May: One day my Korean friend told me: “Did you notice the big difference between Asian and Western women in terms of skincare? Asians are crazy about creams and stuff that can improve their skin quality and Westerners are crazy about products that hide their imperfections.” I don’t think it is true for all Western girls, but it was my case and this conversation made me realize that I should try to take better care of my skin.
But unlike what my friend said, having a great skin is not only a matter of finding the perfect cream, it is also about great habits. I’d like to share with you five tips to help you improve the quality of your skin.
Laura: You are right. Having a great skin is so important and can be tricky! I think we got the wrong impression from mom here because she has a great skin and does very little to it. This is why I always figured than once I’d pass the puberty stage, I’d emerge like a Phoenix with radiant skin. I learned that in reality, she has naturally good habits that work. Unfortunately for me, I was well into my twenties when I started making meaningful changes. I don’t know if I have five tips, but I’ll do my best!
May: First of all, throw away your out-of-date cosmetics. You have to know that expired products are real nests for bacteria because the substance that used to protect your cosmetic products against bacteria has become ineffective. Spreading bacteria on your skin will worsen your little imperfections.
My second tip is to wash your brushes and sponges, for the reason mentioned above. I use the daily Brush cleaner from Sephora. I just spray the product on my brush and wipe it afterwards. Once a week, I wash my brushes with the birchbox brush cleaning tool and some soap, as it makes my brushes feel as good as new.
Also, don’t forget to wash your face. In my case I do it twice a day. The first time would be when I wake up because you will clean up the excess of sebum and the sweat you accumulated overnight. The second time is at night before bed to remove your makeup of course, but also the pollution and all the toxins that built up during the day. Above all, no excuses after a long night of partying, even at 5 am cleaning your face is your priority.
Laura: In terms of washing my face, my routine is slightly different from May’s. While washing your face twice a day works great in your teens and early twenties, as you age, it is probably better to let your skin rest and not over wash it. I have very sensitive skin and because my skin type is combination, I often resorted to washing it thoroughly to avoid blemishes. It turns out that the gentler I am with it, the better it looks. Now I only wash it once a day, usually at night, with a gentle wash such as Avene. In the morning, a splash of cold water is enough. Removing makeup is essential, not only before you go to bed, but also before work-outs. Makeup mixed with sweat can clog your pores. I do not use aggressive make-up removers, because I prefer micellar water such as this one or this one.
May: To have a great skin, you also need to stay hydrated. I’am not talking about using a moisturizing cream even if it is great, I’m talking about drinking water. You know what we say, at least 1.5 liters a day. Drinking water will help eliminate all the toxins and impurities in your body and illuminate your complexion. Also, water has many other benefits for your body like helping you lose weight.
Laura: I agree, staying hydrated is important for your skin and your overall well being. When it comes to skincare, it is important to be mindful of what you drink – check your caffeine intake for example – and what you eat. This was a tough one for me, especially after moving to the US, because my body and my skin were all over the place as I was discovering new foods and a new way of life. Luckily, after six years here, I have figured out what works for me. Eating a lot of green vegetables and going easy on white starch, deli foods, and alcohol does the trick. I eat a lot less meat, dairy and animal fat than I used to, replacing them by vegetarian, monounsaturated fats, like avocado, nuts and olive oil. Everyone has to find what works best with their body. I can tell almost immediately after I have indulged too much, as I see the consequences on my skin right away.
May: My last but not least piece of advice will be to wash your pillowcase as much as possible. Every night, you drop some excess of sebum and sweat on your pillow. In my case, I wash my sheets and pillows once a week. I love the smell of clean sheets when I get into my bed.
Laura: Speaking of bed, here is one thing that cannot be overstated: sleep! I know this is a tough one when you live a busy life, but it does allow your skin to rest, giving it that healthy glow. Nothing is worse than sleep deprived, dull skin and I get very bad dark circles so I try my best to be mindful of my bedtime… whenever possible.
I would add that I do not wear a lot of makeup most of the time. I prefer CC cream over foundation and I spend most of my makeup budget on skin care. Recently I have discovered a type of product that really changed my skin routine: elixirs or facial oils. I have tried the Premier Cru Elixir by Caudalie and the Josie Maran Argan Oil, and they have worked wonders! It makes my skin hydrated and elastic without feeling oily or shiny. This is the first time I really get this perfect balance with my combination skin type.