Monday, March 18, 2013

End of summer beauty tips

Summer may have officially ended here in Australia, but the heat certainly hasn't, and after 5 months of the hottest summer on record, it's easy to see why your skin may not be looking quite its best. But never fear - it's quick and easy to rehab your skin right back into shape!

The first step is to scrub, scrub, scrub away the dullness and bring back your glow. Depending on your skin type, I like to exfoliate twice a week. Oilier skins can handle a bit more, while sensitive skins should take it easier. There are many, many different scrubs out there on the market, at all price points. For my body, I am happy to go cheap and cheerful; I just try and make sure that the scrub is really "scrubby". At the moment, I am using Natio's Spa One Minute Miracle salt scrub that I got as a Christmas present, and it is divine - it smells great, and leaves my skin so soft and moisturised afterwards. It is also really easy to make homemade body scrubs. I still use this recipe for the toning body scrub which I have been mixing with coconut oil for a summery, tropical feel.


For my face, I tend to go more expensive, simply because I haven't found a supermarket/pharmacy scrub that I have been happy with. For a facial scrub, it is really important to go for exfoliating beads that aren't "scratchy". Ground apricot seed tends to fall into this category. If you are buying a scrub, then look for jojoba beads, or synthetic beads which tend to be perfectly round and therefore don't scratch. I use my Clarisonic cleansing brush daily with my normal cleanser, which I usually find to be enough, but when I feel I need a bit more, I mix a teaspoon of caster sugar with a teaspoon of coconut oil or honey.
 
After scrubbing away the dead skin cells and the dullness, its time to restore the glow, and the easiest way to do that is to restore the moisture to the skin.  The summer heat, the sun, and the drying air of airconditioners running close to 24/7 really, really strips every last bit of moisture out, but often in the heat and humidity, the last thing you want to do is to put on a heavy cream. Instead, on my body, I like to smooth on Nui organic coconut oil on to my damp skin, and then by the time I finish my beauty routine, it has already sunk in. Plus, is there any smell more summery than coconut oil?

On my face, I stick with my normal day cream, but add in a hydrating serum underneath (Clarins Hydraquench Intensive Bi Phase) that seems to really deliver on its promise of intense hydration without leaving my skin oily or greasy. It is chock full of hyaluronic acid, one of the most potent hydration binders, so when looking for a hydrating product, make sure it contains high levels of this star product. At night time, I use 4 drops of Rose-Hip Vital Rosehip Oil before my night cream - it is 100% organic and has made a real difference in how my skin feels. While rosehip oil is primarily recommended due to its high levels of anti-oxidants (fantastic for anti-aging), it is also great at improving the skin's water barrier properties, which helps your skin keep the moisture and hydration in.


The last step to bringing back your glow is to take 5-15 minutes out of your busy day, and relax with a nourishing face mask. If you have oily skin, look for a gel-based hydrating mask like the Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating mask I reviewed a little while ago, while drier skins should look for something richer, like the Clarins Hydraquench mask, which is deeply hydrating and nourishing without being too much. A great homemade option is simply half a mashed avocado smoothed over your face and left for 15-20 minutes.

I promise you, follow these three simple steps, and your skin will not only look great, it will feel great, too!

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