Friday, 2 January 2015

Lotions & Potions - Resolving to do Things Differently

So what are my intentions for this year?  I've never liked the idea of resolutions as there's a feeling that they set you up to fail.  I do like the idea of starting afresh however.  This year, I'm going to give myself the opportunity to start work on 3 new things.

But first, rewind.  In 2014, I conquered a habit I've had since I was an anxious toddler; biting my nails. I knew I could do it, after all, I gave up smoking cold turkey over 4 years ago. But I also knew if I didn't keep my nails coated in something, not necessarily nail varnish, but nail treatment coats at least, I would inevitably find myself breaking them.  That's what I've done and it's been hard.  However, for six months I've taken care of my nails and now I love them. I can paint them as much as I like and indulge my love of O.P.I. Lacquer.

That leads me on to 2015. What would I like to resolve to do differently this year?

Difference 1 - Stick to a Skin Care Routine

Not so hard, right? My skin needs it. It's not that now I'm 30 I want to turn back the clock, I'm actually very line free. It's instead that I'd like for my face to not to feel tight and sore most days. After experimenting for a few months, I have found that what my skin doesn't seem to like is following a Western routine. What my skin type prefers is an Eastern routine.  What's the difference?

Western - Cleanse, tone, moisturise. i.e. Remove excess oil and makeup, tighten pores, then moisturise.
Eastern - Cleanse, tone, essence, moisturise. i.e. Remove excess oil and makeup, prep skin, apply chosen nutrition, then moisturise.

Western skin routines focuses on ridding skin of dirt, tightening pores to stop it getting back in and then applying a moisturiser to replace and increase the moisture lost through wearing makeup and then cleansing. My skin has two main issues. Firstly, cleansing then tightening my skin irritates and dries it right out as all the oil is stripped away.   Secondly, most Western moisturisers are too heavy and greasy. I end up with dry skin with a film of grease over the top. It just doesn't work for me.
Eastern skin routines change the basis behind the toning section and onwards. Tone, in this routine, is a preparation stage for the rest of the routine.  The key thing is it doesn't tighten pores, leaving them more accepting of moisture. Essence is the next, and extra, part. It is essentially a moisturise step without the oil.  It's usually a watery gel that has a single aim, such as to calm skin. A very common ingredient for an essence is Aloe for example. The moisturiser section is the same as its Western friend, but I've found Korean ones to be much less heavy and greasy.  They often feel cooling and are based around honey. This just suits my skin better, calming products with no build up from heavy creams.

So why is it called stick to a skincare routine? Simply because it can take -ages-. If I'm tired, it's so easy just to grab a cleansing wipe and call it a night.

Difference 2 - Find the Right Products

Part hobby, part necessity. Everyone knows the lows of getting a product that says it will do all the right things then using it and it's just wrong for you. It's either too heavy, not heavy enough, too light, too dark or just plain doesn't work at all.  I've learned that with patience and research you can start finding things that do work for you.  I've also learned that you don't have to use them exactly as it says on the tin and you don't have to stick to a routine of only one brand.  I used to follow a Murad skin routine.  Now, I love Murad. Take a look But one product just plain hurt when I used it. I was trying to combat my teenage skin and punishing it in the processes. I punished it for months, dimly thinking that's just what it was supposed to be like.  Eventually, I found it just down heartening to go near my beautiful Murad collection, so that naughty anti-acne gel went in the bin. I don't want a repeat of that. Now I mix up my brands and products.

This year I'm going to be kinder to my skin. If it doesn't work or it feels wrong. It's going in the bin.  This of course means I'm going to be doing a lot more research otherwise I'll be binning a fair amount of money too! I've had successes in the last couple of months already. But that's another post.

Difference 3 - Stop Touching my Face

Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. Touching my face is the equivalent of how often men touch their beards.  It tends to happen when I think.  I just need to stop. My inner voice is sarcastically wishing me luck on that one.

Those are my 3 resolutions.  28 times is the magic number to turn anything from trying to do it, into a routine or "soft" habit.  I'm hoping with a bit of determination that can mean that by the end of January I'll be well on my way to getting through numbers one and three.  Number two is ongoing and by far the most fun.  I'll be updating progress on that one here. Wish me luck!

What have you resolved to do differently in 2015?

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