Skin Care Tips

We all like to look our best. If we had the ability to choose to have smooth, beautiful and glowing skin then we would. It’s a no-brainer. Choosing to have a solid skin care routine is certainly one of the ways to ensuring that this is achievable.

But what is a good skin care routine? Is there a one-size fits all?… Unfortunately no. We all have different skin types and each skin type will need it’s own special, loving care. So the question then is, how do I know what is good for me?

Whether you have dry, oily, combination, sensitive or acne prone skin we will try to give a basic, easy to understand guide on how to start your journey into the sometimes overwhelming world of skin care products.

Any good skincare routine should combine a cleanser followed by a toner, then a serum and lastly a moisturiser.

The cleanser that you choose should be one that matches your individual skin requirements. For oily/combination/acne prone skin a good place to start would be a gel cleanser or something like Elizabeth’s Arden Visible Difference Skin Balancing Exfoliating Cleanser for combination skin to ensure that not too much oil is added. If you have dry skin then something like a cream cleanser would be best for you. StriVectin Comforting Cream Cleanser would be ideal for this.

Next, we would recommend some sort of toner. There are three main categories for choosing a toner. First, if you have dry skin then a toner with little to no alcohol would be best. Alcohol can dry out your skin so stay away from it if you can. Lanc├┤me Tonique Confort Hydrating Toner would be something that we would suggest for this. If you have oily skin then you may want to choose a toner that also exfoliates. This is because of the increased likelihood of oil becoming trapped in your pores and possibly causing breakouts. If you have combination skin then it’s a bit of a judgement call but you could go for either type of cleanser but again, try to stay away from any that include alcohol, especially if it is a high concentration.

Next comes the serum. People may ask if it is necessary to use both a serum and a moisturiser… well if you want the best results then yes it is. A serum is designed to give your skin deeper reaching benefits than a moisturiser can. They penetrate down into the epidermis and provide a concentrated boost of essential nourishment to your skin. The various types of serums include, brightening serums, exfoliating serums, anti ageing serums, hydrating serums and firming serums. Depending on what you hope to achieve and what your skin needs will, obviously dictate what you choose.

And lastly, moisturisers. There are countless different moisturisers out there but for simplicity we have grouped them into 3 main categories. Humectants, Emollients and Occlusive. In a nutshell humectants are designed for people with dry skin primarily and help to seal in water to hydrate the epidermis (the top layers of skin). They do this by drawing in water from the surrounding air and by pulling water up from the dermis (the layer beneath the epidermis) to hydrate the surface skin layers. These are also great if you have oily skin but still want to moisturise as they won’t add any excess oil to your skin. Emollients are great because they replicate the action of the oils naturally found in your skin. It may also help reduce the amount of insensible fluid loss (we all lose an indeterminate about of water each day, partially through the gaps between the skin cells) by filling the gaps between skin cells. Lastly in our list is the Occlusives. These are designed for extremely dry skin or for people with conditions such as eczema. They create a physical barrier in between your skin and your surroundings, sealing in moisture and protecting from further water loss. These are understandably very thick when compared to other moisturisers.

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How to Use Bronzer

Skin looking a bit paler than you’d like? Do you feel like mixing things up and adding a dose of sun-kissed radiance to your skin? A good bronzing routine might be just what you’re looking for. Whether it’s for a night on the town or a trip to your local shop – if you want to create a warm look that gives your skin that summer time glow (even in the cloudy UK) then read our simple guide to getting the best results.

Firstly, before you apply anything to your skin make sure that it is clean and in good condition. This involves more than what you put on it. Yes of course, use a good cleanser and keep your skin moisturised but beyond that, try to keep your skin healthy and hydrated by putting the right things in your body. Makeup can only do so much and to get the best results, make your skin as good as it can naturally be.

Before applying the bronzer we would suggest using a primer to help ensure that your makeup stays how you want it all day and to of course apply a foundation and a concealer.

Next, choose the right bronzer for you and your skin type. Never go too dark with bronzers. It can be very easy if one is over zealous to try to create too dark a look on their skin. This will likely lead to a slightly unpleasant orange look (I’m sure we’ve all seen it) with a visible line where the makeup ends – not good. Aim for a bronzer no more than two shades darker than your skin tone. It will give you a lovely glow and will look far better than going to dark.

The main type of bronzers are powder, gel, cream and liquid. They have their pros and cons. As a basic rule, use powder bronzers if you have oily or combination skin. Use Gel, cream or liquid bronzers for normal to dry skin. This rule isn’t absolute and by all means experiment but this is a good place to start. You’ll find that the different type of bronzers will create different results, some matte, some silky… so choose which look you’d like to go for.

Applying the bronzer may be just as important as choosing the right bronzer. Firstly, apply it to the areas of your face that would typically be more exposed to sunlight. You want this to look natural. Apply it to the perimeter of your face, cheekbones, forehead, jaw line and temple areas. Do this by starting on the forehead and drawing a number ’3′ down the side of your face. The top portion of the number ’3′ is for your forehead, the middle section of the ’3′ is for the cheekbones and the bottom portion of the ’3′ is for your jaw. Use light strokes and be sure not to apply too much here. Build up in light layers.

The next step is focused on the cheekbones. Suck in your cheeks as if you are trying to look like a fish and follow the natural angle of your cheekbones. Again, light strokes here. Do this on both sides… obviously with brush strokes that sweep up towards the temple area. Move down to the jaw line and (lightly) sweep along the angle of your jaw to add definition.

Ensure that you blend the areas by using small circular motions to fade out any lines that are visible from where you applied it. For the rest of your face, don’t apply any more bronzer, simply use the residue that is still on the brush and use that on your neck, chin and nose. This will help give a gentle glow, will blend the bronzer and will dissipate the line that may have been created around your jaw.

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