Healthy skincare for lazy people


Look after your skin the easy way

Or perhaps you're not lazy. You might be exhausted, unwell, overworked or too busy having fun to spend ages mashing up homemade face masks, let alone sitting still for half an hour while they dry. But natural skin care needn't be a time-consuming faff. In fact, the more simple your beauty routine, the better. Usually, the less you mess with your skin, the less you'll need to fix or hide it. You may need to experiment a tiny bit to get the balance right, but once you do you'll only need a few weeks for the new habits to start feeling like second-nature.


Some folk advocate washing your face as little as possible to prevent it drying out - after all, our prehistoric ancestors didn't use cleanser, right? They didn't have airborne chemical pollutants, either... or mirrors, or make-up, or public transport. I invariably break out in spots every time I go into town on the tube. It's hard to tell whether this is because I pick up more bacteria or because the soot clogs my pores. The stress caused by the London Underground in rush hour probably doesn't help.


So, unless you live in an unpolluted rural paradise, you will need to wash your face before bedtime, just to remove the grime & bacteria you've picked up on your hands & rubbed into your face during the day. Washing also helps unclog your pores to make way for your skin's natural moisturising oils to work their magic overnight.


Find one of the latest generation of natural cleansers & make sure it doesn't have sodium laureth sulfate in it. This ingredient makes products lather up when you add water, but it is also notorious for drying & irritating the skin.


A gentle cleanser will save you time, discomfort & stress. And probably money, too. Why? Keep drying your skin out with a harsh cleanser & it will actually produce more oil as it tries to compensate. But your skin cells will just go crispy & unable to absorb the moisture. You'll end up with that uncomfortable combo of dry scaly skin with a slick of oil on top - maybe even sensitive raw patches & pimples.


The right cleanser will have your skin looking after itself. You won't be forking out so often for moisturiser, special treatments & endless foundation experiments. You may find that your skin tone evens out so nicely that you don't need foundation at all. This is excellent, as even well made foundation still feeds the bacteria on your face. Tinted moisturiser is a good compromise if you feel like covering up.


Ignore all the toners & simply splash your face with cool water when you finish washing (not cold, though, since this can break capillaries that have swelled from the warm water you just washed with). Over time, this boosts circulation, improves skin tone & reduces pore-size.


If you do wash your face in the mornings, a little good quality moisturiser is advisable - it protects your skin, & keeps existing moisture in for longer. Moisturiser with SPF (sun protection factor) is an excellent investment for lazy/busy people, as it means you won't have to spend time trying to counteract wrinkles (or, far more seriously, skin cancer) in the future. At night, however, you don't really need to moisturise, since your skin re-balances naturally while you sleep.


Suzie Saw is a writer who loves nature, animals, making clothes, dressing up in them & waiting like a preying mantis for "50% off!" emails from online skincare shops to land in her inbox.





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