Even though we are staying indoors and not getting as much fresh air as usual, we can still take steps to make sure our skin is cared for. After all, it is the first thing people notice about you. Here are ten golden rules for how you can highlight your skin.
What is the first thing you see when you meet someone? A poetic response could be: ‘The eyes, because they are the window to our soul.’ However, the reality is very different. When I asked a group of girls about the first thing they notice in men, some said the hands, others mentioned the nose and even some replied: ‘Good hair.’ Men were more direct: ‘The mouth.’ All these responses are instinctive, but in fact the first thing we see is the skin! Well, it is the tissue that connects, covers and surrounds our whole body.
Scientifically the skin is ‘the largest organ in the body and accounts for 6–7% of body weight’.1 The skin is our calling card and, like every organ, it must be properly cared for.
The human brain has evolved over millions of years, becoming more complex – it supports primal instincts, which allowed us to survive in the era of the caves, but in the modern world our brain also is responsible for traits such as judgement, impulse control and reasoning. That’s why when we see something in another person that in our perception is not likable, the first thing we think is: ‘I don’t like it; it’s not attractive.’ This is because the animal instinct that remains in us is activated and goes on the defensive mode. We then need our modern brain to kick in and bring us back to more rational, clearer thinking. When we are thinking clearly, if you want to improve your health, presentation and appearance, then skincare should be a top priority.
Golden rules for healthy and attractive skin
1. Eat healthily. You’ve heard it before, and this top advice is true! Everything we eat impacts our skin; that’s why a balanced, nutritious diet will affect its condition for the better. Eating carrots, for exampIe, is particularly beneficial! This is because they have high levels of beta-carotene, which impacts directly on the melanin in our skin, making it look more golden and glowing, and also provides antioxidants for the rest of our body. We are what we eat!
2. Drink plenty of water. Drinking water helps not only to cleanse our bodies but above all to keep it hydrated; this impacts directly on our skin. For example, look at your legs or hands closely, and touch them and see if the skin looks cracked. How does it feel? Remember that the skin speaks for itself.
3. Wash your face twice a day. When you get up and go to sleep, remember to wash your face – preferably with a cleansing foam. This product is one of the least abrasive on the market and, therefore, it is preferred for sensitive skin types.
4. Moisturise. After washing your face (or hands), apply moisturising cream. This does not need to be the most expensive on the market and it doesn’t have to be a specific brand – even the cheapest one does the job!
5. Apply sunscreen. This product is the most important in your beauty routine. Believe it or not, we should apply it every day even if we don’t leave our house, because the UV rays can penetrate windows and, even if it’s not sunny, they still have an impact on the oxidation of our skin. If you want to look younger for longer and delay the appearance of wrinkles, sunscreen is key. Tip: Apply sunscreen 30 minutes after applying your moisturiser.
6. Use body oil. I recommend applying body oil after each shower – leave It for 15–30 minutes, and then apply a moisturising cream. It will keep your skin healthy and bright. This is especially important on winter days when your skin is likely to be drier.
7. Let your skin breath. Avoid using make-up daily. It is recommended to avoid all make-up at least one day a week. Your skin will know the difference.
8. Remove make-up. Before going to sleep, remove your make-up! I know some days when we are so tired we just want to go to sleep but – believe me – this is the worst thing you can do.
9. Avoid cleansing wipes. When you use wipes, you apply pressure on the skin and this promotes the premature appearance of wrinkles. It should be noted that the chemicals in these wipes are more abrasive than other cleansers, so if you suffer from sensitive skin, use them only for emergencies.
10. Everything in moderation. Facial masks, scrubs and deep cleaners are very good but don’t abuse them! These products are recommended once a week or once a month. Our skin has its lipid layer which these products remove. If you use them in excess, they will take away your skin’s natural radiance.
Every skin is different and many factors affect it. As we all have different genetics it is likely that a product that works for me is not the right one for you. However, if you follow these golden rules, they will help you keep your skin healthy and radiant.
The skin is our calling card and, like every organ, it must be properly cared for
Ref. 1: R. Roye, Manual de Fisiologia de la Piel, Universidad Central de Venezuela, 2018.