Friday, February 11, 2011

Confusion about your skin routine? Here is some help & clarification

The world of cosmetics gets more and more confusing the older we get. Once upon a time, all we did was wash and moisturize. Then someone tells you that you need a toner....then suddenly you need a make-up remover. Then one day you discover night creams, then the sales person tells you that you need a serum...sunscreen, eye treatments, peels, etc.

I have been requested to help you clear through the clutter of the skincare world... So here is to hoping I don't confuse you any more! Thanks MEC for the special blog request!

1) Cleansing
2) Exfoliating (whenever necessary)
3) Toning
4) Serums (follow instructions re: daytime and/or nighttime usage)
5) Eye Serums (if using)
6) Facial Moisturizer
7) Eye Cream
8) Sunscreen...daytime (can I get a resounding "DUUUUH!!!")

Cleansing: Not all cleansers are created equal. Not all remove eye make-up, and not all of them are even comfortable in the eye area. Read the instructions, or if you are like me, experiment! Haha.
Exfoliating: Always exfoliate clean skin ONLY! Exfoliating dirty skin can push dirt further into your pores. Yikes!

Toning: Avoid the alcohol-laden ones. Especially you acne-prone folks...alcohol dehydrates your skin, causing more oil production, which just exasperates your acne problem!

Serums: Some that are meant to be used just at night (those with retinol should be used only at night, as UV rays breaks retinol down), some are best used during the day (those with high concentrations of Vitamin C offer amazing free-radical protection, so you get maximum benefit using them during the day when you are out and about, exposed to the elements) and many serums are great day AND night (such as serums that help detoxify, protect, or hydrate).

Eye Serums: Not many brands make Eye Serums, and with good reason. Many people just want to use ONE eye product, and you MUST layer a cream over your serum. Because of the intensity of many of these Eye Serums, you may find that it irritates your eye lid...if this is the case, discontinue their use on the lid or try using it every other day for a couple weeks to build up your skin's tolerance. Otherwise, feel free to apply it all over, inside the orbital bone, taking care to not get it in the eye (can I get another "Duuuuh!"). As a wise friend of mine once said "Where else would Eye Cream go?!? It's not called CHEEKBONE CREAM!"

Moisturizer: Find one you love! Feel free to experiment. And, for God's sake, don't use the same one for 10 years!!! Your skin changes, so should your moisturizer. Feel free to use a different one for night and day, if you like.
Eye Cream: I have a theory about eye cream. "The thicker, the better". But not everyone prescribes to that notion. Again, find one you love. Eye cream samples are hard to find. Go to your favorite beauty shop and play around with them on the back of your hand until you find one you like. Buy your products at a retailer with a fair (or even a generous) return policy. *Sephora, I love you*

Sunscreen: A recent study published in the American Journal of Science listed two common ingredients/formulations of chemical sunscreen to, of all things, MELANOMA! Yes, skin cancer. SMARTEN UP PEOPLE!!! Get a Physical Sunscreen! The ONLY active ingredients in Physical Sunscreen are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. READ YOUR LABELS!

Do you have to use the same brand for all of your products? Of course not! You will get maximum benefit if you are mixing and matching your products to find individual products that address your individual concerns. 

Well what about masks or steaming, you say?

Whenever you steam, you should do it after cleansing or before masking.

If you are putting on a mask, you will get maximum benefit after cleansing, and you should skip the toning as to leave some of the penetrated active ingredients on your skin.

Have I helped you clear up any of the skincare routine confusion? Or did I just add to it? 

Talk to me! Leave a comment below...


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