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Simple healthy habits

All Areas > Health & Beauty > Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Author: Val Starr, Posted: Monday, 19th December 2022, 09:00

After a challenging 2022, I don’t think we should put additional pressure on ourselves with demanding resolutions that are often impossible to keep.

Studies have shown that as many as 80% of people who set New Year’s resolutions give them up within three months, so why not try to form healthy, sustainable habits instead of following strict rules?

Skincare can cost a fortune when you add up all the different products on the market, but there are simpler and less costly ways of looking after your skin. Let’s examine a few.

Makeup brushes
Cosmetic tools should be cleaned weekly, especially if you use them every day. To get them squeaky clean, try using a simple soap solution, which is great if you have sensitive skin. I let my brushes soak for a while, rinse well so the water is clear, then allow them to dry naturally.

The worst thing you can do for your skin is to go to bed with makeup on, so always take the time to remove it and cleanse before bed. Also, never share makeup brushes.

Coconut oil
An inexpensive item with so many good uses. It’s great for your nails, and perfect for moisturising your scalp. Warm between your hands and gently massage on to your scalp – this will help remove dandruff or dry skin. Take an extra minute or two to enjoy a relaxing head massage, and for even better results, leave it in as a mask for half an hour before shampooing and rinsing your hair.

From our scalp to our toes, you should aim to exfoliate at least once a week, always using an upward motion towards your heart. The market is saturated with exfoliants, but you might just find one in your fridge if you consume cow’s milk!

Lactic acid works as a natural exfoliator and helps to remove dead skin cells by stimulating new cell generation. It contains Vitamins A and D, which help to enhance the skin’s natural complexion and give you a radiant glow. Just dab onto your skin with a clean cloth and gently rub.

If you’re vegan, lots of skincare products now use plant-based milks in their formulae, and these give similar results.

Limit heat
Our skin can suffer when the central heating is on, often causing tight, dry and irritated skin. While you may be tempted to have long, hot showers in the winter, quick showers are best. Apply moisturiser as soon as possible after exiting the shower – the longer you wait, the more hydration is lost.

Unlike other parts of the body, our lips don’t contain oil glands, meaning chapping is common, especially in the colder months. Cracked lips can be painful, so look after them as best you can by regularly applying vaseline or similar. Staying hydrated also helps, so ensure you drink plenty of water.

Suffering with dry, cracked heels? Apply a generous layer of vaseline before you go to bed, and wear socks overnight to help soften your skin.

Sun protection is the most important step you can take to care for your skin. Daily, year-round application is key, as the sun’s rays still penetrate during the winter. Use a broad spectrum SPF – minimum factor 30 during the winter and higher in the summer.

Ultraviolet rays (UVA) are the worst for ageing our skin, as they cause wrinkles, sun spots and break down collagen. Get the best sunscreen you can afford and if you only keep up with one new habit this year, make sure it’s applying SPF every day.

These simple ideas can be easily kept on top of and your skin will thank you.

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