My Top (Mostly Cheap or Free) Haircare Hacks (with video)

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I’m pretty lazy with my haircare and I’m bad at sticking to routines. But I also bleached my hair so I could play with pretty colours, which dramatically increased the effort involved to keep my hair looking decent. So in the last few years I’ve been trying out a lot of haircare hacks – these are the ones that’ve changed …

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Video: My Top 5 Acne Tips

Top 5 Acne Tips

I’ve had a lot of requests for a video for teenage skincare, and a lot of questions about acne. So here are my top 5 tips for acne-prone skin! It includes an appearance by Baby Goth Michelle, and some hectic eyebags courtesy of my post-Europe insomnia (one month and counting). Click here for the video. Related posts and videos that …

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Can you freeze your beauty products?

Skincare fridges are taking off, and the question is – what’s the point of refrigerating your beauty products? Why does cold make them last longer? What about freezing your skincare products – is it OK? The short answer is yes, most of the time. Here’s the longer explanation… (also in video form here!) Why do beauty products go off? If …

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Tip: Multi-Sunscreening for Maximum Protection and Minimum Grease

Tip: Multi-Sunscreening for Maximum Protection and Minimum Grease

Here’s a simple skincare trick that I’ve found ridiculously useful lately that I thought I’d share in case it helps anyone else out. I’m sure I’m not the first person to do it, but I also haven’t seen it discussed anywhere else (though I haven’t been looking very hard).

I’ve started doing something that can be best described as “multi-sunscreening”, a bit like the “multi-masking trend” that a lot of brands are jumping on. I was inspired to do this when I watched Fiddy Snails apply her sunscreen using a BB cushion puff on Instagram, when she patted her sunscreen in all over her face using the puff then went back to part in extra on her pigmentation problem areas.

Here’s my issue: I get pigmentation very quickly on the tops of my cheekbones. It’s an annoying genetic thing that a lot of East Asian people have, and I’ve managed to inherit it from my dad’s side (thaaaanks). Right now it’s not too bad, but mostly because I throw hydroxy acids and vitamin C at it all the time to try to lighten it, and cover it with high UVA protection sunscreen to stop it from getting worse.

The problem is that I also have oily skin, from my mum (again: thaaaanks). The sunscreens with the highest UVA protection that I know of come from French brands Bioderma and La Roche-Posay. And unfortunately, they’re greasy, at least on my oil slick face. Even their “fluids” designed for oily skin turn me into an unsightly mirror ball at the end of the day. So I find myself reaching for more “cosmetically elegant” sunscreens most of the time – usually BiorĂ© Aqua Base Watery Essence – which keep my oily areas manageable but aren’t waterproof or sweatproof, and have lower UVA protection as well. I’ve noticed that my sunspots are steadily creeping back.

Here’s where multi-sunscreening has saved both my long-term skin health as well as my daily try-not-to-look-like-melting-wax efforts. My sunscreen routine now goes like this:

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7 More Science-Based Skincare Tips

7 More Science-Based Skincare Tips

Here’s another collection of science-backed skincare tips for Pinterest! I’m always annoyed at how many terrible pins there are on Pinterest so I decided to make my own. The first set of skincare tips is here. If you know of any good skincare boards on Pinterest, please send me links! If you’re a skincare nerd or follow me on Instagram, you might have seen these already. I’ve included related posts if you’d like to find out more.

Skin shouldn’t be squeaky

7 More Science-Based Skincare Tips

Leave “squeaky clean” for dishes and toilets! If your skin feels squeaky or tight, you’ve probably stripped the protective natural lipids and oils off your skin. This layer is there to keep water in and help your skin stay flexible. It’s very tempting to overwash if you’re oily, but unfortunately, overwashing will trigger your skin to produce more oil. (On the flip side, adding more oil to already healthy skin won’t reduce oil production!)

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Avoid these sunscreen ingredients that cause white cast

7 More Science-Based Skincare Tips

If your skin is around medium or darker, you’ve probably had that awkward moment when you put on sunscreen and it looks like you’ve been hit with a bag of flour. This is white cast, and the culprits in sunscreen are mostly zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are the physical (inorganic) sunscreen ingredients. If the particles are very small and well dispersed, the white cast will be less of a problem. The best way to check is to test it on your skin before you buy.

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Money doesn’t mean quality

7 More Science-Based Skincare Tips

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7 Science-Based Skincare Tips

7 Science-Based Skincare Tips

I’ve been lurking on Pinterest and getting increasingly annoyed at how bad the skincare advice is on there – it’s a serious challenge to find a pin that doesn’t have something inaccurate on it! So I decided to create my own science-based skincare tips that you can pin to dilute the usual “rub these foods on your face to cure stuff that can’t be cured, even with surgery – oh, and these might burn but beauty is pain and it’s natural, so it’s good for you!”. (Yeah, I’m just a tad salty.) If you’re a regular reader of my blog or if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll probably know these skincare tips already, but it’s always nice to have a refresher! I’ve also linked relevant posts for each tip, if you’d like to find out more.

It Doesn’t Take Much Sun to Age Your Skin

7 Science-Based Skincare Tips

Scary fact of the day: even if you haven’t gotten burnt, you still might have had enough sun exposure to cause permanent damage! 1/10 of the UV required to cause sunburn (also known as the erythemal dose) will be enough to activate the enzyme MMP-1, which breaks down collagen. Collagen is an important protein in your skin that gives it its bounciness – loss of collagen from natural aging and sun exposure is one of the main reasons for rough skin texture and wrinkles. The solution: wear sunscreen daily, and practice sun avoidance – cover up with clothes, wear a hat, and seek shade, especially in the middle of the day when UV is at its strongest. (And if you need sun, find a part of your body you’re willing to sacrifice!)

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Yes, Oily Skin Can Need Moisturiser!

7 Science-Based Skincare Tips

Oily skin produces more sebum, your skin’s natural moisturising oil, than dry skin. This means it’s less likely to need moisturiser, but unfortunately oily skin is not immune to dehydration, when it doesn’t have enough water. If your skin is oily but feels tight, your skin is probably dehydrated – you’ll need a hydrating moisturiser containing humectants like glycerin to help your skin hold onto water.

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How to Find Time for Your Skincare Routine

How to Find Time for Your Skincare Routine

How to Find Time for Your Skincare Routine

Sunscreen, BHA, clay mask, oil cleanser, toner, AHA, retinol, moisturiser, sheet mask, cream cleanser… If you’re having trouble finding the time (or the dedication) to do all the steps in your skincare routine, here are some time-saving methods I’ve found to work for me over the years.

1. Wash your face in the shower

If you shower at night, washing and scrubbing your face in the shower works amazingly.

  • You don’t have to worry about splashing water all over your clothes and down your sleeves (the actual worst in winter), or spend ages trying to splash enough water onto your face to wash off your cleanser – just stick your face under the shower head! (Make sure the shower temperature isn’t too hot though.)
  • You can save time by multitasking in the shower – wash your face while waiting for your hair conditioner to soak off, let your oil cleanser sit while you shave your legs etc.
  • Showers work great for washing off clay masks too – just dunk your face under the shower head briefly and the entire mask will be washable in seconds. Less mess as well!

Skincare Routine Tips

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