Europe’s known for a lot of things – stunning architecture, fine cheeses and wine, panoramic landscapes et al – but if you’ve ever taken a moment to remove yourself from its sensory pleasures and look around, you’d notice something else. From the Turquoise Coast all the way to the Norwegian fjords, one thing remains constant: flawless skin!
It’s no wonder then that most of the women on the fair continent (barring ultra-glam Russia) sport bare faces with barely-there makeup. Who needs all the layers and fuss when you have perfect, porcelain skin? Now, before you go shaking your fists at the Gene Gods or begin to feel sorry for yourself, know this: it’s not all down to genetics. It seems European women have discovered the winning formula for flawlessness, and it’s a lot simpler than you think. Keep your eyes peeled, because we’re about to spill the skin secrets that keep their faces in form:
European skincare is all about minimal, fuss-free routines. And if you ask us, it should be that way for everyone. The hours you spend in front of the mirror can be spent in bed (sleep is as important for your skin!) The obvious way to do this is to enlist multitasking products that pack several purposes into a single tube. Instead of dressing your face like a layer cake, all you need is one, superior sheath – and this can apply to makeup, too.
Repeat after us: it’s never too early to age. While we all like to think we’re safe until our mid-30s, studies show that those first wrinkles are the cumulative effect of an ageing process that began as early as in your 20s. European women are big on preventative beauty, and given that cold, dry climates contribute to wrinkles, anti-ageing products are a non-negotiable part of their skincare routines. While we might not be privy to advanced Swiss biotechnology or Edelweiss Apples, there’s no dearth of anti-ageing saviours that we can add to our routines.
Nothing causes premature ageing faster than free radicals from the sun, so make sure to use a strong, antioxidant formula like Kaya Antox Vit C; to hydrate, sun-protect and zap the first signs of ageing, try Neutrogena’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer SPF 30.
With nature’s bounty all around, it’s no wonder that clean and organic products are at the heart of the European skincare routine. In India, we’re equally well-versed – herbal remedies are as ancient as the Vedas that prescribed them. But as important as making green inclusions, is making chemical exclusions. Make sure to check labels on the makeup you buy – a lot of products include toxic Polymenthyl Methacrylate and Methylparabens that have been linked to allergies, hormonal disruption, and even cancer.
We love Forest Essentials Pure Aloe Vera Light Hydrating Facial Gel, made of unadulterated Aloe Vera, White Germ extracts and floral water that moisturizes and soothes; for a more leisurely day, treat yourself to Kama Ayurveda’s Lavanya Natural Plant Mask.
You don’t need to be European to know that makeup can’t work its magic unless you have healthy and hydrated skin to begin with. But if you never took that diktat as seriously as they do, now’s the time to start. Much like you, your skin gets thirsty and needs a constant dose of water to help flush toxins and retain elasticity. Aside from moisturizers, face mists infused with minerals can give parched skin the pick-me-up it needs.
An essential part of any European skincare routine is using a toner right after cleansing your face. In India, especially for those with oily or acne-prone skin, a toner is a must-have because it unclogs pores and undresses your skin of the impurities, dirt and pollutants it accumulates through the day. Plus, it has multitasking cred too, working to refresh, moisturize, protect, balance pH levels and refine pores.
If you thought oil was just for your hair, think again. Vitamins, natural ingredients, oil-based fats and antioxidants are just as necessary for plump, radiant and youthful skin. Using oils to moisturize your face is an old-school tip for healthy skin that never went out of style in Europe. Lipophilic oil penetrates and preserves water and moisture within the skin, acts as a primer and pore refiner, and zaps zits and wrinkles.
Try Avon Nutra Effects Miracle Glow Oil, a multi-benefit formula including Lin Seed, Marula Seed, Babassu Seed, Green Coffee and Passion Fruit, or Kama Ayurveda Jwalini Retexturising Skin Treatment Oil, effective as an after-sun remedy and anti-irritant.