In case I haven’t mentioned this before, I have always been a skincare frenetic since I was in high school, when I would save up pocket money to buy sunscreen. But I didn’t know some important skincare lessons back then – it’s been a trial and error process. Now I of course understand to have good skin, it’s not just about having the right products for your skin type, it’s also about finding the right skincare regime and having the right habits. So I thought I would share them today, in case you are making the same mistakes I made in the past.
1.Wash face with cold (or at least room temperature) water
This is one of the only two skincare lessons my Mom has ever told me, the other one being drinking honey, which I rambled on and on about it here. My Mom is actually very lazy when it comes to skincare, some of her skincare habits totally drive me crazy, but she got this one right.
It’s a habit that’s easy to do in the summer days, but very difficult to follow when the weather gets cold. Not going to lie, when I first started doing this in the winter, I screamed a couple of times, but the result was totally worth it. Without changing any skincare products, this habit alone helped me clean up some breakouts, added elasticity to my skin and I swear, I felt my skin was firmer.
If you live in a really cold place, using icy cold water to wash face may not be practical. In such case, opt into non-hot water, or room temperature water, just don’t use hot water! It feels good on the face, but it doesn’t do good to your skin in the long run, which is the same reason you shouldn’t be washing face in the hot shower – you are compromising your skin for the sake of convenience. Don’t do it!
2.Keep the towel clean
It sounds like a no brainer, but trust me, many people are making this mistake. When the towel is not clean, you are basically rubbing your face with the bacterial build up in the middle, err… just thinking about it makes you itchy right? So, if you don’t like to wash your towel/facial cloth all the time, swap it with facial tissue (the regular soft tissue you have in your living room will do the job) to dry your face instead. I made this switch a year ago, and I tell you, the little things make a big difference.
Probably an advice you have heard like millions of times, but seriously, wear sunscreen. Even just using a moisturizer with spf 15 in it is better than not having any sun protection on your face. Of course, being me, I always use at least SPF 30, and most times gravitating towards SPF 50. And don’t just wear sunscreen in the summer, or on the days when you can see the sun, but wear it EVERY SINGLE DAY! I wear in even on the days when my ass is glued to the sofa for the entire day during the winter -it helps prevent damage caused by laptop or TV radiation, which could be very minor and I’m just being paranoid, but it’s better to be over cautious than negligent in my opinion.
4.Don’t over exfoliate
Exfoliating is important to ensure your skincare products are properly absorbed by your face, but do not over exfoliating is equally important, if not more. There is one phase in my life, I was obsessed with exfoliator, and constantly feeling my skin was not clean enough and there were too many dead skin cells piling up on my face. So I exfoliated a lot, like more than 2 times a week, which resulted in my skin became thinner.
Yes, your skin can get thinner, and that’s not good at all! I started seeing veins vaguely peeking through in my face, and my skin became much more sensitive than before. It took me several months of no exfoliating and various products that are specifically designed to plump up the skin to regain the texture. So don’t make the same mistake as I do, don’t exfoliate more than twice a week. In fact, I usually recommend my friends don’t exfoliate more than once a week, especially if your exfoliator is quite intense.
5.Drink water, a lot of water
For years and year, I hate drinking water, it has no taste and it is boring. My parents used to make fun of me by saying I’m from the Sahara desert, because they just don’t see me drinking any water (and I don’t like soft drinks either by the way).
I didn’t know back then, but I did pay a high price for that. For the longest time, I have probably the worst digesting system, and suffered from random breakouts here and there (body acne can be very annoying and disgusting, right?), nothing seemed to fix that problem until I eventually start soaking myself with water. I mean, I drink at least 2Ls of water now.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not a huge water lover, but I’ve learned my lesson and come to realize how much a difference it can make to your body. The two best ways I have found to ensure I’m drinking enough water every day are:
- Carry a large bottle of water with you when you are out. I usually bring along 1.5Ls of water with me, and because they are so heavy and such a pain to carry, I have no choice but to finish all the water.
- Add some flavor to the water by putting a slice of lemon, either dried or fresh one, they both work. If you are a tea drinker, that helps too!
So here are the most important lessons I have learned over the years, what’s your beauty lessons you wish you knew earlier?