The skin is the largest organ and is the barrier between our body and the outside world. To revitalise and rehydrate your skin this Autumn and Winter, Laura Jones, facialist, acupuncturist and TCM practitioner at Content, shares with us her organic skin routine and tips for achieving a healthy, soft and glowing complexion.
‘As a facialist, acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, I am often asked by my clients who come to see me for skin complaints ‘what should I be doing at home to maintain the benefits of my treatment?’. There are several tips I always recommend which I’ve listed below. But firstly, it’s important to remember our skin can be affected by many different factors including diet, stress, hormones, pollution, and the products we use. Whilst we may not be able to do much about some of these things, for example pollution, having a good skincare routine can go a long way towards improving the appearance of your skin, and help towards preventing premature ageing.
In a new series of blog posts I will share with you some of my favourite tips that can be incorporated into your basic skincare routine, followed by tips specific to different skin types. In each post I will be giving a brief description of the main skin types I see in clinic to help you identify your skin type for yourself. If you are still not sure which one applies, then book into see me at Content where we offer a range of organic facials which always include analysis of your skin type.
In this post, I will share the steps I think are important for a incorporating into your daily skin care routine:
1. Double Cleanse – Why? There are different types of dirt that gather on the skin. Even if you don’t wear make-up you will be exposed to pollution and other elements that can cause skin congestion on a daily basis, so for the evening I always recommend a double cleanse. There are two types of dirt that need to be removed at the end of the day. Firstly, you have oil-based dirt from make-up, sunscreen and pollution that should be removed with an natural and organic oil cleanser as oil attracts oil. Check that this cleanser is safe to use around the eyes, or you may have to use a separate cleanser for the delicate eye area. Secondly, you have dirt that can be removed with water such as dead skin cells and some forms of pollution. Cleansers that work well in the second cleanse are either a natural or organic cleansing gel or cream cleanser which when emulsified with a bit of water will help catch dead skin cells and daily grime. For morning I usually recommend cleansing with a foaming or cream cleanser, or just water and a sponge like the Konjac Sponge.
Tips for cleansing include:
- For the first cleanse, use upward sweeping strokes from the neck up, over the chin and nose, and up to the forehead. This will gently lift the dirt from the face. To remove the cleanser, rinse or compress using a clean organic muslin cloth that has been warmed by running it under a hot tap.
- For the second cleanse, work deeper using small circular motions with your finger-tips, working around the nose and chin area, and the hairline.
- When cleansing the eyes always support the delicate skin around the eyes and sweep down and outwards over the eyes with your fingers, whilst supporting at the brow. If using a separate cleanser for the eyes, it is OK to use organic cotton pads instead of a muslin cloth.
2. Tone – Why? After you have cleansed, your pores are dilated and unless you are in a sterile environment there is potential for dirt and bacteria to get into the pores and cause congestion. Toning closes the pores and removes any cleanser that might have been missed. For best results, spritz the face with a gentle natural or organic toner which is free from denatured alcohol and allow the face to dry naturally. If you are in a rush you can use organic cotton pads spritzed with toner to wipe over the face. TIP: Always use upward sweeping strokes, and for the eyes, sweep down and outwards (the same as when cleansing) to support the skin.
3. Moisturise – Why? If you are using a good quality organic moisturiser or organic face oil it will have a wide range of active ingredients to nourish and repair your skin. Unfortunately, we often don’t get enough nutrients from our food due to poor soil quality, farming methods, and food production methods. Therefore it is important to give your skin a helping hand with topical application of the nourishment and anti-oxidants. At night your body focuses on repair so an intensive organic night cream or organic face oil can be used to give the skin a great boost. For best results, gently press your moisturiser into your skin and allow it to absorb in before applying make-up or sleeping. Incorporating skin type specific organic face serums is another great way to boost skin with a concentration of nutrients.
3. Eyes – Don’t forget your eye cream! Why? The skin around your eyes is delicate and easily irritated, and one of the first places to show signs of ageing. Always support the skin – start at the brow supporting with one hand, close your eyes and gently sweep down over the lid with your eye cream. Then supporting at the outer edge, sweep under the eye with your organic eye cream or gel. This gentle massage with help aid lymphatic drainage around the eye, and prevent sagging of the eye-lids.