We put our hair through a lot – blow drying, straightening, curling, sunshine and pollution all have a negative impact on the health of your hair by weakening or completely destroying its natural proteins. Give your hair the armour it needs to fight the daily battles you put it through by using a decent heat protection spray, mousse, cream or serum before styling.
If you want smooth, clear and younger looking skin, exfoliating regularly is as important as cleansing and moisturising. I'm not suggesting you scrub your face within an inch of it's life every day – just using a scrub all over (including a gentler one for your face) once a week will buff away the dead skin and stop it from clogging your pores. Unclogged pores = happy skin. Simple.
It's easy to forget that your skin changes colour throughout the year. Yes, it sounds obvious but I often have to remind myself to change foundations with the changing seasons. As we start to leave the summer behind (sob!) make sure your foundation is the first thing you update when you invest in your new autumn make-up bag.
Give your hair a conditioning mask once a week to add shine and strength to your locks. Whether you buy one or make it yourself, keep it on for a good 10 minutes once a week to add the lustre back into your barnet. It will also help maintain your hair health in-between treatments, so your styling tools work even better.
Alhough the jury is out on how often to cleanse, your skin suffers through most of the same treacherous conditions as your hair; giving it a quick wash every day helps to remove the dirt and grime of daily life. Use a gel cleanser if you suffer with greasy skin, and a cream cleanser if you're on the more delicate side of things.
Protection is part of our regular routine when the sun is shining, as we lather on sun tan lotion to keep us from turning lobster red. Often, we forget that UV rays are just as damaging and dangerous when you're not basking in the sun's glorious rays. Buy a daily moisturiser with at least SPF 15 to keep your skin protected every day of the year, whilst helping to protect against the ageing UV rays.
Drinking plenty of water isn't just good for your lifestyle, it's essential for helping to keep your skin clear. Your skin contains plenty of water and acts as a barrier against fluid loss, so dehydration can make your skin look dry and wrinkled. Not only that, but water flushes toxins out of your body and is said to leave you with a healthy glow.
8. Don't skip
Running late, changes in schedule or just pure laziness can mean you skip moisturising, but this is a cardinal sin. Every time you wash your face, you strip the skin of its natural oils so it's important to replace them. Moisturiser also creates a protective barrier and is key for hiding the tell-tale signs of age.
Hair and beauty products both have a shelf life, so it's important to replace them. Not only does time lead to change in texture and consistency, it can also provide the time for bacteria to multiply. With that in mind, treat yourself to a new mascara every three months and toss out any other hair and beauty products if you've had them over a year.
10. Sleeping Beauty
I am a firm believer in Ariana Huffington's Third Metric - sleep. We're all guilty of staying up too late, getting up to early and working ourselves too hard. Your whole body goes into repair mode when you sleep, allowing your skin to renew itself by repairing and rebalancing. Being well rested helps control bags and puffiness under the eyes caused by dilated blood vessels.
Those are the top ten beauty rules I live by every day of the year. What are yours?
Written by Alice-May Purkiss