My 5 Skincare Tips That Might Surprise You!
Hello Friends & Hello Fall! This month’s topic is a fun one! Now that we have set the groundwork about the beauty industry and what to avoid in our previous blogs (see related articles at bottom for those links), we can get to the fun stuff, beauty tips! Want to slow the signs of aging, have radiant skin, and not spend hours getting it? If so read My 5 Skincare Tips That Might Surprise You!
#1 Sunscreen: Do you know the number one thing that ages our skin? The sun! The best way to protect us from the sun is with clothing and sunscreen. This is such a simple step to add to our everyday routine to keep skin looking it’s best and to prevent sun damage! I personally live in the Florida Keys so sunscreen is a way of life for most of us here. However, even if you don’t live in a climate that is sunny everyday we all still need to be applying sunscreen to our skin to protect it from harmful rays that cause cancer. While sunscreen is important, remember to exercise your ingredient knowledge when purchasing sunscreens. If your not sure what an ingredient is try looking it up. Not all sunscreens are created equal! Many sunscreens contain toxic ingredients that can cause harm to your skin as well as increase your chances to sun sensitivity! If you need help finding sunscreens our favorite place is the EWG’s website. They release a sun safety guide every year and we believe it is the best literature out there on sun safety with ingredient knowledge.
# 2 Water: In order for our bodies and organs (including our skin) to function properly we need water. Water tremendously helps our skin to stay hydrated, and hydrated skin looks and feels healthier than dehydrated skin. This is another simple step to add to your day that keeps the skin looking healthy! As a Licensed Esthetician, Makeup Artist, and International Beauty Therapist I can tell you 9 out of 10 clients I see have dehydrated skin.
Bkr (pronounced beaker) is one of our favorite brands! Bkr motivates their customers to drink more water and says: “No product your using is going to work if you’re dehydrated.” They make drinking water stylish and chic, not to mention they have a huge A list celebrity following.
Here are some other fun facts on water and the body from The Water Information Program:
- The human bodyis more than 60 percent water.
- Blood is 92 percent water.
- The brain and muscles are 75 percent water.
- Bones are about 22 percent water.
- A human can survive for a month or more without eating food, but only a week or so without drinking water.
#3 Exfoliation: Exfoliating the skin is so important—from the top layer down to the bottom layer of the skin. Even though you are only exfoliating the top layer of the skin, exfoliation encourages new cell growth in the bottom layer. Exfoliation also stimulates collagen and elastin, which is responsible for keeping the skin firm and plump. As we age our skin sheds dead skin cells slower because new skin cells are being produced slower, which causes our top layer of skin to look dull. Those dead skin cells can also exaggerate fine lines and wrinkles, which can even make these fine lines and wrinkles gradually get deeper if not exfoliated away. Sloughing away these dead skin cells helps prevent this dull appearance while also encouraging new skin cell growth. By sloughing off the top layer it helps signal our bottom layer to continue to produce new skin cells, helping our skin cell turnover to not slow down.
There are lots of different ways to exfoliate the skin. There are scrubs, brushes, sponges (we opt for vegetable sponges called the konjac over using sea sponges), cleansers, toners, and masks that can all exfoliate the skin. It is important because there are so many forms of exfoliation out there to not be over doing it. You can cause more harm than good by over exfoliating the skin.
Here are the three main forms of exfoliation from least aggressive to most aggressive. The method best suited for you is determined by your skin type and skin conditions. Remember though, the ingredients we suggest here are all natural, be sure to read all the other ingredients listed with them!
- Mechanical exfoliation: These are brushes and sponges, as well as ingredients added to products, often cleansers or scrubs, to physically scrape dead cells from the skin’s surface. For example polyethylene (plastic micro beads, ban the bead), jojoba beads, and ground nuts such as almonds or walnuts. Be careful when choosing exfoliants containing nuts as these can make micro tears in the skin and can be quite aggressive. Opt for a more gentle at home approach unless advised otherwise, or from a trusted brand. This exfoliation method isn’t for those with acne or sensitive skin.
- Enzymes: The most often forgotten form of exfoliation in my opinion. Enzymes such as papain – derived from papaya, and bromelain – derived from pineapples like the One Love Organics enzyme exfoliant in the photo above, are all ingredients designed to dissolve dead skin cells on the top layer of the skin. This method of exfoliation is great for sensitive skin as well as all other skin types, and one of my favorite methods.
- Alpha & Beta Hydroxy’s: We are only talking about the naturally occurring types here and not the synthetically created versions. These ingredients are often added to cleansers, toners, gels, lotions, serums, or creams to dissolve the dead skin cells and can penetrate below the top layer of the skin surface. They can also help to lighten pigmented areas and heal areas that are prone to breakouts, making this method great for acne to sun damaged skin however not for sensitive skin types.
- BHA’s: which include citric – derived from citrus fruits, and salicylic acids derived from sweet birch, willow bark, and wintergreen. BHA’s are best suited for oily skin types including acne.
- AHA’s (stronger than BHA’s) which include – glycolic – derived from sugar, lactic – derived from milk, malic – derived from apples, and tartaric – derived from grapes. AHA’s are best suited for mature skin types including fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration.
# 4 Moisturizer: You may be asking why exfoliating comes before a moisturizer in my 5 Skincare Tips. This is because with out removing those dead skin cells your moisturizer just sits on top of the dead skin cells making it harder for your moisturizer to penetrate the skin. Moisturizers help protect our skin from the elements, nourish our skin with healthy ingredients, balance oil and water content of the skin, and treat various skin conditions such as redness, aging, or dryness. Think of your skin like the soil. The dryer the soil, the more rough it can appear—the more moist the soil, the smoother it can appear. Even those of us with oilier skin need a moisturizer to balance oil production. Oilier skin will only produce more oil to compensate for the dryness and by adding a moisturizer helps this create this balance.
Our favorite time to treat our skin with a good moisturizer is at night; while we are sleeping tissue repair is taking place!
# 5 An Esthetician: I believe seeing an Esthetician is like seeing your dentist! They can help you with many skin issues and improve the appearance and overall health of your skin. We all have very busy lives and don’t always have the time to properly exfoliate or cleanse our skin. Seeing a Licensed Esthetician every 4-8 weeks gives your skin that extra boost and a clean slate, just like seeing the dentist every 6 months. They can also recommend treatments for you to consider and products that would be beneficial for your skin type. With so many products out there an esthetician can really help narrow down your selection. Our skin changes as we age and what we may have thought was a good routine a year ago could be different than what your skin needs today. An Esthetician can also remind you to see your Dermatologist yearly, and if they notice any changes that should be looked at right away by a Dermatologist.
We recommend finding an Esthetician who practices with organic & natural products. Use your product ingredient knowledge here too, and if you’re not sure, research it. Not all Estheticians beliefs and practices are the same, so don’t put your skin in the hands of someone else without educating yourself on the ingredients they will be using on your skin!
I hope you enjoyed My 5 Skincare Tips That Might Surprise You!
Tiffany Minock, LE MUA
International Beauty Therapist