Sunday, February 23, 2014

Skincare 101: 8 Tips for Your Best Skin Ever!

Its a lot easier to skip the foundation and concealer when you're confident in the way your skin looks. Don't neglect or overlook your skin- its your largest organ. And your face is what people see first, so take care of it! Obviously most of us aren't blessed with perfect complexions but there are lots of things we can do to keep it looking its best! 

1. Keep it hydrated! Besides using moisturizers (I'll get to that later) the best way to keep your skin hydrated is by drinking lots of water. Water is so important and I could go on and on about its benefits, but please just keep in mind that it is so good for your skin and keeps you young and beautiful! I think one of the most important beauty tips is avoiding dehydration. Dehydration keeps your skin from eliminating toxins which can lead to all sorts of skin disorders (dermatitis, psoriasis, etc) and leads to premature wrinkles and discoloration! Drink 8 8oz glasses of water a day, OR MORE! Humidifiers help as well, use one while you sleep!

2. Exfoliate. Our skin is constantly renewing itself by generating new skin cells, but unfortunately the dead cells like to hang out on the surface, clogging your pores and making the skin look dull. Exfoliation is necessary as it helps to remove those cells that are clinging on by revealing the fresher & younger skin cells below. I remember I always had flaky skin on my nose, and it was frustrating because my skin definitely wasn't dry. Makeup would always look gross in that area and I couldn't figure out how to get rid of it. Someone eventually recommended exfoliating (duh!) so I tried it and I was shocked at how much smoother, softer, and brighter my skin looked. If you want to invest in your skin, I definitely suggest getting a Clarisonic. It has been the best thing for my skin and keeps all the dead cells far, far away (among many other great things). I do want to mention, though, that it is possible to over-exfoliate. Don't use anything too harsh, and it should only be done a couple times a week, not every day (unless its extremely gentle). 

3. Wash your face before bed & when waking up. I mentioned before that I used to be such a slacker and never washed off my makeup before bed. I know, right?! I was lucky enough that I got away with it for the most part, because I didn't have horrible acne. But once I forced myself to get into the habit, I saw a noticeable difference. I always had little tiny bumps in random areas on my face that I thought were unavoidable, but since I stopped sleeping in my makeup, they're completely gone! Its also important to wash your face in the morning. I shower in the morning, so that was kind of a given for me, but its so important to wash all 8 hours worth of bacteria, oils, and toxins off of your skin. And keep in mind that while makeup remover towelettes/wipes are great for removing stubborn makeup, they shouldn't be a substitution for an actual cleanser. I like to remove all my makeup with a wipe, and then wash my face with water + cleanser. Oh, and my #1 excuse was that by the time I was ready for bed I was too tired to wash my face.. So I started setting a timer for 8:00 so that if I was home, I would wash it before I got too tired, but I was nice and clean and makeup-free for bed :)

4. Create a skincare routine. To read about my favorite skincare line and what I use, click here. While simply washing your face is great, there are other things you should do to keep your face in tip-top shape. There are all sorts of skincare lines out there, and unfortunately its trial and error to see what works best for you. I prefer a line without any dyes, fragrances, parabens, mineral oils, etc. There are skincare routines with as little as 3 steps, or as many as 10 steps. Its really up to you how much time you want to put into your skincare, but in my opinion everyone needs a cleanser, toner, moisturizer (with an SPF, if not, then add a sunscreen) and eye cream. Four things may seem like a lot, especially if you aren't even used to doing more than one, but really it would only take 5-6 minutes total to apply it all. In case you were wondering, a cleanser cleanses the skin (duh) by removing any excess makeup, toxins, oils, etc. A toner restores the pH balance of your skin keeping it from getting too oily or too dry. A moisturizer moisturizes your skin (duh again) and keeps your face hydrated, also providing a smooth base for your makeup. And an eye cream hydrates the eye area (which is so important) and depending on what type of eye cream you have, usually prevents or reverses crows feet or other wrinkles. 

5. Protect your skin from the sun. Did you know that 80% of your skin's aged appearance is caused by the sun? I love to lounge at the beach in the summer, so I'd be a hypocrite if I told you to avoid the sun at all costs. But its really important to protect your skin, especially your face, from harmful rays. Use a sunscreen. Like I said above, its great if you use a moisturizer with SPF. BB creams, CC creams, etc also provide an SPF along with light coverage. Its also great to wear a hat or use shade. Trust me, you'll thank yourself later. I'm sure we've all seen the photo of the retired truck driver who always had one side of his face exposed to the sun (out the window from driving). The difference in the sun-exposed skin vs the non exposed skin is amazing. (Click here to see the photo)

6. Take your vitamins! Studies show that your skin needs 

  • Vitamin C -- Plays a vital role in collagen production, which is responsible for giving your skin elasticity. Collagen makes up 70% of skin!
  • Vitamin A -- Helps to rebuild tissue and to smooth out rough skin.
  • Vitamin E -- A powerful antioxidant that helps to reduce free radicals in your body.  Free radicals are the primary cause of aging in skin! 
All vitamins are helpful to your skin and its really important to realize that the healthier you are, the healthier your skin is! I have been taking this vitamin, which contains several B vitamins, vitamins D, C and E, an antioxidant, and aloe. 

7. Don't use astringents or products with alcohol. Our skin is fragile, and although it seems to put up with a lot, as we age it starts to show all the wear and tear and abuse we put it through. Don't use harsh exfoliators, toners, astringents, etc. When your skin seems too oily, most people think that by using an astringent with alcohol or other harsh chemicals, that it will dry the skin out. I know, I was one of those people trying desperately to make oily skin go away by dousing it with alcohol ridden products. What you're doing is actually counterproductive! When you dry out your face, your skin actually freaks out and overcompensates by producing even more oils. Instead, moisturize! Although it sounds crazy, keeping your skin at a normal pH level by using (alcohol-free) toner and moisturizing afterward, you're helping to keep it at a normal, healthy level which will result in normal skin. Don't get me wrong though, sometimes we just have oily skin and it may never be perfect, but try your hardest to keep a healthy balance of dryness and oiliness instead of going to extremes. 

8. Keep it natural. I'm not going to say I never use any makeup or skincare products with dyes or fragrances, but I think its important to stick to natural, plant based products as much as you can. If you have the time, do some research on the effects of mineral oils, parabens, harsh fragrances, etc on your skin. This is why I use the skincare line that I do. Its also great to use natural products like coconut oil, avocado, brown sugar (for exfoliating).. there are tons of things that are great for your skin that you can pick up right from your grocery store! I like to keep it as natural and chemical-free as possible. 

There are so many things I feel passionately about when it comes to your skin. Its so important to take care of it, and although I'm only in my early 20s, I know how important it is for my future face.. I always say I'll thank myself later! Its never too early to invest in your skincare, and keeping your skin clean and healthy can improve your appearance immediately! So go pour yourself a big glass of water, exfoliate and wash your face, and take your vitamin. You'll be glad you did! 


Post a Comment