Skin is the largest organ on our bodies and probably the most complained about. Whether it’s dull, spotty, red, or has fine lines I can guarantee that most people you know will dislike theirs. For me, it’s spots, scarring and dull skin that’s bothered me for as long as I can remember. Over the years I’ve tried just about everything for that perfect complexion, but I’d never actually been to see an expert. This all changed last month at the U and Your Skin Norwich bloggers event. I was lucky enough to have a twenty-minute facial with Hayley and pick her’s and Louise’s brains. In the hour or so that we were there, I learnt more that I had in a lifetime of googling! So I thought I would share some pearls of wisdom that I picked up at U and Your Skin.
U and Your Skin was born out of Louise Thomas-Minns’ fascination with the beauty world and battle with acne. She is a fountain of knowledge about everything to do with the skin and her passion really shines through. Over ten years of training, knowledge and research has been combined to come up with the U and Your Skin 3D approach to skincare. Each facial is built around science, nutrition and holistic philosophies combined with the finest skincare, expert knowledge and heaps of professionalism and passion. I count myself incredibly lucky to be living so close to The Skin Lounge on Bridewell Alley, in the heart of the historic Norwich Lanes.
The skin lounge is a home from home. I walked in and instantly felt comfortable. There were relaxing candles burning, sofas and comfortable chairs with cushion and blankets scattered over the three floors. In each of the treatment rooms was a vanity area complete with straighteners and a mirror to sort out that crazy post facial hair. It was the little touches like these, the huge range of teas and the books that really made U and Your Skin stand out. Everything was incredibly well thought out.
The sheer amount of knowledge that Louise and Hayley have blew me away, I knew I was in safe hands. Whilst I was having my facial I picked Hayley brains about some of the most common skincare myths and where people tend to go wrong.
A lot of people don’t know their skin type and tend to use the wrong products. It turns out that I was part of this club. I was sure that I had either dry or dehydrated skin, based on prolonged scarring and dull looking skin. Actually, it turns out that I have oily skin and a few of the products I use aren’t quite right. The easiest way to find out if you’re on the right skincare track is to ask an expert to examine your skin and recommend products. Step away from doctor google and stop guessing! It’s likely you’ll be suckered into smart skincare marketing. Fun fact – it turns out that there is such a thing as too young to be using anti-ageing products.
Stop squeezing and picking at those spots. It is easier said than done but it will make a world of difference. Our skin is made up of hair follicles (aka pores) and these occasionally get blocked and form white heads and blackheads. (see image above.) By squeezing them it’s likely that you’re forcing the gunk to go further down into your skin. So when you get that satisfying white dollop of grossness out of a pesky spot that won’t be all of it. Especially not if it’s one of those nasty, deep-rooted spots. (see image above.) There tends to be a pea sized amount of puss deep under the skin that you can’t get. You’ll just irritate it. So leave them alone and save the scars!
You’re probably eating too much sugar. Yes, that’s even if you’re ‘refined sugar free.’ The sugars in fruit and vegetables still affect the body. To reduce the negative effects on your skin and blood sugar level, combine fruit with protein. For example a handful of nuts after eating some fruit will help. I learnt that I needed to eat more nuts and add peanut butter to lots of my dishes. It turns out that a healthy lifestyle might not actually be as healthy as you thought.
If you want to know what’s going on with your skin keep a food and lifestyle diary. We established earlier that a number of factors affect our skin, so the easiest way to work out what’s causing the problem is to keep a diary. Write downs all of the food you ate and how much you drank alongside any problems that you’re having. You may see a pattern emerging, if you don’t Louise of Hayley will.
The final pearl of wisdom comes from Louise. “Pores are not doors, you cannot open and close them.” Embrace those pores, heck embrace those ‘imperfections’, they make us unique. We’re not suppose to wander around looking like we have an instagram filter over our face. Certain treatments such as peels and micro-needling can ‘tighten’ them. But they will always be there. If they weren’t our skin would be failing at its function of being skin!
I’m looking forward to heading back to U and Your Skin to see Hayley and begin my skincare journey. After my short facial at the event, I noticed some pretty big changes in my skin. It’s like it had been rebalanced and reset. I want to say a huge thank you to the wonderful ladies at U and Your Skin for hosting this event. I feel like I’ve learnt so much in such a short space of time and it has been so invaluable.
To find out more, to book in, soak up some knowledge or shop some skincare head over to their website. Prepare to be amazed and loose an hour or two!