14 Holistic Skincare Tips to Improve Your Complexion

Travelista Editor Jessica Ruth Gibson is on a mission to improve her skin this year. With the help of Dr. Laura Lenihan MICGP, she shares 14 of the most effective skincare tips and best skincare practices.

Now in my early 30’s, I am definitely investing more time and doing more research about ways I can protect my skin and slow down the early signs of ageing.  In recent years I have gained so much valuable knowledge and skincare tips from following Dr. Laura Lenihan MICGP (@DrLauraGP) who is a Galway-based GP and skin doctor. 

The amount of skincare products available on the market can feel totally overwhelming, but there’s no point spending money on expensive skincare before getting the basics right first – many of which are lifestyle choices that that cost nothing. Combining the information I have learned from Dr. Laura along with some hugely effective ‘back to basics’ reminders, here are 14 of my skincare tips to help improve your complexion this year.

“I think if you spend a lot of time on Instagram it’s easy to get caught up in the beauty influencer way of thinking. But skincare doesn’t need to be complicated. The 2 most important things are time & consistency. I advise doing a simple skincare routine morning and evening for a minimum of 3 months to see results from a product.”

Dr. Laura Lenihan MICGP

Quotes provided by Dr. Laura exclusively for Travelista.

14 Holistic Skincare Tips to Improve Your Complexion

1. Wear SPF daily – and all year round

The single most effective way to prevent ageing is to wear a daily SPF on your face and neck. Dr. Laura states that it’s the one thing that can decrease your ageing in 5 years by 26%. That means, over time, it’s more effective than botox, retinoids and antioxidants. The key? Use it all year round, even in the depths of winter because your skin can age all year round. Make SPF the final, non-negotiable part of your morning routine. 

2. Aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day

It’s such a simple one, but I’m here to remind you of it. Drinking more water is the cheapest and most natural way to get that radiant complexion we all strive for. Your whole body works better when it’s hydrated, like a well-oiled machine. Good hydration helps to flush out toxins quicker, which is reflected in a glowing and plumped complexion. 

3. Keep your product choice simple

With so many toners, serums, SPFs, eye creams and retinoids available these days, the amount of steps to your skincare regime seems to be limitless. But at the core of every good regime is a gentle cleanser and quality face moisturiser .

“Keep your product choice simple. For me, I think of ingredients I want everyone to have in their routine. Beyond a gentle cleanser and a nice moisturiser day and night, I recommend the following; In the AM an antioxidant and SPF to protect your skin and in the PM correct with a retinoid and exfoliating acid.”

Dr. Laura Lenihan MICGP

4. Clean your make up brushes and applicators regularly

This one could be particularly helpful if you struggle with acne or breakouts. After cleansing and protecting your skin to perfection, you don’t want to be covering it with clogged up, dirty make up brushes. Try to make a habit of cleaning your make up applicators regularly.

5. Exfoliate twice a week

Unlike the daily rituals of cleansing and moisturising, a gentle exfoliator can be added to your morning routine twice-weekly. Dead skin cells will be removed to reveal brighter skin and you’ll be less prone to acne and breakouts.

6. Adapt your skincare to the changing seasons

You may notice your skincare changes based on the weather and changing seasons. During the summer my skin is more oily and during the winter it’s much more dry and drinks in a lot more serums and moisturiser. Sound familiar? Adapt your skincare based on the seasons – you don’t need to do the same routine all year round.

As part of her expert skincare tips, Dr. Laura recommends adding a Vitamin D supplement to your skincare routine in the UK winter months and advises that adults need 15 micrograms of Vitamin D per day. 

“Between March and October our bodies can make enough Vitamin D naturally through sunlight, but in the winter months supplements can ensure you to maintain the goal amount of 15 μg.”

Dr. Laura Lenihan MICGP

7. Tailor skincare products to your age and skin type

As well as tailoring your skincare to the seasons, you can also tailor it to your skin type. Many products are created specifically for dry, oily or combination skin. Some skincare brands also develop products to suit different age ranges of 20+, 30+, 40+ and 50+. So be sure to study the product carefully before making a buying decision.

8. Prioritise sleep

We know that quality sleep has endless health benefits, but achieving the holy grail of 7-8 hours of solid sleep is much easier said than done. Whether it’s a little one up regularly up in the night or stretching out that much-needed ‘me time’ in the evening, quality sleep can sometimes feel like an impossible goal. However, this is your reminder that prioritising your sleep can help you look better on the outside as well as feel better on the inside. Do the best you can within your own circumstances.

9. Change your pillowcase regularly

Imagine spending all that time on your evening skincare routine to then put your skin on a dirty pillow case all night? It could easily be something you may never have considered, but aiming to change your pillow case more regularly than your bedding is a great little trick to keep your skin in tip top condition. Stocking up on some extra pillow cases , or buying additional cases for each bedding set, will make this one much easier.

10. Remove make up and do your evening skincare as soon as you get home

If you’re having a night in at home, try to remove your make up and do your evening skin care routine as soon as you get home, rather than before going to bed. Getting changed into some ‘comfies’ or lounge wear is the perfect time to give it a try. By doing this, you’re less likely to skip skincare all together when you’re too tired and the products will get longer to penetrate the skin. If you wear make-up through the day, it will also give your skin longer to breathe before the next application. 

11. Manage stress effectively

When we are stressed our body produces a hormone called cortisol and high cortisol levels can decrease your skin’s ability to retain water, elastin and collagen. This makes the skin feel dehydrated and dull, and over a long period of time, can contribute to premature ageing of the skin. 

Of course, stress is often an unavoidable part of daily life, but this is just another reminder to take a holistic approach to your skincare. Try to practice self-care and manage stress levels as best you can. 

12. Focus on a varied, colourful diet

Your diet is another thing that can hugely impact your skin condition and complexion. 

“Don’t forget to keep healthy, adequate water intake & a healthy varied colourful diet. And watch your skin glow. If you have issues then always seek medical help”

Dr. Laura Lenihan MICGP

13. Invest in regular facials for a deeper cleanse

If you want to take your skincare regime to the next level, consider booking in for medical-grade facials on a regular basis with a local beauty aesthetician. These skincare professionals can provide you with a greater understanding of your skin’s individual needs by assessing your skin type and recommending the best products for you. I’ve experienced two hydrafacials as one-off treats but I’d love to book a regular course of these facials in the future.

14. Consult a skin doctor or dermatolagist

If you feel your skin is becoming a medical issue or you’re unsure of how to best treat your skin, always consult your GP who can help to refer or signpost you to the best care. Be sure to follow Dr. Laura @drlauragp for a regular dose of new skincare tips and check out Dr Laura Skin Clinic.

Read more articles from our wellbeing section.

What did you think of these holistic skin care tips for 2024? Which ones will you be trying out? Leave a community comment and let us know. 

Jessica Ruth Gibson is the Founder and Editor of Travelista and an award-winning travel content creator of 10 years. She lives in York, UK with her son and has travelled to over 50 countries; her favourites being Italy, Canada and Vietnam.

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