7 Skincare tips that saved my skin

As a teenager I had acne-free and smooth skin and not a single care in the world. I had no skincare regime and the only facial skincare product I owned at the time was a bottle of face wash.

All of this changed when I hit my 20’s and my once smooth skin quickly betrayed me with an abundance of hormonal and stress acne. To make things worse, those pesky pimples left behind dark spots that refused to fade for years.

In the process of trying to save my skin, I learned some valuable lessons in the past year that definitely made a difference in the appearance of my skin.

1. Be Consistent

The number one advice is to choose a skincare regime and be consistent with it. Avoid skipping steps in your skincare routine. I know we are all guilty of skipping out on skincare before bed some days because we feel too tired in the moment, but if you want results, you have to put in the time.

2. Let your skin breathe

The more acne, scars and marks a person has on their face is the more tempting it is to cover it up with makeup.  Makeup actually contributes to clogging your pores and causing more acne, which leads to a vicious cycle.

If it is possible, minimise the use of makeup. If you must wear makeup, ensure that your brushes and sponges are regularly cleaned and that you thoroughly remove any makeup from your face as soon as it is no longer needed, and follow up with a cleanser.

I gave my skin a much needed break from makeup for a few weeks and my skin showed tremendous improvement in the amount of acne I had. I admit I felt self-conscious at first but clearer skin was definitely worth it in the end.

3. Know your skin type

One of the biggest mistakes I made initially when I started my skincare journey was not using the right products for my skin type. Using products that are meant for oily skin on dry skin can strip the skin of the little oil it has and worsen its condition. Similarly, using products meant for dry skin on oily skin can lead to clogged pores.

It is also important to know what acne ingredients work best for your type of acne. Salicylic acid works well against whiteheads and blackheads while products with Benzoyl Peroxide work well against pustular acne.

Using salicylic acid on my papular and pustular acne for years showed little results. Once I switched to a product with Benzoyl Peroxide, I noticed a difference within one week of switching.

4. Hydration and moisturization is key

There is a difference between the two terms. Hydration means to add water while moisturization means to lock in that moisture. Why are they so important to your skin?

Dehydrated skin is dull and has more fine lines. It requires hydration and moisturization for the skin to plump up and be radiant and smooth. It is also needed for the repair of the skin’s barrier.

Hydration and Moisturization is achieved by drinking lots of water and using products with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin and ceramides daily on your skin to add and lock in moisture. Your skin will thank you for it.

5. Sunscreen is a must

There is a common misconception that people with darker skin tones don’t need sunscreen and that is false. Everyone needs sunscreen on a daily basis. Why?

Sun exposure can lead to wrinkles, fine lines and skin problems later on. Sunscreen is needed to protect our skin from the harmful effects of the sun and prevent wrinkles and discoloration.

It is advised to use a Sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection and at least SPF 30 to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful effects.

6. Stop touching your face

The more you touch your skin, the more you are introducing potential acne causing bacteria to your skin. Pimples can be very tempting to pick at and pop but this just leads to scars and more inflammatory changes. Trust me, I know. You should avoid touching your face at all costs, no matter how tempting it may be and use acne spot treatments for your pimples instead of picking at them.

7. Don’t forget to exfoliate

Gentle exfoliation is needed to resurface the skin, remove layers of dead skin, minimise pores and fine lines and leave your skin glowing. Exfoliation is a balancing act. Do it but don’t overdo it. Exfoliating your skin twice a week is the perfect balance according to experts and it will reveal more radiant skin.


Dealing with anxiety

This past year and few months have been a trying time for numerous people around the world. Whether physically, mentally, financially or emotionally, we have all been affected by this pandemic.

During this time it is important to take charge of our mental health. There are so many triggers for depression and anxiety right now including being isolated, loss of a loved one, illness, fear of losing a loved one, fear of deteriorating health or financial issues.

I thought now would be a good time to talk about dealing with anxiety and share a few tips that work for me when it comes to overcoming or dealing with anxiety.

The first time I realised that my anxiety was an issue for me, was years ago when I had my first panic attack at work. It was so random and unprovoked in my opinion at the time. It hit me out of the blue and it was one of the scariest experiences in the moment.

I was left wondering what was wrong with me. I noticed a change in my eating habit and my weight as well as my sleeping pattern. Some nights it took hours to settle down for bed because it felt my head was packed with thoughts and scenarios swimming in my head. I would replay every decision, every conversation and every action I did that day over and over again and scrutinize it rather than getting some much needed sleep.

It was only after someone suggested that I talk to a professional about it, I sort help and guidance for my anxiety. Years later and I still implement all the things I learned during that particularly rough time. Here are a few tips in dealing with anxiety.


The number one tip is to just breathe and release those feelings of anxiety. Practice taking deep breaths and slowing down your breathing….. Inhale 1..2..3..4..5.. Hold.. Exhale 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5.. Repeat. It may sound silly at first but trust me. The next time you feel the anxiety creeping up, stop what you’re doing, close your eyes and just breathe….

Practice mindfulness exercises or grounding techniques

Practicing mindfulness exercises or yoga or grounding techniques or even listening to music are great ways of dealing with anxiety. There are so many mindfulness exercises, types of yoga exercises and grounding techniques to choose from. Research them and choose a handful of your favorite to practice doing when the feeling of anxiety hits. One of my most used techniques is the 5-4-3-2-1 senses method. When I begin to feel anxious or overwhelmed, I stop what I’m doing, look around me and think of 5 things I can see, 4 things I can feel, 3 things I can hear, 2 things I can smell and 1 thing I can taste as well as 1 feeling I’m currently feeling. All of this is done while actively slowing down my breathing.

Make time for self care

What’s your idea of self care? Chilling on the couch and binge-watching Netflix with a wine glass in hand? Doing your haircare and skincare routine? Reading a book on your bed? Taking a much needed nap? You need to make time for what makes you happy and helps you de-stress. You can’t pour from an empty cup, learn to refill it from time to time.

Write down your thoughts and feelings

Writing down how you feel and what you’re thinking can help unscramble your thoughts and aid in deciphering those complex and jumbled emotions in your head. It is a good way of helping you identify what your triggers are. Sometimes you’re not even sure why you are feeling the way you are feeling but writing about it can reveal any underlying issues that may be contributing to it. A bit of insight goes a long way.

Accept that you can’t control everything

This one is super important. Worrying about the future and running a million scenarios in your head does not change or impact the future in any way. It just takes up your present time and steals your joy in the moment over something that may or may not happen in the future. Similarly, ruminating and replaying past moments and events does not change the past in anyway. Once again all it does is take up your present time and steal your joy in this present moment. Learn to live in the moment and not in the past or your ‘what-if’ future.

Stay clear of negative thoughts

This is easier said than done as I know that negative thoughts tend to creep up on you out of the blue. Learn to shut them down from early and replace them with positive thoughts. Think about something good that happened today. Think about something that you are grateful for. Think about something that makes you happy and hold on to those positive thoughts.

Seek help and talk about it

And last but not least, Seek Help if it is becoming overwhelming. Talk to a close friend or family member that you trust, pray to God, join a support group and/or find a therapist or psychologist. Talking about your anxiety issues and the cause of it is very helpful in dealing with the anxiety. You don’t have to suffer alone, there are many people feeling the way you’re feeling and who understand what you’re going through. Don’t bottle everything up until it eats at you, it will just make matters worse. Seek the help that you need.