Hoorah! We made it! That’s one blog series complete, and I really hope you all enjoyed the posts and found them useful. Remember you can visit the directory at any time and it’ll link you to whichever post you’d like to read.
As a little bonus post, I wanted to leave a few general tips that will apply to everyone, whatever your skin type.
So, here goes!
General Skincare Tips
1. Clean your make-up brushes.
This is one thing it has taken me a long time to get into the habit of doing.
Make-up brushes carry a huge amount of bacteria. You’re using these brushes (most-likely) on a daily basis and they will be picking up oil, dirt and bacteria from your face, which will then fester and multiply in the bristles.
You’re then re-using the brushes the following day and wiping yesterdays grime all over your face.
You’ll be putting these brushes into your make-up palettes and swirling them through powders and literally spreading bacteria everywhere.
Without cleaning them, this will result in your make-up coming to the end of it’s life sooner than it should and your skin breaking out due to the build up of bacteria.
Now, ideally you should be washing your brushes after each use. No, seriously.
However, I’m acutely aware of the fact that most of us don’t have the time to dedicate to washing our brushes daily, nor can the glue holding the bristles in usually hack a daily wash.
To begin with, get yourself into a routine of washing your brushes at least twice a month, preferably once a week. Wet the bristles under lukewarm water and wash with a mild/baby shampoo or make-up brush cleanser by massaging the bristles (don’t swirl) and then rinsing under running water. Gently squeeze out the excess water and then flick downwards (into the sink or you will get wet!) a couple of times to reshape the bristles.
Important: Lay your brushes flat to dry, preferably over the edge of a table to allow air to circulate. Standing your brushes upwards will cause excess water to run into the ferrule (the metal bit) and break down the glue, causing bristles to shed.
If you are using cream based products (foundation, concealer, etc) then the brushes used to apply these should be washed more regularly, especially if they are used around your eyes.
You can also get a in-between wash make-up brush spray, such as Bare Minerals Quick Change Brush Cleaner Spray (escentual.com – £8.50) which instantly refreshes brushes between each use. Think of it like dry shampoo though, and don’t use as an alternative to actually deep cleaning your brushes!
You may see MUA’s online with what looks like hundreds of brushes of varying shapes and sizes.
Aside from the fact they have a huge range of application tools to choose from, they’re also onto something when it comes to maintaining good brush hygiene – you don’t have to use the same brush twice in a row.
I do strongly recommend investing in a variety of make-up brushes so you can use a different one each day and then wash the lot at the end of the week. I’m not suggesting you need 7 whole sets for each day (though if you want to do that then by all means!) but generally speaking you’ll have brushes that are similar and capable of doing the same thing, so as long as it doesn’t impact your application, then use a different one and avoid the grime build up altogether!
When it comes to beauty blenders, I personally have a love-hate relationship with them. I love the way they apply my make-up, but I hate the way they stain and become difficult to clean.
You should be washing your beauty benders daily, with soap and water. Just massage soap into a wet sponge and rinse until the water runs clear. Make sure it is left to air dry completely before being stored anywhere so it doesn’t stay damp and go mouldy!
I also recommend you replace your blenders regularly, ideally once a month. You might hate me for suggesting this as I’m aware they are quite pricey, but if you’re using it daily then it will definitely be carrying a lot of bacteria you can’t get rid of.
Definitely throw your blender if it is losing it’s colour, falling apart or feels hard and leaves streaks.
2. Drink enough water and eat plenty of fruit and veg
I mentioned this at the bottom of every single post I made this series because it is so, so important and really does make a difference.
Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and veg ensures you’re getting the right nutrients for your body to function properly – you skin is part of that.
Drinking plenty of water keeps your skin plump and hydrated and also helps your liver flush out toxins.
Plus, it’s overall just the best thing you can do for your health.
3. Take supplements if you need them
At the end of every post this series, I also recommended that taking a Vitamin D supplement can really improve your skin condition, particularly over the winter months. We absorb Vitamin D from UV exposure – the sun. During the winter we will absorb a lot less and become reliant on our food as the main source. Vitamin D is also essential for healthy bones as it helps the body absorb calcium and phosphate.
From personal experience, I have found that taking a Vitamin D supplement has increased my mood and improved my skin. However, I do not guarantee these results and I strongly recommend you consult a doctor before taking any supplements.
4. Regularly cleanse and moisturise
It might seem silly to include this as a tip in a series that has done nothing but recommend cleansers and moisturisers! But it’s important to remember that these are tow parts of a daily regime, and you should be doing both regardless of skin type.
Cleansing removes the daily buildup of oil, bacteria and dirt, and also removes residual make-up. You should wash your face once in the morning and once in the evening, whether that’s in the shower or over the sink.
However, it’s important to replenish the moisture you strip from your skin after each wash, otherwise your skin can feel tight and become dry and dehydrated.
You should also always use products specifically designed for your face as other products can be too harsh and heavy.
5. Always remove your make-up each night
I know plenty of girls who will happily sleep with a face full of make-up, but even if it’s 4am and you’ve been out all night, take the time to remove your make-up before you go to bed.
Not only does this stop your bedding getting covered in mascara and foundation stains, but leaving make-up on while you sleep is one of the worst things you can do for your skin.
By sleeping in your make-up on a regular basis, you will clog your pores and any existing issues you have with your skin will only get worse. You will break out and your skin will look tired and sallow, wrinkles will appear more defined.
Don’t just stop at removing foundation either. Leaving eye make-up on can cause eye infections and unwanted redness and swelling.
Remove it, it’s not worth leaving it on!
6. Dispose of expired make-up
I am also guilty of holding onto hardly-used eyeshadows way past their expiry, but I make an effort to properly clean out my make-up once every 6 months and keep a close eye on the condition of the products I’m using.
Unless you’re washing your brushes daily, or not using the same ones twice before cleaning, your palettes and pressed powders will be picking up all the dirt I mentioned above, and you really don’t want them hanging around that long.
Each cosmetic product (even washes and moisturisers!) has a tiny little tub symbol on it with a corresponding number. That number represents how many months from opening the product you can keep it for before it expires.
Pay close attention to this number and also keep an eye on the quality of the product. If the consistency changes or it starts to smell different or change colour, bin it immediately.
Always, always replace your mascara by the expiry date as well as any other product you use near your eyes, and stop using it if your eyes have any kind of reaction.
Aside from the reactions you could potentially have to expired products, you’ll also find the product doesn’t apply as well as it used to as the quality deteriorates.
You can prolong the life of a product by removing a small amount from the pan/stick/etc and applying products that come with applicators with your own brushes. Don’t “double dip” and store correctly, and you should find the quality is retained up to expiry.
So that is it for my Skincare for Beginners Blog Series!
I’d love to know what you thought in the comments and don’t forget about the directory where you will find a link to every post this series.
Love to you all!