My Teen Skincare Life by Annika Allen

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Annika Allen is a youth engagement specialist, journalist, entrepreneur, presenter and all round media maverick. She was the co-ownder of Flavour Mag and freelances for a variety of publications. Annika currently curates and delivers monthly business development workshops, seminars and speed networking events with professionals from the music and creative industries. I caught up with her to find out about her teen skincare life. Tell us when you first came across skincare products. When I was 14 my mother decided to become a Mary Kay consultant. I remember her coming home with this pink case full of skincare and beauty products. I'd never had much of an interest in beauty products before but seeing the array of different foundation colours and moisturisers for various skin types perked my interest so I used to sneak in her case and test out some of the different products. Before then I just used cocoa butter and olive oil.

Who were your influences in regards to your skincare? I used to watch a lot of the US TV shows like Sister Sister and Moesha and look at pictures of stars in magazine's like Blackbeat and Right On, so I was influenced by how they looked, however my mum, twin sister and cousins all had good skin so I just wanted to ensure that it stayed that way.

What were the brands that you started using when you were a teen? When I was a teen I was a big fan of Mary Kay and also Fashion Fair. I have family in the States and went to New York a few times as a teenager and my family there all used to use Fashion Fair cosmetics. I remember going to their beauty counter in Macy's and getting great advice on what moisturiser I should use as my skin gets quite dry, From that moment I was hooked. For many years Fashion Fair was the only skincare range that I used to buy and I used to use my mum's supplies of Mary Kay (of course I buy them off her now).

What have you learnt about your skin since your teen years? I have learned what you put in is what you get out. I love my food particularly Jamaican food as well as junk food like chips and king prawns in blackbean sauce from the chinese. As a teenager I really didn't have to worry about what I ate, I was always very active and it never showed on my body or my face. Today, that is not the case. When I put rubbish in my body I look rubbish on the outside too (laughs). I will get spots on my face, my stomach will be bloated and overall I won't look and feel good. So although I cleanse and moisturise daily I have learned that it's what I put in my body rather then what I use on my face that helps my skin to stay clear and glow.

In terms of products, there isn't one particular brand that I use at the moment but I do alternate the skincare products in my collection. For cleansing I use Image Ormedic Balancing Facial Cleanser and Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Facial Wash. To tone I use Premae Skincare's Balance Rescue Face Tonique and Premae Skincare's Ultimate Silk Cleansing Toner. I moisturise with Image Vital C Hydrating Anti Aging Serum and Mary Kay's Intense Moisturising Cream. I like Cocoa Butter or Bath and Body Works Body Lotion to cream my entire skin.

How has your skincare regime evolved since then? My routine hasn't changed, I have just experimented with different products over the years but in the mornings and evenings I still always cleanse and moisturise my face and I will exfoliate with, Mary Kay TimeWise Microdermabrasion Set. It is probably even more important now then it used to be for me to do that as I have gotten older and my skin has become thiner and more exposed to harsh weather. I like to have a facial every couple of months to rejuvenate my skin. I think facials are really important to have and I usually throw it in with a massage at the same time so that I feel uber relaxed.

Luckily I have never been a huge make-up wearer as I feel that it is important to let your skin breathe. On a day-to-day basis I'll generally wear Victoria's Secret Lip Gloss and sometimes I may throw on my MAC Eye Liner and Mascara. I save the full make-up routine for nights out, special occasions and if I'm involved in creative directing or in a photo shoot. I tend to own make-up from MAC, Mark Kay, Bobby Brown and Sleek MakeUp. I love when my make-up is done by a make-up artist. I think once you have good skin and your hair looks great then you don't have to wear too much make-up if you don't want too and that helps me to help my skin.

You can follow Annika on Twitter.