While these are invaluable life lessons that will no doubt continue to serve me, I have also learnt some seriously nifty skincare tricks, hacks and absolutes. And it’s high time I share them with y’all…
I’ve learnt many lessons in the six years I have worked in the beauty industry. Don’t interrupt a French perfumer no matter how much you need a wee. Do bring snacks to fashion week. Always pay extra for check in luggage – you’ll never recover from your seeing your unopened £100 serum thrown in the airport security bins.
1. Chemicals aren’t the enemy.
We seem to have entered some collective hysteria whereby chemicals are the enemy. True to form, brands are quick to market with “chemical-free” formulas to cater to – and reinforce – our suspicions.
Anyone who did GCSE chemistry will know that everything on this planet is made up of chemicals. Oxygen is a chemical. Water is two chemicals together in a compound.
If something says it’s chemical-free, it’s a shallow marketing tactic that is an insult to your intelligence. Don’t fall for it – dig a little deeper.
2. If you want to banish chapped lips, press your lips together really hard.
I suffer from permanently chapped lips. Or at least I did until a world-famous makeup artist did my makeup. She put lip balm on my lips and said, “ok now press them together”. I did. “No, really smoosh them together until they hurt.”
Smooshing hard is the equivalent of pinching your skin – it gets the circulation pumping to those dryer areas. Buh-bye chapped lips.
3. Sudocrem is always a good idea.
Cuts and scrapes? Sudocrem. Dry heels? Sudocrem. Massive spot? Sudocrem.
I have never looked into the stuff, maybe because I don’t want to spoil the fairytale by demystifying it, but Sudocrem truly is a cure for every ailment.
4. Don’t touch your face. Ever.
When I started working, I almost instantaneously developed adult acne. I mean, a beauty editor with bad skin? I quickly equated bad skin with being bad at my job. And as my anxiety increased, so did my nervous fidgeting and compulsive skin picking.
It wasn’t until a lightbulb moment when a dermatologist I was interviewing for an article said, “you realise you’ve touched your face 23 times while we’ve been talking?”.
I stopped, and while I still get hormonal breakouts and blemishes, I waved goodbye to the uncontrollable acne.
5. There are skincare absolutes.
There are a few ingredients that are scientifically proven to benefit the skin. These include retinol, Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid (of multi-molecular weights), AHA’s, BHA’s and broad-spectrum SPFs.
If you only ever stick to this list, you’ll be in pretty good shape. And as for antioxidants – eat them.
6. Get lots of sleep (but wash your pillows regularly!).
Drink water, use good skincare, eat healthily – yes, all great. But the best thing you can do to repair, strengthen and refresh your skin is sleep. Just make sure your pillows are clean or you’ll get spots. True story.