What I Wish I Knew About My Skin Back Then

Growing up I knew next to little about my skin, I believed just about every old wives tale going and most likely made problems worse rather than better. I am not claiming to be an expert now - heck far from it but I have learned a lot along the way...

- You will not and do not get blemishes from eating pizza, chocolate or any other food (unless allergic but then again that is more of a rash)- a blemish is a blocked pore.

- On the same note if you have blemishes do not equate to dirty or under cleansed skin. A pore can become blocked with dirt, debris, oil from your face and make-up, cleansing and exfoliating will and does help prevent the pores from blocking but some of us are more prone to such problem than others.

- You can not cause your skin to sag by incorrectly massaging and/or applying creams "wrongly". In laymen's terms he skin's texture and structure is to do with the collagen production within the Epidermis. As the Epidermis is a lower level of skin you can not damage it by touch - age and UV rays are what damages such layer.

- Toner is not for removing the last of your make-up, don't get me wrong it will and should catch any remaining traces which is an added bonus. Rather it is to rebalance the skin after cleansing and restore it back to its natural pH balance.

- Sunscreen is not only for when the sun is out, UV rays are present every single day even in cold places like Scotland. Find a good facial sunscreen (factor 15 and above) and apply it daily before make-up. Sun damage completely ages the skins - the UV rays destroy natural collagen production making the skin sag and wrinkle prematurely and of course creates brown spots.

- Photosensitivity is something I have only just learned about, essentially some products such as those that contain AHA's and Glyoclic Acid can make you skin more sensitive to the sun. This could make it more prone to burning and/or a rash. To avoid this happening you should use product which contain such ingredients at night and of course follow up with an SPF the following morning. Oddly products that contain a high concentration of lemon (a natural AHA) can trigger the same reactions.

- There is such a thing as dehydration lines which are more often than not vertical lines on the hands and face. I tend to get mine around my lips when I'm slacking on the water front. The good news is once I eat and drink better they plump out and vanish. If you find vertical lines and don't smoke, are fairly young - more often than not this will be the cause. I can not begin to tell you how relived I was when a facialist told me this!

- As a spotty teen I used to dab toothpaste on my blemishes before going to bed, then awaken to a minty scented pillow case...ah those where the days. The main reason it was recommended back then was due to the ingredients found in many toothpastes : Triclosan, an antibacterial agent which can also be found in many blemish busting products, along with hydrogen peroxide and alcohol which coincidently is also present in toothpaste. Yes it can dry out any offending blemishes but it can also irritate the surrounding skin, burn and create more blemishes in turn.

- The hands, neck and chest area's are one of the first to age treat them how you would your face; a good moisturiser regularly and don't skimp on SPF.

Isn't it funny what we used to believe? I will never forgive myself for blaming Chocolate for my blemishes ha!