Everyone has their own unique ways of getting the best out of their skin, in the final part of our series, Jane Cunningham, former print journalist and now the woman behind the influential site Britishbeautyblogger.com - explains what makes her feel her most radiant.
How did you acquire your skincare wisdom?
I feel as though I'm always learning because skin doesn't stay the same as you get older. Both my grandmothers were skin care conscious although their routines were more simple - a vat of cold cream, I seem to remember, was what saw them both through! But I was always aware of skin being something to be cared for. My job has greatly helped me to understand skin better - when I was writing more for print features they had to be researched and I've ended up with a good knowledge. I started britishbeautyblogger.com as a place to talk about products and experiences in a way that just wasn’t possible in magazines or papers: I wanted to say if a product was rubbish and not just discretely ‘not mention it’… I just felt consumers had a right to know if they were throwing their money away. Basically, I had gathered so much product knowledge and it was all sitting in my brain doing nothing, so along came the blog.
What makes you feel #BetterThanEver in your skin and why is that important as you mature?
So many things - I didn't dread turning 50 and nor did I mind when I did. I think people expect that once you turn a certain age, you suddenly become 'wise' which I can certainly say hasn't happened to me - if anything, I'm more confused than ever! Priorities are definitely different as you get older - the smaller things don't matter in the same way and I'm much more confident with who I am and what I want. I'm far less concerned and held back by what people think of me - I love my life, feel incredibly lucky and that's good enough. There are many rewards from the online world that I treasure, such as interaction with readers of the site and love the fact that there's room for everyone. I have beauty conversations with people all over the world every single day. I think if I were younger, I'd be far more concerned with peer pressure and keeping up, but I know that just being myself is absolutely fine.
What is your skincare regime?
Because I am sent a huge amount of product to test, it's hard to stick to a rigid routine. I have been using the new Revitalift Filler Renew Night Cream by L’Oréal Paris because of the hyaluronic acid; it's a lovely, light consistency that leaves skin with a silky feel.
Has there been a turning point for you in terms of skin confidence?
It's not so much a question of skin confidence as that I can recognise that certain ingredients are great for my complexion - such as hyaluronic acid - so I'll actively seek out that ingredient for my face. I've also learned to enjoy my routines - I love a double cleanse, followed by a mask, or even two, and it really doesn't feel like a chore to jam into my day but more of a quiet ritual that I actively think about and like.
How do you feel about the signs of ageing as you mature – what do you do to stay looking and feeling great?
I think tired looking skin is much more an issue than the signs of ageing - it's harder to keep skin looking fresh and glowy and that's a great skin look at any age, so I do strive for that with good ingredients such as hyaluronic acid that keep my complexion soft and smooth. I don't like to use words that present ageing in a derogatory way (turkey neck is completely banned from my site!) because it's not helpful to anyone feeling downhearted about signs of ageing. There is so much pleasure to be had from skin care routines and I love anything that brightens, softens and freshens the complexion. In terms of lines on my face - they're part of my face and at this point, I feel they're a reflection of who I am now. Find skin care that makes you feel happy, that suits your complexion and take time to specfically enjoy your routines.
As a busy mother and blogger, describe a #BetterThanEver day.
A great day is a weekend day where I walk my dog in Greenwich Park overlooking the skyline of Canary Wharf - I can even see the London Eye and St Paul's Cathedral. I usually walk with friends and their dogs too and pick up a coffee before I get there so it's very sociable. We will go out for dinner with friends or have a lazy takeaway - my husband works abroad so is only home at the weekends so it's really important to make sure we chill out. I like doing unpredictable things - we went to John Lewis to buy a new lampshade and ended up spending the afternoon in a casino instead! We're not high rollers but it was so much fun and so much more interesting than a lampshade! I also love a weekend away - we're near City Airport so we can be by the sea and in the sunshine in more or less a couple of hours.
Because I'm across so many channels, I do have to incorporate my job into my lifestyle - spontaneity is so important on social media, so there is no 'official' end of working day or official weekend come to that. No matter what though, I always run out of time every single day! My children are grown up and so don't need me in the way they did when they were little, but they both still live at home so I like to spend time just watching a movie or chatting if they're around.
What are your top five tips for feeling #BetterThanEver in your skin and in life?
- Be as spontaneous as possible
- Work in some exercise every day (I walk my dog for an hour each day)
- Say no if you feel like it and don't feel bad because you're pleasing yourself instead of everyone else
- Pay a compliment to someone every day because nothing makes you feel as good as making someone else feel great
- Wear any colour lipstick you like - the redder the better!
If you could give one piece of advice to your 18-year-old self on how to feel #BetterThanEver as a woman, what would that be?
I would say, don't worry so much, everything will be okay. That's why I wanted to be involved in the #BetterThanEver campaign because I had so many doubts about how my life would turn out and if I'd known how happy I would be at 51 when I was 20, I think I might have been more spontaneous and less cautious. I'm not so dissimilar to my younger self though - I was rebellious then and still am now - people assume that age makes you a totally different person: you're pretty much the same, but with creakier knees! It's important for younger women to know that worrying about your future erodes your present. So, try not to do it, grab opportunities with both hands and know you have so much more to look forward to.
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This feature was written in partnership with, and sponsored, by L'Oréal Paris .