I’ve started looking into beauty as a way of self care and researched about effective ingredients to achieve a healthy skin as well as preventing signs of aging. The lazy beauty series is for anyone who isn’t into beauty, but still wants to have the best products to have a healthy skin. The skin is your biggest organ and keeping it healthy starts with a healthy lifestyle: so drinking enough water, eating well and being active is essential. Taking vitamin pills targeted for beauty is not going to work if you don’t eat healthy to begin with. If you have a healthy, diverse diet and then add these vitamins, they will be able to show good results and replenish any vitamins that you are not getting enough of. Nothing can replace a healthy lifestyle. But once you have done all these and are still struggling with teenage skin issues in your 30’s as well as wanting to prevent the onset of wrinkles: I got the (lazy) guide for you.
So I researched these basic ingredients for beauty products to make up my beauty routine:
Salicylic Acid is an BHA and the basis of many cleansers that aggressively target pimples and other signs of acne. Because I still suffer from these in the T-zone, I had to have this. But please note: do not overuse this ingredient, because it can dry out your skin. That then leads your skin to produce more natural oil to make up for the dryness and then you will break out even more. So don’t use more than one product at a time and use good hydrating and moisturising creams with it. Don’t forget to use a sunscreen afterwards! If you’d like to use natural ingredients, Salicylic Acid is extracted from willow bark and also found in Tea tree Oil. Other effective AHAs are Glycolic acid and Zinc oxide.
Hyaluronic acid helps with preventing wrinkles and keeps the skin hydrated. Hydration is key to a healthy skin and most effective by drinking enough water (2 litres a day). Your skin needs water and oil. Water keeps it supple, plump and smooth. Oil locks in the moisture and prevents it from escaping/evaporating. This is why hydrating products need to be applied first and moisturising (containing oil) products are applied last. The big molecules of oil all but prevent the smaller liquid molecules to reach your skin if you reverse this. Hyaluronic acid pulls water from anywhere, which is usually the air surrounding you. So if you live in a dry area, take care that you must use it on damp skin (after cleansing). This is also why after applying it to your skin you need to wait until it is fully absorbed before you apply any further products.
This is the number 1 anti-aging ingredient. You will be hard pressed to find a better ingredient anywhere. This is also why it is expensive and many beauty companies like to use less effective derivatives of it. Retinol is gentler than retinoic acid, but it does the same thing — it may just take longer to see results. But the derivatives called pro-retinols (retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate and retinyl linoleate) are gentler and weaker as well. When you are still in your 30’s, you don’t yet need strong Retinols and can start with a weaker derivative, then slowly work up to a higher dose of it, if needed. The great thing about retinol is that it also helps with clearing your skin!
Vitamine C creates Collagen and prevents wrinkles, it is also a strong antioxidant which helps to prevent aging and protect your skin from damage by the environment. If you are searching for another natural antioxidant, green tea is a good one.
With these few ingredients you can easily built up an affordable beauty regimen. For me it was important to be easy, quick, effective and affordable.
Keep in mind that you should use the products from finest to thickest. So if you have a serum, day creme and oil, you’d use the serum first (hydrating), then the creme and the oil at last. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid need to be applied first, so they can hydrate your skin before you lock everything in place with something containing oils, which prevent the loss of moisture.
The brand really doesn’t matter and you can just take a drugstore option, as long as it has these ingredients. Garnier for example offers almost all of these in affordable options or you can also take a no name product. If you are searching for the right options just type in the ingredient in the search bar of their website and filter the results – it’ll be way easier than checking the ingredient list on the products at the shop. If you can avoid alcohol or perfume in the ingredient list, that is a huge plus.
You can check out my routines here:
To remove my makeup I use a Cleansing Oil, which can also wipe off waterproof makeup, before using my moisturiser. Optional: you can use Rosewater (buy cheap at an asian store) as a toner before hydration and a Moisturizer.
Extra tip: Use a separate towel for your face, exchange daily and buy washable cotton swabs. After using them, I rub them clean with some hand soap and throw them in the washing basket. This way they stay nice and white and you minimise your imprint on the planet – piece by piece.