Read the latest in Beauty News from our professional therapists at Complete Skin & Beauty.
When we think of looking after our skin our first thought is with products and in salon treatments, right? Although an important part of your skin routine, caring for your skin takes a little more consideration.
Your skin is the largest organ in the body and plays a vital role in protecting you by keeping all the good things in and all the bad things out. Like all our other organs it is affected by hormones, pollution, climate and diet. This is why it's important to consider other ways of looking after your skin and treating it from the inside as well. Putting creams on the exterior can only do so much.
Here are 9 things to consider when caring for your skin:
1. Washing and Bacteria
Some of our everyday personal items are a breeding ground for bacteria and, when coming into contact with our face, can cause many skin concerns. Firstly, how often are you changing your pillowcase? If you suffer from dryness, flaking skin, breakout or even redness and irritation, it might be a good idea for you to check your pillowcase. Recent studies have shown that after a week of washing your pillowcase, it still has 170,000% times more bacteria than a toilet! All the dead skin, remnants of products from our hair, even the bacteria from our mouth as we sleep can contribute to this. Even more if you sleep with wet hair! (this can cause mould in the pillowcase). The average person sleeps for 8-10 hours a night, imagine all this bacteria sitting on our skin during that time. Makes my skin itch thinking about it! Experts recommend washing your pillowcase every 2-3 days and/or switching to a silk case that is less likely to harbour bacteria.
Secondly, and be honest, how often do you clean your makeup brushes? Besides old makeup residue; bacteria, oil, dust, and sweat accumulate on our makeup brushes. If not cleaned regularly all that junk is essentially smeared around your face during each makeup application. This can cause inflammation, clogged pores, and acne. It’s best practice to clean your makeup brushes weekly!
Another personal item to consider is your mobile phone. Your mobile phone contains more bacteria than toilet seats, kitchen counters, self-checkout screens, and doorknobs. Several studies show that mobile phones harbour infectious bacteria, including Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, E. coli and Enterococcus faecalis. The average person checks their phone about 47 times per day, allowing for many opportunities for bacteria to move from your fingers to your phone. The bacteria are then transferred to your face when on a phone call causing congestion, breakout and other inflammatory skin conditions. Washing your phone a few times a month is plenty, unless you are sick then more frequently would be beneficial. Use a combination of 60% water and 40% rubbing alcohol and wipe over with a microfibre cloth.
2. Washing Powder
Speaking of washing pillowcases, are you also conscious of what you’re washing it in? Not everyone has sensitive skin but if you’re unlucky like me then you’ll find that something as simple as changing your washing powder can entirely throw out your skins natural Biome. A lot of your common laundry detergents contain ingredients that can cause flare ups in dermatitis and rosacea. If you are finding your skin is still itchy and dry with redness you can look a bit deeper than just skin care and consider switching to a more natural option or researching the ingredients that you are using.
Do you have an active lifestyle? We all know how important it is to stay active but did you know how it affects your lymphatic system? Your lymphatic system sits just under the skin and is essentially in charge of draining all the toxins and fluid from your body. When this builds up you can get a lot of excess fluid retention in the form of puffiness and inflammation in the skin, a lot of the time you simply just need to stimulate the blood flow in your skin to release it (sometimes it can be an underlying condition and you may need to consult a doctor if you have existing medical conditions). You can promote blood flow to the skin through various ways such as Gua Sha tools (we have a Gua Sha facial and its super relaxing), oxygen therapy treatments (we also have multiple facials that target this) as well as focusing on your own physical activity.
While diets are not always the healthiest option long term, it is important to be conscious that what we put inside our bodies also reflects the outside. For example, if you have a fast food, grease-heavy lifestyle, you can expect that your skin will show a fairly similar path. Sugar has a huge impact on our skin and some refined and processed sugars in large quantities can actually break down collagen a lot faster over a period of time. While I definitely enjoy a dessert as much as the next person, it is important to be conscious of how it affects our outside. Our gut health directly impacts how our skin acts, after all, the skin is the biggest organ of our body. If you are suffering from acne and breakouts it could be a good idea to look at what you need from the inside. Our skin needs EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids) to function and the easiest way to get that is through our gut. The most common EFA rich foods are chia seeds and flax seeds, canola and mustard oil, fish oil, sunflower seeds and sunflower oil, tuna and salmon, walnuts and brazil nuts, avocado. If these type of foods don’t happen to work into your diet and lifestyle then there are also plenty of supplement options. Our faves O Cosmedics have their own EFA tablets that are safe to be taken every day and were specifically designed to target skin health.
While we are on the topic of what we put in our mouths, let’s not forget how important drinking water is. While it doesn’t directly hydrate the skin, it does help all of our body systems to function better. It aids the liver in eliminating toxins from the body, reduces puffiness, helps with kidney function (which in turn helps dark circles appear lighter), and may even help skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. An indication of your hydration levels can be seen in the colour of your urine. If it is anything other than clear, drink more water!
6. The Sun
How good does it feel to lay in the warmth on the sun at the beach on a hot summer day!? Amazing. BUT let's talk about how much it affects the skin. We’ve all heard everyone talk about how harsh the Australian sun is. Sun damage is the number one cause of ageing. Sun protection isn’t just for the beach though. It only takes 10 minutes of UV exposure to cause a reaction in your melanin cells which then stay active for 14 days in total after that! How crazy that only 10 minutes of exposure can stay active for that long. Sunscreen should be your number one product every single day. UV can still penetrate through the windshield of our cars with our hands right on display on that steering wheel. But don’t forget about the artificial UV light. Did you know about Artificial Blue Light Exposure? It comes from our beloved devices. With all those zoom calls and endless scrolling through TikTok we often don’t notice how much blue light we’re exposed to. Blue light has a short wavelength meaning it is close to ultraviolet light. While our devices don’t emit as much blue light as the sun, it can still lead to inflammation, pigmentation changes and long term cellular damage and weakening of the skin which, in turn, leads to premature ageing. I started making a habit of wearing my O Cosmedics SPF 30 at night on top of my serums and moisturisers. The zinc in SPF doesn’t just help with sun protection but it also helps with bacteria in the skin and preventing breakouts. I found that on the mornings after applying it the night before I would wake up with no redness in my skin and any breakouts I had were diminished and inflammation gone completely.
7. Hot Showers
We all love them, especially in winter. Unfortunately, I have some bad news. All that heat is breaking down your capillary walls, drying out your skin and can play a large part in any sensitivity and redness in the skin. Luke warm is good, cold is even better.
Our bodies have this crazy little thing that is called cortisol. It is the hormone responsible for our flight or fight response. When we take on too much, our stress levels peak and our body releases spikes in cortisol and keeps your body on overdrive. High levels of cortisol in our body can cause our skin to lose that amazing glow by slowing down the skins’ ability to retain moisture and further encouraging an overproduction of oils. We also have an increased blood flow during times of stress which can lead to puffiness and redness in the face to due dilated blood vessels under the surface. While we sometimes can’t control what causes stress, we can definitely control how we manage it. Taking time for yourself is super important. We have plenty of relaxing treatments to choose from in salon and our therapist are always up for a good chat if you need to get anything off your chest too.
Beauty Sleep is the real deal! Our bodies heal and regenerate cells during this time. Our body does some pretty cool stuff while we’re sleeping. It decreases the stress hormone, cortisol, and increases the melatonin hormone which acts as an antioxidant that helps to boost the skin cells. We also build brand new collagen while we are sleeping. Last, but not least, we also produce huge amounts of growth hormones which helps to repair the free-radical damage we encounter every day.
Come in for a relaxing facial with us and have a little snooze, while you rest your inner body, we can work on the outer body and you’ll leave feeling super fresh, regenerated and glowing.
Need more advice on how to care for your skin? Our experienced Skin Specialists are here to help. Book in for a FREE Skin Consultation to learn more and answer any questions you might have.
Kiara has been in the industry for almost 10 years. She is passionate about all things skin and beauty and has learnt a lot from all the clients and therapists she has met during this time. On her days off she loves laying on the beach and reading her book in the sun (with her O Cosmedics SPF of course).
Complete Skin & Beauty Mango Hill