Today's Tips - Episode One
So, I'm sitting here in "mommyville" today, bunny slippers locked on tight and messy hair as my crown wondering what beauty tips and tricks am I going to offer in this moment?! I don't know about y'all but some days getting dressed can be as fancy as I get and applying make up and fixing my 'do just DON'T happen! Today, is definitely one of those days. Baseball cap anyone? Woman to woman on days like today washing my face is as close to beauty as I get. So my dears, lets go with that! Let's talk skincare. Our skin is our largest organ after all it's what shows and shines before we even open our mouth, so let's make sure we're giving it the TLC it deserves!
As an esthetician I've worked in natural spa settings as well as a more clinical/ medical venue and love what I've learned from each. One thing that both schools of thought agree on is the best way to take care of your skin is to: cleanse, tone, exfoliate ( every other day) treat and protect. So I want to talk to you about some of my favorite ways to do this!
Pretty basic right? Yes and no. Many of us for years have thought "tight skin, tight pores" or " if I'm not getting a good lather my skin isn't really clean". Unfortunately this isn't exactly true. A lot of our beloved sudsy cleansers are stripping our skin of its natural oils that help protect our largest organ against the environment and pollutants in the air. When this happens our face is left vulnerable to various free radicals which can cause premature aging!!! Nooooo, say it ain't sooooo!!!! I'm afraid it is. In my opinion oil cleansers are a great and a more skin loving alternative! My absolute favorite is the brand Badger Balm ($12.49). This brand has an oil for every skin type from sensitive to oily. I noticed my extra dry skin was softer and didn't have that tight dessert feeling after just one use!
So what is this and what's the point? That's usually the question I'm asked. The point of a toner is to balance the pH of your skin leaving it in prime condition for your treatment products. When the pH of your skin is balanced it is able to absorb serums, lotions and creams at its most optimal point. A favorite of mine is Andalou Naturals Clementine+C Illuminating Toner ($7.88). This toner will not only balance your pH but also provides a dose of vitamin C which helps with brightening and firming the skin! What's not to love??
If exfoliating was a hobby I'd start a club! I love that deep clean feeling and the glow my skin has afterwards. Unfortunately, you can get to much of a good thing! Over exfoliation can lead to breakouts and over drying of the skin. To avoid that it's best to exfoliate every other day or every 3 days. There's two ways to do this, chemical or mechanical. Chemical exfoliation is my preference. This is done through ingredients like: glycolic acid and the more gentle lactic acid. My favorite product for this can be found in your local Target, Pixie Glow Tonic ($15). If you prefer a scrub stay away from grit and instead look for scrubs that contain rounded exfoliating beads. These are more gentle, whereas gritty seed scrubs can actually put micro tears in the skin causing irritation. Again, I love Andalou Naturals for this, their 1000 Roses Pearl Exfoliator is gentle but effective and you control how much exfoliation is needed just by increasing or decreasing the amount of water you use. Either method will leave your skin noticeably softer, you may even notice your fine lines begin to be fade.
Treat aka serum:
Now, a serum is primarily used in the p.m. but can be added during the day if you need the extra skin love. Serums should always be applied before your lotion or cream and should be used to treat your main area of concern for your skin. Sometimes I ask myself," do I have to choose just one???" The answer to that is no, layer those bad boys, but always begin with the one you feel you need the most. Make sense? There are so many serums out there I love but you can't go wrong with vitamin C. Vitamin C brightens, helps to fade sun spots, and aids in the production of collagen in the skin. Hello triple threat, nice to meet you! I searched high and low for a serum that was comparable to a very high end vitamin C serum that I loved for years, and I found it! Timeless Skincare 20% Vitamin C plus E Ferulic Acid Serum ($16.31). Ladies, run don't walk to this one!
Last but certainly not least...
So, our final step and a very important one. This will be our final step before applying our make up during the day( or not) or before we go to bed either way our skin needs that love. For the daytime this will be your spf product. I recommend nothing higher than spf 15 in a skin care or make up product. The reason is spf 15 blocks 93% of UVA/UVB rays anything higher only adds an extra 3% of protection and will cause you face to look one shade lighter when posing for those selfies! So in the morning it is best to go with a light lotion that contains spf no higher than 15, a BB or CC cream is also great for this step.
Now for your nighttime routine, your protect product will either be a lotion or cream. This can vary based on age and time of year. Lotions tend to be more suitable for normal/ oily skin and cream is great for normal to dry/ aging skin types ( my hand is raised, amen!). Regardless of type this step is crucial for locking in our oh so loved treatment serums. The truth is this product just needs to hydrate and keep that moisture locked in, it doesn't have to be fancy. Remember your treatment product is really doing the heavy lifting. Having said this, for myself I love a rich cream It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream ($48) has saved my skin this winter!! An option for the more normal/ oily skin types would be Neutrogena Hydroboost Water gel( Target $14.99). This hydrating gel contains hyaluronic acid, which helps your skin to hold up to 1000 times it's weight in moisture plus it's super light. It's a win win!
Ok ladies, weather it's a ball cap and run kind of day or full glam squad, remember to begin with healthy skin and a smile and everything else will fall into place... well, maybe not EVERYTHING, but hey, it's a good start!
© 2018 by Elisabeth Harper. All rights reserved.
Elisabeth is the wonderfully wise and witty host of Today’s Tips, a spot in each episode of the Overcoming Monday Podcast where she provides podcast listeners with quick advice on beauty, fashion trends or applicable to-do’s for the subject of each season.
She is the wife to an entrepreneur, mom of four, licensed esthetician and overall lover of beauty.
You can follow her on Instagram (@elisharper) to see more from her!