We can all breathe a sigh of relief now, because contouring is dead — Kim Kardashian herself said so. Rising from its ashes is dewy skin, that youthful, water-drenched glow that makes you look 21 and as if you’d just woken up from a 10-hour sleep. Sigh.
You know what else? Winter is just around the corner. You know what comes after that? Spring Carnival! Yes, at risk of sounding obsessive, I’m going to say that now is the best time to prepare for the festivities. I mean, we’ve all heard how the summer body is created in winter, right?
For our part, we also have a lot of preparations on that front, which means lots of goodies for you, like features on horse racing fashion (natch) and interviews with people who matter in the horse racing world. Stay tuned!
If you’re ready to look fresh and lit from within (and who isn’t?), let’s get started.
Like with any art work, the place to start with dewy skin is with a clean, blank canvas. The importance of clean skin can’t be over-emphasised: breakouts commonly start when bits of dirt get trapped, starting an inflammation.
Enter double cleansing. These days, this is mostly attributed to Koreans (who are obsessed with perfect skin), although it’s really nothing new. The basic premise is that you first cleanse with oil, and then with water and soap.
Why the extra step? Oil dissolves oil-based impurities better. Try Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil or bareMinerals Oil Obsessed Total Cleaning Oil. Pour a few drops of the cleanser onto your fingers and gently massage it into your skin. After a minute or two, wipe it off with tissue.
Next, bust out your cleanser. By now, you would already have found the cleanser that best suits your skin – just make sure that it’s super gentle. I know double cleansing sounds like overkill, but the point is that you’re taking care of your skin, and so, you know, be careful.
Remember that time when you had a sunburn, and then you spent days afterward peeling off the burnt top layer? The shiny layer right underneath that is actually newly-generated, young skin. A quick note on that: dewy skin is exceedingly easy to overdo with makeup, which can make you look greasy. However, this subtle sheen of fresh skin is what we’re actually trying to replicate.
Hence, exfoliation. Of course, we don’t want anything as drastic as a sunburn just to slough off the top layer of dead cells that make your complexion look dull. A gentle scrub twice a week will do.
For something more thorough, try the Clarisonic. I mean, who says power tools are an exclusively male domain? It cleanses deeply, plus the additional stimulation provides the same firming and plumping effects as a massage.
Another option (or additional layer of exfoliation) is using vitamin A. This includes its derivatives retinol and retinoic acid, which have both been clinically proven to help with wrinkles. No hype here: vitamin A is truly the only at-home treatment that prevents and treats fine lines. Other than that, you’ll need procedures that include visits to a dermatologist’s clinic, like fillers, botox, and derma planing.
Vitamin A works by speeding up the rate of cell turnover – this means faster skin shedding, so you always have a fresh layer on top. Another benefit is less breakouts, because it dramatically lessens the chances of dead skin cells clogging your pores.
A313, formerly Avibon, is a French cult pharmacy favourite endorsed by Gwyneth Paltrow. You know I have an affinity for French products, so.
Again, we subscribe to the Korean method of layering. First is your serum. This is a super-concentrated skincare product that delivers incredibly powerful ingredients directly to your skin. It’s made up of smaller molecules that make it easier to penetrate the skin – this is why you only need very little, and why they usually come in such tiny bottles. It’s also why they’re runnier than your usual moisturisers – their primary purpose is to penetrate, not form a barrier.
Serum isn’t simply a moisturising product – it’s also a great vehicle for ingredients that target other skincare concerns, like wrinkles. A lot of serums will have compounds such as AHA for exfoliating, vitamin C and grape seed as antioxidants, and ceramides and amino acids as hydrators. Choose what’s best for your particular skin condition.
Next is your moisturiser. It’s less concentrated than serums, but it does seal in all the goodness so they can keep working on your skin during the day (or night).
As with your cleanser, you have your favourites by now and you know what works best for you. If you are so inclined, and are willing to go the extra mile for dewy skin, a different moisturiser for day and night is a good idea.
If you like to be a little less fussy (or simply can’t be bothered by too many options), just one that suits the season is fine. Pick the heaviest moisturiser you can tolerate when it the weather is cold, and go for lighter, water-based ones when it’s hot.
As always, hydrate, and give up smoking if you can – if you’re not too worried about lung cancer, just remember that it dries out the skin terribly.
As a parting note, dewy skin is really just another name for perfect skin. The other side of this is that the better your skin looks, the less makeup you can get away with. Put another way, the better your skin is, the less makeup you should wear, the better to show off what you’ve got. Less makeup is also associated with youth (again, another reason to be glad that contouring is no longer in).
Feeling brave? Why not wear just lipstick and nothing else? Check out the best lip colours for the colder season. Youth and health also go hand-in-hand: check out some stretches that will help out your posture and lower back.