Fighting to conform to beauty ideals is not a new thing, we’ve been doing it for eons. Women used to wear corsets so tight they risked deforming their ribs and causing spinal injury. We once powdered our faces with toxic lead to ensure a matte complexion that was a then-desired whiter shade of pale. Little girls even had their feet bound to force them to remain a doll-like size forever. But a new beauty era is emerging, one that acknowledges that individual skin health, not fighting genetics to conform to an ideal, is the ultimate goal. Love the skin you’re in is the catch cry of the new decade.
What does it actually mean?
Loving the skin you’re in is about embracing a new approach to beauty: actively supporting the health of your skin. Skin is an amazing thing – it’s your body’s largest organ, a unique waterproof covering that holds us together. Whether white or tan, matte or glowing, freckled or smooth, skin performs the same basic function for everyone. Whether we consider our skin beautiful or not is mostly coloured by our culture – what we grow up learning is ‘beautiful’ is a matter of perception that varies widely between countries and cultures, but they all share one thing in common. Skin that is functioning at its healthy best is always considered beautiful.
So I should stop focusing on the flaws?
That’s a good start! Instead of wanting to conform to a certain ideal, focusing on the health of your skin will fundamentally alter how you perceive it. Healthy, happy skin that’s adequately nourished is naturally beautiful – it will have a radiant glow, regardless of your life stage skin type, or colour.
But how do I get healthy skin?
It boils down to three simple things: daily exercise to keep your blood flowing (blood delivers nutrients to your skin), a healthy diet so you get plenty of antioxidants and essential fatty acids (skin needs nutrients too) and a simple but effective skincare regimen (because the Ozone hole and environmental pollution makes life pretty darn challenging for skin in the modern world).
What should I use on my skin?
Less is more. Quite honestly, doing too much causes more problems than it solves (think sensitivity, inflammation and even allergies). A gentle micellar water cleanser is a daily essential as it cleans away grime, sunscreen and makeup without stripping the skin of its natural oils. Once clean, all that your complexion needs is a targeted serum to boost moisture (something that naturally boosts your levels of hyaluronic acid will really plump up the skin) followed by a hydrating moisturiser to seal in the serum. That’s all you really need to support the skin to function in a healthy way.
What about eyes?
Eyes do need special attention once you hit your 30s. The skin around your eyes is paper thin and has virtually no self-moisturising capability as it doesn’t produce its own oil. Plus, it works pretty hard – the muscles around the eyes are directly connected to the skin and, with every blink, they tug it this way and that, eventually causing signs of wear and tear. So lavish this delicate area with a little attention (a gentle tap tap tap of a non-greasy eye gel every morning and night is all that’s required) and it will reward you with good health.
That’s all I need?
Almost! There’s one more thing to add: stay out of the sun. UV rays slowly destroy the collagen and elastin in your complexion, both of which are the very foundation of good skin health. Using sunscreen separately to moisturiser is best to ensure you have the right coverage.
As with all products, you’ll need to use skincare daily to see results. Consistency is key, and not just for the physical improvements that you’ll start to see. Showing your skin some daily love with a simple skincare ritual is the first step towards self acceptance – once you start to appreciate the changes in your skin, you’ll also see your confidence climb. And one thing is certain: there’s nothing more beautiful than confidence in a woman.