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LIFE AND STYLE

How to combat 3 teenage beauty problems we also often suffer with as adults

For many of us, the teen years are cruel. As I started to become acutely aware of how I was perceived, my body, face and hair exploded with fiery indecisiveness.

To my slightly melodramatic adolescent brain, it felt as though each day brought with it a fresh new hell, and the immediate impulse was to quash each physical rebellion into submission.

The rapidly multiplying Dennis Healy-esque brows forming above my thick glasses, the spots erupting on my skin, the white streaks forming on my hips, bum, thighs (and in fact anywhere other than my chest, which refused to grow).

 These issues don’t always improve with adulthood, and that’s what today’s column is all about: hopefully it’ll help those suffering with beauty problems that we associate with teens, but which in fact affect people at any age.

PROBLEMEYEBROWS

I used to obsess over my eyebrows, which taunted me from the mirror and seemed to multiply each day. They met up in middle, as well as joining up with my hairline at either side. I’d stare in that bathroom mirror, analysing my face and body for hair that I deemed undesirable – arms, legs, upper lips, cheeks – a practice often exacerbated by cruel comments from peers.

I was scouted in London by Models 1 aged 16 as I wandered into Topshop. In the week before heading into their office for a callback, I resolutely attacked those hated brows. My Mum had forbidden me to pluck, so I stepped around this rule by finding my dad’s razor and – ah! – shaving that monobrow off. The next day it was the turn of the bits that met up with my hairline. As the week wore on, I slyly attempted to shape them like Mel’s from All Saints.

By the time I went into Models 1, I had two wonky thin lines that did nothing for my face shape, and they turned me away.

I was lucky: mine grew back, and I wear my two bushy, untamed brows with pride. If you’re having trouble growing them out, try these remedies, and don’t fear the awkward growing out stage as it’s worth it in the end.

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SOLUTION: Peppermint Brow Remedy

Massage Alchemy Oils’ Peppermint Brow Remedy nightly to help stimulate growth as well as condition the hair. It contains Coconut Oil, which I always rely on to speed up hair growth: when my fringe has been cut too short I massage this into the roots at night and it’s incredible how quickly it grows!

 

PROBLEMSPOTS

Having thrice had severe acne (both as a teen and an adult) I know what an upsetting experience it can be. It lost me a lot of work throughout my modelling career and as a teen I tackled it badly as I felt so helpless. I definitely recommend talking to a doctor, but I’ve also discovered these solutions along the way:

SOLUTION: Pai

Pai’s founder, Sarah, suffered with terrible hives, and developed the range with organic ingredients that wouldn’t irritate her own skin. You can head to the site and speak to their team of specialists to see which will help you the most. Their products are always calming and leave me with radiant skin, particularly their Rosehip BioRegenerate Rapid Radiance Mask (£30 from Content Beauty), which is great for healing thanks to the rosehip.

Go for gentle products like Pai’s rather than those that give you tight, squeaky feeling. Harsh, drying products make the skin overcompensate by producing even more sebum, leading to more spots.

From paiskincare.com

SOLUTION: The Konjac Sponge Company Facial Sponge with Bamboo Charcoal

Rather than the harsh foaming washes that I turned to, I wish I’d cleansed with konjac sponges in my bad skin days. I know that feeling of wanting to scrape at your face and pick your spots: this allows you to remove cleanser and exfoliate skin from healing spots gently without aggravating too much.

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Made with the fibre of the konjac vegetable, the bamboo charcoal in this is naturally anti-bacterial and helps soak up extra oil, though do be sure to wash thoroughly between uses in order to keep them clean.

 

SOLUTION: Pukka Organic Aloe Vera Juice

Pukka are one of my all-time favourite brands. For beauty inside and out, this is wonderfully soothing and healing both when ingested and applied topically. As well as drinking a shot every morning to boost my immune system, I’ve used a cotton pad wetted with the aloe on breakouts, bites and even post-bikini wax: give it a go if your face is feeling inflamed.

 

PROBLEMHAIR

The teen years aren’t so kind to hair, although what would our adolescence be without horrendously embarrassing pictures of bad dyes and cuts to look back on? I remember a VERY big year in my all-girl school: ceramic straighteners got popular. All that lovely wavy and curly hair was under strict control, with girls getting up an hour early to create poker-straight locks (hair mascara optional).

SOLUTION: Bouclème

Happily, there is an ever-growing ‘curly girl’ movement, with women embracing the natural movement of their hair. Bouclème products don’t foam up, so may take a little getting used to, but that’s because they’re free from sulphates, silicones, parabens and artificial fragrances (more info on their site). There’s also a towel made from organic cotton, bamboo and elasthene that is far kinder to curly hair than terry cloth.

 

SOLUTION: Maria Nila Colour Refresh

One of my favourite haircare ranges out there, Maria Nila products are vegan and cruelty-free and produced with environmental responsibility in mind. They also smell AMAZING.

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If your hair is knackered from too much dye and heat styling but you want a change, I suggest their Colour Refresh range. This comes in 13 different shades, from Pearl Silver to Black and helps refresh a dye job or give frazzled post-holiday follicles a boost without having to apply harsh, long-lasting chemicals.

After washing out Cacao Intense 4.10, my hair was a couple of shades darker and glossier: not a dramatic overhaul but enough to make my skin seem brighter and my green-blue eyes look bright blue. It lasted around 6 washes.

Read more at standard.co.uk

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