if you've been reading my blog for more than a few months you may have noticed that i've been posting a lot more about beauty and skincare lately. at the start of the year one of my promises to myself was to take better care of my skin and to actually take my make up off every night. last year if i was feeling generous i might use a facewipe to take it off, otherwise i'd just use any old foaming cleanser in the shower every other day (insert screaming face emoji). if your routine is anything like mine was i don't want to make you feel bad about your choices, if you want to stick with face wipes that's your decision to make, but i've come a LONG way since then and i wanted to write about what i've been learning.
the main reason i didn't have a skincare routine is because i didn't know where to start and because it hadn't really occurred to me that it should be a priority. but scouring countless beauty blogs and youtube channels and stalking the no-bullshit beauty goddess caroline hirons (whose rise to prominence happily coincided with my interest in skincare) has really changed the way i think. i've met some lovely beauty bloggers online and if you're reading this you probably won't find anything that's new to you. but i wanted to write a post for women who are are where i was and i want to share the lessons that have had the biggest impact on me in case it helps any of you take a bit more of an interest. so without further ado, my skincare realisations:
1. it's your FACE
you know, the main thing that people use to identify you and that makes you an individual, no big deal right? obviously your appearance isn't the most important thing about you but everybody cares how they look at least a little. maybe you think fashion and makeup are superficial, but i think expressing yourself through your appearance and being happy with the way you look is vital for your sense of self worth. it's not about what other people think of your appearance or about being conventionally "beautiful" it's about looking in the mirror and being happy with what you see. if you have absolutely no skincare routine and you look in the mirror and are perfectly happy then that's fantastic. but it doesn't mean that people who use beauty products or care about fashion and personal style are automatically vain or superficial and skincare especially should not have that stigma attached to it.
2. it's about taking care of yourself
once we get the superficial argument out of the way, to me skincare is about taking care of yourself. having healthy skin should be up there with having a healthy body and a healthy mind. if you care about eating well and exercising (okay i'm a little behind in these departments, but ignoring that) you should also care about the health of your skin, after all it's the body's biggest organ. taking an interest in skincare has made me feel more connected and in tune with myself. i'm noticing small changes that i would have otherwise overlooked because i'm actually paying attention and "listening" to my skin. now going through my skincare routine every morning and night is my way of showing myself that i care.
3. no one doesn't have time
i used to think i didn't but really, what's about four minutes each morning and maybe six at night? ten minutes out of your day isn't going to kill you. you do have time.
4. better skincare means less makeup
it's more important to invest your money in skincare than in makeup. of course there's nothing wrong with buying luxury makeup products but if you clean your face with a $2 packet of wipes (or not at all), what's the point? what you put into your skin is what you'll get out of it. if you pay a bit more for good quality skincare not only will your make up look better, but you'll need to use less of it and touch up less throughout the day. spending your money on your makeup and not your skin is like an artist buying the best quality materials and painting on a crappy canvas. obviously not everyone can afford to spend huge amounts of money on skincare, but as caroline hirons says, if you can afford to splurge on shoes or a handbag, wouldn't that money be better spent on your face? you'll have so many pairs of shoes in your lifetime but you'll only ever have one face.
5. use sunscreen
sunscreen isn't an option, nor is it an added bonus in your moisturiser. if, like me, you have fair skin, you should be using a dedicated sunscreen every day and there are lots of affordable options available that don't affect the way your makeup sits. make sure it's a broad spectrum SPF that protects against UVA and UBV. if protecting yourself against skin cancer isn't enough of a concern to make you wear sunscreen, UVB rays break down the collagen in your skin and cause wrinkles - take a look at this if you want a bit of a scare. also check out caroline hirons' SPF cheat sheet.