5 Steps to Healthy, Glowing Skin
by Stella Cini
Everyone knows that the three fundamental features for a great summer are long, luscious hair, a body you're beyond comfortable showing off and healthy, glowing skin. Whether you're after that golden, tanned beach look or are living your best #paleisbeautiful life, here are the top 5 steps that should form part of your summer skincare routine.
1. Slap on the sunscreen
Every dermatologist, mother and anyone who wishes the best for you is going to urge you to wear sunscreen on a daily basis, irrespective of whether you're planning on leaving the house for 10 minutes to buy bread or you're off to spend your day on a boat. That is because sunscreen is essential in protecting your skin from the harmful rays of the sun that could cause temporary but painful sunburns, as well as more serious and potentially life-threatening skin cancers. In effect, have a look at these dangers associated with the summer heat. Although we all crave that perfect tan, it is simply not worth sacrificing our sunblock for it.
How to wear it:
While sunscreen seems like a common sense skincare product to use, there are different types to choose from and various ways to apply it. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and refers to how well and how long the product will protect you from the Ultra Violet B (harmful) rays of the sun. If you want to be protected but you know you'll mostly be in the shade, you can opt for an SPF 30 sunscreen, which will block 97% of the UVB rays. However, if you're spending the day out in the sun, aim for an SPF 50 or higher which blocks 98% of the sun. No sunscreen blocks all UVB rays so it's important to re-apply your sunblock most especially immediately after swimming and sweating. Also, avoid the sun from 11am till 4pm.
While applying regular sunscreen on our body is one thing, applying it on our face before applying make-up can sometimes whitewash us and distort our make-up. To avoid this problem, it would be useful to opt for make-up and skincare products that already contain SPF. Moisturisers, foundations and even face powders which can be purchased from these beauty product stores are nowadays known to have some form of SPF in them (always check the label beforehand) which can be applied normally and give us the same result as any other product without SPF. Since the SPF rating is usually still quite low, it is ideal to keep our face and neck out of the sun by staying in the shade or wearing a big beach hat. You'll look super cute and you'll avoid premature wrinkles. Double win!
2. Smoothen your skin
Exfoliating is a skincare technique used to remove dead skin cells that might have built up over the winter and can cause our skin to look dry and greyish - especially around our knees and elbows. Exfoliating can help refresh our skin cells, making our skin look more glowy, healthy and smooth and depending on the ingredients, the scrub can also help moisturise our body and face.
You can exfoliate your skin in different ways with either store-bought products or DIY remedies that can be easily (and cheaply) made at home like the one below.
If you want a quick, easy and affordable scrub that is safe for the body, skin and lips, mix together:
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Organic Honey
This will give you a slightly sticky mixture that you can then rub onto your skin using either your hands or an exfoliating brush or glove. The sugar will help break away the dead skin cells, the olive oil will moisturise your skin, while the honey helps nourish and strengthen it. This exfoliant can also work well as a lip scrub for when you have dry and chapped lips.
Another option would be to buy your exfoliant. Look for something that says 'Body Scrub' or 'Cleansing Scrub' which will probably contain pits, sugar or salt grains aimed at removing the dead skin cells. Work this onto your body after wetting your skin with warm water and again, use either your hands, brush or glove to exfoliate.
If you have sensitive skin, opt for a gentle facial exfoliant or cleanser to remove dead skin cells and any build-up of dirt without irritating your skin. Do not use it more often than recommended and always moisturise afterwards to prevent your skin from drying out.
3. Use self-tanning
Just because we should avoid the sun, it doesn't mean we have to give up the tan. Nowadays all sorts of foams, oils and creams exist, all aimed at giving us a beautiful and natural tan, minus the harmful side effects. Whether you want a full-on fake tan or just a temporary evening glow, there are many brands out there ranging from the affordable to the high-end, ready to give you that perfect colour. Brands like Bondi Sands, Bali Body, Vita Liberata have wonderful fake tans that can be easily applied, they fade naturally and can last for over a month.
On the other hand, if you're not into fake tans but are looking for a simple body glow that you can wash off at night, make-up brands such as Huda Beauty, Fenty Beauty and the newly released KKW body collection all have body shimmers, body highlighters and body foundations that can be easily applied with a make-up brush, while they can be quickly removed by simply showering.
If you want to opt for a slightly more affordable body glow, check local pharmacies and beauty departments for anything that says body glow, body shimmer or anything of the sort. Alternatively, use body oil or spray oil with SPF and work that into your skin. A highly nourishing moisturiser or lotion will also give you a soft glow.
Skincare hack: Always blend the fake tan into your neck and ears, fingers and your feet! Its a dead give away otherwise.
4. Moisturise your skin
Unfortunately, properly moisturising our body is something we tend to forget or skip all together but having a daily 10-step face moisturising routine is pointless if we then ignore the rest of our body. Putting lotion on should be part of your showering routine, applied just after you towel-dry your body while the pores are open so that it can be better absorbed.
Although we may think we don't need it, moisturising our skin all over can help hide blemishes, while it evens out our skin tone and brings colour back into it. Even if we don't have time to exfoliate, applying lotion onto our legs and arms can refresh our skin and give it a healthy look.
However, if you are someone who tends to forget to moisturise or simply don't have the time, use a 2 in 1 shower gel and lotion while still in the shower. Regular coconut oil is also great at nourishing your skin and in all likelihood, you already have some in your kitchen.
If you really love your skin and want to give it the best treatment possible, moisturise using a face moisturiser. These are typically more densely packed with nutrients and vitamins than regular body lotions, hence the price jump. If you are someone who can afford the higher price or you have simply run out of your body lotion, apply your face lotion to key dry spots. Trust me, you'll feel the difference.
5. Drink lots of water
Last but not least, the greatest thing you can do for your body to achieve that perfect healthy look is to keep yourself hydrated. Drinking plenty of water every day, especially if out in the sun, will prevent your skin from drying out and will give you a more youthful look. It will also help you get rid of body and skin toxins, while it will combat skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and even wrinkles.
And let's face it, it is also the cheapest and easiest option since drinking 8 glasses of water a day can give you what expensive products might give you. So find yourself a stylish, reusable bottle, fill it to the brim with refreshing, cool water and sip away!
Hopefully, these 5 easy skincare steps can help you get that perfect summer glow without sacrificing your health or wellbeing in the name of beauty and remember to always listen to your body. Visit these health shops and beauty product stores.
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