Running FaceUpBeauty.com, Tracey Snell experiments with skincare products so you don’t have to. Noting how magazines don’t fully cover skincare for us ladies in our twentysomethings, she’s here to help us out!
What are your basic suggestions for having clear skin on a budget?
Less is often more when it comes to skincare, particularly when you’re young, which is good news when you’re on a tight beauty budget. But there are two steps in a daily skincare routine which I would advise never to skip: cleansing and moisturising. My other tips are never go to bed without removing ALL of your makeup. And never ever leave the house without wearing a sunscreen, broad spectrum 20spf minimum, even when young and even in winter! Sun damage is the biggest cause of premature aging!
I’m 26 going on 27 and still get acne if I’m not careful. What do you recommend?
Acne can be an extremely distressing skincare problem. It can get us down, knock our confidence, and it can be painful. I’m not medically trained, so I would always advise anyone suffering from acne to consult their GP or dermatologist for a professional opinion. But there are some general steps you can take. Don’t skip the moisturiser. It might seem odd but even oily skin needs moisturising – stripping the skin can cause dryness and inflammation which can clog pores, causing more acne. Look out for products that are labelled non-comedogenic, meaning they won’t clog pores. Cleansing is also important, but just make sure you use a product that is gentle – medical doctors will tell you that gentle cleansing and moisturising can keep acne at bay. Avoid scrubbing your face, and picking at spots (obvious perhaps but it is worth a reminder) and make sure you use a clean face cloth.
What is your advice for young women with dry skin and no acne…rather getting fine lines?
Skin is naturally protected by oils that keep it moist and soft. A regular moisturiser when you are young should be all that is needed to keep moisture levels tip top, while the use of a broad spectrum SPF sunscreen should help keep those pesky fine lines at bay for as long as is naturally possible. But if you do find your standard moisturiser isn’t enough, and your skin is becoming very dry, flaky and/or feeling tight, then I would always advise seeking medical advice. Unchecked dry skin problems can develop into more serious conditions such as dermatitis.
What is the best food you eat to help your skin?
It may be a cliché but experts agree that a balanced diet is the best step towards achieving healthy glowing skin. Looking at nutrition more deeply, it is said that a diet rich in vitamin A can really help our skin’s radiance factor. Vitamin A-rich foods include low-fat dairy – low-fat yoghurt with ‘live’ cultures are especially good for intestinal health too. Also, foods with a high antioxidant content can help protect skin cells from free radical damage – think strawberries, plums, blackberries and blueberries in particular. Fish and nuts, whole grain products, green tea and of course water are also all essential for healthy skin.
What is the weirdest beauty trick you’ve done that works?
OK, this might seem weird, but it works for me: place a small piece of medical microtape (ie, the sort that lets skin breath) between your eyebrows every night before bedtime and leave it there until morning (do remember to remove it – you won’t want to be walking outside with tape stuck between your eyes!). This is a great trick for keeping those pesky wrinkles known as the “11’s” at bay.