Do the double cleanse
No, this isn’t some evil ploy dreamed up by beauty companies to get us to use more product, in fact Japanese women have been doing it for centuries and if you don’t believe us, we suggest you do the swipe test. (After washing your face simply grab a cotton pad and some micellar water and wipe over your entire face including jaw and hairline and we guarantee you’ll spot some residue).
So what exactly is it? Put simply, it’s cleansing your face twice with the premise being that the first cleanse removes make-up and grime whilst the second cleanse purifies and balances leaving your skin better prepped for whatever you put on top of it. We recommend using an oil cleanser to start as most make-up is oil-based and as we know, oil removes oil (Beauty Editor Malena Harbers loves Nude’s Perfect Cleanse Nourishing Oil, £28). Then the second cleanser should be chosen according to your skincare needs ie spot-busting, calming, hydrating etc.
Use (heat) protection
You may wonder what we ever did before straighteners/tongs/super-speedy hairdryers entered our lives and yet our love affair with heated appliances isn’t shared with our increasingly frazzled follicles. The cold hard truth is that heat and hair aren’t the best of bed-mates and using heated appliances inevitably leads to damaged locks as the heat destroys key proteins in the hair. But before you weep into your GHD’s, there is a solution and it’s all about using protection (and we mean every single time you plug in). Believe us when we say your hair will thank you for it. Beauty Intern Catherine Scale loves Treseme’s Heat Defence Styling Spray, £4.
Up your sunscreen ante
We know you’re already wearing an SPF every single day (hang your heads in shame if this doesn’t apply to you) but the latest magical formula for an even, line-free complexion lies in doubling up on your protection and that means combining an SPF with free-radical fighting anti-oxidants.
The fact of the matter is that as over 80% of skin aging is down to UV damage, protecting your skin from these environmental aggressors with an SPF to block UV rays and antioxidants to mop up cell-damaging free radicals is your best line of defence in the quest for younger looking skin.
We suggest getting your double whammy in one product with Elizabeth Arden’s PREVAGE Anti-Aging Moisture Cream Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF30, £98.29 which combines the powerful antioxidant idebenone with an SPF 30.
We’re not talking recycling more and switching off lights (although feel free to add that to the list), instead we’re suggesting that you get more of the green stuff down you so to ensure you look and feel better throughout the year. Green foods are particularly good for us as they tend to be packed full of vital phytonutrients whilst being low in sugar, high in fibre and great at kick-starting your metabolism. ‘Alkalising’ may be the latest buzz-word but it’s not just celebs that are extolling it’s virtues as various nutritionists and health experts also believe that acidity in the body (sugar is enemy no 1 when it comes to acidity) can lead to an increase in bacteria and disease. According to it’s proponents it’s veggies (unlike the majority of fruits) that tend to be more alkaline so upping your intake of the green stuff is the best way to balance PH levels in your body. Our take? It can be difficult to get your 5-a-day so make it easier by incorporating green juices into your daily diet and get yourself a jar of Elle Macpherson’s The Super Elixir greens powder by WelleCo (£62.50 for 300g) which contains a potent cocktail of super greens, chinese herbs and digestive enzymes.
Find the one (fragrance)
You may have spent half your life looking for the ‘one’ but make 2015 the year you find it. The easiest way? Simply go to www.perfumesociety.org and click ‘Fragrance Editor’. Like the match.com of the scent world, it’s a clever online tool where you simply enter the brand name of the fragrance you usually wear or like and the Fragrance Editor (or FR.eD) will select six fragrances that you’re likely to fall in love with spanning niche, cult, luxe and high street brands. What are you waiting for?
Brush up on your body care
We get it, sometimes even slathering on some body lotion can feel like one chore too many but take it from us, start dry body brushing now and you’ll thank us by the time bikini season arrives (even if that feels like a million miles away right now). Why? It’s a super-easy, super-cheap way of increasing the circulation and lymphatic drainage which can in turn help reduce the appearance of cellulite and speed up the elimination of toxins. It also helps slough off dead skin cells revealing softer, smoother skin whilst encouraging cell renewal. Better still, as it only takes a few minutes a day there’s no excuse! (Beauty Director Cassie Steer loves Cowshed’s Walnut Wood Dry Skin brush, £16).
Oil up (your nails)
Hand cream is all very well and good but when it comes to keeping your nails in tip-top condition it’s the innocuous cuticle oil which is your digits BFF. Not only can it instantly refresh a tired mani and nourish split tips and dry cuticles, it actually helps increase the health and length of your nails by preventing the cuticle from sticking to the nail bed as it grows. Beauty writer Jess Tibbits loves CND’s Solar Oil, £11.95 which she recommends keeping on your desk to apply throughout the day.