Central heating, extra layers and hot baths are all sure-fire ways to leave your skin feeling unloved. Leading British beauty expert Jane Scrivner shares her skincare tips for showing your skin how much you care this February
Keeping your skin clean is a basic skincare fundamental. Removing the dirt of the day, the make-up and the sweat, leaving the natural oils intact will form the foundation to beautiful and healthy skin. Clean skin allows product to absorb beautifully and make-up to sit perfectly. Clean skin will have luminescence and glow, tone and translucence.
The top layers of our skin are made up of tightly packed, flat, dead skin cells that give a dull, lacklustre look, on both body and face. Exfoliating the skin removes the uppermost layers and allows beautiful absorbency of oils and creams, leaving your skin, once again, beautifully fresh and hydrated.
Water is essential to beautiful, healthy skin – it truly is a youth dew. Typical human skin contains between 8 and 10 litres of water. The top layers of skin cells contain 10 per cent of that and the remainder is found in the lower layers. The fluid we drink travels to the lower layers first and if there is insufficient water in our bodies it is unable to reach the outer dermis (or face), leaving our skin looking dry with lines and wrinkles becoming much more accentuated.
But not only do we need to drink the water, we also need to keep the water we drink from escaping just as quickly as we drink it. We can do this by regulating the amount of oil in the skin, known as sebum or lipid. Choose an oil-based moisturiser or cream and boost the protective layer.
Love your skin, from outside and in. No matter how much skincare we use and how fabulous our skincare routine is, it is still a fact that over 80 per cent of our skin ‘care’ is done from within, the foods we eat – or more importantly the foods we don’t eat. There are many bad skin foods, but concentrate on just one, which once eliminated from your diet will make a visible difference in a very short time. This key offender is sugar – I call it an inflammager, a food that causes inflammation, damage and premature, unnecessary ageing to our skin.
Refined sugars actively affect our skin health and ageing process. Very simply, excess sugar in the diet enters the body, sticks to collagen, breaks it down and ultimately destroys elasticity. The natural ageing process of the skin is speeded up and we get wrinkles sooner and much more pronounced. So regift the Valentine’s chocolates and protect your complexion as well as your waistline.
Stress is ageing. Bathing is relaxing, so run a long warm bath, drizzle in some moisturising oils and luxuriate. Once you are done, apply lavish amounts of moisturising oils within two minutes of leaving a warm bath for better absorbency. Bathing is beautifying and if it’s good enough for Cleopatra…
February holds the most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s, and this means kissability! It’s all about lips, soft, puckered, pink and perfect. The skin on our lips is incredibly thin and prone to drying and cracking. As we age it loses the pink freshness and fades without definition, so all the same skincare rules apply; hydrate to keep them plump, exfoliate to remove dead, rough dry skin, protect the delicate skin with a lip balm, define with a hint of lip liner and shine to draw them in for that irresistibly soft kiss.