Ready To Glow? Let’s Go.

Right up there with bumping into George Clooney in an airport, waking up with flawless, unblemished skin is one of my favourite daydreams. I mean, don’t get me wrong, makeup is brilliant. But boy – wouldn’t it be great not to need foundation or concealer every morning.

Glowing skin is the holy grail of beauty, and like all sacred things, the path is elusive. There’s no quick fix – regardless of what the description of a prettily packaged bottle promises. To get that hydrated and healthy skin we all desire, a number of good habits need to be established and maintained. Our body is making us work hard for that lit-from-within-skin, but we’re up for the challenge.

Here’s our cheat sheet to a flawless complexion.

Choose The Right Foods

We all know that eating well will make us feel like a bonafide superhero, but most of us are content with side-kick status if it means we get to order off the dessert menu and eat bacon for breakfast. If you’re serious about skincare though, it’s time to pay a little more attention to your Woolworths shopping list (and sticking to that list, even when lindt is on special).

The easiest place to start is developing a good daily diet, which at the most basic level, keeps processed foods to a minimum and fills up on antioxidant rich fruits and veggies. Look for ways to integrate nuts into your meals too, as they are packed with hydrating omegas (and you know are delicious). Clean proteins like chicken and salmon will help with new cell development, or – if you’re vegetarian or vegan – lentils and chickpeas will do the trick. It’s important to note however, that it can take up to six weeks for new skin to emerge up to the surface, so the visible benefits from dietary changes can take just as long.

Consider Your Skin Routine

Chances are your skincare routine has been on auto-pilot since high school. Undertaking the same routine day-on-day, it’s natural to slip into a trance and forget to consider that there might be ways to improve the effectiveness of what you’re doing. A basic skin regimen should include 3 stages: cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising. But are you doing them right?

  1. Cleanse: Before you do anything – remove that makeup. If it’s tenacious and clingy, try a specially formulated heavy duty remover or else a relatively inexpensive bottle from Woolworths should do the trick. Next, apply your cleanser with wet hands and massage into your skin for a full minute. Count out that 60 seconds. No cheating now.
  2. Exfoliate: Exfoliating rids your skin of dead cells and stimulates the production of new, healthy ones. It’ll also ensure that your mosturising products can penetrate properly to do their job. Focus on your T-zone, but go gently and don’t over do it.
  3. Moisturise: Add hydration back into your skin by sweeping your chosen moisturiser on your face in an upwards motion. The products you choose should reflect your skin type (e.g. oily, combination, dry). If you’re not sure where your skin fits, let the experts at Napoleon Perdis sort you out.

Clean Your Make-Up Brushes

We use our make-up brushes to blush, bronze and contour our faces everyday – but how often should we be cleaning them? According to dermatologists and leading makeup artists we should be sanitising our trusty tools a minimum once a week. Although it may seem excessive (and time consuming) consider how frequently those fluffy bristles are in contact with our face and the confines of our messy makeup bag. Bacteria builds up quickly and when it’s swept across your face? Enter stage left: acne.

Instant Clean Brush Cleaner ($40); Contour Brush ($32); Sculpting Brush ($45). All Napoleon Perdis

Slather On Sunscreen

Fun fact: no amount of expensive night creams, serums and oils can counteract the destructive effects of the sun. A double-edged sword, the sun’s rays attack in a two-tiered approach like an angry Lannister army. First, they degrade the skin’s collagen and elastin, then they launch a secondary assault on your body’s ability to create new, healthy cells. You’re not a complete damsel in distress though – make it your resolution to never step outside without applying an SPF sunscreen or moisturiser first.

Sweat It Out

The benefits of exercise are well known: more energy, less stress, an excuse to wear cute lululemon outfits. When you get physically active, your circulation speeds up to bring fresh oxygen and nutrients to both working and developing cells in your skin. In addition to providing the good stuff, that heightened blood flow takes away waste products too. Think of it as a facial from the inside.

Stress Less, Sleep More

This one is a lot easier said then done. Every now and again you’ll find yourself in an uncomfortably anxiety-riddled state of mind. Maybe it’s induced by work, a messy wardrobe, a frustrating family member or crappy weather – but when it hits, your skin suffers too. Breaking yourself out of the rut might not be instantaneous, but there are a few things you can do to perk up your enthusiasm. Committing to 6-8 hours of sleep is essential, and a little self love in the form of a new doset of nails or massage can calm you too. If the feeling is persistant, book in to see your GP – ain’t no shame in seeking help!

For persistent skin conditions, talk to your GP or consider seeing a dermatologist.