My Favourite Ever Beauty Advice
As a beauty journalist I spend pretty much 99 per cent of my time reading about/researching/writing about the oh-so-pleasant-smelling world of hair, makeup and skincare.
And during that time I’ve received a ton of good advice… Face wipes often eventually = breakouts (as well as being rough on the environment), apply your richest products at night when your skin is doing its most work regenerating, and cleansing thoroughly (yet gently) is a non-negotiable step in keeping skin clear and glowy.
Those are pieces of advice I can honestly say I follow every single day, and my skin has (so far, at least) thanked me for it.
But while those tips have generally come from a whole variety of sources, over the past few years I’ve increasingly been picking up some tricks from the product formulators, journalists and YouTubers actually guineapig-ing the main bulk of new products on their faces every day, before sharing their wisdom with the wider world.
And since over that time I’ve managed to snaffle some pretty great advice I thought I’d share some of my favourite beauty tips I’ve learned from other beauty blogs here.
Skin is Skin
Ah, the wise words of Harley Street dermatologist and blogger Dr Sam Bunting. Dr Sam’s skincare philosophy is simple- cleanse thoroughly, go gentle on skin and always wear SPF… Oh yes, and don’t go too fussy on the products.
That means not over-spending on a whole raft of individual products when just a couple would do, and it means you don’t necessarily need a separate eye cream.
Yes, Dr Sam is a firm believer that “skin is skin”, and what works for the rest of your face (barring anything too harsh) works for your under eyes too.
I have to say I’ve generally found the same to be true as well, and I can definitely get on board with any advice that means I don’t have to spend an extra £50 on yet another product. That means most days I just take my normal face moisturiser up to and around my eyes rather than using a separate cream my current favourite is Bybi’s Night Nutrition Protein Night Cream*.
Your Face Stops at your Boobs
Possibly my favourite ever beauty journalist, Zoe Foster Blake, has made these 6 simple words something of a mantra when it comes to protecting the delicate skin on the neck and chest just as much as your face.
Given that we have fewer sebaceous glands (the oil producing glands that contribute to breakouts but also help to naturally moisturise our skin) on our neck and chest (and therefore show signs of ageing there quicker) it certainly makes sense to carry any skincare down to boob level. And since tech neck is also *definitely a thing* this is a piece of advice I’ve been following for years- especially when it comes to moisturising and SPF.
To really double down, I also like to make sure any creams I’m using on my body are also applied up to neck height (meaning I have pretty much the most moisturised chest ever and going some way towards my ultimate goal of ageing in reverse).
Straightforward advice, but man is it important. Pretty much the footer of any Caroline Hirons blog post or video, a reminder to wear sunscreen is something you can never have too much of.
Yes, UVB (the rays responsible for tanning, burning and the majority of skin cancers) can’t pass through windows, and ispartially (but not totally blocked) by cloud. But UVA (the rays responsible for visible ageing as well as skin cancer) can penetrate both cloud and windows. This means all the fun of fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, loss of skin tone and cancer risk whether you’re sitting at your desk on a raining December day or sunning yourself somewhere lovely.
Not only can sunscreen help avoid that, but wearing it has also been shown to actively undo some signs of ageing (I believe they call that a win-win). So get wearing SPF.
I think part of the problem that stops so many people using sunscreen daily is the sheer inconvenience of so many of the formulas out there- whether that means greasiness, white cast or breakouts.
So instead pick a sophisticated formula, use enough (half a teaspoon for the face and neck), *and actually reapply it* (at least every few hours throughout the day).
My favourites are:
For Oily Skin: Ren’s Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30. So so gentle, a properly matte finish, no greasy feeling and nothing in this that can break you out- a serious favourite.
For Normal Skin: With absolutely no white cast and packing some impressive ingredients like niacinamide to even skin tone and prevent breakouts, Dr Sam’s Flawless Daily Sunscreen SPF 50 is just so simple to use and unnoticeable once its on.
For Sensitive Skin: If, like me, you have skin that is at all sensitive, or even melasma or rosacea then mineral sunscreen is the one for you. Helping to deflect and absorb the sun’s rays, mineral sunscreens use ingredients like zinc oxide and iron oxide to form a little protective layer over skin without irritating or sensitising it. Check out natural skincare company Bybi’s latest product, Day Defence SPF 30 Day Cream.
For Reapplying: Bioderma’s Photoderm Max Compact SPF 50. A great little compact, this offers SPF 50 and can be reapplied over makeup/in the back of a cab/in a rush in the office loo so skin never needs to be left unprotected.
Hair or Makeup
I’m as much of a fan of the natural look as the next girl (more possibly since I really am ridiculously lazy when it comes to any sort of makeup routine involving more than three steps), but even I know there’s a fine line between the natural I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-looking-this-healthy look and a bit, well, unkempt.
And sadly since my hair is both enormous and pretty much untameable, if I ever try to go too natural I definitely end up falling into the second camp.
But my favourite beauty YouTuber, Allana Davison, has some great advice for toeing the line between natural beauty and the I-haven’t-brushed-my-hair-in-three-days look…She says if you’re going low key, choose between your hair or your makeup.
Yes, in the same way that you get told “legs or cleavage-not both!” when you’re a teenager (so judgemental), Allana recommends straightening, curling, or otherwise styling hair if you’re going to be going makeup free. Whereas on days when you’re scraping your hair up into a bun she suggests making sure to at least add in a tiny bit of concealer under the eyes, as well as something like a tinted lip balm (for a quick two-minute makeup routine take a look at mine here).
I actually really like this advice since it stays true to my general natural beauty ethos but adds in *just* enough effort that I don’t feel too grungy. It’s also definitely saved me on more than one occasion when I’ve just popped out quickly to pick up milk/tea/snacks and ended up bumping into *everyone I’ve ever met in my life*.
So there you go; four pieces of beauty advice I’ve heard over the last few years that have steered me through many a beauty related near miss. I hope they bring you as much beauty-related joy too!
*Denotes PR sample
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