January is the month to COMmit to a new you. Here at Nerd HQ, we don't believe in a "new you" but we do believe in a "best you" and with that your best skin. 2018 is set to be the year where people worldwide ditch their full coverage foundation and set to work on getting their canvas smooth, clear and healthy.
Rome wasn't built in a day and looking into the sheer amount of things you could start doing to get your skin healthy can be daunting... Where is your skin fairy godmother when you need her? Well, why have one skin guide when you get a whole team of them here at Nerd HQ?
Wear SPF Everyday
Gone are the days of SPF covering your face in a greasy, white film - it is 2018, folks, and we have options galore as to how to protect our skin. There are traditional creams, gels, powders and even tablets.
It's said that 90% of the ageing process is caused by extrinsic factors, such as pollution, smoking and, you guessed it, exposure to sunlight. When it comes to ageing (or anything skin-related), it is always easier to prevent. While we're on it, this doesn't just go for the signs of ageing but for skin cancer and melanoma too. Skin cancer is prevalent in Ireland, diagnosable in 1 in 6 men and 1 in 9 women over a lifetime.
Your skin is exposed to harmful UVA and UVB rays all day, everyday unless you spend your days in a cave with no openings. This is why SPF is a COMmitment to make now rather than later. Our top affordable SPF pick would be the Avène Cleanance Sunscreen SPF50+. This baby comes in at €20.00 and will last you months. It glides on and dries slightly matte, making it ideal as a makeup primer.
Start Double Cleansing
We get it - when you get home from a long day, all you want to do is swipe across your face, get rid of visible dirt and move on with your bad self. The reason that we advocate for using the Cleanse Off Mitt in a double cleansing routine is because the Cleanse Off Mitt will remove your makeup and oils from your skin but following it up with a traditional face wash or cream cleanser will completely erase any buildup from pollution and truly cleanse the pores.
If you're using active ingredients in the rest of your routine, as in ingredients like salicylic acid or vitamin A, you want these ingredients to penetrate into the skin properly. If you have residue left on your skin from your makeup, sebum or pollution, these products may struggle to get in. It is like popping your serum into your hand and pouring half directly down the sink.
"Stop picking" is the type of advice that even some of us in Team Nerd used to ignore. You're trying to clear the pore to get rid of the spot, so what's the harm in doing it manually? Fact: no good can come from picking a spot. Yes, it won't have a head...But you have pushed it further down into the skin thus spreading bacteria, you have spread more bacteria across the surface of the skin, you've made healing time longer and you've increased the chance of post-inflammatory inflammation (marks) and scarring too.
Ditch the picking and work on the source of the spots instead. Swabbing those suckers with salicylic acid, cleansing thoroughly and keeping the skin hydrated will keep them at bay. We've swapped out baring our claws for Waxperts Wonder Pads (€9.99) and our skin has never felt better.
Be Consistent With Your Skincare
There's a reason "part-time skincare" isn't a phrase bandied around often. For results, prevention and protection of the skin, you need consistency. That means using your cleanser morning and night (or as directed), not just popping on a bit of serum when your skin is dry, taking your supplements as advised everyday and not giving up on a product after two weeks if it hasn't worked wonders.
The average skin cycle is 28 days. This means if you're trying out a product, you need to give it at least 28 days to see if it will work with your skin. You aren't getting any of the benefits from your possibly costly cleanser, SPF or serum if you aren't using them consistently - so if you're trying to save money by scrimping on usage, you really ain't.
Eat Your Skin Healthy
Your gut is your inner skin! It is believed that sugar spikes insulin levels thus leading to excess oil production, which can lead to the formation of spots and AGEs (advanced glycation end-products) which attack collagen and elastin, the part of the skin that makes it plump and taut. Keep sugar to a minimum... The odd bar of chocolate will not be completely detrimental to the skin but it's best to keep it as a non-daily thing.
Eating water-rich fruit and vegetables, like cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli and watermelon, help to hydrate the skin from within and keep it in good condition! Omegas help to boost the skin's barrier, the part of the skin that protects it from environmental damage, and locks in moisture, so make sure to get them in however you can - this means plenty of fish, avocado, nuts and seeds.
However, if you're not eating five pieces of fish a week, supplements may be the way to go to get those omegas. Team Nerd loves Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Omegas+ (€36.00).
Remove Your Makeup Every Single Night
Picture this: it's 3am, you've just gotten home, demolished a little bit of everything that was in the presses whilst barely keeping yourself awake and pour yourself into bed. You've left your makeup on but one night won't do any harm. Not true, unfortunately. Leaving your makeup on over night can cause congestion that will take days to get rid of or even months if you are prone to getting long-lasting marks from spots.
Your skin doesn't breathe but it does need time to repair itself without being smothered by makeup. Leaving your makeup on your skin at night can get in the way of its natural processes. No surprise on our favourite way to remove makeup... Of course, it's the Cleanse Off Mitt.