Sunday, 24 November 2013

My Favorite DIY Facial

Recently , I got the worst break-out of my entire life. Unfortunately , I'm not even joking. My guesses are that I had a really bad reaction to a moisturiser I was using. Even though I was only using the horrid moisturiser for at most two weeks, the acne spots and scarring are still inflamed months later.
 So this episode spurred me to get my skincare routine into tip top condition, so hopefully my skin will follow. The biggest change I made was adding a weekly facial/massage to my regime. My scars seem to be fading and the spots are less inflamed, and there also seems to be a brightness from my skin (a glow, to be cliché!). So I wanted to share this to all ye who suffer from irritated, damaged skin. Not that you have to have 'bad' skin, this also happens to be a nice treat that your skin will be grateful for.

Step 1: Exfoliation. This removes dead skin which can clog pores ( which can lead to blackheads and acne.). Apart from the immediate effect of exfoliation, doing so regularly speeds up the skin renewal process. This allows for smoother and less discoloured skin in the long run. You can buy exfoliators just about anywhere, but you can also make your own .(1 tablespoon of sugar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.(give or take a bit) Currently I'm using Ocean Salt from LUSH as my exfoliator.

Step 2: Steaming. This simply entails putting your face over steaming (not boiling) water and throwing a towel over your head. Steaming your face softens the sebum ( the oil on your face) and dead cells allowing them to come away from your face easily. The steam also opens your pores, so cleansing your face afterwards is more effective than cleansing "not steamed" skin. (I highly doubt any of this makes sense but hopefully you can follow the gist.) When I steam my face ,I usually add a few drops of Tea Tree Oil. Tea Tree Oil is reputed for it's anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties, so much so that it is used in many acne- fighting products. Instead of using straight up tea tree oil , you could also use one of LUSH's Toner Tabs (Tea Tree) ( I swear, I'm not being paid by LUSH to write this!!) After steaming  for about 20-30 minutes I rinse my face with warm water. Then I run an ice-cube wrapped in a flannel cloth over my face for a few minutes. (Just to close the pores again)

Step 3: Toning. Toning is used  to remove dirt and debris left over from cleansing. It's important to find the right toner for your skin type as some can be very drying. For dry skin, recommend the Boot's Glycerine and Rosewater. For acne prone/oily skin , I recommend the Ultra Pure Witch hazel and Rosewater. Both can be used on sensitive skin.

Step 4: Moisturising/Massaging.It's common knowledge to moisturise your skin, whether your skin is oily,dry,sensitive or a variation of all three! Your skin will look and feel smoother and softer after you moisturise, and you're also preventing some wrinkles by moisturising.(Long story short, Moisturising = Better Skin) ATM, I'm using Boots Vitamin E moisturiser.

 Massaging your face regularly can help improve the brightness, texture and tightness of your skin. The massaging helps loosen up the muscles of your face. Massaging is also really good for lymphatic drainage. Under your skin there are vessels called lymph nodes which drain out all the toxins from your body (lymphatic drainage). However, sometimes the lymph nodes can't drain very well and they need movement to drain properly. If the drainage is slow the skin can sometimes look puffy. (e.g. When you have a cold, and under the eyes are puffy.) So this is where the massage comes into action.

The Forehead

  • Using any moisturiser or serum, smooth over the forehead. With the middle finger, start from in between the brows and move upwards with pressure, towards the hairline. 
  • Glide the fingers back down to starting position without using pressure
  • Using the same motions,massage the forehead and temples.
  • Repeat 
The Eyes

  • Using an eye cream/moisturiser on your ring fingers, massage clockwise on the left eye and anti-clockwise on your right eye. Repeat 3-4 times
The Cheeks,Nose and Chin

  • Using a moisturiser/serum , smooth over the face. With the middle fingers, slide down the nose, under the cheek bones and up to the temples with pressure.
  • Repeat down the face until the chin
  • Starting from the centre of the chin, glide the fingers over the chin/jawline and down under the ears.
After the massage , lightly pluck the skin and drum your fingers over the face to increase the blood circulation.

And finally, your D.I.Y. facial is done (*sigh of relief*).

NOTE: My acne has reduced since I started this regime, however I've also been drinking more water & eating (some of) my fruit and veg. Exercising and generally taking care of your well-being is vital if you want your skin to be in tip top condition! 
(yet another) NOTE: It goes without saying, that I'm in no way, shape or form an expert in skincare. These are just my recommendations and what works for me.

Some sites that are probably way more informative: Lymphatic DrainageFacial Massage

Let me know what you think about facial massages and whatnot. Any mysterious skincare secrets would be greatly appreciated too!!

Much love,

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