Sea Changes

We flock to the beach as soon as the sun graces us with its presence, so there’s no better time to consider the impact our beauty routines have on the ocean. Here are three ways to ensure it’s more ocean friendly.

Ditch the beads

Plastic microbeads will be banned in New Zealand in May, due to the havoc they wreak on the ocean’s ecosystem, so get a head start. Choose natural exfoliants and be mindful these teeny-tiny beads turn up in unexpected products – check your cleanser and toothpaste, too.

Reduce plastics

Five to 13 million metric tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean each year, so reducing unnecessary plastic usage is crucial. Opt for smart packaging – homegrown plastic-free pioneer Ethique do everything from shampoo to a self-tanner – and recycle those old plastic beauty bottles.

Switch sunscreens

Sun protection is vital for any beach dweller, but slathering on chemical-based sunscreens can have a detrimental impact on sea life. Studies have found oxybenzone – commonly used in chemical-based sunscreens – is toxic to coral, exacerbates coral bleaching and can damage coral DNA.

Try three of our favourite sea-friendly products in the gallery below.

New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Stick To

Tired of making pie-in-the-sky New Year resolutions you can’t stick to? Your skin will thank you for these no-nonsense beauty goals.

1.Get to Know Your Skin Type

Anyone over the age of 30 who has been cursed with unwanted blemishes will be well aware that pimples aren’t only the plight of teenagers. The unfortunate fact is breakouts can occur at any age for a myriad of reasons. While stocking up on acne-fighting skin care targeted at teens isn’t the answer, it does prove that choosing the right skin care isn’t as simple as heading for products marketed at your age group. Skin is much more complex than your age and although you do need to start thinking about different skin issues as you get older, sensitive, dry, oily, combination or the elusive normal skin type don’t all have the same skincare requirements. The temperature, humidity, hormones and a host of lifestyle factors can play a significant role in skin health, so take into account how your skin changes throughout the year and adjust your routine accordingly.

2. Protect Your Skin Every Day

Sunscreen becomes our number one priority when summer rolls around but protecting your skin 365 days a year should be the cornerstone of any serious beauty regimen. “Exposure to UV rays and pollution wreaks havoc on skin, right down to our DNA,” says Sheryll Puku, national training manager for Elizabeth Arden. And while we all know sun exposure is a big culprit when it comes to premature ageing, Puku says we also need to shield our skin from air pollutants called particulate matter. Due to its miniscule size, often 20 times smaller than the pores on our skin, particulate matter easily penetrates to cause damage. “Particulate matter generates excess free radicals, which interfere with the skin’s ability to produce collagen and elastin and retain moisture, resulting in accelerated signs of ageing,” Puku explains. “This harmful pollution is directly correlated to a rise in dark spots, inflammation, fine lines and wrinkles.”

3. Tidy up Your Act

If 2019 was a year of unexpected outbreaks and irritations, then 2020 is the year for cleaning up your act and ensuring your beauty routine is not contributing towards unwanted skin problems. Clean brushes at least once a week, and more frequently – think nightly – if your brushes are being shared with others. “Brushes that aren’t cleaned regularly will be full of bacteria that can cause skin irritations,” says Lisa Matson, L’OrĂ©al Paris Cosmetics New Zealand make-up director. And ideally, explains Matson, we should be cleaning brushes at least once a week, and more frequently – think nightly –  if your brushes are being shared with others.

4. Spring Clean Every Season

As surprising as it sounds, your beauty cabinet and pantry aren’t all that different. Unfortunately, just like the perishable goods in your kitchen, beauty products go off too. As products age, preservatives stop doing their job and active ingredients become unstable. Not only will your skin care stop working effectively, some products may become hazardous and cause skin irritations. And it’s not just products that should have been binned long ago that pose a problem: you can forget about reaching for that sunscreen you’ve kept in the car. Exposure to sunlight and high temperatures can cause preservatives and active ingredients to break down; so while that sunscreen may not have expired, the ingredients you need to keep your skin protected from harmful rays won’t work. If you want to extend the shelf life of your products, store them in cool, dark places.

5. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

If you’ve been using the same tried-and-true foundation, lipstick and eyeshadow for as long as you can remember, 2020 is the time to break free from your beauty rut and try something new. Whether you favour a bold or minimal approach, there has never been a better time to experiment with innovative formulations hitting the counter almost daily. Not sure where to start? Head to your favourite beauty counter and ask for some expert advice on new colours and trends. Try a few shades of lipstick you wouldn’t normally wear and, remember, make-up isn’t permanent so have fun with it. You never know, you might discover a new favourite.