A 'regime' is a fairly apt description of what some of us do on a daily basis in the name of beauty. The habit of applying makeup each morning is more ingrained than eating breakfast for some of us.
It's like putting on a mask, or wearing a facade, which impacts psychologically on how we project ourselves. We are operating under a camouflage, an alter ego of sorts; our true identity hidden behind a veil of makeup.
The thought of going bare-faced, even for a day, can be terrifying for those who have become accustomed to looking a certain way as a result of makeup. It simply would never happen.
People who see you regularly might be shocked at the sudden change in appearance and express it with looks and comments, making you feel extremely uncomfortable. So, we carry on like slaves to a ritual in front of the mirror, conducted on autopilot and with unseeing eyes.
Maybe it's time to rethink habitual beauty practices, especially when it comes to masking our faces with makeup on a daily basis.
Here are a few tips on how to break free from the clutches of makeup dependency; allowing skin to breath and your confidence to grow.
Track skin health
Apps have pervaded all aspects of our modern lives. While it's not all good news, certain apps are a real game changer and can be used as effective tools for improving health and wellbeing.
One such example is the YouCam Makeup app, which at first glance may appear counter-intuitive in an article about wearing less makeup, however it incorporates a skin diary tool that has garnered widespread attention in the beauty world. You take a selfie each day and clever software analyses your skin's health and gives you scores in regards to age and various aspects of it's appearance.
It allows you to see what actually works in terms of the treatments and creams you use, as it can be almost impossible to tell when you stare at yourself in the mirror every day. For the purposes of wearing less makeup and focusing on improving your natural appearance, this app can provide you with an objective analysis of your skin's health, so you can work with the facts, as opposed to how you think you look. It might be interesting to see the effect that wearing less makeup has over time and it could also help with changing the way you see yourself.
Go easy on the topical treatments
This is big. Especially if the heavy handed application of various creams, serums and oils has been a part of your daily routine since you were about 14 and first discovered your mum's pot of Nivea. Well, there are some serious schools of thought who debunk what they call the "moisturiser myth".
There is even evidence to back the theory of not using moisturiser at all. However, before you start having heart palpitations at the thought of ditching the miniature army of topical treatments sitting in your bathroom, which you religiously slather on your skin each day; just pay attention to the ingredients lists and how you are applying them.
Less is more. This is the overriding message here. And with women on the receiving end of a marketing campaign from an industry worth approximately £27 billion in the UK alone, you can see why some of us have been led to believe that the more products you buy and the more of the latest peptides you put onto your skin, the more beautiful you will look and therefore feel.
It's how advertising works and it is extremely effective. However, it messes with our grasp on reality and that is why you sometimes need to hit the refresh button on things that we've been led to believe over the years.
BB subtle with your makeup
This article is about reducing and assessing, not necessarily stopping completely. If you feel self conscious about an uneven skin tone, then maybe opt for a BB cream that is specifically tailored to your skin type, instead of the heavy duty foundation you've become accustomed to using.
Or, why not try using a mineral powder if your skin is prone to breaking out in blemishes. A quick slick of mascara can be worn for eye emphasis and a lip gloss will help give the impression of an overall dewy complexion. Don't get stuck in a rut with your beauty routine; always be looking at ways to improve it, or reduce it, and stay fresh with the products you use.
Work from the inside out
This cannot be overstated. No amount of lotions or potions, no matter how much they cost or how many years they claim to take off your age, will ever compensate for diet and lifestyle choices when it comes to skin health.
The bottom line is to increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables that are chock full of all the skin friendly antioxidants and vitamins, which provide the necessary building blocks for healthy, glowing skin. It's also a case of cutting out refined carbs and sugar which are the worst culprits when it comes to wreaking havoc on complexions.
It doesn't take long to see either the benefits, or the damage of what you have ingested show up on your skin. Think about when you've had a few glasses of wine and see your reflection the following morning. Skin is a massive indicator of health, so how can we expect it to function properly if we are constantly smothering it in stuff and neglecting to care for it properly.