7 Habits for a Youthful Looking Complexion

Today we have a rarity on The Sunday Girl, a guest post from Gio at Beauty with Brains. An article all about adopting great skin care habits while we are young to help ward off premature ageing. I hope you enjoy reading the post as much as I did...

I'm not one of those people genetically blessed with flawless, glowing skin; Keeping mine healthy and youthful looking takes a lot of planning, dedication and ongoing care. It's surprisingly easy, well once I figured out the right habits I needed to adopt:

1. Establish a steady skincare routine
 I used to change my skincare products every few weeks, before even giving them a chance to really work - I applied moisturiser only when I remembered to. Not great. No wonder my skin kept acting up! It's only when I developed an effective skincare routine and followed it steadily, that my skin improved. The first step was figuring out what my skin type was (combination). The second, finding skincare products especially formulated for it. The third, and last one, to use them regularly. Consistency is key.

2. Wear Sunscreen Every Day
 Even though I moved to the UK, a country where the sun rarely decides to make an appearance - I still apply sunscreen every morning. UV rays are sneaky, just because you can't see them, doesn't mean they're not there. They are present from the moment the sun comes up, to the moment it goes down, and are able to penetrate the skin all the time - this includes through clouds and windows, and even get reflected on snow! They can cause all kinds of damage to the skin: wrinkles, dark spots, cancer. Why risk it? Rain or shine, winter or summer, I put my sunscreen on. Every. Single. Day. You should too.

3. Exfoliate 
Exfoliation is one of the best things we can do for our skin, it gets rid of all the dead cells that are accumulating on the surface of our complexion and in turn makes our skin softer, more-even toned, and radiant. I use a glycolic acid-based exfoliant; Glycolic acid can be used by all skin types but it's particularly beneficial for dry and sun-damaged skin. That's because it can also hydrate skin and boost collagen production. If you have oily or acne-prone skin that breaks out easily,  a salicylic acid-based exfoliant is a better option. Salicylic acid is able to penetrate inside the pores, removing the dead cells, excess oil, and all the other trapped dirt that accumulates within them and eventually causes breakouts. If your skin is very sensitive, exfoliating with a wash cloth once or twice a week will do the trick.

4. Add antioxidants to your skin care routine
I never thought about anti-aging until my mid 20s, when I started noticing those first fine lines creep up around my eyes. I then regretted not doing something about them sooner. Prevention is better than cure, that's where antioxidants come in. Vitamins A, C, and E, and green tea all fight free radicals, which is one of the main causes of ageing. Antioxidants also help boost collagen production, helping to keep skin youthful and healthy. There isn't an antioxidant that's better than another. The more you use, the better your skin will look. 

5. Wash Your Make Up Brushes Regularly
 I hate washing my make up brushes but it must be done, if I don't want my skin to break out. What have make up brushes got to do with blemishes?  Well, every time we utilize them on our skin, they collect oil, dust, and dead cells - not to mention, the residual products left behind. All that dirt and grime ends up back on our face when we next reach for a brush, clogging our pores and maybe even causing breakouts. So, let's all do our skin a favour and wash them regularly, shall we?

6, Take Off Your Make Up Before Going to Bed
In my early 20s, I'd often crash on my bed straight after a late night out partying or clubbing. Who can be bothered to remove make up? Not me, I was too tired. That's of course another thing I regret now. I sleep on my side, so my make up rubbed against the pillow and got pushed into my pores, clogging them, and causing blemishes to rear their ugly heads on my face. Not to mention how bad skipping my entire skincare routine was, because of my laziness, my skin missed out on a lot of beneficial ingredients it needed to stay young and healthy. Don't make the same mistake.

7. Take Good Care Of Your Neck
Once I began to consistently follow a proper skincare routine, I'd forever forget my neck area. Huge mistake. That's one of the first parts of our body to give away our real age. To prevent that from happening, I started applying all the lotions and potions I use on my face on my neck as well. You can use products specifically designed for the neck too but I find my facial serum and moisturizer works very well for it too. Why spend more if it's not necessary?

How many of these habits are you already following?