By Heidi Gibbon, Aesthetician
Don’t be fooled by the perfect skin you see on social media, magazines and even Zoom calls. We’re imperfect humans, and this fact extends to our skin.
We’re bombarded in our ‘techy’ world with clever filters that are almost undetectable, that add makeup, blur out any imperfections and even make you look as if you have been on beach vacation for a week, sun-kissed and rested!
I chatted with professional photographer Julie Charlett who says she edits skin with a healing brush and clone stamp which removes blemishes and uneven spots. It works by sampling an area near the affected area and then covering the blemish with pixel data from the sampled source.
Twenty-one years ago, I represented Trinidad and Tobago at the Miss Universe competition. Besides a full face of makeup for stage days, we shockingly painted our entire bodies with foundation and powder to create a stocking-like filter over our entire body for the swimsuit part of the show! So, what you see on the screen is not always reality!
Instead of perfect skin your goal should be healthy skin. In this article, I hope to share tips so you can make changes towards healthier skin in 2022.
If you don’t have active acne, your first step to healthier skin is exfoliating at least twice a week and hydrating your skin with your products. Exfoliation is the key to glowing, clean skin. Look for an exfoliator which has both a scrub component and an acid/enzyme component. You can even introduce AHA toners a few times a week.
Invest in a Vitamin C antioxidant serum and use it in the morning after toning. This will trap free radicals (pollution) from skin helping to protect your collagen and elastin. Look for a Vitamin C serum that includes Vitamin E to help the stability and thus the effectiveness of the Vitamin C.
Note the order to layer your skincare products after cleansing and toning:
At night, follow the exact order of products, just skip the sunscreen. Do some facial massage including eye drainage when applying your moisturiser at night. This will help you have a less puffy visage when you wake up. Limit alcohol consumption and try to get 7–8 hours of sleep.
During the Christmas Season, we run around like headless chickens buying gifts, cooking huge meals, entertaining and being entertained.
I recommend scheduling time for yourself and book a facial. I’m convinced that getting regular facials can take your skin to the next level and help erase years from your face.
Acne can be difficult to treat. If your skin is very infected, you’ll need to consult with a professional. You can start by adjusting your diet and cutting down on simple carbs (like bread), sugar, and milk consumption which can lead to inflammation and excess sebum production.
Iodine can also cause an acne flare up if ingested in large amounts. If you take vitamins or mineral pills, look at the label. If it lists high levels of iodine or kelp, throw them out!
– Add oily fish, green leafy vegetables, and a probiotic supplement to your diet.
– Use products with salicylic acid, mandelic acid, benzoyl peroxide and AHA’s.
– Use paper towels to dry your face instead of a cloth towel.
– Ice your face for five minutes twice a day.
– Talk to your aesthetician/doctor about using a Retinol (Vitamin A) product, having regular facials and chemical peels.
-Wait to treat acne; get help sooner than later! Acne treatment is not a quick fix and requires you to follow homecare treatment routines diligently. Your acne is likely to purge before it improves.
Finally, do not forget about the skin that’s not on your face. Your skin is an organ after all. I would start by dry brushing daily in the morning before jumping into the shower. You will see a difference in two weeks’ time.
Finish with a nice body cream containing antioxidants, cocoa butter, shea butter, peptides, and hyaluronic acid. These ingredients are great for keeping the skin supple, smooth, and glowing all over.
Remember that skin cannot be perfect, so indulging in a little makeup is not a sin. I am a believer in wearing makeup every day. Besides creating a more even tone and more self-confidence, it also provides sun protection as the minerals zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are often the main ingredients and protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Paw Paw is one of the best natural ingredients that you can use to exfoliate your skin as it contains an enzyme that helps remove dead skin cells as well as vitamins C and E. Try making this exfoliator in your kitchen.
You will need:
– 2 slices of half ripe paw paw
– 1 tablespoon white/brown sugar
– 1 tablespoon hone
Cut the paw paw slices into pieces. Put them into the blender and add the sugar and honey. Process all the ingredients for a few minutes until it makes a smooth paste. Apply to a clean face using your fingertips to spread the scrub using circular motions without pressing too hard. Leave on the skin for 15 minutes and then wash off with water. Don’t try this if you have sensitive skin.