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Could no skincare be the new skincare?

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KRISTINA YENKO
WORDS BY Frankie Scheriani

Maybe, the less you use the better.

There are three different types of people when it comes to skincare. Group A I like to categorise as knowing and glowing.

If you fall into this bracket, you know everything from hyaluronic acid to glycolic acid and you can most likely recite the benefits of each product of The Ordinary range.

You can confidently carry a debate about how seaweed has both hydrating and exfoliating properties and if you don’t gua sha then you simply do not fit into this category.

If you’re more of a Group B kind of girl, you’re here for a good time, not a long time. This is where I fit in. You like the idea of a morning skincare ritual, but the routine fizzles out at around day three.

You’ve probably dropped around $80 on a butter exfoliator because one, butter must of course promise a dewy complexion and two, the pastel-coloured bottle will look cute displayed on your bathroom sink (guilty).

Group C I reward with the participation medal. We all have that friend who has annoyingly perfect skin and most likely a whole lot of savings. If you can’t think of a friend like this, then you’re probably that person.

You’re happy with a splash of H2O and a humble micellar water. Perhaps a lick of moisturiser if you’re feeling lavish on the day.

And while we all have different needs and wants when it comes to skincare, there’s something special about the ladies of Group C. With their basic routine, or lack thereof, I think they may be well on the money when it comes to looking after their skin. 

In search of answers, I interviewed Dr Abbie Cloherty, a Chinese medicine doctor who specialises in facial acupuncture, which she describes as “a natural alternative to Botox”.

When I asked her for the number one piece of advice when it comes to having the skin of a cherub, her answer was well, underwhelming.

“A footbath” she exclaimed. There I was on the other side of the phone, perplexed at the thought that the golden ticket to having cheeks likes a baby’s behind, had been sitting there all along in the corner of my bathroom.

A footbath. There you go. The hidden secret to a pimple-free life. And while you would think soaking your feet in a shallow pool of warm water has nothing to do with the complexion of your face, think again.

To put it simply, Dr Abbie explained that footbaths create circulation and boost blood flow, draining stress from your head. This is important before you tuck yourself into bed as it will give you better quality sleep.

And with some good sleep comes a rested and rejuvenated body, which means reduced cortisol levels, one of the reasons your skin can flare-up in the first place.

This had me thinking, could no skincare be the new skincare? Remember when the ‘no makeup’ makeup look was a thing? A dewy natural face and a brushed-up eyebrow were all we needed.

Quality makeup over the quantity of makeup took the crown and I think skincare is following in its footsteps.

I soon questioned my what-I-thought-to-be-impressive five-step morning routine involving an exfoliator, cleanser, toner and serum all followed by an essential spritz of hydrating lavender mist.

Was Dr Abbie suggesting that I trade these beautifully packaged bottles with sans serif logos for a nightly footbath? My bank account was screaming yes but I was hesitant.

I’m a sucker for anything that will promise me beautiful skin. Tempt me with whipped moisturising cream and I’m sold. I’m more likely to purchase a face masque rather than a face mask, because if it’s French then it must of course answer all of my skincare needs.    

And while I rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry away these products, Dr Abbie explains that this is only a short-term solution. Good skin starts from within. 

Dr Abbie stresses that food is medicine. Adequate bone broth is number one in Dr Abbie’s books as it promotes collagen production, making your skin supple and plump.

Vegetables are also key in hydrating your body and when combined with bone marrow, collagen absorption will permeate up into your face.

If you take supplements to clear up your skin and balance your hormones, this is perfectly fine. I can imagine they must be a godsend for anyone suffering from skin-related problems, just be sure that they’re prescribed by a practitioner and not Dr Google. Your doctor knows you better than faux experts diagnosing you on the Internet.

And of course, we can’t forget our best friends H20 and Vitamin D. Fifteen minutes of direct sunlight a day plus adequate H20 consumption is Dr Abbie’s icing on the cake for nurturing your skin.

Hydrating your skin will come from those three litres of water we’re supposed to drink a day, not the night cream or eye cream or every cream in between.

As Group C ladies would agree, less is more. And while it may be a little easier said than done to steer away from our five-step skincare routine, especially if we have problematic skin, I suggest let’s keep it simple.

I’m going to settle for a modest face wash to get rid of those pore-clogging nasties and a humble SPF to keep my skin looking like a baby’s.

After all, nurturing yourself on the inside first will be reflected on the outside. Which means, no skincare could actually be the best form of caring for your skin. I think I’ve just converted myself into a Group C gal in the process of writing this article, and I’m not even mad about it.

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