Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

Getting Over My Beauty Bad Habits – Denise Li

To keep her skin under control in the warm European summer, Denise Li first needed to stop committing two beauty sins. 

Despite knowing better, I have several bad beauty habits including (but not limited to):

1. Picking at my nails (I’ve NEVER had a manicure in my life, for fear of judgement by manicurists)

2. Washing my face excessively (Definitely more than than the recommended twice a day)

3. Using the wrong moisturiser (More on this in a bit)

I’m not sure if I’ll ever stop peeling/biting my nails. It’s an anxiety thing, and I’ve never really yearned to have beautiful manicures, to be honest. I am, however, determined to do something about the other two, mainly because I’m not such a big fan of flaky skin and ageing before my time.

So for that, I’ll need to get over my two beauty hangups: (1) Post-workout greasy skin (the reason I wash excessively) and (2) To stop using mattifying moisturisers to deal with said greasy skin.

Recently, and much to my abject horror, I found out that my skin’s severely dehydrated. I was moaning about this to makeup artist Larry Yeo one day and he said, simply, “You don’t need to wash your face with facial wash after working out. Just splash it with water.”

Of course!

Reporting from the city of Bruges, Belgium!

Reporting from the city of Bruges, Belgium!

Since I arrived in Belgium, I’ve been following this piece of advice. I just splash my face with water after exercise, and I pat it dry with tissue. Though it felt a bit strange initially, I suffered none of the consequences I thought I would (mainly breakouts) if I didn’t wash. In fact, my skin feels a lot less tighter than before.

The second thing I’ve been doing recently is completely overhauling my moisturiser stash, tossing out all the too-light, mattifying moisturisers that aren’t doing enough to quench my thirsty skin. You see, people with oily AND dehydrated skin usually think they have to pick one of two battles to fight: Oiliness OR dehydration. Fact of the matter is, the two problems are closely related. Dehydrated skin overcompensates by producing even MORE oil. Over the years that I’ve been using mattifying moisturisers or drying products, I’ve just been exacerbating the problem.

The solution actually lies in using a SUPER hydrating moisturiser to rebalance skin’s moisture levels so it feels soothed and stops going crazy on the oil production.

For this, I’ve been using Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer. Now, before I became the newly enlightened me, this would probably have been one moisturiser I wouldn’t have touched with a ten-foot pole That’s because it has a rather thick, balm-like texture, and it is quite sticky at first application. The reason for its texture is because, on top of infusing skin with moisture, this product also seals it in.

Despite my initial reservations, I love the results: My skin looks soft, clear and plump every morning, despite the fact that the climate is super dry over here in Europe. Since I started using it, my breakouts have also been less frequent and severe … which I’m taking as proof that my skin’s moisture levels have balanced out. I’ve also been using it on other dry and flaky areas of my body, such as my knees and elbows, and I like that a little goes a long way.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer, $57

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer, $57

The other product from the same line I can’t live without is the Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturizing Hand Treatment cos it leaves hands soft without that slimy, sticky feeling. I also found myself using this the other day while we were at the beach. I forgot to re-apply sunscreen (yes … apparently I’m better at dishing beauty advice than I am following it …) and my back got burnt. I immediately used the hand treatment on the burnt areas and what did you know? Some of the redness dissipated, and my skin didn’t peel and flake like it normally would. Pretty amazing stuff.

Even if you don’t have dehydrated skin like I do, the Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer if you are heading to places with a drier climate. I’m pretty curious to see how my skin will react if I use it in humid Singapore (I do sleep in air-conditioning though). More updates soon!

In the meantime, I’m curious to find out: Do you have any beauty bad habits? And are you trying to do anything about them?

The Hand Treatment is great for treating sunburns too! And the Lip Balm is a must for preventing chapped lips.

The Hand Treatment is great for treating sunburns too! And the Lip Balm is a must for preventing chapped lips.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer is priced at $57. The Hand Treatment is priced at $40. For a full listing of Elizabeth Arden counters in Singapore, click here. Products were sent to Material World for a review. This post was not paid for or advised by Elizabeth Arden. All opinions are the author’s own.

About the Author: Denise Li is a founder of Material World and a freelance writer-editor. Before that, she spent a few years in the Features section of CLEO and Cosmopolitan Singapore. She considers Chiang Mai her spiritual home and makes it a point to head there for a yearly pilgrimage. She’s also a fitness buff and enjoys training in MMA, and doing conditioning workouts. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseLiTweets and Instagram @smackeral83.