Aside from conditioning your hair every time you wash it, try a deep conditioner or hair mask 1-2 times a week for extra softness. To eliminate product build-up, use a hot oil weekly and switching shampoos every couple of months.
Go easy on the hair straightener! Regular hair straightening can make your hair thin and weak so try minimising it to special occasions or skipping between days. If you absolutely cannot live without it, turn the temperature setting lower and use a good heat defence product before straightening.
If you arent already following a skin care routine, starting now will ensure your skin is glowing on the big night. Make sure youre using products that are suited for your skin type as this makes a huge difference. Cleansing, toning and moisturising twice a day should be the absolute minimum. To achieve flawless skin, exfoliate 3-4 times a week and apply a mask weekly. If you have oily skin or do sports, keep blotting paper or cleansing wipes with you during the day.
They say it takes three weeks to break a habit. Habits you may not realise that transfer dirt onto your face include hair on your face (especially if there is product in it) and touching your face (like leaning your hand on your face during class or at work). Make sure you wash your pillow case, face and body towel on a regular basis.
If you have scarring from acne, start using a scar serum daily as marks wont fade overnight. It is best to combat scarring before it has matured and while your skin is still healing after a breakout. For those who have oily skin and dont want the feeling of oil clogging your pores, my recommendation is the Trilogy Rose Hip Oil which absorbs quickly into your skin leaving no greasy feeling.
Dont forget about your back too. If youre wearing a backless dress or having your hair up on the night, you dont want nasty spots getting the attention. There are specially formulated back wash products at pharmacies, or simply exfoliate your back using a cleanser with salicylic acid in the shower every night.
Here comes the boring bit: Maintaining a balanced diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables, exercise and water will contribute to healthy skin, hair and nails. Try packing healthy snacks and lunch from home everyday to avoid getting tempted by pies, cookies and soft drinks from the school canteen or cafe by work.
Foods for healthy skin, hair and nails include low fat yoghurt, berries, green tea, salmon, avocado, almonds and cottage cheese. If you cant fit some of these foods into your diet, you can consider taking vitamin pills. Look for vitamins A, C, and E (which usually come in one tablet) and a fish or flax oil tablet to get your essential fatty acid intake. But remember nothing beats the real thing as your body will naturally absorb nutrients from food better than a pill.
I say this as a last resort, but for many teenagers experiencing unpredictable hormones, acne and later scarring can be the cause of real stress. You dont have to go to an expensive dermatologist. Because acne is a medical condition, you can see your GP who will assess your skin and prescribe you subsidised medication or refer you to a dermatologist if you really need it. Be warned that taking a pill isnt a quick and easy fix. It takes up to 8 weeks before you see results and the side effects usually mean you need to take extra care of your diet and skin which may become extra sensitive.
Regular brushing with a whitening tooth paste and avoiding too many soft drinks, coffee cigarettes and alcohol should do the trick. If you are after a dazzling smile, there are a few options you can try a couple of weeks before the big night so your teeth wont be sensitive. Brush-on whitening formulas you can get at the supermarket usually dont have much effect; so if youre going to whiten at home, try a more specialised kit and always read the instructions carefully. Professional teeth whitening requires parental consent for those aged between 16-18 years old and if youre planning to go, make sure you save up and book early.
Article by Joy Fung of www.beautybible.co.nz