Want Healthy, Happy Skin? Follow These 7 Commandments

It’s 2018, and you’re considering finally committing to platinum locks (this time, you mean it) and a workout program that’s bound to make your limbs feel like jelly for a whole month.
Amidst all this change for good, it’s the perfect time to re-invigorate your skincare routine with our expert-approved recommendations to keep your skin healthy, balanced and radiant for 2018 and beyond.
You just have to follow a few simple rules…

Thou shalt cleanse smart

Your cleanser should be in contact with your skin for 30-60 seconds at least, massaging the product in gentle circular motions working upwards. An icy shower or hot bath might seem appealing in the moment, but when it comes to cleansing, lukewarm is best.
Paula Begoun, author and founder of Paula’s Choice skincare & cosmetics, notes: “Avoid using hot or ice-cold water while cleansing — both are damaging to skin, can lead to lingering redness, and prolong the staying time of acne.”

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Thou shalt not over-exfoliate

We love our scrubs and our acids (glycolic, BHA, take your pick!), but in 2018 we are committed to paring back our exfoliation to achieve a happy medium. A chemical exfoliant will always trump a manual scrub, but don’t be deceived by the immediate effects of an exfoliating facial.
“There are certain types of facials that a dermatologist could do with glycolic acid… these can cause inflammation, and with inflammation you get a little temporary edema,” dermatologist George Cotsarelis states in 2012 Journal of Clinical Investigation article. “You look better because you see a transient improvement in fine wrinkling.”
The lesson? Less is certainly more, and monitor your skin for signs of irritation and stress after each application.

Thou shalt experiment with light-therapy

You’re well-versed on sun protection, so in 2018 we vow to get back in touch with the light side with professional treatments like Omnilux, or hand-held devices like the Foreo ESPADA to reduce acne-bacteria, promote collagen and soothe irritation.
What’s not to like? It’s warm, it’s relaxing and it’s proven to work. A 2015 “Light Based Therapies in Acne Treatment” article notes: “The use of light… in the treatment of acne is safe, effective, and associated with no or minimal complications when used appropriately.”
Our cheat sheet: blue light for acne treatment, red for anti-ageing and green for reduced pigmentation.

Thou shalt remove fragrances

We love a scented product, but we know that fragrance has no part in effective skincare, so opt for fragrance-free (yes, even those beautiful essential oils can cause your skin damage over time!).
An Acta Dermato-Venereologica report states: “Bergamot oil…lemon oil, lavender oil…sandalwood oil and ylang-ylang oil induced significant haemolysis (>15%) (the destruction of red blood cells) already without UV irradiation at a dilution of 1:1000.”

Thou shalt leave some things to the professionals

Extractions are satisfying, but should always be left up to your trusted facialist. A trained skin expert will not only know how to clear clogged pores with minimal inflammation, but also treat the skin appropriately for less downtime.

Thou shalt downsize your skincare cabinet

If you’re struggling to close your bathroom cupboard for fear of crushing three serums and eight cleansers, it’s time to get back to basics. If you’re feeling sensitised (think irritated, red and flaking), keep your tried and true products on hand and toss the superfluous extras.

Thou shalt enjoy makeup-free days

Even the most thorough skincare routine can’t beat a good makeup-free day or two, so make time to give your skin a break from all product this year. This also gives you an opportunity to appreciate your skin at it’s natural best!
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