I have written about beauty for a decade, here are the 3 most important tricks I have learned
Having always been pretty obsessed with health and beauty, it was, I guess, a natural fit that I would end up writing about these things as a career too.
I have always been curious about the impact our wellbeing and how we feel about ourselves actually has the power to impact so many other areas of our lives too, and, like most women, always feel so much better when I have made the effort to look after myself, be it with my hair, makeup or making sure I eat right and stay active.
Beauty and skincare aren't shallow things to be interested in – just look at the French women look after themselves, where going for regular facials is considered as normal as making sure you see your dentist or hair dresser from time to time too.
Taking care of ourselves and making sure we look and feel well – those are just important acts of self-care. Because if we feel well about the way we look, well then chances are we will feel better about a whole lot of other things too, from our careers to our relationships.
And now, ten years (and then some) into writing about beauty and wellness for a living, I have cleansed, toned, masked and moisturised my way through thousands of products, talked to countless experts and tested pretty much any new facial or treatment out there.
Want to know the three most important things I have learned about beauty? Here goes:
1. What you eat is the most important factor in how your skin looks
So many lotions and potions claim to perform miracles these days, and pray on our colletive need for instant gratification. And while there no doubt are a lot of amazing skincare products out there, nothing will have as big an effect on your skin as eating well (and getting enough sleep).
There is a lot to the old 'you are what you eat' saying, and glowing, healthy skin really start from the inside out. Eat clean, avoid sugar as much as possible (sugar has a terrible effect on the collagen in your skin, and will leave your complexion looking saggy and dull), don't drink (too much) and make sure you get at least seven hours a sleep every night.
Also, taking the right supplements can really do wonders for your skin (and hair too). I always notice a huge difference in my own skin when I take fish oil supplements, which work wonders for skin as they are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids. I also love Udo's Oil capsules, and will often opt for these as a vegan alternative over fish oil.
Two other 'big ones' when it comes to your skin are zinc and calcium, which will help fight wrinkles and keep your skin tight, and aid in cell regeneration and cell growth, thus keeping your skin youthful and beautiful.
2. Double cleanse – always
This, I think I can say hand on heart, transformed my skin.
I mean; I have always been pretty religious about cleansing my skin at night, but ever since interviewing an amazing skincare guru a few years back and hearing she swears by the double cleanse, I have done just that. And boy, has it made a difference in the appearance of my skin, both in glow and texture.
Now I always use a cleansing oil first, to remove makeup, SPF and sebum on the surface –and currently, I am obsessed with the new cleansing oil from Trilogy, as it gently cleanses without stripping it of moisture.
And then I follow up with deeper cleanse, and I love using a balm and cloth combo for this (Eve Lom is an absolute favourite and cult product for a reason). This second cleanse removes sweat, bacteria and old skin cells, and will not only leave your skin feeling super-clean, it will also make sure any products your then apply will sink in better and get to work faster.
3. Face oils are your best friend
I can't believe there are still people who are sceptical of the whole concept of face oil, but there you go. But if you walk away with just one thing from this article; let this be it: Go buy yourself a face oil – it will change your life.
Your skin will look and feel better. You will probably need less makeup. And you will probably need fewer skincare items altogether – yes, really.
The reason face oils are so effective is that they sink right in to your skin, and as oils are pure and need very little carrier ingredients, they are also naturally packed with ingredients like antioxidants, polyphenols, and omega fatty acids – which are all like superfood to your skin.
There are many really, really amazing oils on the market, and what works best for my skin might not be the one you find does the most wonder for yours, so do test a few and don't be afraid to ask for samples or read online reviews.
These, however, I have bought – and bought again, as they are actually so, so amazing:
Yes, it expensive – eyewateringly so. But it is also the face oil that put face oils on the map, treats wrinkles and dry skin, seriously improves elasticity, and leaves skin luminous. And if you try it once, you'll be hooked. Trust me.
It's made right here in Ireland, and it is AMAZING. I cannot recommend this face oil enough – it has done absolute wonders for my skin.
This serum is chock-a-block with antioxidants, and will rejuvenate your complexion and slow down skin ageing, as well as strengthen your skin elasticity and protect against free radical damage.
Inflammation is a big buzz word on the health and beauty scene at the moment, and we are only beginning to discover just how bad inflammation is to our health and skin. The Blue Flower Face Serum, however, is an anti-inflammatory potent formula due to the azulene rich Blue Tansy essential oil.
I am so delighted this cult skincare brand is now stocked in Arnotts, and have been busy testing my way through their entire collection of products.
And I love this one – and so will you – especially when you realise it is an absolute steal at just €6.80. Argan oil has been widely heralded for its amazing effect on hair, but try it on your skin as well, and you'll be amazed. I know add a couple of drops of this to my foundation or regular moisturizer in the morning, and it has made my skin feel super-nourished and really glowy.