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.


  1. fiona have you tried a clairsonic? i hestitate to tell anyone i do b/c i swear this little gadget is going to put me out of business. it is amazing and worth every cent. it's like getting a professional facial every single day! you know i'm looking forward to part 2.

  2. Janet, I have thought about one of those on and off for ages. I might have to look into it now with your recommendation as a professional. It's not too rough for skin that goes red easily?

  3. Plus there seem to be different kinds (Mia, etc). Which would you recommend? Does anyone else have thoughts on Clarisonic?

  4. Very good habits, Fiona, and I have them all myself. A long time ago, my dentist said to me, "Whether they be good or bad, eventually your habits catch up with you." And it's so true, so why not make them good habits?

    I've been using a Clarisonic Mia for 2-1/2 years, and feel like I'd probably drop dead without it.

    xo --

  5. Well, this is why you have such a beautiful complexion Fiona! The one thing I never omit is a facial sunscreen. At least SPF 30, every day rain or shine! I have been toying with buying the Clarisonic as well - but don't know if it would be worth the £$! I just might get one now.have a lovely week!

  6. Your disciplines have paid off! You always look great and youthful in your photos. Please, PLEASE, never consent to Botox. I think a book you would really enjoy is "The Truth About Beauty" by Kat James. She tackles the importance of diet, supplements, etc. and how they work from the inside out to create beauty--plus has a great reference on good skin care products.

    I have been hearing a lot about that Clarisonic...I may have to think about it too. xo Bliss

  7. Wonderful advice so thoroughly written.
    I have the less expensive version of the Clairsonic made by Olay...I love mine.

    Please do tell what type of tinted foundation you are using...I am thinking of swapping my mineral powder for a tinted moisturizer/foundation for a lighter look for Spring and Summer.

    Lovely as ever to stop by your blog!

    Take care,


  8. Thanks for the tip on vitamin E cream on scars. I will try it on the small melanoma scar on my nose.

  9. Hi Fiona, it's been awhile since I last commented on your blog. Thanks for the sharing once again on your beauty regime. I gave my skin a break for a month after having my daughter. After that I continue to feed my skin, never been better!

  10. Hi Fiona,

    Loved reading about your skin-care regime. I have been diligent in my twice daily skin-care since about the age of fourteen.

    My routine consists of cleansing morning and night and applying SPF 30+ in the morning and rose water and moisturiser around my eyes and on my neck and decolletage at night. I have found (even though I am 48) that if I apply any moisturiser at night (even non-comedogenic ones), I get a pimple! So I don't! I also exfoliate (gently) every few days in the shower. I would love to find a night moisturiser that didn't make me break out.
    Kind regards,

  11. Marsi, bonjour! I love your dentist's quote and it almost, almost stopped me having chippies (potato chips) before dinner tonight. Must kick those bad habits. Plus, I've got to look into a Clarisonic as well.

    SK, I'm sure your fur is so silky and your nose so moist with such a diligent daily regime. Sun protection is most important.

    Bliss, don't worry, I'm not rushing off for Botox. I'll look into that book though. Merci!

    Hostess, perhaps the Olay might be a good thing to try first. I am using the Dior tinted moisturiser and Diorskin Pure Light foundation. The foundation is quite thin and sheer which I like. Lovely to have you here!

    Chicatanyage, good luck. I always try to remember a scar is better than having the skin cancer, even though my scar is quite big.

    Ping, hi! And congratulations on the birth of your daughter!

    Sonya, whatever works for you, works for you. I read in an English magazine about a woman who reckoned her skin looked better and younger when she gave up heavy night creams because her skin could breathe while she slept. It caused me to do a major rethink on what I should put on my skin.

  12. Thanks for that, Fiona. Sometimes I think I must be missing doing something really beneficial for my skin because I can't moisturise at night. (Love all the natural scents of some creams). My daily SPF is a light moisturising lotion though, and that doesn't seem to give me any trouble.


  13. Hi Fiona, I enjoyed reading about your skin care regimen. I have been using the Clarisonic about 3 months now and love it. I can tell a big difference in my skin: smoother and finer texture. I perform "most" of the steps you do. I started as a teenager and have been very consistent. It really pays off.

  14. Oooh! I love pampering too. I'm really into organic products wherever possible now, and have started using either coconut oil or Argan oil as my night-treatment and I have done away with all my expensive creams. It works wonders. I've also been known to break open a Vit E oil capsule directly onto my face ;-)

  15. @Vanessa--I have been using only almond oil on my face at night since I was not seeing any benefit from my night cream...AMAZING difference. No sleep wrinkles in the morning, less fine lines and my skin is more glowing. Thought it was just my imagination so was glad to see someone else was using just oil at night too.

  16. Fiona, Thank you for all your wonderful blogs.
    Dior Pure Light foundation has been discontinued. What do you use in its place.
    Thank you

  17. Lynda, it's been so long since I have purchased foundation because I use such a small amount. Perhaps ask the consultant what has replaced it. When foundation shopping I usually ask for a sheer to medium weight water-based foundation.

  18. Wandered over here from today's post (10-21-16) and found this article! I can recommend you do some studying with - Paula Begoun - who wrote the book "Don't Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me". It will help you know what works and what doesn't. I agree with you, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

    She has been researching products from makeup to skin-care (anti-aging, too) to see if the products do what they claim, have in them what they claim, etc. She saved me a lot of money by not wasting it on "famous" products that actually are no better than the less expensive products in a drug-store. She also tells what anti-aging products actually work and why, She does have her own line but also tells what is best in other product lines, too. She's a life-saver and her skin is amazing (because she uses what she recommends).

    1. I love Paula Begoun! She's the one that got me onto the no mineral oil and no harsh alcohols back in the 90s, I'm sure.

  19. I agree with the NO BOTOX idea. Why would you want to put a botulism toxin/poison into your body? I did watch a PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) TV show by Dr. Anthony Youn ( He is a dermatologist and had some excellent suggestions on how to keep your skin healthy and young looking. His suggestion for a Botox alternative was to put a piece of cellophane tape across the wrinkle at night. It trains the underlying muscles to relax thereby reducing the wrinkle--just like botox! Of course, it will take a few weeks to see results, but for the price of a roll of Scotch tape it's worth a try... Best wishes.

    1. I'm going to try the tape thing, don't know why I didn't think of that when I decided not to order 'Frownies'.

      I still haven't tried Botox and I still don't think I will. It just doesn't appeal.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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