My Teen Skincare Life by Marilyn Okoro

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Marilyn Okoro is a 400 and 800 metre athlete who has represented Great Britain and England at major championships including the Beijing Olympics and Commonwealth Games. She is a Bronze medalist in the 4x400 metres at the World Athletics Championships in 2007 and won the Silver at the European Indoor Championships in 2011. Currently she is training for Rio where she plans to make her Olympic dreams come true. She took time out of her busy schedule to tell us about her skincare. I first came across skincare products at home looking through my Mum's cabinets and dressing table. My Mum has beautiful skin and I always loved watching her apply makeup but at the same time thinking she doesn’t really need it. I rarely got spots but I wanted pretty skin like my Mum too. At the time I was about 11 or 12 when I started to develop pimples so I knew I needed to develop a regimen. My cousin Irene, who I am very close to also works in fashion and beauty PR and she would always advise and have amazing goodies. She introduced me to a lot of skincare products plsu she gives the best Christmas gifts obviously.

So, for sure my influences were my Mum and cousin as per reason mentioned above but also I went to an all-girls boarding school and was surrounded by lots of adolescent girls. My best friend Iman was very into beauty and makeup and she was a clean freak so washing her face was a ritual. She was half Egyptian and stunning and I remember she always had products that were gorgeous smelling and looked expensive. She would often give me her left overs (except these left overs were often still half full haha). We loved that 10mins before lights out of washing our face and brushing out teeth.

The first brand I started using was Clearasil which I quickly realised was not for me - way too harsh. I tried a lot of Body Shop products too but there was so much choice and I would often get overwhelmed with my indecisiveness. I soon settled into a routine rotating between the Simple and Clinique. When my skin got ‘bored’ (LOL) or rather too used to one brand I would change it up. I would use their full range of Cleanser, Toner and Light Day Face Creams, I especially loved Clinique’s Mousse Cleanser, which kept my skin nice and fresh and clear.

In my teens I realised that every now and again I would get a lot of pimples on my forehead. I was always playing sport so it meant I was running around and sweaty a lot. I always thought my skin was oily but that really depended on my hairstyles at the time. For instance when my hair was relaxed this was when I would get a lot of pimples and excess oils. However as I mainly wore braids as a teen and my skin would be pretty consistent.

I actually have combination skin so I know I just need to make sure I am consistent with my products and always cleanse my face at least once a day. And I try to make sure I exfoliate once or twice a week. In between I stay on top of it with gentle exfoliating pads or wipes - Simple have some great ones. I don’t wear much makeup or very often and I am in the sun a lot so on the whole my skin is pretty healthy and balanced.

My skin is very versatile and pretty easy to maintain but it does often give me warning signs for example when I'm not eating right, stressed or premenstrual or even just fatigued and training and/or travelling a lot my skin is affected and I have to pay special attention to get back on an even keel.

As I've gotten older my skincare regime has actually simplified. I think when you are young you want to try any and everything and often just do stuff because you want to be like your peers or the girls in the commercials LOL. However over the years I've found what works for me and my skin which is to keep it simple and be consistent with my routine. I'm not afraid to try new products but I just want them to be affordable and as natural ingredients as possible.

You can follow Marilyn on Twitter.

For more information about Road to Rio campaign, please visit her website.