Join the make-up-free revolution for healthier skin
Wearing make-up is a daily habit for many women - did you know that the average woman in the UK spends £100,000 in her lifetime on cosmetics (1)? Two-thirds of British women admit to wearing make-up every day of the week, but it seems that could be bad news for our skin, with 75% of us suffering from breakouts as a result.
Now dermatologists agree that going make-up free for two days a week is the key to younger, healthier skin in less than a month - it's a trend that's been taking off lately, with #makeupfree trending on Instagram and everyone from celebrities and supermodels to the general public getting in on the make-up free selfie action. But what could going make-up free do for your skin?
What's lurking in your make-up?
Most make-up available on the high street is loaded with parabens and other harmful ingredients, which can accumulate in the skin's outermost layers and clog your pores. This could accelerate the ageing process by damaging collagen and elastin in the skin. Most make-up contains chemicals, preservatives and fragrances which can irritate your skin and could even cause allergic reactions in those with sensitive skin. Clogged pores could appear larger and you could notice that oilier skin is a side-effect of wearing make-up regularly, as your pores struggle to breathe.
What's the 5:2 approach?
Adopted by many models and celebrities, the 5:2 approach means going completely make-up free for two days a week - these can be consecutive or non-consecutive days. This will not only save you money, but it also helps to promote the turnover of skin cells, which slows down naturally as we age. New cells will be formed faster and this regeneration makes your complexion more glowing and youthful, and can reduce the risk of fine lines.
Taking it further
There are some who suggest going even further in your quest for naturally beautiful skin. Dr Terry Loong, skin specialist and leading aesthetic doctor, recommends a three-week 'skin fasting' routine twice a year, in spring and autumn. She believes that skin fasting can programme your skin to adapt to the changing seasons and self-heal, boosting its natural hydrating and healing properties. Then there are those who believe that putting make-up on your skin could be toxic, damaging the immune system and leading to problems ranging from panic attacks to yeast infections. It's not just the cosmetics themselves that could damage our skin - the way we remove make-up could also cause damage. Using harsh wipes or cleansers containing alcohol and other irritants can leave your skin dry and sore.
A bad habit
Research carried out by Escentual.com revealed that one-third of women sleep with their make-up on at least once a week after a night out, and some women regularly end up wearing make-up for 24 hours at a time! Over 50% of women questioned noticed a difference in their complexion when going several days without make-up, reporting clearer, more radiant skin.
Try the 5:2 approach for yourself
So how do you put the 5:2 approach into practice? For some of us, it may not be possible to go make-up free during the week, as you want to look polished and professional for work. Weekends or your days off are the best time to give your skin a break from cosmetics and other harsh products. Here are a few tips to help you implement the 5:2 approach and enjoy healthier, more youthful skin:
- Cleansing, toning and moisturising are important. Try using natural products which don't contain parabens or other chemicals. We love RMS Beauty, favourite brand of supermodel Miranda Kerr. Their raw coconut cream is an excellent make-up remover (and doubles as a moisturiser) that's 100% pure.
- Make-up free days are a good time to treat your skin using a mask such as Neal's Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm
- Try to avoid make-up remover wipes, which can be harsh and drying. If you do have to use them after a night out, make sure you cleanse and moisturise properly in the morning
- Skip concealer and use a corrective under-eye cream or serum to reduce dark circles and puffiness - try La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Eyes
- Skin-illuminating moisturisers give a radiant glow to bare skin, without the need for make-up, but if you have acne or redness and need a little extra coverage, look for a BB cream with skincare benefits, such as Bioderma Sensibio AR BB cream, which calms irritation and reduces and covers redness
- Cleanse your skin from the inside out! Drink plenty of water and get some exercise as this will help your body to flush out toxins. Avoiding processed food and upping your intake of fruit and veg can help too!
- Quit smoking! You don't need us to tell you that smoking is seriously bad for your health, and your skin, leading to dryness, breakouts and premature ageing
Sticking to this routine, or even adding in additional make-up free days, could really make a difference to your skin. When you do wear make-up, try brands such as RMS Beauty which don't contain artificial ingredients that could clog pores, leading to breakouts and accelerating skin ageing. Enjoy happier, healthier skin starting in as little as a few weeks with the 5:2 approach!
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