It is a truth universally acknowledged that past a certain age skin ought to resemble an elephants and wrinkle up from the elbow out, especially in blighty. Central heating certainly has tried it’s best in my case, but I have been waging this war for years and think I have the answer licked. I was politely asked yesterday how I kept my skin soft and said enquirer wanted specifics, so I am going to benevolently share with potential disciples of the school of soft, it being the new year, and all.
Skin has always been my thing. When my first boyfriend told the entire 1st rugby team that what had amazed him most about me was my skin I decided that my regime had been effective and it may be prudent to capitalise (and prudent to dump said boyfriend).
Capitalise I did, and here is my advice to those in the pursuit:
1) Body brush. It doesn’t matter where the brush is from as long as it is dry, clean and hurts (just a little). Brush towards the heart as if you were brushing a horse. Yes, I know it isn’t comfortable but after a few goes the burning sensation becomes just another part of beautifying, like threading/waxing. For those who really can’t tolerate the pain Space NK make a brilliant Japanese washcloth which will deliver results, although not as potent as those of the dry brush. When you have mastered the brush, add in the odd bit of exfoliating cream every now and then.
2) Mix it up. Think of your skin as a child which needs both routine and a little excitement. The routine part can be daily moisturising and the odd exfoliation. Don’t listen when people tell you how often to exfoliate – experiment on this front. Some people need it daily and some only weekly. Your skin will tell you if you’ve angered it by way of redness.
The exciting part (and what a riveting life I do lead) can be the change in products. Perhaps go a little thicker one day on the moisturiser front and then substitute for an oil the next day. As long as you adhere to the basic principle that old skin is bad, new skin needs moisturising and redness = unhappiness you will be on your way to being as soft as a newborn.
3) Experiment with Moisturiser. Oh there are so many. Moisturiser is the most bountiful of all the beauty products and the opinions accompanying it equally as diverse. Some think expensive is a con, some that organic is important, others that chemical is the only way to achieve results. I think you need to just try, try, and try again. My bathroom is always stocked with my old favourites and one or two test products. You can’t really do it too often and summer and winter days call for morning and evening session in my experience. Also, I think it is worth investing in a good hand cream and foot cream – feet like to be slathered and, trust me, your hands will be much happier with a good dollop of cream before bed.
4) Oil is king. Don’t be afraid that oil will bung up pores and make your clothes stick to you – those days are long gone. Nowadays dry oil, shimmer oil and just plain old oils work wonders for mealy complexions. Same old adage here: test, and test some more.
5) Spray it on. Most beauty companies have cottoned on to the idea of multiple layers for skincare. The serum is a worthy contender in my affections but I dearly love a little flirt with a spray come midday to perk the old skin up. The spray is in general extraordinarily foolproof and does its job over or under make-up and does anything from freshening the skin, to calming a flare up, to setting make-up.
6) Eat and drink well. Finally, but most vitally, all good skincare starts from the inside. There’s really no point in slathering and exfoliating unless you are drinking enough water and putting in nutrients. It’s the only way to approach any beauty problem and it needn’t be as complicated as beauty magazines make out. Forget super foods and all that jazz and just try to eat fresh fruit and veg, and cut out a bit of the junk.
There you have it! Do all the above and you’ll be soft as a baby’s bottom before you can send me an e-mail to thank me. But do, please. A lady loves her compliments.