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How To Outsmart Your Skin

Imagine if you could predict your breakouts before they happened or could pre-empt a delicate complexion before the morning after the night before. This Minority Report-style of complexion management isn’t as futuristic as it might sound; anyone can get the better of their skin, you just have to be smart about it.

Feeling Hormonal

When it comes to that time of the month, you’d be very lucky to make it through your period without battling with at least one huge, painful pimple. In the week before your period, your hormone levels dramatically increase, meaning oil production goes into overdrive and your pores struggle to keep up with their regular self-cleaning processes, which leads to blockages and blemishes. Be ready for any kind of hormonal breakout by cleansing the skin thoroughly twice a day and using products to keep the pores as clear as possible; look for products that contain a generous amount of Salicylic Acid and start using a clay or charcoal-based face mask in the week before your period.

Bingeing on Junk

Nobody plans a junk food binge, but there are ways to curb the effect one can have on your complexion. Sugar can damage the skin’s DNA and speed up the ageing process, making the skin look grey and flat, so on the days following your indulgent snack session, apply a moisturiser or serum packed with AGE-inhibiting ingredients. AGEs or Advanced Glycation End products are proteins or lipids (namely collagen) that have become glycated as a result of being exposed to sugar. This weakens the collagen molecule and makes it prone to damage, which can ultimately lead to a loss in skin volume and an increase in fine lines. The more healthy, un-glycated collagen molecules that are available within the skin, the better chance it has at staying smooth and plump. 

Too Much Fun

A skin hangover is never fun but you can prevent a dry, puffy, tender complexion by treating your skin with the same care and attention you would your fuzzy head. Everyone has their own personal hangover cure – a bacon sandwich, painkillers, avoiding loud noises – but there is a more universal treatment for partied out skin: hydration. Alcohol dehydrates the body and drains it of Vitamin A, which is needed for healthy cell turnover, which is why skin always looks dull and feels dry after a night out, so focus on getting as much moisture back into the skin as possible. That means drinking plenty of water, going overboard on the Hyaluronic Acid – bathe in the stuff if you have to – and using comforting creams to bring some life back into your face.  

Being Beside the Seaside

Despite decades of warnings, people are still surprised when a day spent at the beach leaves them with a red, itchy complexion. Don’t be one of these people. Instead, arm yourself with a high factor, broad spectrum sunscreen that suits your skin type. That means using something creamy if you have dry skin, something lightweight and gel-textured if you have oily skin, and something thin and fluid-like if you have sensitive skin. Apply it throughout the day and avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day (around 11am until 3pm) to prevent inflammation and burning. Sunshine = 0 You = 1.  

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