Misled and Misguided
There are so many things we do every day that affect our skin, food, habits like smoking or environmental pollutants, the wrong skin care products, too much too little. You name it; it's being done by someone - somewhere.
Let's focus on some of the common missteps in everyday skincare. Easily identified and inexpensive to fix. Unlike some of the other larger moves, I've suggested in the past like a change of lifestyle or altering diet this one is not all that painful to fix. And only requires a minimal amount of commitment from you. With tremendous results.
Let's talk about exfoliation. Now if you've been reading my blogs regularly, you know how passionate I am about exfoliation. I want to stress this isn't something that is unique to me. Countless others have found exfoliation to be exceptionally beneficial in their care routine, so it is a pretty mainstream thing. Exfoliation pays.
Exfoliate Your way to Clarity
Not exfoliating often enough with the right type of exfoliant for your skin can keep your skin from not being completely clean no matter what other products you use.
I speak from experience. I haven't always been regular with exfoliation. In my teens, I didn't even have my own jar of scrub. I used to grab my mom's St Ives's apricot scrub every time I had some special occasion to dress up for. Like for prom or socials. That peach colored grainy stuff. You know which one I'm talking about.It did the trick then. But I've moved on since. Even in my twenties, I was flippant with using an exfoliant. It isn't until my early to mid-thirties, one child in some first signs of adult acne and aging signs forced me to be more aware of exfoliation and regular preventative care for my skin. Then in my thirties when I became acutely aware of my mortality. (laugh) Ok.... maybe it wasn't so dramatic. But it should be. Skincare is nothing to be flippant about.
Exfoliation is one of the best things you can do for yourself, in your fight to maintain a healthy and blemish free skin. Don't miss out on some major skin improvement by not scrubbing often enough. I like my facial scrubs – I suggest using them at least three times a week. There are other alternatives like smoothing serums you can apply under your skin moisturizer before bedtime which works overnight to dissolve the glue that holds dead cells together revealing a brighter and clearer appearance in the morning. I prefer instant results, and a scrub grants me that without much work. My personal favorites are :
Citrus Cooler Body Scrub. This scrub is a citrusy sweet blend of invigorating essential oils and organic dual grade sugar with a myriad of nutritive oils to hydrated as it sloughs off dead skin cells.
Roses in Bloom Salt Scrub is another alternative that is aromatic and works in much the same way as the former, but the multi salt blend replaces minerals your skin is lacking in why exfoliating and hydrating. The added advantage of a "salt' scrub is the most obvious fact that salt is an antiseptic that helps stave off infections and kill bacteria present on the surface of your skin within tiny cuts or abrasions. However, we do recommend you not use a salt scrub if you have open wounds cuts or abrasions. As you may have heard the phrase "salt on your wounds." Not a pleasant experience....I've done it without meaning to many times. And well it stings.
A nice Mask helps pull out impurities and the Black Beaute´ is a great activated charcoal cream face mask with aloe leaf juive an excellent for a gentle yet complete cleansing of toxins. D-ToX is a powder clay mask with a potent blend of clays and oils help pull out impurities and keep your skin blemish free.
War Paint or Weapon?
Not using a skin foundation every day before leaving home.
I know how this sounds. There are plenty of us who are not fans of foundation or any foundation or makeup and prescribe to the "let your skin breathe" ideology. This sounds like a good concept but flawed in a big way and let me lend some insight here. The skin doesn’t have a respiratory system, so thinking that the skin breathes is a complete myth. Using the right type of foundation helps protect your skin from environmental pollutants and acts as a barrier for the ravages of nature. A lot of good foundations and BB creams liquid and powder have SPF protection in the form of zinc oxide already build in. Sun damage is the single biggest factor in premature aging of the skin. Powder foundation especially works to soak up excess oils produced by the skin. Wearing foundation is another layer of protection if you already have a good moisturizer with sun protection. Not to mention it also gives your face and neck a finished look. Select a good foundation liquid powder or both and make sure to match it to your skin tone which is essential. Places like Sephora and Ulta have beauty consultants who can help you with this should you need it.
My personal preference that works for my skin type is a light foundation, and an SPF infused mineral powder to finish off the look. I do add a pinch of blush and lip balm for my day look. My latest lip balm obsession is
Green Envy Lip Balm, which is infused with stone ground matcha tea and white tea extracts scented with tropical hints to give it a complete feel of the tropics with all the skin benefits of the green Japenese tea. This look can easily be transformed into a night look with some eyeliner and lip stain.
Neck it or Lose it.
Not wearing enough sunscreen on our necks.
If you've gotten this far on the blog, then you obviously care about your skin and want to make an effort to take care if it. Here is a common mistake we all make. Our neck and exposed chest area are an afterthought. We take our time to apply moisturizers and serums and gels to our face, but then we rub on the leftover stuff haphazardly if at all on our necks and call it a day. You are not giving your neck the attention it needs. This is why more often than not you notice the older someone is the skin on the face is taut and clear while the skin on the neck is losing elasticity and worse for the wear. The exposure of sun and environment is just as heavy on our necks and open chest areas as it is to our face. We should give our delicate skin in the neck more care than less. This skin loses elasticity faster and shows age more and harder to hide behind clothing unless you intend to sport scarves or turtlenecks all year around. For anyone over 40 like me, you know firsthand how the neck loses its tone. Your neck is an extension of your face, so treat it as such. Consistently apply a generous coat of sunscreen to the front and sides of the neck, including your chest if you’re wearing a shirt or dress that exposes this area.
Oily Skin needs less Moisturizer
Many are under the impression that oily skin means it needs less moisture. This is a myth. Oily skin needs a different type of moisturizer but needs it just the same. The oils our skin produce need to be washed or wiped away and replaced with hydration that does not encourage production of skin oils or sebum. Did you know a common reason for overproduction of oil is skin dehydration? When your skin isn't receiving the hydration it needs, it goes into overproduction mode to compensate. The less you hydrate, the more oily your skin will become. Not cool right? Moisturizing is a critically important step to every skincare routine, regardless of the skin type you have! We have some excellent options for face moisturization. The Bella Rose Facial Serum is an exquisite blend of fresh and natural nontoxic skin hydration that also helps minimize fine lines, reduces irritation and replaces the much-needed nourishment our skin loses every day.
Best Bedtime Routines
I know it sounds absurd to dedicate blog space talking about night time cleansing. After all who doesn't wash their face at night? You'd be surprised how many people go to sleep with their makeup on and with unwashed faces. Whether it is because its late or they're very tired. There is no reason good enough to not cleanse your face before bed. Let me say it again. No reason good enough. I'll admit this habit isn't something I picked up reading seventeen magazines. My mom taught me this, and as a rule, we didn't sleep with makeup. The single worst thing second to no SPF protection from sun exposure is THIS.
Under eye care is exceptionally important to keep a healthy appearance and to fight back premature aging in the face. We have a brand new addition to our facial hydration routine. The Cucumber Cooler Under-Eye Gel is a clever blend of cranberry and cucumber among other extracts that nourish the delicate under eye skin, alleviate thin lines, crows feet and reverse bags and puffiness under eyes caused by lack of sleep, food and drink habits and fatigue.
Washing your face at night before bed is super important.Your face needs to recycle cells naturally by shedding the dead skin, but if your makeup is left on at night, it cannot do that.This can cause a dull appearance or flaky dry skin. Your skin repairs itself at night and can absorb nutrient skincare products better at sleep time. With makeup on it's absorbing back into your body all the dirt and debris caught in your all day makeup. Cleansing once usually isn't sufficient to get off every trace of dirt, oil, makeup, and sunscreen.
A proper nighttime cleansing alone can dramatically improve your skin!
This is what I do. Over the years my routine has seen subtle changes but the basic process remains the same. I wipe off my make up with either olive oil, cold cream or my most recent addition is micellar water on a cotton bud or face towelettes. (whichever is readily available)
The Woodsmen Facial Soap is a great option for a gentle yet cleansing bar that works for most skin types with activated charcoal to clarify and egg to hydrate.
I double up on my cleansing. I am used to wearing eye makeup and eye makeup is hard to take off. And because of this, I've always double cleansed. Meaning I use a makeup-removing product first, followed by a gentle foaming sulfate-free face wash to clean my skin. The use of Micellar water and oils before helped remove most of my makeup but not all. ( I want to mention here that you need to be extra gentle while working with the under eye skin) The older we get the more important this becomes. Nothing speeds up wrinkles like the abrasive rubbing of the under eye area.
You can remove more stubborn waterproof eyeliner and smudge proof lip stains with a warm cloth and olive oil or almond oil. I do not prefer coconut oil. I find that coconut oil is much greasier than my former options and harder to wash off the skin. Also, the fact that coconut oil is solid at room temp means I have to melt it between my palms before applying it. As long as you repeat the steaming/wiping process a few times the most stubborn makeup can be removed. If you use a washcloth, please make sure you use a new one and launder the used one after one use. Bacteria can grow in wet wash clothes at room temperature even if you rinse it out and leave it to air dry.
Now that we've discussed the things we DON'T do, let's talk about the things that we DO that we should not overdo.
Don't over cleanse. Cleansing more often than every morning and night is unnecessary unless you've been sweating and excessively oily skin. Even then a wipe off is best. In fact, it's perfectly okay to rinse your face with water in the morning since you've thoroughly cleansed the night before.
Don't over Exfoliate. Three times a week is plenty of exfoliation for combination to oily skin. A little less for dry skin.
Don't share. Don't use someone else's brushes, unwashed face towels or makeup. Love is a wonderful thing and yes family is everything but just like you wouldn't use your sister's mother's or BFF's toothbrush or underwear - you should dip into their make up or share their towels. Bacteria transfers. Not only that since we are all unique in our skin composition to a certain degree. It is unhealthy to transfer someone else's germs to your face and back to theirs. Just keep that in mind. Personal space is a good thing every now and then.
Know Your Skin
I can't stress this enough. You need to know your skin. How it behaves under stress, different foods that affect it and what cleansing activities it thrives under. And what it looks like when it is ....unwell. You can't fix something you don't identify to be a problem. We can read and learn many things about skin care on blogs and books, watch videos and tutorials to gain insight but applying it to our unique skin type and lifestyle is quite another thing altogether. I've spent years exploring what works for me trying new things sometimes successfully and other times not so much. I've managed to learn by trial and error. There is no substitute for experience but these days there is so much we can learn from others experiences that we don't have to risk our own skin to gain it. Everything I have mentioned here is based on my personal experiences. Each of us in unique and learning how we are different is just as important as gathering knowledge from those who have it.
I hope you find your perfect skin care routine and avoid the pitfalls of destructive trial and error. You are reading this so this now so it puts you ahead of the game already.
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