If you’re a skincare afficionado like me, you’d be keeping your finger on the pulse, yearning to check out everything new in the market, and trying everything you can get your hands on, to (hopefully) improve your skin.
Is there a new Vitamin C serum in the market? Let me at it!
Is there a new retinol product that everyone says is worth trying? I want to try too!
Is there a new cleanser that everyone is raving about? I want it or I’d feel left out!
Yet, because I’ve forced myself to slow down, and to use it or lose it, I have restricted my beauty purchases (and spending in general) this year. There have been the odd times that I’ve fallen off the bandwagon, but in the main, I’ve been quite good 😛
But I’ve since also learnt that sometimes, we can improve our skin not with new products, but with how we use them. Sometimes, you can quite literally improve your skin without even changing your skincare! And best of all, these tips should suit all skin types 🙂
I will share with you 3 things I have started doing again, continued doing, and learnt to do, respectively this year, thus far, and will tell you how they have helped me.
Use a flannel or washcloth or face cloth for clearer, cleaner, brighter, smoother skin
Call it a ‘flannel’ if you’re British, or a washcloth or face cloth to be more descriptive. Either way, this is a very simple thing you can use, that will noticeably improve your skin over time.
I picked up the habit of using a face flannel back in 2013, when I used to experience the odd breakout. I found that cleansing my face with a cleansing balm, and using a flannel to remove not only felt cleaner, my skin improved significantly.
While I’m no expert with skincare prone to breakouts (as it’s been a long time since it’s a problem I face), anecdotal evidence points to using a face flannel being effective and helpful for reducing breakouts. The logic, as far as I can tell, is that a flannel helps to fairly gently exfoliate your skin and clean it more thoroughly of the oils and dirt that might clog your pores and lead to breakouts. It is far more gentle and far more affordable, than using a gadget.
So if you have oily or combination skin, you may benefit from using this technique when doing your double cleanse in the evening. Use it to remove your cleansing oil or cleansing balm, or your first cleanse, at any rate. It used to help me clear up any congested areas of my skin back in 2013 😀
RELATED READING: Read about how to use a face flannel for a more effective cleanse and better, brighter skin READ HERE
I recommend you read my earlier post, as it pretty much covers the basics of what, why and how – I like to be thorough 😉
Anyway, I fell off the bandwagon about 2 years ago, when I started using cleansing balms that would easily emulsify in the shower. It just seems easier to emulsify with my hands, and then rinse it off, without employing the use of a wash cloth.
I no longer get breakouts (for which I am incredibly thankful!) but I get the occasional spot or clogged pore. I didn’t think much of it, as I was using acid toners quite regularly.
Then, I stopped using acid toners so aggressively, so my skin was not being exfoliated very regularly. (I don’t use physical scrubs or exfoliators – too harsh for me) For some reason, my skin looked a little off kilter about a year ago, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
So there I was, buying up Vitamin C serums by the barrels (if only they sold them by the barrel! LOL!) and trying all sorts of things to make my skin look brighter, clearer and better. Some worked, some didn’t. But I spent lots of money chasing this ideal.
Then, I started using the Pixi Nourishing Cleansing Balm, and I realised what a pain in the butt it was to remove! So, I dug back into my closet for my long-forgotten face flannels.
In just over a period of 2 weeks, I noticed that my skin was feeling much softer and smoother. It was brighter and clearer and didn’t clog so easily. Quickly, I zoomed in on the face flannels – they were the biggest change I’d done yet to my skin care, and it was paying dividends, as it did for me back in 2013.
Suffice to say, I plan to keep at it. Face flannels are now a staple in my cleansing routine, and it doesn’t quite matter what product I use. It is how I use it, that will matter for me.
This tip isn’t about buying any new product, unless you count having to buy the flannels LOL!
Moisture Sandwich to address dry and dehydrated skin
Some of you have seen and heard me wax lyrical about the ‘moisture sandwich’ technique here and on Instagram. For those who have tried it, I love hearing how well it’s worked for you!
I find that the moisture sandwich works particularly well for those who realize that they may be experiencing dehydrated or dry skin. It is also useful for those who may be headed to, or living in a cool, dry climate, or perhaps those who work indoors in low humidity air-conditioned offices.
In a nutshell, you basically ‘sandwich’ your skincare between layers of facial mists/hydrating lotions or you can just read the how, why, when in detail in the original post.
RELATED READING: What is the ‘Moisture Sandwich’ and how does it help my skin? READ HERE
Ever since I discovered how well it worked at keeping the skin plumped and hydrated, I have never stopped misting! Facial mists are now a staple in my skincare routine, and I run through them like erm… water LOL! 😀
Again, this tip isn’t about buying a new skincare product (unless you count buying new facial mists) but about how you use it.
My recommendation is to stick with a product you can afford using, that you are willing to be generous with. It will not work as well, if you stinge on product. You can find facial mists these days at different price tags. Some do perform a little better than others, but as with everything, it is relative so use something that is within your budget because that’s the best way to get the most out of any product 🙂
RELATED READING: Facial mists – why I use them and some of the ones I’ve tried READ HERE
13-Dot Technique – best product application!
This is the newest skincare technique that I’ve picked up in recent times. I thought there was nothing new I could learn that would blow me away, but wow. Colour me impressed! 😀
RELATED READING: All about the 13-dot technique and why it is the best product application technique ever! READ HERE
Ever since I discovered the 13-dot technique, and started using it, I’ve noticed just how much better my skin looks and feels. This is especially so when I apply my moisturiser, because I’d never realized that my application technique might not be depositing sufficient product where I need it. Read the original post to see how I discovered this was so 😉
I use it to apply cream type products, as they are easier to distribute this way. So I utilize the same technique for thicker textured serums as well. Basically, anything in a thicker lotion or cream texture.
With a more liquid product, or a more liquid serum, I warm it up and spread it all over my skin in my usual method.
I highly recommend that you try this technique, because it really did help me and my skin. My skin actually felt bouncier and more moisturized, without even changing any product in my routine, and I think that it also helps you apply product more evenly all over.
Unlike Tips 1 and 2 above, there is absolutely no purchase required in this tip! 😀 You can literally start it tonight, the minute you get home from work, after reading this.
I shared it a little while ago, and I’ve had a few people tell me that they have also found it helpful for them. It also helps you think a little about where you place your product, and where you might have been missing or neglecting prior to this.
How these 3 tips have helped me
I now use these 3 techniques daily. The face flannel, only in the evening, but the moisture sandwich and 13-dot technique is used in both my morning and evening routines.
I’ve noticed that firstly, my skin is far less prone to getting clogged. I still only use acid toners sparingly, so I know the flannel is still doing its job.
I also notice that my skin looks and feels less dehydrated, and is noticeably brighter, and more moisturized. It also looks and feels more healthy, because I now use sufficient product all over, and my active serums are more evenly distributed.
It is a very small switch up in my skincare routine, that has paid dividends, and very little in my product selection has changed dramatically (use it or lose it remember?).
So if you too have noticed that your skin is looking and feeling off-kilter. Or if you find yourself chasing all the new products out there, hoping to find the holy grail, how about pausing for a moment in your quest, and try one, two or even all 3 of these tips here. I am quite confident at least 1, or even ALL of them will bring improvements without you even trying too hard! 😀
If you’ve tried any of these tips, I’d love to hear your experience with them!
I think that as skincare afficionados (and in my case, as a beauty blogger) too much emphasis is placed on products, and too little on how to use them to maximize their benefits. Well, here are 3 ways you can try! If you know of other tips, please share! 😀