Some of my favourite blog posts to read are the ‘Top 10 Beauty Hacks’ or ‘Beauty Tips & Tricks’ type blog posts. And because I love them so much, I like to feature a few of my own beauty tips here on Pink Peonies blog. Sometimes, it’s not really a product that will solve your hair or skin problems. Sometimes these problems are actually caused by bad habits – everyday habits you might not even realise are bad habits. I don’t know about you but a glowing, clear complexion & soft, shiny hair are pretty much my ultimate beauty goals – everything else is just ornamental.
Today I’ll be letting you in on 5 hair care and skin care secrets that have really made a difference in the overall health of my hair and skin. Most of these tips are things you can do at home, without having to go out & buy a new product. And then 2 of the tips are product recommendations that I think you need in your life. If you’re struggling with lacklustre locks that look a tad bit blah, or skin that needs a pick-me-up…keep on reading!
TIP 1: As it turns out cotton is often the moisture-sucking culprit that dries out our hair. The answer? Get your hands on a satin or silk pillow case / slip. Satin won’t snag your hair or cause friction like cotton, which can rough up the cuticle of the hair (cuticles that don’t lie flat against the hair shaft leads to dry & less shiny hair). I also find my curls (or any other style) last much longer when I sleep on a satin pillow – as mentioned cotton pulls the oils from your hair & dries out a style, creating static, bedhead, and frizz.
These satin pillow slips are also a game-changer in the skin department, when I wake up in the morning I don’t have a single crease on my entire face (and I’m the type of person that presses down and contorts my face while I’m sleeping). Sleep creases are like ironing wrinkles into the skin, and being the anti-aging gal that I am, I welcome these satin pillow slips with open arms. The lack of abrasion also helped with the redness on my skin. Also, remember satin & silk is less absorbent than cotton, so all those anti-aging lotions and potions will stay on your face & won’t penetrate into the fabric of your pillow.
My satin pillow slip of choice is from Dear Deer (their logo is the sexy little deer magnet in the photo above), which you can purchase for R 140,00 online at Dear Deer, Retail Box, Rubybox or Zando (the 2 latter online stores are a bit more expensive though). You can also take a look at the Dear Deer stockists list here.
Plus, it’s like laying down on a breath of cool air. Get your hands on a Dear Deer Satin pillow slip (available in 7 colours) – it’s beauty sleep’s secret weapon!
TIP 2: Keep a claw hair clip in the shower & use it to keep your hair in a bun on the top of your head after you’ve applied your conditioner or hair treatment. I think most of us don’t even think about the fact that a lot of the conditioning treatments start to rinse out of the hair while we’re scrubbing, buffing, washing and rinsing our body. Keep your hair out of water’s way by either clipping it up in a bun or covering it with a plastic shower cap (use the cheapie ones you get at hotels). You want to give that conditioner or hair treatment a fighting chance to improve the overall condition of your hair. We all like to get the most out of the products we spend money on, and if the conditioner is going to start rinsing out within a minute after application, then you might miss out on all the benefits.
TIP 3: After shampooing and conditioning your hair, do a final rinse with cool water to seal the cuticle and leave hair looking extra shiny. Super hot water opens the surface of the hair strand (the hair cuticles stand up), this also leads to colour fading quicker because the dye molecules escape. Stick to lukewarm water when you wash & rinse you hair and as mentioned, do a quick final rinse with cool water. I know most of you are thinking: “In this Winter cold?! You’ve got to be kidding, Luz!” I totally understand where you are coming from, BUT it really does make a huge difference. If you can’t bear the thought of standing under a cool shower, then go as low in temperature as you can possibly can. We all want naturally shiny hair, right?
TIP 4: One of my favourite beauty tips – washing your face after you rinse your shampoo and conditioner. Cleansing my skin used to be the very first step in my shower routine, until I read somewhere that doing this could lead to breakouts and congested skin. I decided to test this theory, as I struggled with small bumps on my forehead and hair line breakouts for a very long time. Turns out, it really does make a difference. Cleansing the skin after rinsing your hair will prevent you from having hair care product build-up on your face (and hair line) and will help your skin stay clear.
My current favourite face cleanser is the Human + Kind All-In-One Wash Off Facial Cleanser (R 149,95) – it’s a rich, chemical-free facial cleanser that lathers away excess dirt, face- and eye makeup. The all-in-one formulation exfoliates, cleanses and moisturises leaving the skin with a natural, healthy glow. Also included in the box is a super soft & velvety deep cleansing cloth that helps to gently exfoliate dead skin cells (plus it’s machine washable – bonus!). The cleanser contains organic jojoba oil, cold pressed wheat germ oil, organic sunflower oil, natural vitamin E and arnica oil (all those oils mean it literally dissolves even waterproof makeup), plus it’s suitable for sensitive skin.
What I also love about the brand is that they believe being natural is being kind, and for this reason, each product is formulated using natural ingredients that won’t irritate your skin or harm the environment. They also pride themselves on using but no chemicals, no colourants, no parabens, no perfume & no additives. No animal testing on product and ingredients. You can find Human + Kind products at Clicks, Wellness Warehouse, Stuttafords or in their South African online store.
TIP 5: Use overnight masks. Overnight masks are typically more intense treatments than your regular 10-minute masks, and are often meant to soothe and hydrate the skin while you’re sleeping (almost like a supercharged night cream). BUT thing that sets sleep masks apart from your average night cream is that they are lighter in texture, so you can actually wear them overnight without creating a mess on your pillow.
Here’s something I bet you DIDN’T know about overnight masks: Their purpose is to create a permeable (absorptive) seal on top of your skin that makes anything underneath it penetrate better. So, you are supposed to apply your serum, eye cream and night moisturiser before you apply the overnight mask (remember to wash your face in following morning). My personal faves are the Origins Drink-Up Intensive Overnight Mask and the Freeman Beauty Honeydew & Chamomile Sleeping Mask.
The Origins Drink-Up Intensive Overnight Mask (£ 23,00 / R 425,00) boosts your skin’s ability to hold on to moisture, meaning you wake up looking luminous and dewy, almost like you’ve slept in close to a humidifier. This intense moisture replacement mask contains avocado and apricot kernel oil to deeply and instantly quench dehydrated skin. This mask if best for dry skin types, and also contains Japanese seaweed to repair skin’s barrier (preventing future dehydration and signs of premature aging). It’s unfortunately not available in South Africa, but if you know of any beauty mules heading your way anytime soon, ask them to pick it up for you.
The Freeman Honeydew & Chamomile Sleeping Mask is a lot more affordable (R 16,95 per sachet) and leaves my skin feeling plump, soft and my dry patches were nowhere in sight. I get 4 full-face and neck applications from 1 sachet, but if you apply a thick layer then you will probably only get 2 or 3 uses. I prefer to apply a thin layer of this one since it can feel quite slick on the skin (if you apply a thin layer, then you won’t have to worry about it transferring onto your pillow). It contains antioxidant-rich honeydew and calming chamomile to rejuvenate the skin. It’s also spiked with coconut and jojoba oils – 2 of my favourite moisturising ingredients. The sugary-sweet melon scent might put a few people off, but I quite like it. I also really enjoyed the light texture; much thinner and more readily absorbed than most overnight masks I’ve tried so far.
The thing with overnight masks is that you need to consistently use them before you see noticeable results – you might FEEL a difference in the texture of your skin after just 1 use, but for strong visible results you need to indulge in a good overnight mask at least once a week for about 2 months. Thanks to overnight masks, I am officially psyched to conk out come bedtime.
I’ve heard the new The Body Shop Drops Of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask is phenomenal too, but I can’t find it in stock ANYWHERE. I think it’s an urban legend. I think everyone is talking about how amazing it is, when really it doesn’t even exist. I think it’s a unicorn. If you do see it in-store, and you live in Pretoria or Centurion, please let me know! I have shark eyes for that overnight mask.
Aaand I have a BONUS TIP for you! If you read my ‘Best Of Beauty 2014 – Beauty Tools’ blog post then you are probably already familiar with the CALA Wet n Dry Detangling Brush. Its flexible bristles help detangle wet hair without breaking it and it’s also the perfect brush for ladies with thin hair. Because its bristles are so gentle, it works through knots without snapping fine strands, and its padded cushion moves along your scalp to prevent further breakage.
We all know hair is most fragile when it’s wet, and using a normal brush with stiff bristles can damage the hair quite a bit. I find my damp hair glides through the flexible bristles of this CALA brush, plus it doesn’t snag or pull at the hair at all. This brush is suitable for all hair types (curly, straight, thick, fine, extensions, even wigs) and can be used on wet or dry hair. The CALA Wet n Dry Detangling Brush retails for R 59,95 and is available at Dis-Chem stores.