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Student Blog

5 cheaper ways to get healthier skin

Since turning 20 last January I have become obsessed with skincare and signs of premature aging. My hectic life-style and years of drinking have started to take their effects on my eyes in particular!

So with the quest to get clear and healthy skin I started moisturising morning and night, and made an effort to remember not to pass out with a face full of make up on, whereas before I only used moisturiser in winter when I noticed my skin felt tight or I had dry skin.

I was phenomenally rubbish at skin care with the mind-set that it was something to think about in later life, not my late teens-early twenties.

Sounding familiar yet?

In September, as well as going back to uni I was starting as Literature Editor at the uni paper and keeping up my part time job as a waitress. I was going from bumming around all summer, occasionally venturing into work, going on holiday or to see friends around the country, to juggling a constant stream of responsibilities all at once.

It was knackering, I don’t think I have ever felt so drained and in need of rest as in those first two months of adjustment. I even craved being at my parents because I knew no one would ask me to do anything there, nor would I feel guilty about not reading 24/7. It was during a 9am shopping trip with a friend in October, the only time I could squeeze it in, that I noticed I looked like I had two black eyes.

Luckily the friend I was with has been dedicated to her skincare products since her mid-teens, and after giving me a look of disapproval when I told her my then skin care “routine” as it was, she graciously showed me the way to cleansing, toning, moisturising and the wise words "your skin is with you forever so look after it".

Skip down to my 5 top tips to keep your skin funky fresh.

The way forward for healthy skin

Apparently skin cleansing wipes with all 3 in doesn’t count and I had to use them separately to see an effect, as well as use them twice daily. It all sounded like a huge amount of effort to me, but my face was going gradually grey with neglect so I had a go and soon became obsessed with how to get perfect skin. Proof of the quick turn-around in my skins appearance; two weeks into my new CTM (cleansing, toning and mousturising) routine I went to buy Lemsip from the Sainsburys’ opposite my place of work for over a year, where they see me roughly once a week, and got ID’d. I got ID’d for something you have to be 16 years old to buy, the youthful glow of my skin was coming back and I loved it.

This routine, though worthwhile, does take a fair bit of dollar from ones wallet to do properly which is why I recommend stocking up on skin care products at Christmas and for birthdays. Especially if like me you have sensitive skin and only Simple and Nivea seem to cut it, they are not however, cohesive with my budget but do last a long time.

This can be the same with acne skin care. To keep your skin free of acne there are some products that cost an arm and a leg but you can get a good deal if you shop around.

Essential skin care products

One of every girl’s most prized possessions in the quest for saving money on decent beauty products is the Boots advantage card, and this comes in mighty handy when you’re out of moisturiser and have but a thrupence in your purse. You can spend a reasonable amount of money on skin care that won’t ruin or leave you with dry skin on brands that are reliable, without feeling too guilty because you’ll save money when your points come through, or cash them in an emergency.

Get into a CTM clear skin routine, one that suits you and you’ll notice if you’ve forgotten to do it. The sooner you make it part of your routine the sooner it will feel effortless.

My routine for example:

  • Cleanse skin
  • Tone skin
  • Brush teeth
  • Moisturise skin
  • Toilet
  • Dab on soothing eye-balm under eyes

From Boots Simply Sensitive skin care products

  • Cleanse: face wipes £2.79  8 Advantage points
  • Tone: toner £2.69  8 Advantage points
  • Day moisturiser: £2.79  8 Advantage points
  • Night moisturiser: £3.79 12 Advantage points
  • Eye-balm: £3.49  12 Advantage points

These are the cheapest prices you’ll find for a brand you recognise, and when skin care can go wrong so easily it’s not a place to be overly thrifty.

If it’s loan day, Christmas, your birthday or you’ve won the lottery

If any of the above are occurring and that cash is burning a whopping great hole in your pocket, invest it in some top quality skin care products:

Boots No7

  • Cleanse: cleansing lotion £8
  • Tone: toner £8
  • Day Moisturiser: £9
  • Night Moisturiser: Protect and Perfect Intense Night Cream £23
  • Soothing eye-balm: Protect and Perfect eye cream £18

5 Ways to Keep your Skin Funky Fresh

  1. It’s important to use separate day and night moisturisers; ensure that the day moisturiser has SPF 15 protection, this will prevent premature aging from sun damage.
  2. Always use a night moisturiser with a regenerating property such as Q10, this will enable the skin cells to repair from the day while you sleep. I tend to use this in winter during the day when the wind and rain batters the face red raw, and the light day moisturiser gives in at the first hurdle in harsher conditions. If you suffer from acne then it is worth looking at a moisturiser for acne skin care as these might aggravate your skin.
  3. A deep cleansing face mask will bring out all the dirt from your pores, unblocking them and leave you feeling refreshed. I like to use mine first thing in the morning to help wake me up with my morning coffee. If you have normal to dry skin you’ll only need to do this once a week, if you have combination or oily skin twice to three times.
  4. Using an eye cream helps target the sensitive skin around the eyes to reduce that black-eye look. Dab on the cream until absorbed, under the eyes and on the lids to soothe and nourish the skin, do this after moisturising morning and night for the best results.
  5. Take your make-up off before you go to bed! We’re all guilty of it girls no one’s a perfect saint-like creature, I know my pillows are covered in black smudges anyway. However, this is awful for your skin, it blocks the pores making the skin oily and unhealthy. I’m not going to preach, I rarely do the full CTM before bed after a night out but I do cleanse, and it really takes the edge off that sickly morning after glow that we’ve all come to know and loath.

The best reason to get into these simple habits now, is to prevent premature aging whilst helping you feel more confident about your radiant, healthier skin even when you don't feel so fresh yourself. If you're looking for skin care for men then try the L'Oreal range, its manly packaging of silver and orange should make it more alluring to the moisturiser-phobic men out there. Soft skin is nothing to be afraid of and no one wants eye bags.

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