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The cheat's guide to great skin
Company's Beauty editor Sophie Qureshi shows you how to keep your skin good when you're being bad...

Ok, so you know what you should be doing to keep your skin looking good - eight hours sleep, eight glasses of water, more fruit and veg, less cake and crisps. Plus a good skincare routine of daily cleansing and moisturising, regular exfoliation and perhaps a weekly mask for some extra TLC. But however good your intentions, there's bound to be times when they go a tiny bit out the window. You come in late from a night out and can barely drag yourself into bed, let alone muster the energy to wash your face. Or you go away with friends and don't eat a thing that didn't come from a packet all weekend. We all do it. (Well, nearly all. Some people are just saints). But that doesn't mean your skin has to suffer. The secret is to know a few sneaky tricks so that when you aren't being 100% good, your skin still can be. Here's how...
  Skin sin 1: Sleeping in your make-up
This isn't good for your skin - or your pillow. Nighttime is when your skin has chance to repair and regenerate and it can't do that if your pores are blocked up by a nice mix of sweat, dirt and make-up. That said, don't believe the urban myth that sleeping in make-up for a night will age your skin 7 days (or 7 years, in the exaggerated version). It's just scare-mongering. As long as you don't make a habit of it, your skin will survive.

If you're going to a party and know it'll be a big night, leave a packet of face wipes on your bedside table before you go. That way, when you come home feeling totally partied-out, you can just collapse into bed and swipe off your make-up in one easy step. Not as good as cleansing it properly, but we've got to be realistic, right?

Skin sin 2: Doing zero exercise
If you're not managing to squeeze in much exercise, facial massage can help you fake a just-back-from-my-run glow. Instead of just slapping on your moisturiser, give yourself a circulation-boosting facial by massaging the cream firmly into your skin, making circular movements over your cheeks and forehead, and upward strokes from your jawline. This will bring fresh oxygenated blood to your skin to give it the same healthy glow as exercise does. Sadly it won't get rid of a muffin top though...

Skin sin 3: Skimping on sleep
If a few too many late nights have made your eyes puffy, don't bother with the teabags and cucumber slices. (I mean, seriously, who wants to lie around with bits of vegetable on their face?) Just keep your eye cream in the fridge and you'll get the same de-puffing benefits, without the mess. Another trick that lots of models use is to sleep on an extra pillow so that your head is slightly raised - it allows any swelling to drain so prevents under-eye bags.


Skin sin 4: Getting stressed
Ever noticed that when you've got exams or a deadline, your skin goes completely haywire? Yep, you can thank stress for that spot on your forehead. To minimise the impact of stress on your skin, set aside fifteen minutes a week to chill out with some tunes and a detoxifying face mask. It's a double whammy - having a break for some pampering will help you unwind, and the mask will deep clean your pores to stop spots in their tracks. Sorted.


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