Skincare is something that I'm incredibly passionate about but it's only until the last few years that I really started to pay attention and learn more about it. As a teen I just thought I had bad skin and that was it and never really thought there was much reasoning behind it but since I started to take better care of my skin I've realised just how much can affect my complexion. If you've suffered or suffer from acne you're definitely more aware of what is going on so here are the ways that I've learnt to understand my skin:
Analyse: I pay a lot of attention to the type of spots I get, getting up close and personal with them is important to understand what they are. For the most part I get two main culprits, whiteheads and cysts and neither are pretty but I know that I get different breakouts for different reasons. Personally I get whiteheads when I've not cleansed properly or haven't been eating too well and I get cystic spots when I'm stressed and my hormones are running riot. Being aware of your skin makes it a lot easier to pin point why you might be suffering with breakouts and whether it's down a skincare or make up item you're using or something you're eating.
Lifestyle & Diet: Looking at what your eating and drinking is important, a lot of people struggle with dairy and can be a huge culprit of a breakout. I lead a pretty healthy lifestyle and I don't drink or smoke so I don't have those issues to worry about but I do tend to notice a change of my skin when I'm in a different environment. Whenever I've spent a lot of time in London or a smoggy city my skin instantly becomes really congested and pores look frightful so I know that I need to be using that is deep cleansing. The reason I got cystic acne is because of the contraception I was using, a funny subject to talk about but your hormones play such a huge part in your skin and it's something to be aware of.
Skin Type: For years I didn't understand what my skin type was, it's confusing to know whether it's dry, oily or combination. I went all throughout my teens thinking my skin was dry so was forever applying to wrong products to it which probably made things a lot worse then they ever needed to be. There is a lot of good research online that can help you distinguish your skin type and I've always found some beauty counters have some great sales assistants that can really help you. You could also have a skin condition such as sensitivity or eczema which is something that a medical professional or dermatologist can really help with.
Read & Research: For a long time I used to rely heavily on blogs for knowledge on skincare but I quickly learnt that just because it works for them doesn't mean that it is going to work for me. Whilst I love turning to my favourite bloggers to know there thoughts on a product I know I can't take their word as gospel as we're all different. Two books I've found really helpful with getting more knowledgable about skin and ingredients in Lauren Conrad: Beauty and Liz Earle Skin Secrets*.
Skin Care: Having a solid routine in place has really helped to improve the condition of my skin. I think there is a lot of trial and error involved in working out what is good for you does take a lot of time. The key thing that I've learnt is only use what you need and don't pile on product after product, keeping it minimal has worked wonders for my skin as it's not so congested and weighed down.
What tips do you have for understanding your skin?