Public Service Announcement: Stop Stressing Over Your Skin’s Imperfections
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Love your skin for its absolute brilliance at keeping you alive. Then, and only then, should you think about dealing with any little concerns you may have…
We’ve said this before and we’ll say this again: your skin is awesome. We know it’s hard to remember that when all you see in the mirror are lines, sun damage and/or pesky pimples. But know one thing – others don’t see these so-called flaws like you do. More likely they’re coveting your shiny hair or checking out your cute new pumps.
With this in mind, take a deep breath, smile at yourself in the mirror and congratulate yourself for continuing to do the best you can to maintain healthy, radiant skin. Then you can afford to think about what to do to minimize the stuff you’re not so fond of. After all, nobody’s skin is perfect…
So, what’s your gripe? Hormonal breakouts? Lines around your eyes? Glaringly obvious pores? Then let’s figure out how to deal with those, while trying to remember that a) they’re not the end of the world, b) they don’t define you and c) you are not alone.
Now, let’s spring into action. Because being proactive about your ‘flaws’ (gosh, we hate that word) will immediately make you feel better about them. You see, it’s all about taking control…
Stress #1: Pimples & Blackheads
Freaking out over your breakouts will only make matters worse, as emotional stress causes your body to produce an excess of cortisol – aka the ‘stress hormone.’ Says it all, right? Too much cortisol in your system not only accelerates inflammation, but it screws up the natural pH level of your skin. This forces your sebaceous glands into overdrive, making them produce too much sebum which has nowhere to go but your pores.
Take Action: First up, make sure you gently cleanse your skin twice daily to remove build-up of dirt, makeup, oils and bacteria. This is extremely important if you’re prone to breakouts and our Charcoal Face Wash is the ideal guy for the job.
Also, introduce a treatment serum into your routine, preferably one that contains anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients like salicylic acid and tea tree oil. Our Tea Tree Serum is carefully formulated to help unclog pores and soothe acne-prone skin. Plus it only needs to be applied two or three times a week for visible results. Gotta love that.
Stress #2: Fine Lines
Why is it that fine lines seem to suddenly appear out of nowhere? Cheeky little monsters, aren’t they? Usually found around expressive areas on your face such as your eyes, mouth and forehead, fine lines occur when repeated muscle movements like smiling and frowning cause your skin to become weak in those specific areas. In your younger days, skin can easily bounce back, but as time ticks on it becomes thinner, less elastic and hence the creation of lines.
Take Action: Expression lines around your eyes and mouth are all part of life but to minimize their impact, you must look after your skin’s barrier function. This uppermost layer of your skin is super important for protecting you from external toxins and pollution as well as for reducing moisture loss. Without a strong, healthy barrier, skin becomes dry, dehydrated and will look old way before its time.
To care for your barrier function avoid over-cleansing and over-exfoliating with harsh, oil-stripping chemicals. Instead, flood your skin with hydration (hello glycerin and hyaluronic acid), antioxidants and moisturizer, and apply sunscreen every morning.
Stress #3: Hyperpigmentation
Freckles when you’re 7-years-old might be cute, but brown patches on your face that get darker and bigger as you age? Kind of annoying.
Hyperpigmentation is caused by an overproduction of melanin (pigment) in your skin. Melanin production stays fairly uniform throughout your life, but when something throws it off, it causes certain areas of your skin to become darker than the rest, resulting in a patchy, uneven skin tone.
Take Action: Hyperpigmentation comes in many forms and can be caused by anything from hormones and acne, through to poorly healed bites, cuts and scrapes. However, most dark spots are either caused, or at least exacerbated by the sun. This is why protecting your skin from the damaging sun is so, SO important. Of course, you must apply a broad-spectrum SPF30+ sunscreen every morning to stop UV radiation from doing a number on your skin, but antioxidants are also great for fighting sun-induced free radical damage.
Vitamin C is a particular favorite of ours because it not only battles free radicals, but also works hard to brighten your skin. Clever. Apply Vitamin C Facial Serum every morning to cleansed skin – before moisturizer and sunscreen – for the ultimate in UV protection.
Stress #4: Enlarged Pores
Hands up if your pores drive you insane. Boy, do we hear you. The problem, however, is that the size of your pores is predetermined by your genes and you simply cannot shrink them. Because biology. However, sun damage, a poor diet and the natural aging process all contribute to them appearing more prominent because these stressors break down collagen and therefore work against the firmness of your skin. Allowing your pores to become blocked is also a massive no-no as excess baggage will cause them to stretch and appear bigger.
Take Action: Gentle exfoliation with a chemical exfoliator is a great way to keep your pores tight and free from clogging debris. Glycolic and lactic acids are very effective but if you also suffer with oily skin, there’s little better than salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that cuts through oil to exfoliate deep within your pores. It also reduces redness and inflammation as an added bonus.
Stress #5: Puffy Eyes & Dark Circles
Thinner, drier and more delicate than the rest of your face, the skin around your eyes takes a real hit from aging – sometimes as early as in your twenties. This is because collagen and elastin starts to degrade around this time: cue fine lines and dark circles. Tissues also start to weaken, allowing fat to shift south and excess fluids to pool under your eyes: cue eye bags the size of a small country.
Take Action: Looking after the skin around your eyes is a delicate operation. Invest in an eye treatment like Peptide Eye Gel, but apply it very gently around your eyes, using only the smallest amount and patting it onto your skin with your ring fingers to reduce pressure and dragging. Aggressively rubbing your eyes damages collagen and weakens your skin which will make lines and dark circles appear so much worse.
About Georgia Gould
Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.