I’m 36 years old, I have experienced the hormonal journey that is pregnancy, I spent a little bit too much time in the sun in my teens and on top of this I’m a model that specializes in beauty.
Quite the tricky equation to be honest.
As we know by now age, sun and hormones are going to negatively affect our skin. In an industry where I’m basically being compared to girls 10 years younger than me. I have to be very mindful of how I treat my skin to be able to even continue booking jobs.
There are many blog posts and articles on skin out there that are written by 20 somethings. To be honest, even though you might have experienced a few things by then. Most likely the hard bit is still to come. And if you are meant to make a living off your face. You are going to have to have a few tricks up your sleeve.
And I do. (Or I wouldn’t still be booking Max Factor campaigns. )
So I’m going to give you all the advice I have. No matter if you are in your 20s wanting to prevent or older and want to keep what you got.
These are my 15 best hands-on tips for beautiful skin;
1. I’m sorry but I have to. Sun protection – There, it’s said. You can read more about it in my blog post here.
Let’s move on to some less obvious stuff.
2. Sleep – Your skin regenerates when you sleep. If you are not sleeping enough or don’t have a very good quality of sleep, you are going to notice.
I put an alarm on my phone at 10 to start getting ready. Then I know I will be finished with it all the faffing I need to do and will be in bed for 11 at the latest. I get up at 7, so I aim for 8 hours of good quality sleep every night.
Make sure you get at least 7 hours a night, more if you can. It will make a world of difference. And if you are sleeping a lot, but the quality isn’t great. Start taking a magnesium supplement before bed. It will help your muscles relax.
3. Stop touching your face! – Girls, I see you doing it on the tube all the time.
You have lots of dirt and bacteria on your hands and when you touch your face without having washed first, it will be transferred onto the much more delicate skin on your face. This can lead to breakout if you are lucky and to all kinds of nasty skin conditions if you are unlucky.
You would hopefully not rub your face against the seat on the underground, so why let your hands do it for you? This piece of advice is obviously meant to be applied everywhere. The only time you should touch your face is when you are washing it or applying makeup.
Also, try not to let other people touch your face unless they have cleaned their hands first. I know it’s a bit unromantic, but if your partner is a face toucher. Get him some hand sanitizer before a cuddle session.
4. On the same subject as above – Change your towels and pillowcases regularly.
I can’t believe how many people don’t do this. Water, sweat, old skin, makeup, and god knows what else will quickly breed bacteria. If you want to be spot-free you have to make sure to change your pillowcases and face towels once a week.
5. Throw away old makeup and wash your makeup brushes.
We should be applying makeup, not bacteria to our skin. Get yourself a really good brush cleaner. Have a spray for a quick spritz now and then and do a big clean of your brushes once a month.
Try not to put your fingers in your makeup and beauty products. Follow the guidelines on when to throw them away (there will be a best-before-date on the tub) and never ever share brushes or makeup with anyone else.
6. Rehydrate, have less caffeine and alcohol.
Skin is basically water. And both caffeine and alcohol dehydrate. So the best thing we can do for our skin is to drink plenty of water (not juice, not soda, not sports drinks – regular H2O!).
I’m very careful with alcohol just because I know how much it affects the health of my skin. I’m pretty sure you know what “wine face” looks like. We all have an auntie, friend or work colleague with that slightly puffy yet saggy, red and swollen face. Use the picture of them in your mind as motivation to say no to that third drink.
7. Cut down on sugar, wheat, and dairy.
I don’t say skip it, but if you eat or drink an excessive amount of any of these things it will most likely affect your skin. Some people are a lot more sensitive to these foods than others.
And if you have a problem with your skin, I would try cutting them all out one at the time for a little while. To see if it would make a difference. I personally know a very successful model who went from calling herself “pizza face”, to booking huge beauty campaigns when she cut out dairy.
8. Take your vitamins and supplement – Most likely you are not getting enough from your food.
It’s a great thought that we should all be nourished from the produce we eat. But the truth is, very few of us are. Unless you live on top of a Swiss alp, grow all your own vegetables and shoot your own goats for dinner. Most likely you are lacking.
I take a multivitamin, probiotics, omega oils, collagen, magnesium, zink, vitamin B, vitamin d (in the winter) and for one week a month, I also add iron.
Our stomachs and skin are connected. If you have an unhealthy gut, it will show in your face. I cannot stress how much of a difference probiotics make. Get one with as many different strains as possible and take it ever day. You can thank me later.
9. Stop rubbing your face and eyes.
If you are constantly rubbing your eyes, not only will you load then full of nasty bacteria. The skin will also become red, puffy and raw. By rubbing you are stretching and pulling on the really delicate skin around your eyes. It’s a dangerous game and you should try your best to stop rubbing no matter how tired you are.
When we are on the subject of rubbing. Don’t do it with your towel either. Pat your face dry. Otherwise, you end up giving yourself a pretty rough exfoliation every time you wash your face. There are plenty of great products for that.
10. Go see a dermatologist – prevention is key.
Even if you have no problems. Find out what you can do to to keep it that way. If you can stop something from becoming a problem then it’s a heck of a lot easier than dealing with it once it has happened.
11. Take charge of your skincare – Educate yourself!
There are lots of great ingredients out there that can help with all kinds of beauty problems. But if you don’t read up, you might not know about them. Our skin is not generic, we all have completely different needs. Don’t buy what works for someone else. Read up and start experimenting to figure out what works for you.
We can’t be lazy if we want good skin.
12. Know your options – just in case.
My mom had her eyes “done” in her 40s. It was a fairly quick, but pretty expensive surgery. To be honest, it was a great success. Not only does she look a lot more awake, but the skin that was resting on her eyelid actually made her feel sleepy. However, the same thing could have been fixed with botox in her 30s.
I think she would have been a lot happier with her eyes if she would have started botox earlier and maybe had the surgery later (if she even would have needed it). She walked around a bit too long being unhappy about it. And I think it’s really common.
I don’t say – get botox or surgery ( I have had neither). But I’m also not saying don’t get botox or surgery. You do what will make you happy. But decide sooner rather than later.
13. Give your face a massage now and then.
I have a little gadget that I use most evenings to gently massage my face with a bit of face oil. This is to get the blood flowing and really help my skincare sink in deep. Also, it helps to relieve little tensions in my face and that’s just a relaxing little bonus.
14. Give your face make up free days – Our skin needs to breathe.
We are not meant to put gunk in our faces. That is just something we as a society have made up. So to make sure we aren’t overloading our faces with products that cause all kinds of blockages. Make sure to go make up free at least one day a week. And do it proudly too, you are beautiful just the way you are.
15. Be aware of hormones.
There is not much we can do about them but we can stay away from putting more into our bodies. I’m both talking about as a contraceptive, but also through our food.
Hormones are great things when they are balanced. If they are out of balance, they can really screw with our bodies and our skin. So just be aware, take note when you change your contraception and try to eat as clean as possible.
Wow, this is a long blog post. But I truly wanted to give you ALL my best advice. I can’t promise you perfect skin, but I can hand on heart say that you will notice the difference if you follow these 15 best hands-on tips for beautiful skin.
Photo – Ida Zander