Perfect Your Canvas: Skin Care Basics
Great makeup needs a great canvas. FACT.
Any makeup artist will tell you that they can colour correct and conceal, but they cannot change texture. This is all down to your skin care.
Incorporating a good skin care regime into your daily routine will help keep your skin clean, bright and free from dull and flaky patches.
Before you go buying any products, you first need to determine your skin type. Is it dry, oily, combination, sensitive etc, as you will need to find products suited to your skin’s needs?
If you are unsure, it is well worth visiting one of the beauty counters in a department store and speaking to a specialist. Although, don’t forget that they are on commission and will try selling you the world, so please stay strong and ask for some samples to try at home before you commit to buying anything.
A good skin care routine would consist of at least three steps; cleanse, tone, moisturise.
Step 1: Cleanse
When discussing skin care with my clients, I so often hear ‘oh, I just use a face wipe before I go to bed’.
Face wipes can be harsh on the skin, they only remove the surface layer of makeup and they leave a film on the skin which over time can cause a build-up of waste, resulting in breakouts.
So please, ditch the wipes, they are really not helping your beautiful face!
You need a proper cleanser, preferably a face wash or cleansing balm which is rinsed off with warm water. This will ensure that you are really cleaning your skin and flushing out any makeup or grime that has seeped into the pores.
Again, make sure it is something suited to your skin type. Getting the wrong products could end up working against you.
You may choose not to use a cleanser twice a day, but you should be definitely be using one before going to bed. Sleeping in your makeup is a massive no no, it will age your skin!
Step 2: Tone
After your face wash, you really need to be using a Toner. So many people skip this step as they are unsure what it is for.
Toners are great for removing any last traces of makeup, dead skin cells and excess oil. It also helps to rebalance the PH level of your skin.
You can get all sorts of Toners, some are hydrating which is great for dry or dehydrated skin, some contain Glycolic or Fruit Acids which is great for those with oily and combination skins.
Used AM and PM, toners help lift away all your dead skin cells, leaving your skin bright and fresh. One of my favourite products is Pixi Glow Tonic, which you can buy here.
Step 3: Moisturise
Once you have used your Toner, you need to both hydrate and moisturise your skin – FYI, these are not the same thing.
You should think of hydration as giving your skin a good drink of water and moisturising as feeding your face!
There are so many moisturisers on the market, and ideally you should find one that will both hydrate and moisturise.
For all skin types, it’s a really good idea to incorporate an exfoliator into your routine a couple of times a week to slough away any build-up of dead skin cells.
Regular exfoliation will also help reduce the appearance of your pores and pigmentation. It’s important not to overdo it though, as your excessive exfoliation can cause sensitivity and additional oiliness.
You can get all sorts of exfoliators these days including the traditional grainy ones that you gently massage over your face and the micro exfoliators will lift away the dead skin.
In addition, acid exfoliators are now very popular. These are great as they can permeate further into the skin layers and can help reduce breakouts and blackheads. You will often find them containing Citric, Lactic, Salicylic or Glycolic Acids.
There are so many acid exfoliators on the market, it’s important to find one that will work best for you. Check out this article on Cult Beauty which explains what they all do here.
By keeping your skin well hydrated, it will feel soft and plump which is exactly what you want for flawless makeup.
Now to ensure your face is being hydrated you could look at using a hydrating serum. Again, you can get serums to suit all skin types and with other added benefits, such as illuminating or anti-ageing.
Serums should be applied before your moisturiser - I love using The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid on my clients, which is great on all skin types.
Many people with dehydrated skin find that after a few hours their foundation starts getting soaked up by the skin, pop a few drops of this on your skin before your moisturiser and it will keep your skin quenched all day, keeping your makeup looking ‘fresh’.
Highly recommended - you can use a normal moisturiser, but eye creams are usually formulated especially for the very thin and delicate skin around the eye. This piece of skin ages faster than any other part of your body, so it’s well worth looking after.
My final piece of advice and it is very important, in the words of Baz Lurhman ‘ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’99, wear sunscreen, if I could offer you one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.’ (please tell me that someone else remembers this iconic song, if you haven’t then you must check it out here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTJ7AzBIJoI)
Sunscreen is so important. If there is no SPF in your moisturiser or foundation, then you should be using a sunscreen especially formulated for the face (regular sunscreens can be too heavy for the face and can cause breakouts).
For everyday wear, you should be using one between 25-50 SPF depending on how fair your skin is. Just bear in mind that anything over a 35 SPF can create flashback in photographs.
Once you have incorporated your new regime, you need to stick with it for at least 3 months to really start seeing the benefits.
I promise, if you put in the effort, you will not regret it.
Until next time…