If you're like me and tend to be on the slothful side, finding time to take care of your skin can be a challenge. But if healthy, radiant skin is what you're after, it is worth spending some time each week pampering your skin. And the good news is that it doesn't have to be a long drawn out affair that eats up into your spare time.The holy grail of skincare routine for lazy people are those that are both effective and efficient. Something that is simple and straightforward because seriously, who has time for a 12-step beauty regimen? But before we dive in, let's first discuss a few important pointers that are paramount for glowing skin.
how to recognize natural ingredients
It's essential to note that the actual beauty routine itself is not as important as the ingredients you will be using. It’s no use spending time cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising if you’re going to be putting harsh chemicals on your face in the first place. So before you start, take stock of what you have in your bathroom and check that the ingredients in your beauty products are as natural as possible. One quick way to spot this would be to read through the ingredients list and try to identify the natural ingredients.
You can easily tell these apart from chemicals as natural ingredients usually have their botanical name spelt out alongside their common name. For example, virgin coconut oil would be the common name of cold pressed coconut oil and the botanical name for coconuts is Cocos nucifera and is usually written in italics. Therefore, if virgin coconut oil is used in your skincare products, it will usually show up as ‘Virgin Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera)’.
Not sure which natural ingredients are best? Here's a list of our favourite natural ingredients for healthy skin.
What is your skin's health?
Our skin is our largest organ and as it covers our entire body, it can reflect how healthy you are. In other words, your skin gives you a sneak peek into your own health. If you are healthy on the inside, you will be on the outside too.
How do you tell if you skin is healthy? When you look at yourself in the mirror, you should be able to see bright, even skin tone with minimal pigmentation and an even complexion, with colour in the right places - like on your lips and cheeks. Gently pinch your cheeks and if they turn red immediately, that means your blood circulation is normal.
Another quick way to check your skin’s health is to do the pinch test. With palms facing down on a flat surface, pinch the skin on the back of your hand with two fingers for one or two seconds. Pay attention to what happens when you release - does the pinched skin immediately fall back into place smoothly? Or does it fall back at a slightly slower pace? The speed at which your skin return to its normal position tells you how healthy and hydrated your skin is. The faster it falls back into place, the healthier your skin.
Looking to put your skin's health back on track ? Check out our ultimate cheat sheet for glowing skin.
Weekly routine for healthy, glowing skin
A weekly routine is meant to supplement and improve on your existing daily beauty routine. So your first priority should be to get your daily routine right before tackling a weekly routine. Once you're ready, give these weekly skincare routine a try.
Steaming allows your pores to open up, loosening dirt and impurities which you can then easily slough off. It can also increase blood circulation, which is important for healthy, glowing skin. Pour freshly boiled water into a medium bowl or pot and let it cool down for a few minutes before draping a towel over your head and bowl.
If it feels too hot, wait a few more minutes before trying again. Steam your pre-cleansed face for 5-15 minutes. Keep your eyes closed and try to inhale deeply as it will not only calm you down, but also help to clear your airways.
If you have essential oils at hand, place 1-2 drops of your favourite essential oil in the bowl just before steaming. We love geranium as it helps improve circulation and balances out hormones, and lavender to calm your skin and soul. Be careful not to use too much essential oils though, as it can feel suffocating in such a tiny space. Once done, gently pat your skin dry.
Our skin is constantly regenerating itself and our body sheds between 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells each day. To keep your skin looking healthy with a nice glow, it’s important to exfoliate regularly. Try to exfoliate at least once a week but if you have sensitive skin, it might be a better idea to extend the time between exfoliation to every 2 weeks. Sensitive skin are more prone to irritation and you don’t want to scrub off too much dead skin cells in case it causes redness or flareups.
As the skin on our face and neck is much thinner than the rest of our body, it’s important to use natural, gentle exfoliators to avoid scratching the surface of the skin. Even if you can’t feel it, abrasive exfoliators can cause micro scratches on the surface of your skin, which can cause damage such as dryness, sensitivity and inflammation - which will only speed up aging!
Although natural, exfoliants such as apricot, walnut or other nut kernels are best avoided as they are much too rough and hard on the face and is better suited for the body. Another natural exfoliator you should avoid is baking soda (also known as bicarbonate of soda) as the particle size is so smooth and fine, they can also be too abrasive for the skin. The ideal exfoliator for your face is one that is soft on the skin - some good examples include jojoba bead, oatmeal, ground beans (we like adzuki beans as they cleanse the skin while exfoliating) and sugar (be sure to use only brown or palm sugar).
To exfoliate, wet your hands and face lightly before applying your exfoliator as this makes it easier to spread around. Use gentle, circular motions to exfoliate your face, lips and neck while avoiding your eyes. If you have the time, exfoliate your décolletage (the area below your neck) too. In this case, exfoliating in the shower will make it easier to rinse off. Try to spend at least 1-2 minutes slowly exfoliating each area of your face, neck and décolletage thoroughly before rinsing off with lukewarm water.
Face masks can help to purify and moisturise skin. When done regularly, you will start to notice that your skin will take on a healthy, radiant glow. Different masks perform in different ways, so it’s important to first consider what you want and select a mask based on your skin type. Clay masks are excellent in drawing out impurities, something worth considering if you live in a busy city. On the other hand, if dry or parched skin is a bigger concern, then a hydrating honey and yoghurt mask might be better suited for you.
The best part about masking is that you don’t have to feel pigeon-holed into using only one type of mask - making it perfect for commitment-phobes! It is perfectly acceptable, and not to mention fun, if you mix things up. Feel free to experiment with different types of masks to see what works best for your skin. If you have combination skin or dry patches, you can even multi mask - the technique of applying different masks to various parts of your face at the same time.
Apply a thin, even layer on to your face and neck and leave for 15-20 minutes. It is not necessary to leave this on for any longer as the mask will dry out by this time. Leaving mask on your face for too long may even cause your skin to dry out, so be sure to rinse it out when time is up. Wash your face thoroughly with lukewarm water to remove all traces of your mask before finishing off with a moisturiser or facial oil.
And there you have it, your quick and easy weekly beauty routine for glowing skin! If this sounds daunting or too time consuming, take it easy by starting off first with one routine and building your way up. Although it’s ideal to steam, exfoliate and mask once a week, it is perfectly fine if you've managed only one or two steps - or sometimes not at all. Just remember that the daily routine is much more important, so if you can’t find the time - just focus on this. But do try to set some pampering time aside to complete the whole routine regularly for maximum benefit.
Read more about how you can achieve glowing skin naturally, and with minimal effort.