Complexion Perfection

You might not realise it, but no matter what type of skin you have, you need to keep it moisturised. Yes, that’s right, even the person with the most oily skin needs to keep their skin full of moisture.

All too often, people with oily skin skip moisturiser or use one which is too light, in order to try and combat their dryness. They may even use mattifying products which are in fact drying on the skin. The idea is that by keeping the skin dry, it will look less oily and shiny. However, the stripping of these oils will do more harm than good. The skin will in fact start producing even more oil in order to combat the dryness which it is now facing. As a result, that person will use even more drying products and the cycle continues. Oil works best with oil, so use oil based product to moisturise your skin and you will find that oil production begins to balance out.

Needless to say, it is also important to moisturise dry skin. Dry skin can become congested, flaky and uncomfortable if it isn’t moisturised.

However, moisturisation isn’t the only thing you need to think about. Hydration is key to a happy complexion. By keeping your skin hydrated, it will be better able to fight off bacteria which causes acne, to repair itself and it will also age at a slower pace. You can keep your skin hydrated by drinking plenty of water, but most of us will also need a little extra help. Hyaluronic acid is a wonder skincare ingredient. Apply underneath your moisturiser it will soak up more water and deliver it into the skin. The result is plumper, firmer, more radiant complexion.

So, if you want to start perfecting your complexion then start here – with moisturising and hydrating. Think of it as the foundation to your skin care routine – without these componenets everything else will fall apart.

New Blog Series – Complexion Perfection

This week is going to be a very special one here on the Only Nature Blog. We’ll be hosting a series of daily blog posts devoted to achieving ‘Complexion Perfection’. Whether you want to know how to fake it to get an extra touch of glow with makeup or you want to be able to go bare faced and feel proud in your own skin, we’ve got you covered.

Some people may feel that being concerned about the look of your complexion is vain or shallow. Those people are usually the ones blessed with good skin thanks to genetics! If you’ve ever had a skin condition or witnessed premature ageing on your own face, then you’ll know how much the health of your skin can deeply affect your well being. It makes you feel less confident, it could even make you want to shy away from people or feel as though you must always wear makeup in order to not be judged.

The first thing to know is this – the worst judge of your skin is you. Frankly, nobody else gives it a second thought. So, stop worrying about what everyone else is thinking and hone in on your own feelings. Be realistic and decide what you’d like to achieve with your skin. No product can erase deep wrinkles and give you the skin of a child, but the right regime can knock years off you, correct skin problems and give you a new lease of life.

Before your skin can change, so must your attitude.

Once your head is in the right space, then you can start to work on your complexion. The most important thing to remember when taking care of your skin is to treat is well. Be gentle with it, handle it carefully. If you only had one outfit to wear for the rest of your life, think about how lightly and softly you would handle it. That’s the approach you need with your skin.

Another good tip is this – protect your skin during the day and repair it at night. That means, sun lotions and anti-oxidants during the day, and products designs to nourish and boost cell turnover at night. Don’t worry about that right now though – we’ll get to that later in the week.

Come back tomorrow for our first guide to achieving complexion perfection; staying hydrated and moisturised.

Skincare SOS

Even the most perfect complexions have bad skin days, but you needn’t feel as though you need to hide away until your skin resolves itself. Take action against common skincare woes and you can put your best face forward no matter what.

1. Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles – if you suffer with puffy eyes or dark circles on occasion then it’s best to figure out what the root cause is. Dehydration, lack of sleep and stress can all play a factor so start by taking a drink of water and if you have the time, take a nap. If that’s not an option, then run an ice cube under the eye to tighten the blood vessels and provide temporary relief.

2. Spots – woken up with a breakout? Put on a clay based face mask to help draw everything out, then apply a liberal amount of moisturiser. Contrary to what many people think, you should never try to dry up a spot as it won’t heal well and will leave a scar. It also encourages acne bacteria to spread, as they love dry environments. So, to clear up a break out quickly and without leaving scars, moisturise, moisturise and moisturise.

3. Dry Patches – If you have dry patches which are flaky and unsightly, then the first thing you should do is cleanse with an oil or balm and massage it vigorously into the skin to loosen up the dead skin cells. Next, use an exfoliating toner or lotion to slough off those dry patches, finally use a hydrating moisturiser to keep any underlying skin cells healthy. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to prevent more dry patches from forming.

4. Oily T-Zone – Woken up with an oil slick in the centre of your face? Before you use an astringent or harsh cleanser, consider using an oil based cleanser. It will manage the excess oil and work with it, rather than stripping it away and therefore encouraging your skin to make even more .

Do you have any solutions for a skincare SOS?

2014 Beauty Resolutions

I’m not usually one for New Year’s resolutions. If there’s something I don’t like about my lifestyle or my habits then I tend to do something about it straight away, rather than wait till the start of a New Year. However, thinking about 2014 I know there are a few things I’d like to improve when it comes to beauty, in particular taking care of my skin.

1. Drink 2 litres of water every day. No excuses! I’m terrible at drinking water on it’s own, particularly in the winter. However, it really is great for your body to be well hydrated, and this shows in the skin. A hydrated skin means a more efficient, plumper and clearer complexion. to ease myself into drinking this much, I’ll be having hot water with lime and lemon juice because I prefer hot drinks when the weather is cold.

2. Take supplements. I turn 30 this month and my skin is going to change in the next few years. I want to give it the best chance I can to be healthy and youthful, so I’ll be taking plenty of folic acid, fish oil and vitamins to keep that youthful glow of my twenties and keep the wrinkles at bay for as long as possible.

3. Get more cardiovascular exercise. I’m fairly consistent at exercising, but I tend to stick to resistance exercises such as weight training. Cardio is wonderful for the complexion as it increases the amount of oxygen which reaches the skin, gives cells a boost. I intend to run, walk, cycle and row a lot during 2014.

Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions, beauty or otherwise? Let me know!

As Simple as 1,2,3…

To the uninitiated, face masks can seem daunting. After all, there are so many available to choose from, how are you supposed to know which to choose? Well, I believe that everyone should have three face masks.

I also believe that these 3 face masks should be used one after the other, in the following order, once or twice per week. It’s the triple threat – decongesting, smoothing, and soothing. It’s like a mini at home facial and the results are always wonderful. Follow this routine and your skin will look wonderful in no time.

Your first mask should be exfoliating. Glycolic acid, salycilic acid and lactic acid are all good ingredients to look for in an exfoliating mask. This step will clear away dead skin cells and open up the tops of blocked pores.

The next one should be clay based and designed to decongest the skin and remove impurities. Use it after exfoliating and you’ll notice that the clay has a much better chance of clearing away oil and grime from inside the pores.

Finally, you should focus on restoring the skin’s balance with a hydrating and moisturising mask. Clay and exfoliating ingredients can be harsh, so you need something a little bit soothing and protecting in order to finish the job. A hyaluronic mask is just the thing – it will bestow your skin with hydration so that it looks glowing and feels soft, comfortable and plump.

Come back on Wednesday for my favourite masks to achieve your own at home facial!

My Inner Debate – Pale or Tanned?

It’s around this time of year that my skin really starts to turn. Yes, I have to deal with all the ravages to the skin that winter brings, but it’s not dryness or dehydration that I’m talking about.

Already a pale girl, over the winter my skin goes from pale to… well, white as a sheet. My skin goes far beyond pasty, to an almost transparent hue. Everything is highlighted – scars are more prominent, blemishes look redder, the shadows under my eyes are bluer.

There’s no doubt in my mind that when I get to this stage, I look better with a touch of fake tan on to pep up my colour. So, why is it so rare that I use it?

Firstly, regular tanning feels like a huge commitment to me. I’m not averse to an application of bronze before a special occasion, but maintaining the colour feels like too much of a chore. It takes time and effort, and perhaps above anything else , standing naked in a cold bathroom every few nights whilst you go through the application. The mere thought of it makes me look more appealingly in my natural pasty state.

However, it actually goes much deeper than that.

I may not be the most beautiful creature over winter. Sure, people may tell me I look tired or ask if I’m unwell due to my ghostly pallor. However, the truth is I feel as though I shouldn’t have to change the way I look in order to fit in with some tanned ideal. It’s one thing if you prefer to be tanned and have that golden glow all year long; then you’re tanning for yourself and nobody else, but why should I go through the effort of applying tan ever few days in order to make people think I look healthier. I know I’m healthy, I don’t need to use a bottle of brown goop to prove it to anyone else.

That said, there’s nothing quite like having your photograph taken and the flash bouncing off your skin simply because you’re so vibrantly white.

And so, my inner debate rages on. Pale, or tanned for winter? What would you do?

Do You Feel Pressured by Air Brushed Images?

Most of us now know how unrealistic the images we see in adverts and the media really are. We know about the prevelance of airbrushing and the over use of photoshopping in fashion and beauty photography and imagery. However, we might not be aware of how far the image is manipulated to create a certain aesthetic. Technology has come a long way, and the result is that a digital image editor can completely change the way a person looks in order to make them a bit fit for the picture. Lips are plumped up, legs are lengthened and waists are made slimmer. However, it doesn’t stop there… even skin tone is altered. Some people are made to have a lighter skin colour while others are given a tan, and anything so much as a freckle is removed. The faces of airbrushed women in photographs are unnaturally smooth, bright, clear and mark free. This is wrong in a number of ways, but the primary concern is that people, particularly young people, look at these images and think that’s how we are supposed to look in real life. However, it’s artistry and no more real than a painting. Your face is supposed to have freckles, beauty spots, creases, blemishes and bumps. It’s not supposed to be perfectly symmetrical.

Do you feel that these unrealistic images put pressure on you to achieve an impossibly flawless face?

Having A Skincare Day

Yesterday, I posted this picture on Instagram and stated I was having a makeup free day to focus on my skin health. This is something that I like to do at least once every week, as I feel it helps get my skin in good order. It gives my complexion a break from makeup, but it also allows me to really pour my attnetion into address my skin’s needs.

At the moment, my skin is starting to feel dry and dehydrated from the change in seasons. So, during my no-makeup day I contnually applied hydrating and moisturing masks, moisturisers and serums throughout the day. As soon as I felt one treatment had completely sunk in, I’d apply another. By the end of the day my skin glows with health and the following morning it’s clearer, softer and plumper.

I really find that these days keep my skin looking good, which is becoming more and more important to me the closer I get to my 30th birthday in January.

If you can manage a no-makeup day where you treat your skin with great care and attention then I highly recommend it. Even if you can only manage it once a month, your skin will than you for it.

Do you ever have no-makeup/skincare days?

My Favourite Beauty Apps

There really are apps for everything, and the beauty world is included. It can be incredibly handy to keep some beauty tools in your pockets, on your phone. You take your phone with you everywhere, so having these apps on you will save you time, money and stress. Here are some of my all time favourite beauty apps.

1. iDrated – logs your water intake and lets you know when you should have another glass, so you stay hydrated – the top tip for great skin.

2. World UV – A UV INdex forecaster for over 10,000 locations across the world.

3. Pinterest – Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for all kinds of beauty looks.

4. Mirror – Takes your forward facing camera and brightens and zooms in on the image, making it easier to use as a mirror when you’re caught without one.

5. Modifcae – A makeover tool which allows you to virtually apply hairstyles and makeup before you buy!

Do you have a favourite beauty app?

Know Your Retinols

This week, Stylist published an article all about Retinols. The word Retinol can strike fear into the hearts of beauty junkies; it’s infamous for being irritating, causing peeling and sore, red skin. However, Retinol isn’t what it used to be. These days, modern formulations are much kinder to the skin and don’t cause the irritation that they used to. You can read the article for yourself here.

At Only Nature we have a whole load of retinol based products. Why? Because we know that they are one of the most effective ingredients for the skin. They help with acne by clearing pores and improving skin cell turnover. However, retinol is a scientifically proven anti-ageing ingredient. Retinol is excellent at increasing the production of collagen, which significantly reduces as we age. Collagen is effectively scaffolding for your skin – it holds it up and gives it structure. When collagen is depeleted the skin starts to crease, wrinkle and sag. So, if you want firm, plump and wrinkle free skin – collagen is the answer, and retinol can give it to you.

Here are my all time favourite products with retinol, and you can of course pick them all up from Only Nature.

Retinol Eye Gel – Absorbs quickly and is effective against crows feet and fine lines around the eyes.

Agera Ultimate Retinol Rejuvenator 35 - Specially formulated Retinol with low irritation potential delivered in time-released minute particles (nanosomes) deep into the skin. This also contains Growth Factor Peptides, the first in a new generation of laboratory proven peptides to simulate skin cell production and collagen and elastin levels.

Restylane Night Serum - A highly active product to be used at night only and is very effective at reducing the signs of ageing. It contains a high dose of retinol in a stable and highly absorbable form as well as a high dose of anti-oxidants.

Dermaquest Retexture Serum - Combines the penetrating and rejuvenating benefits of Glycolic Acid and the Age Management and Acne Management properties of Retinol,

Exuviance Blemish Treatment Gel - Designed for oily, acne-prone skin. A targeted solution for skin imperfections and blemishes.


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