Washing your face seems easy enough. Just massage on some cleanser, splash with water, and dry off…right? Not quite. While that’s a very generalized approach that would probably have some effect, there’s actually a method to the routine that can have a serious impact on your skin’s condition. Not sure if you’ve been going about it the wrong way this entire time? Here’s how to clean up your act—and your skin!
Choose the Right Products
Nothing is more vital to your skin than using the right products to cleanse. Even solutions that receive high praise from the masses—whether touted by a celebrity on a television commercial or raved about nonstop by your BFF—may not be right for you. Take into account your skin’s unique type first. If you’re dry, a creamy or milky emulsion will soothe your complexion without stripping away moisture. Oily types do best with foaming and gel-based cleansers that cool while eliminating oil and dirt. Sensitive skins may require some trial-and-error experimentation, but in general it’s best to avoid products with fragrances, parabens, and other possible allergens.
Use Lukewarm Water
Hot water might feel great, especially on a chilly winter’s day, but it’s not going to do your skin any favors. In fact, using hot water to cleanse is a great way to strip your skin of its natural oils and exacerbate existing dryness. The switch here is simple—use lukewarm water during your routine so that you don’t have to worry about these additional concerns.
Find a Real Cleanser
The quick fix is often the most appealing, and that’s especially true if you’re in a rush to wash your face at the end of the day. Makeup wipes are practical in a pinch and offer a sufficient way to remove makeup from your skin—we’re obsessed with NuFace Prep-N-Glow Cleansing Cloths for that purpose. It’s smart to follow that up with a mild cleanser designed to gently remove any remaining oil, dirt, and debris, such as SkinMedica Facial Cleanser .
Treat Skin After Washing
Skin treatments, such as serums, face masks, and moisturizers, are enriched with penetrative ingredients that do their best work after you’ve cleansed your skin. This is when it’s barest and most receptive to any key ingredients that your complexion can use to its best advantage. So if you’re ready to try that new sheet mask set you got for Christmas—or want to treat yourself to the bareMinerals Hyperglow Mini Face Mask Collection for a little at-home TLC—make sure that you do that after your skin is freshly washed.
When it comes to packing your holiday beauty essentials, no matter how many times you write a checklist, you always forget something. Having all your favourites in under 100ml for the plane, and remembering what you’ll need while you’re there, can be a bit of a headache. So, to lighten your load, we’ve worked out the fail-safe travel-sized beauty product must-haves that’ll ensure you feel summertime fine from take off to touch down…
The Skin Kit
Wish you could travel with a facialist on hand for your best-ever skin on holiday? It’s now one step closer, thanks to The Ultimate Renew Beauty Kit, £65, devised by the the beauty experts at NET-A-PORTER. With a selection of 12 skin cleansers, oils, peels, serums and eye brighteners, from cult brands such as Sunday Riley, Omorovicza, Lancer and Dr Dennis Gross to name just a few – it covers every skincare base for glowy holiday skin. And best of all it’s cleverly packed into a transparent pack so there’s no decanting or squishing into a clear plastic bag. We’re all up for treating ourself to first class beauty, even if we do turn right on the plane.
Ear plugs, tooth kit, eye mask: Yes, some airlines offer them, but surprisingly some don’t and it’s a bleeding nightmare if you’re stuck next to someone who insists on keeping their reading light and you want a kip. Better to be safe than sorry.
Nasal spray, painkillers: The single best travelling trick I know is to use a chemist-bought nasal spray such as Vicks First Defence (£6) when flying. Using it when you first get on the plane will significantly reduce the threat of developing bugs from inhaling the air conditioning. If, though, you tend to get a headache from the air-con, bring painkillers. It’s a killer not to have them.
Moisturiser, pillow spray and muscle cream: Hydration will literally be sucked from your skin whilst on a flight so take a thick and nourishing cream such as Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream (£70) to lather on when your face feels a little dry. Admittedly, pillow spray is an added luxury but, a little lavender mist (Susanne Kaufmann pillow spray (£18) can really help to relax you during the flight and don’t forget the muscle cream. It’s not something many people think of but if you wake up with a stiff neck, it’ll be your saving grace. We love This Works In Transit Muscle Therapy (£18) – it really does tingle the right spots.
Facewash and deodorant: When you get the “breakfast wake-up” having been hunched in the same position for seven hours, there really is no better word than “rough” for how you’re probably feeling. The best quick-fix is a good facewash, a slick of deodorant (we love Aesop’s(£23)) and a scrub of the old nashers. Take Kiehl’s travel-sized Ultra Facial Wash (£7.50) for the best kind of in-flight wake-up. Its gel formula lathers the skin in a creamy foam, leaving it moisturised and refreshed.
Sun cream: If you take only one item on holiday, let it be this. There is nothing more important when it comes to health and beauty than taking care in the sun and we highly recommend using no lower SPF than factor 30. You need to bring a body sun creamand a face SPF.
After sun, body lotion, body oil: It may seem excessive to pack all three moisturising products, but if your suitcase allows, do it. Use the after sun straight after the beach. For evenings, choose a lovely scented, deeply moisturising butter and use an oil on your legs. You can reapply just before you go to bed to allow your body to absorb the maximum moisture it can overnight. This will help to prolong your tan and keep your skin nice and plump.
Face mask: For many people, a holiday is a chance to go au-natural, allow the skin to breathe and avoid having to wear make-up for a couple of weeks, which we totally get. But, whether you fall into this camp or still maintain your normal beauty regime, the extra time you have whilst away is a great opportunity to pamper yourself and a face mask is the way to do so. Face masks such as SK-II’s legendary Facial Treatment Masks (£86 for a pack of 10) will help to restore moisture alongside your normal night cream and rejuvenate the skin after sun exposure.
Straightners or curlers and salt spray: Just because the hotel will have the hair cleaning products and a hairdryer, it doesn’t have the finishing touches to take your hair from day to night. Bring a set of stylers and a product such as a salt spray to get the ultimate beach waves, tousled look. We love Bosch’s mini straighteners-come-curlers (£23.99), perfect for squeezing in a suitcase and Davines’ Sea Mist (£15) for voluminous texture.
Concealer, tinted moisturiser, highlighter: Skin tends to clear up and look a whole lot healthier after being a little sun-kissed so leave all your thicker foundations and cover-ups at home. Take a concealer to use if your bags won’t budge and those dark spots and fine lines keep clinging. We love Hourglass’ Hidden Corrective Concealer (£23) for instant improvement. When it comes to a tinted moisturiser, select a shade one darker than what you normally wear if you tan. The best we have found is Estee Lauder’s Sheer Tint Release (£38), which adapts to your skintone, whatever it is. Lastly, the power of a good highlighter to enhance your holiday glow shouldn’t be underestimated. Try Nars’ Illuminator (£23) on your cheekbones, cupid’s arrow, brow bones and temples.
Mascara: Take a waterproof mascara such as Clinique’s High Impact(£17.50). That way, you’ll look fresh in the water as well as out. Don’t underestimate the power of humidity and sweat to smudge your look even if you are on dry land.
Lipstick: Yes, you’ve been told to always keep a red lippy on you at all times, but it’s for a reason. It’s the quickest, easiest, most effective way to glam up your look and is the symbol of classic beauty. You can’t go wrong with Mac’s Ruby Woo (£15.50). With its blue neon undertone, it’s got a really fun edge, which translates well to a holiday vibe. Also make sure to pack a nude lipstick so you can achieve different looks on alternate nights without having to bring a trunk full of colours. We recommend Tom Ford’s Sable Smoke (£37) for a sparkly, sheeny finish.