Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The End

I started this blog nearly two years ago as an addition to the blogs I read. Some that I really enjoyed had shut down and others had changed direction, as is natural. I thought to myself ‘what if I wrote a blog I would like to read’. So I did.

As time goes on though, life becomes busier and I now have a wish to spend less time in front of the computer and more time doing what I love.

Believe it or not, what I most enjoy is privacy and anonymity. I like spending time by myself. I am not on Twitter or Facebook or anything else other than this blog. So I think this next step will be good for me.

I really appreciate those of you that have read my blog and also comments you have left. I have learnt lots and made many new friends.

Merci, au revoir and be chic.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Having Beautiful Skin - part 2

Following on from my last post about what I put on my skin on a daily basis to make it the happiest it can be, here are some of the things I do to pamper my skin from the inside. It's not an exhaustive list but just what seems to work for me.

- Drinking water all day long, and hot tea. I go between English breakfast with trim milk, green tea and relaxing herbal teas.

- Eating fresh fruits daily and a handful of raw mixed nuts. Also a couple of prunes and some dried apricots are consumed most days at breakfast.

- I eat good fats. Don’t be afraid of eggs, avocado, olive oil and I even think butter is good for you in appropriate amounts. I drink soy milk because cow milk seems to cause sinus problems with me but I think a mix of plant fats and limited amounts of animal fats are great for the skin.

- I try to eat something raw or at least fruits and vegetables with every meal – a piece of fruit or two with breakfast, salad vegetables with lunch and steamed vegetables or a salad with dinner. Lots of different brightly coloured fruits and vegetables are so good for our health and therefore good for our skin.

- I’m not macrobiotic, organic, vegetarian or vegan. What I do try to do is eat as much as possible, food that doesn’t come from a packet. Sometimes I’ll remember back through the day’s offerings and see what percentage was good, real food. My goal for my daily diet is to be ‘normal’.

- Think happy thoughts. What thoughts we have on the inside shows on the outside. Worry shows up on our faces, as does bitterness and fear. Learn to live lightly and let things go. I try not to hold onto things. I have a hard time not feeling guilty (for real and imagined past events, big or tiny) and am working on that. What I tell myself is it is the best I could have done at the time and I can’t go back and change it now by worrying.

- Sit up straight. Our circulation is better when we aren’t slouching and that carries nutrients to our skin.

- By the same circulation token – do some gentle exercise. A walk around the block each day is better than nothing. Take deep breaths whilst walking, and notice the beautiful trees, flowers, grass and sky around you. Even a grey thundery sky is beautiful in my eyes and you can take an umbrella with you. Walking is good for your body and the meditation which comes with stepping is great for your wellbeing and calmness.

- Having a simple routine of stretches each day is good for you too. Most days I lie on the floor and stretch my fingers and toes in opposite directions. The days I attend a yoga class I feel the best of all. I think yoga might just be the fountain of youth and wellbeing. A goal I have for myself is to work out my own little yoga routine (maybe half an hour?) and do it each day at home.

- Having down time and doing what you love. Having time to be ‘be’ and potter is so beneficial to my happiness and therefore my health and therefore my skin.

- Having lots of lovely quality sleep. When I go to bed at a reasonable hour and have a good night’s sleep I can see on my face in the morning that my skin looks rested and plumped up from a night of good moisturiser and calmness. When I’ve been out late, like on Friday night to a family 21st which saw me climbing into bed near midnight after four glasses of Chardonnay... well my skin took on a wax dummy tone on Saturday morning. Now I am in my forties I know which one I prefer!

I would love to hear your favourite ways to be good to yourself and good to your skin.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Having Beautiful Skin – part 1


Pampering my skin is one of my favourite ways to nurture my spirit. From morning until evening there are many opportunities to stop and take care of some aspect of my toilette.

It’s not what you do once in a while that counts, but what you do on a regular basis. And if you do them often enough they become habit and you don’t forget. You then reap the rewards later in life when your skin is glowy and smooth.

Here are just some of the ways I pamper my skin – from the outside:

- A quick rinse-off of my face in the shower in the morning followed by a thorough cleanse with a small amount of foaming cleanser. When I have dried off I pat on alcohol-free toner and a good moisturiser. I put SPF 15 on the top of this. Layering is something I do morning and night. A thin layer of two different types of moisturiser feels better to me than one. And my skin drinks it in.

- Applying body lotion to my whole body after my morning shower. I go through a lot of body lotion but it’s worth it. Trying different lotions and scents is fun. If I used the same lotion month in month out I would get bored. I bought a bottle of grapeseed oil from the cooking section of the supermarket and have been adding a little to my body lotion and then shaking in. I have done the same with olive oil before too and it makes the lotion much richer.

- Applying sun protection to my décolletage every morning, summer and winter.

- Applying body butter or body cream to my décolletage before retiring in the evening.

- Putting a vitamin e cream or oil on my melanoma scar on the back of my leg. My cat rescue friend advised this. She has surgery scars that are 20 years old and said they are almost invisible due to vitamin e cream. Maybe time helps the colour of scars but why take any chances.

- Try not to frown. I have been tempted by Botox a few times but, well the cost puts me off. Probably if it was free I would have tried it by now! I also looked into Frownies but in the end decided to just not frown, which is what Frownies train you to do. So during the day (when I think about it) I focus on relaxing my face, imagining what my forehead might be like if I had Botox (smooth) and ‘pull’ my eyebrows apart. Yoga taught me that your intentions help your muscles, even if in infinitesimally small ways, so it will be doing something. And the small line I noticed on my forehead and the two between my eyebrows seem better and definitely not worse.

- Taking pleasure in cleansing my face at night. I use a thick creamy lotion and massage this into my face. I have a facial tissue at the ready and a basin of quite warm water run, with a fine cotton flannel in it (I use a fresh one every night). When I have massaged my face well but gently, including my eye makeup, I start tissuing it off. When I have removed all the cleansing cream I wash my face with the flannel and warm water. The flannel is wrung out until almost dry and I exfoliate whilst I clean my face too. After this I apply my layers of evening time lotions and eye cream. I don’t use a toner at night as my face is still damp. I change my products when I need a new one but they are always reasonable in cost and often from the supermarket or chemist rather than the glamorous beauty counters. Currently I am using a mix of Weleda, Skinfood, Natio and Neutrogena. At the moment my cleansing lotion is a lightly scented body lotion with grapeseed oil added. I thought I would try it when I ran out of cleansing lotion and it hasn't been detrimental. It's a lot cheaper too!

- Along with my décolletage moisturising at night I apply a lip balm to my lips and some lavender oil to my wrists before bed. Delicious.

- Say no to mineral oil (or huile minerale, even though they are French words, doesn’t fool me!) and denatured or SD alcohol. Both are terrible for skin.

- I keep hand lotion everywhere so I use it often. Choose light ones that sink in quickly so you won’t be put off using them on the go. I have a tube in the car door for when I’m a passenger, a pump bottle by the sink at work, some in the living room by my stack of magazines, by my bed, in the bathroom... Everywhere.

- Edited to add: I almost forgot about foundation. I read in Joan Collins beauty secrets book that she believes foundation protects your skin and wearing it helps keep you looking younger. Well I don't wear as much as Joan, but since the age of 14 I have always worn a tinted moisturiser or light foundation. It makes sense that this creates a barrier between your skin and the environment.

So I’m sure you have gotten by now that the main things I do for my skin are cleanse well (in a way that suits your skin type), and moisturise a lot. Make it enjoyable and treat these times like a spa and you will want to do it.

Making something enjoyable, whether it’s budgeting, eating healthfully or looking after your skin is the secret to being able to maintain it every day. For example, I like to make our bathroom spa-like by keeping it clean and putting out fresh towels regularly.

Next time, part two of Having Beautiful Skin will focus on pampering your skin from the inside.
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