The secret to beautiful, glowing skin like those of Korean stars? Not just makeup, but lots of TLC in the form of skincare, diet and lifestyle habits.
Besides investing in effective makeup to nail that dewy, glowing look, it’s time to look into your daily habits that could make or break your skin’s health. Start by incorporating these seven fail-proof tips, as shared by Shape editor Estelle during the Guardian Health & Beauty Awards 2018 panel discussion.
1. Apply sunscreen religiously
In Singapore’s climate where the UV index is always hovering at moderate to high levels during the day, it’s imperative to protect your skin from harmful UV rays every day. Long-term exposure to UV rays results in dry skin, dark spots and premature ageing of the skin. For a start, make sure you’re using sunscreen that offers at least SPF30 and PA+++ protection. Apply liberally on your face and body, and reapply every three to four hours especially when you’re outdoors. If the idea of slathering sunscreen over your greasy face puts you off, use a lightweight sunscreen spray that can be easily absorbed by your skin without needing you to touch your face.
2. Double cleanse every day
If you’re relying on just your facial cleanser to remove your sunscreen and/or makeup daily, that’s not enough. Before washing your face in the evening, be sure to use a makeup remover to rid your face of sunscreen and makeup. If you’ve used waterproof sunscreen, an oil-based makeup remover does the job best. Failing to remove sunscreen and makeup properly leads to a build-up of impurities on your skin, which results in clogged pores and even breakouts.
3. Moisturise right after washing
Your skin is at its driest after you wash it. To prevent a loss of hydration (which already comes with age and sun exposure), apply moisturiser on your face immediately after you step out of the bathroom. That helps to lock in the moisture and maintain healthy, supple skin. If you can afford more time, use a facial serum or essence before your moisturiser to increase the hydration level, and try to use a facial mask at least thrice a week. When your skin is well-hydrated, it will look clearer, brighter and smoother.
4. Use the right skincare products
This applies to your skin type and lifestyle. For those with dry, sensitive skin, opt for natural beauty products made without parabens, fragrances and chemicals. For those with oily skin that’s prone to breakouts, choose a light, gel-based moisturiser instead of a cream-based one. If you work out often and wash your face more than twice daily, be sure to use a gentle, moisturising facial cleanser post-workout to cleanse your face without drying it. Then, top it off with moisturiser and sunscreen.
5. Eat nutritiously
Like they say, you are what you eat. Whole foods, which are unrefined and minimally processed foods, should make up at least 70 per cent of your diet. They include whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds. Also opt for strong-coloured foods such as dark green vegetables, blueberries, red dragon fruit and purple sweet potatoes – these foods contain high amount of antioxidants to fight free radical formation in your body and keep you looking young and radiant. There’s also evidence that eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and walnuts, as well as probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kimchi and kombucha, contribute to a healthy complexion.
6. Get enough quality sleep
Often overlooked in this perpetually online world, sleep is one of the most important factors for healthy, glowing skin. Clocking at least seven solid hours of sleep every night makes a big difference to your skin, brain function and overall health. Aim to snooze by 11pm, as that’s the time your cells go into repair and regeneration mode. Tip: If you’ve always been a midnight owl, start winding down after 10pm by putting away all electronic devices, and doing relaxing things to prep you for bed, be it a foot soak or aromatherapy.
7. Sweat it out regularly
Sweating is one of the most effective ways to unclog your pores and remove toxins from your body. When you exercise, aim to break into a good sweat. Fans of yoga, go for hot yoga or yoga flow classes that will spike your heart rate in no time. If you’re into running, explore a new outdoor route – that challenges you mentally as well – instead of sticking to the treadmill in an air-conditioned environment. When you do activities you love, exercising will never feel like a chore. What’s more, you’ll enjoy the nice, natural blush post-workout!