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I spend a lot of time – some would say too much time – thinking about skincare. Good skin is the cornerstone of beauty. When your skin is healthy and glowy, you look amazing with or without makeup – and if you do decide to apply foundation, it’ll glide on flawlessly. The problem is that there’s a lot of misinformation on the internet and many of the skincare hacks you see recommended online would horrify a dermatologist. (Removing blackheads with a floss pick? No thanks!)
I’ve selected seven simple yet wonderfully effective skincare hacks that actually work. These tips and tricks won’t damage your skin, but rather leave your face feeling clean, fresh, hydrated and oh-so-soft.
We’re starting off simple but don’t be fooled: this trick totally changed my hydration game. Most of us apply our moisturizer and serums to dry skin but newsflash: that’s not actually the best way to do it! Turns out I’ve been getting it wrong for years.
After cleansing, gently pat your face with a towel so that your skin is damp rather than dry. Then, reach straight for your hydrating serums and moisturizer. Hyaluronic acid absorbs moisture like a sponge, so it’s much more effective when applied to damp skin. In fact, if you apply it to a dry face, it can draw moisture out of the skin, causing dehydration. I love the following serums:
Once you’ve applied your hyaluronic acid, immediately follow up with a rich, occlusive moisturizer that will lock in hydration. If you don’t, that all-important moisture will escape from the skin. Here are a couple of products that will work well:
P.S. If you use retinol at night, this advice still applies, but wait 5-10 minutes for the product to absorb first. I was really hesitant about wetting my face after applying my retinoid cream because I was worried it would irritate my skin. Thankfully, the opposite happened: my face feels better than ever!
(Unless you have extremely oily skin.)
Cleansing is actually the process that damages our skin the most. I know, I was surprised to learn this too but it makes sense when you think about it: cleansing strips our skin of its natural oils and can therefore cause damage to the skin barrier.
If you go to bed with a clean face, there’s nothing much to remove in the morning. Instead of reaching for your cleanser – however gentle it may be – simply splash your face with lukewarm water for 15-30 seconds. This helps protect your skin barrier, preventing dryness, irritation and blemishes.
“Double cleansing? But you just told me not to cleanse too often?”
Admittedly, this advice may seem to contradict the above skin care hack but let me explain: double cleansing is a very gentle yet effective Korean beauty hack. First, you use an oil cleanser and then go in again with a water-based face wash.
The oil cleanser gets rid of all the oil-based impurities on your face, like makeup, sunscreen and pollution. Any old oil won’t cut it – it’s best to use a specially formulated cleanser with an optimum pH that’s designed not to clog pores. Here are my current faves:
Once you’ve oil cleansed, it’s time to go in with a “regular” water-based face wash – which you’ve probably already got in your bathroom cabinet. Now that the first layer of impurities has been removed from your skin, your second cleanser will be much more effective at removing dirt and grime. Since oil cleansers are so gentle, the double-cleansing process won’t strip your skin or cause irritation – just make sure that your second product is also mild and non-stripping. Here are some facial cleansers that I really like:
Nope, this doesn’t mean putting slugs on your face! Slugging is one of my favorite new skincare hacks and it’s perfect for those with dry skin, although acne-prone skincare lovers should proceed with caution.
Slugging means slathering your face with Vaseline right before bed. You apply your normal nighttime skincare and then use Vaseline to create an occlusive barrier which stops moisture from escaping. The result? Ultra-hydrated and glowy skin in the morning.
If you’d like to know more about slugging, make sure that you check out this post where I go into much more detail about the whole process.
Skin gritting may sound painful but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s actually a very gentle and effective way of removing blackheads – and it’s a lot less damaging than many of the blackhead removal skincare hacks I’ve seen online. Those blackhead strips you see advertized on Instagram might be satisfying to watch but they can cause permanent damage to your skin – and they hurt!
“Gritting” your skin involves taking an oil cleanser and softly massaging it into your face for around 15 minutes. This softens your pores and dislodges blackheads and dead skin buildup, leaving your skin beautifully clean and fresh. What many skincare addicts love about gritting is that you can actually see the results in your hands, which is gross but also kinda satisfying at the same time.
I never thought I’d enjoy shaving my face but I’m addicted to dermaplaning. In fact, it might be my favorite out of all the skincare hacks on this list.
Dermaplaning means shaving your face with a scalpel-like blade to remove peach fuzz and dead skin cells. It’s surprisingly easy to do at home and it’s relatively low-maintenance – you only need to dermaplane around once a month. Your skin will look instantly smoother and brighter, your products will be more effective and your makeup will sit beautifully on your skin.
You can’t just use any old razor for dermaplaning; it has to be a scalpel. There are lots of affordable dermaplaning kits available online; these are the ones I like best:
When it comes to skincare, sometimes we’re so focused on our face that we forget about our neck. Crepey neck skin is a dead giveaway when it comes to ageing so it’s important to start taking care of your neck now.
However, you shouldn’t treat your neck and face exactly the same. The thin skin on your neck is too delicate for retinol and exfoliating products. Just remember to cleanse your neck and nourish it with serums, moisturizers and most importantly, SPF.
For more sensational skincare, take a look at how to prevent the latest skin scourge: mask acne.
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Your Luxe Lifestyle was founded by luxury world traveler Isabella Garofanelli bringing you the very best the globe has to offer in travel, lifestyle, and wellness.
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