitamins C and E as these are both great for the skin and help minimise the effects of ageing. Hyaluronic acid is often added to toners for the same reason as it boosts rehydration and plumps the skin which is an effective way to banish fine lines. Retinol is used in some toners to help stimulate the production of collagen which gives the skin its suppleness.
Some toners contain exfoliating acids and these are best used just at night and only every few days. It is also important to check if the toner you have chosen can be used both in the morning and at night – for example, one containing retinol is best used just at night, as retinol degrades quickly in sunlight.
Moisturising – the key to great skincare
The reasons why moisturisers are important are that they hydrate and soften the skin. Using a moisturiser is an effective way to ensure that moisture is not lost through the outer layers of the skin. This quality is particularly important as we age, because the skin loses its ability to retain moisture. Moisturisers should be used all year round.
Choosing the right moisturiser for you, will again depend on your skin type. If you have oily skin, a water-based gel is a good choice as it is light and easily absorbed, whilst dry skin will benefit from a soft oil-based cream. It is well worth investing in both a day and night moisturiser as they are designed to perform differently. Daytime moisturisers are designed to protect your skin from pollutants and many contain antioxidants. The Copycat anti-ageing serum contains intensive moisturising properties, yet is lighter than many day moisturisers. Many daytime moisturisers contain sun protection too as your skin will be exposed to ultraviolet radiation all year round.
Night creams are usually thicker and heavier as they will work for many hours as you sleep, they replenish the moisture levels in your skin and repair any damage to your skin that has happened during the day. They usually contain emollients and these give the cream a lovely rich, silky texture.
Special treatment for your eye area
If the skin around your eyes is needing some special care, it is good to invest in a product that is specially designed for eyes. The skin around the eyes is thin, delicate and easy to irritate so eye moisturisers contain moderate levels of active ingredients that are unlikely to cause any irritation. Face moisturisers containing Retinol, for example, can cause irritation. Applying soothing cream very gently on the skin around the eyes will help sort out any dryness or puffiness.
If you would love to get rid of the dark circles under your eyes, this can be difficult, but choosing an eye cream containing vitamin C, kojic acid or niacinamide. Could be beneficial. CopyCAT eye repair gel is one such specialist product that contains hyaluronic acid, which is an anti-ageing ingredient that helps tired, puffy eyes by calming the sensitive skin around the eyes.
Don’t forget sun protection.
The one subject that all skin specialists agree on is the important use of sunscreen. Protecting your skin from UVA and UVB rays is essential and helps protect against the development of fine lines and wrinkles. It is a good idea to apply an SPF30 sun cream about 30 minutes before you leave home each morning and not just on sunny days as it is very easy to get sunburnt skin on a windy or cloudy day too. Don’t forget, that your sun protection cream will need to be reapplied every couple of hours. Many find that a moisturiser containing SPF30 sunscreen is the perfect way to ensure they don’t forget their sun protection!
Don’t forget the rest of your body!
Although extra special care is given to our faces, the rest of our skin deserves to be pampered too! Regular washing with quality soap or shower gel is great for removing dirt, but it also strips the skin of necessary oils and can be very drying. Applying body moisturiser regularly is the perfect way to keep your skin hydrated and soft.
A couple of times a week it is good to exfoliate your body with a scrub – make sure you focus on elbows, knees and heels as the skin often gets rough in these areas. Even with winter fast approaching and wearing layers of clothing, it is good to pamper your body all year round
Why not make the introduction of a really good skin care routine your New Year’s Resolution for 2021? Copycat has an exclusive skincare box of gorgeous skincare products that will soon have you looking your very best – why not put it on your Christmas list?