What is my top skincare tip?
You might be surprised to find out that it’s not directly related to aromatherapy!
Don’t get me wrong, essential oils can be fabulous for your skin.
But, as someone who has worked in the beauty industry for a long time, I’m often asked for skincare tips. My advice will obviously differ according to your individual needs, but one of the most commonly asked questions is about those pesky spots/zits/blemishes we all get from time to time.
If there’s one thing to remember, it’s this – stop touching your face!
If your skin suffers from regular breakouts – don’t touch! You’d be amazed the number of times people are rubbing, clutching and touching their faces throughout the day, often absentmindedly and without clean fingers. I see people doing this all the time (including many beauty vloggers!) and then wondering why they get breakouts!
I’d like to make it clear that skin care can be a complex affair. Unfortunately, there is no single magic trick or miracle product that will guarantee instantly flawless skin. For many skin conditions, there are a whole host of factors to take into consideration. In no way am I suggesting that my tip will solve all your skin problems. There are many causes of acne, and I am NOT saying that touching your face is one of them. However, if you are acne-prone, touching your face will spread the P. acnes bacteria and probably worsen your skin condition.
A 2008 study found that, on average, people touch their faces 16 times an hour, often without realising. Think of how many germs are found on computer keyboards, door handles, stair rails, mobile phones, car keys, chip-and-pin machines, lift buttons… our hands are in contact with bacteria and germs all day long. This is not usually a danger to our health if we regularly wash our hands, particularly before eating. But every time you touch your face you are transferring that bacteria on to your skin – especially when you’re out and about.
This also applies to those of you who like to apply make-up on the move. Ladies, I have spotted you applying foundation with your fingers whilst sitting on the bus, in the classroom and at your office desk. Now, it’s not the location that I care about, but the fact that you’re essentially rubbing in all that bacteria from your fingers right onto your skin – not to mention cross-contaminating those germs back into your make-up products. So, never apply make-up (or any skincare products) without properly washing your hands first!
Even if you’re not acne-prone, constantly rubbing your face can damage the delicate skin around the eyes, causing broken capillaries and dark under-eye circles.
As well as improving your skin, avoiding face-touching also reduces the risk of respiratory infections. Think about how often we are transferring bacteria from our hands to our noses and mouths. Do you ever check your phone while eating, or having a quick snack? (I know I do!) Scientists discovered that mobile phones can contain almost 500 times more bacteria than a toilet seat and 18 times more than the door handle of a public toilet. While much of this bacteria is harmless, sometimes it will contain traces of unfavourable pathogens (such as E. coli or Staphylococcus aureus). It’s easy to mistakenly think our hands are clean, forgetting that we’ve just been using our phone or computer keyboard.
So, get into the habit of avoiding hand-to-face contact unless your fingers are freshly washed!
And for those of you who clicked this article expecting to find some aromatherapy-related skin care tips – I won’t leave you disappointed! Here are some essential oil suggestions for different skin types:
Dry skin – Chamomile (German or Roman), Frankincense, Jasmine, Lavender, Sandalwood
Oily skin – Bergamot, Chamomile (German or Roman), Cypress, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Tea tree
Mature/Ageing skin – Carrot seed, Frankincense, Neroli, Rose
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