Those of you who know me IRL might recall that I have never had an easy relationship with my skin. I’m not talking about out-and-out chronic acne; more a misery of my own making. Basically, I hit puberty, discovered the sordid pleasure of squeezing blackheads, and never looked back – as a teenager, whole hours were spent peering into a magnifying mirror at close range, expunging gunge, then realising the extent of my self harm and panicking. I would dunk my face in a sinkful of cold water, or call to my brother for ‘Ice!’ like an extra on Casualty, or even resort to leaving the house with my hair swept right across my face. It was not pretty. Eventually, the Pill helped.
Everyone used to reassure me that at some point, my skin would clear up – but through my twenties, and both during and after pregnancy, the spots just wouldn’t die. However, for the past few months, and through no real effort on my part, I’ve noticed that my skin has – finally – started to look and feel miles better. It’s taken me a few months to trust that this is not just a phase, but now I am beginning to believe that, wrinkles and future degeneration aside, my skin and I might be over the worst.
I’ve been trying to pinpoint the cause of this happy development. A few tiny changes to my lifestyle have certainly done no harm to my skin. I no longer work in an air-conditioned office, for example. I’ve started using a face wash after swimming to get rid of the chlorine. Last November, I became the proud owner of a Nutribullet, which means I am consuming a lot more fruit and veggies. And I’ve upgraded my evening skincare routine to this super-thick cleanser, followed by a hot-cloth steam, followed by this toner. I’ve also started to moisturise with the La Roche-Posay products that Rachel and Rose have recommended in the past.
However, I honestly think that the main reason for my skin’s general improvement might just be… age. Because really, despite the tweaks I’ve made to my lifestyle, I should also point out that I’m sleeping less, drinking alcohol more regularly, and eating whatever I like (parenthood will do that to you). Yet still my skin seems more tolerant than ever. We’re told by marketeers that ageing is something to avoid at all costs – I’m finding more and more reasons to disagree.
I’m not saying that my skin is luminous and completely clear these days – it’s still problematic, just much less so. But clearer skin has been an unexpected free gift that came with my thirties – and another bonus to add to the list.
Have you found hitting your thirties has helped sort out your skin?