The 10 Commandments of Skincare (Pt.1)

Way back before I became engrossed in all things beauty related the idea of a regimented skincare routine seemed nothing but a fantasy. Nowadays, I spend a significant amount of time preening my skin to within an inch of it's life, dosing up on lotions, potions and serums; all promising to revolutionise my skin and plump up my complexion. Over time I've become aware of a number of tips and tricks which have worked for me and an even greater number of those that don't. Therefore I decided to set about creating a '10 Commandments-esque' list of those things - depending on how well it goes I might make this kind of thing something of a new feature on thunderl0ve.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT an expert, so please take my advice with a prescribed pinch of salt. I'm just a normal girl with normal skin and any advice I give is simply a product of trial and error (lots and lots of error).
  • Don't pick spots. I've had acne and I know the feeling, but I also know the consequences. For years I would prod and poke every pimple that reared it's ugly head (and on many occasions before it even had) but I can honestly say that they heal far quicker if you just leave them alone to do their thang. Difficult I know - in fact at times it borders on the impossible - but it's well worth it in the long run.
  • Wash your face, don't scrub. We've all been there; a sudden breakout leaves us with the feeling that nothing other than a harsh scrub will help, but it wont. Scrubbing the skin will simply cause more irritation and make that pimple all the more angry, so cleanse the skin gently. An exfoliating wash once or twice a week is fine, but be gentle. A little elbow grease really does go a long way so take it easy - you can always apply a tiny but more pressure if needed.
  • Give products a chance. I'm one for hastily slapping on the latest spot treatment only to throw the tube away the following day if I haven't woken up with an Elle Macpherson complexion - but products need time to work. Experts say six months, I say six weeks and you should start getting a pretty fair idea of what works for you. My HG La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo initially seemed to break me out as it dragged impurities to the surface of the skin, but I stuck with it and now I couldn't be without. 
  • If your routine includes anti-aging or acne treating products, be sure to slap these on straight after cleansing so that no other products get in the way of their penetration. Always make sure the skin is completely dry before doing so - something which isn't such an important issue if you go straight from cleansing/toning to moisturising.
  • You can use regular lotions and moisturisers around the eye area, although if you suffer with puffiness or under eye bags you may prefer to use specific eye creams. Such problems can be treated with the right ingredients and changes in lifestyle, but discolouration and under eye circles generally can't. I used to spend hefty amounts on eye creams which promised to do just that with frequently disappointing results, so unless you're carrying any extra baggage it often isn't worth the cost.
Check back tomorrow for Part 2!