“Less is more.”
Countless celebrities from around the world– including India– quote this tip as their number one secret to beautiful skin and makeup. Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif, Amrita Arora, Ayesha Takia… you name her, she’s said it! But what does it really mean?
“The lesser you meddle with your skin, the less it meddles with you.” – Juhi Chawla, former Miss India and Bollywood actress
This may seem like strange advice coming from a beauty blog– but it’s the sort of advice your mother and your doctor would give you– the sort of advice you might be tempted to ignore in the face of so many exciting, snazzy, and beautifully-packaged beauty products out there. Which of us hasn’t rushed out to get a new cream or soap or scrub when the one we got just a few weeks ago caused us to break out?
But your skin wasn’t designed to NEED witch hazel, or green tea extract, or a collagen serum, or salicylic acid. It was designed to need the vitamins and minerals you get from a healthy, balanced diet, water, and protection from harsh weather conditions.
That’s pretty much it!
“The less I do to my skin, the better.” – Sonali Bendre, Indian actress, model, and television host
Ultimately our reason for using skincare and makeup products is to have flawless, healthy-looking skin, right? But what if our experimentation with all these products is actually contributing to the problem? It can be almost impossible at times to pinpoint exactly which ingredient in which of the countless products we are using on our faces might be causing our problems. The solution?
Go back to the basics.
Another well-known skincare mantra is “CTM”: cleanse-tone-moisturize. I say we can do better than that. Let’s get it down to “CM”: cleanse-moisturize. Not sure what to use? Use the gentlest products you can find–those that are developed for sensitive skin or for a baby’s skin. Look for products that are fragrance-free.
Ditch the toner— it’s just another product with ingredients that are bound to confuse your skin more than help it! If you’re using toner to mop up the last remains of your makeup, you’re using it for the wrong reason… your makeup should have been removed entirely during the “C” (cleanse) step. Try double-cleansing at night to ensure you have removed all the makeup, sweat and dirt that has accumulated on your skin throughout the day before going to bed.
Think carefully about the rest of your routine as well. How about exfoliator? Your skin knows how to naturally slough off dead skin cells in the right time. Maybe it’s best to let it do its job instead of risking disturbing your skin’s natural equilibrium (and potentially causing small tears in your skin or encouraging an overproduction of sebum)! There’s even a theory that exfoliating the skin accelerates the aging process because it forces the cells to reproduce at a faster rate than they would naturally, eventually causing them to “die”! Oh no!
As for makeup– we all know the less makeup you wear, the better for your skin’s health. No makeup on Earth can match the radiance of natural skin– it merely serves to mimic it. Use concealer, not foundation, to hide flaws. Then begin eliminating or minimizing from there by asking yourself some honest questions. For example: do you need to apply powder on your entire face, or just shine spots (e.g. nose, chin)? Do your dark eyelashes need mascara? (Often just a go with an eyelash curler will suffice for Indian women!) What each woman needs or doesn’t need is unique to her, so take a good hard look at your makeup bag.
For those of us who love makeup and skincare products (and if you’re reading this blog, I know you do!) it takes self-control and discipline to re-learn how to go back to the basics. But it’s worth it– for your wallet, for the health and youth of your skin, and for your self-confidence… because you’ll know what everyone is seeing is the real you!
Hide your imperfections, highlight your assets, and let your natural beauty shine through!