When was the last time you felt confident in your own skin and dared to go outside without makeup on?
Recently, the Grammy-winning Alicia Keys showed up makeup-free in the VMA 2016 and even in The Voice to send a clear message about makeup and its effect on one’s self-esteem and individuality. The “bold” move made headlines, and people kept on asking “why”, but the real question here should be, “why not?” What she did was something that needed no explanation, but unfortunately seemed unnatural in a world fed up by unrealistic beauty standards.
The purpose of makeup is to cover up various imperfections and enhance one’s beauty. Some women use makeup as a form of art and expression while other women use makeup for the sake of conforming to today’s standards and be perceived “beautiful” and “perfect.” There’s nothing wrong with wearing makeup. What’s deadly about it is when makeup starts wearing you.
So let me just revise my first question: can you feel confident in your own skin and dare to go outside without makeup on?
Instead of buying expensive cosmetics, invest in products that not just enhance your natural beauty but can also improve your skin health.
Keeping your face clean and smooth
- Using facial cleanser
Start by choosing a facial cleanser that is compatible with your skin type (oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, normal skin, or combination skin). Once you find the right product, stick to it and refrain from changing products.
Wash your face twice daily, in the morning and before going to bed. Avoid overdoing it. Overwashing will do more harm than good since it can make the skin dry and irritable. The skin on your face is very delicate so be gentle in keeping it clean.
It is also advised to use a specific makeup removing product before using a regular face wash to avoid overlooking makeup residues that can clog the pores, leading to breakouts.
Dr. Mona Gohara, a dermatologist in Connecticut, explains that we lose roughly 50 million skin cells a day, and these cells may hang around, leaving the skin looking sullen if we don’t take care. With this, it is advised to exfoliate every two to three days, or at least once a week to get rid of these dead skin cells and give your skin a healthier glow.
The only problem with exfoliating products is they can dry the skin out, so be careful with the procedure. Exfoliating products that are pH neutral are advised to avoid drying out skin. Also, refrain from scrubbing your face too hard with an exfoliator or use it too often for this will worsen your skin’s dryness. Using moisturizer afterwards helps smoothen your skin.
Use a moisturizer after you wash your face or after exfoliating it. To retain the moisture of your skin, the best times to moisturize is when the skin is damp after you stepped out of the shower and right before you go to bed. Use a moisturizer with SPF content for daytime moisturizing and a slightly richer moisturizer to wear at night.
Just like facial cleansers and exfoliating products, choosing the right moisturizer for your skin type is crucial. Usually, gentle and unscented products work on most skin types. If you have drier skin types, on the other hand, go for heavier moisturizers with nourishing ingredients like aloe vera and shea butter.
- Avoiding touching your face
Your hands, including your fingers and nails, are very dirty. With this, touching your face, picking at spots, rubbing your forehead, or simply resting your chin on your hand can spread bacteria to the skin, causing breakouts and a greasier look. These bad habits may also lead to an increase in premature wrinkles, loose and sagging skin, and scarring, especially when you rub your face.
Taking care of the skin from the inside
5. Keeping a healthy diet
No expensive cosmetic products can beat healthy diet’s benefits to the skin. For a more radiant and glowing skin, load up on fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamins A, C, and E, as well as “whole” foods. Aside from fresh produce, consuming lean meat for protein and oily fishes for omega-3 help increase your skin’s ability to hold onto moisture.
- Hydrating in every way possible
We all know that drinking water can flush out the body’s toxins and it won’t be surprising to know that proper hydration affects the radiance of the skin. Hydration purifies the skin from inside out and fuels the skin’s metabolism.
Aside from drinking, you should also hydrate your skin every way possible, like choosing cleansing, moisturizing, and anti-aging products with hydrating properties. Keep in mind that dehydration can lead to a more sagging skin.
- Having adequate sleep and rest
Concealers are a woman’s best friend since they cover up common flaws like dark circles, eye bags, and pimples. But do you know what is better than an expensive concealer? A good night sleep – and the best part is it’s free.
Sleep, preferably 7 to 9 hours, restores your skin and leaves you looking naturally fresh and glowing. A plenty of rest also gives your skin adequate time to rejuvenate and heal since stress, one of the skin’s major culprit, creates instability to the hormonal system which leads to acne and breakouts.
- Refraining from vices
Another reason to quit smoking is the fact that it will wreak havoc with your skin. Cigarettes contain Tobacco, which is one of the major accelerators the skin’s natural aging process. Drinking too much liquor also damages your skin since it can expand your blood vessels, causing red spots and itchiness on your skin.
Avoiding environmental risks
- Protecting yourself from the sun and heat
Direct sun exposure damages your skin – this is widely-known fact. What most people are unaware of is the fact that whether it’s rain or shine, your skin can still be destroyed. Thanks to your daily UV exposure that contributes to visible signs of aging as well.
Apart from watching out for the sun, try to maintain your distance from fireplaces, heaters, and stoves. Heat causes inflammation and collagen breakdown. With this, you may help yourself by using sunscreen with SPF of 30 or greater which has to be reapplied every 2 hours.
Basic Grooming : The Real “No Makeup Makeup
- Shaping your eyebrows
Well-groomed eyebrows frame your eyes, making them the center of attention. Eyebrows also have the power to send impression, so be careful with how you’ll groom your brows. Follow the natural shape of your eyebrows instead of shaping your brows based on the “arched eyebrows” trend. Pluck one hair at a time from bottom to top to remove any stray hairs.
- Freshening up your eyes
You can make your eyes look refreshed without relying on heavy concealers. After an all-nighter, place something cold on your eyes, such as cucumber slices, chilled metal spoons, or cold tea bags for 10 to 15 minutes to reduce puffy eyes and dark circles.
- Curling your eyelashes
Long and curly lashes are to die for. Instead of wearing a mascara or falsies, which may cause your sensitive little hairs to break, you can achieve a stunning pair of lashes by clamping the curler around the lashes for 10 to 20 seconds. This will make the eyes look brighter and wider.
- Exfoliating for kissable lips
Red, plump lips enhance a woman’s physical appearance, and this is where lipsticks come in handy. Aside from relying on lipsticks, bringing out your natural lip pigment through exfoliation is key to having a smooth, kissable lips. Rub an exfoliating brush or even a dampened toothbrush against your lips to get rid of dead skin cells then hydrate them using your favorite lip balm.
- Keeping a killer smile
Your pearly white smile is one of the things that make you more attractive, so pay attention to your dental hygiene. Brush your teeth for a minimum of two minutes three times a day and don’t forget to use floss and mouthwash. To prevent teeth discoloration and damage, stay away from coffee, tea, cigarettes, and other teeth stainers.
Carmina Natividad is one of the daytime writers for The Australasian College of Health and Wellness, a government accredited educational institution specializing in the discipline of health science. She spends most of her time writing articles focused on aesthetics and overall health and wellness.