Blog, Natural Skincare

Coming Face to Face with Your Face

Have you noticed that it takes longer to get your face ready to leave the house these days?

This is not something that happens overnight, but it does happen to all of us. I remember a time when I could shower, and be ready to go anywhere within half an hour. I could get by with a squirt of cream, a fluff of powder and a minimum of fuss. Those were the golden years.

From age thirteen and for two years thereafter, I suffered horrendously with acne. This unfortunate teenage follicular disorder caused my face to resemble a cheese grater. I wore my hair over my face in a Janis Joplin-esque curtain at all times. 

Dettol was big in my house those days as a wonder cure for everything. I reeked of it, after many a biking, skating or tree climbing mishap. We were even told to gargle it for sore throats.

One day, after a furious bout of pimple squeezing, I had the outrageous idea that dabbing a cotton ball soaked in pure, undiluted Dettol onto my already alarmingly swollen face would bring about some kind of beautification miracle. I was mistaken. Had a blowtorch been applied to the area, I doubt the outcome would have been worse. The only time my mother had ever laughed harder was when I accidentally ripped out my eyelashes with one of those new fangled eyelash crimpers.

Once it finally became all quiet on the hormone front, I began to use makeup applied “carefully to accentuate and highlight my good points”. This worked well enough for a few years while Mount Acne remained dormant. Like all volcanos though, it’s just a matter of time…

Fast forward to menopause. Unavoidable if you are a member of the fairer sex. Unfortunately menopause is like puberty at the other end of your life (with added hormonal inconveniences). Mount Acne becomes active once again, and skin is so dry in some spots it actually flakes off into your soup. Meanwhile, in other areas your face takes on characteristics of an oil slick.

My cosmetic bag contains tools and equipment not unlike those of a cement renderer. It overflows with items I simply can’t live without, but seldom use. Concealers, cleansers, toners, moisturizers, foundations in three different shades, liquid and kohl eyeliners, non-caking eye shadow and essential eye creams – all of which could be potentially fatal if applied in the wrong order.

Speaking of creams, over the years I’ve tried the most expensive, purchased from Sephora in New York, and the cheapest, purchased from Aldi in Sydney. These creams contained various ingredients like action lipisomes and fruity acids – and I will admit to an addiction to Retinol for a while. There are new products coming out every day that contain such dubious ingredients as buckthorn (whatever that is), whale poop (or vomit), crushed parasitic beetles, fish scales – and my personal favourite, dynamite, all with the ultimate goal of impeding the visible signs of ageing!

I’ve investigated the Ponds Institute, the Laboratories of L’Oreal and the Cussons Test Kitchen searching for the ultimate magic potion.  And it would be remiss of me not to bring up Botox, but when it comes to voluntarily injecting a potentially fatal neurotoxin into your face in the name of beauty, I must draw the line. Some of my best friends swear by it…but then they also tried acid in the 70’s.

We all reach a point in life when collagen (the connective tissue that holds you together) simply breaks down. It’s like having to accept that the elastic in your favourite knickers has finally given it up. You wish you’d looked after them better…maybe hand washed them more often, and not put them through the spin cycle so much, but unfortunately time takes its toll on all things.

They say the psychology of ageing is complex. But to me it’s all about a simple skincare routine, using products that stay as close to natural as possible. And it doesn’t get any more natural than active Manuka honey. This amazing substance, as long as it has a Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) of at least 10+ can do wondrous things for your skin because of its remarkable antibacterial properties. The UMF number is a standard way of describing the bacteria-killing power of the honey. The higher the UMF, the more powerful it is.

A natural antimicrobial, the power of honey to stimulate wound healing and promote healthy skin is well documented and scientifically proven. It is extensively used on the skin in hospitals for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties and to stimulate the immune system, which provides nutrients for cell metabolism and rapid tissue repair. It also naturally contains acids, which aid in the clearing of dead skin cells.

Manuka honey is unique to New Zealand, where lots of good things originate. The extraordinary skin benefits include hydrating, moisturising, nourishing, healing, rejuvenating and protecting. That’s why it’s is a key ingredient throughout the skincare products in the Nature C range, my favourite skincare products of all time. And for the best quality New Zealand Manuka honey, you can’t beat this one.

So what’s the best routine to keep your skin looking and feeling youthful? As often as you can, apply straight Manuka honey as a mask to your freshly cleaned face and leave it on for at least 15 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. When you use a moisturiser containing Manuka honey, it keeps the benefits ongoing. It’s simple, effective and there’s no need to spend a huge amount of money.

I’m glad I discovered it when I did, because for a while there, I thought I may have to resort to a balaclava!

Check out the Nature C skincare range here

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