This is a blog post that I have been SUPER EXCITED about. We all want a beautiful, healthy, clear, and glowing complexion. I feel like 2019 has just been the year of skin and self-care. Everyone has started to invest in their skin and pay more attention to themselves. It has been all about the fresh, dewy and bare skin look.
As a licensed Esthetician, I receive many questions regarding skin every day. Sometimes it is a question about makeup, sometimes it is about acne or aging, and other times it is a question about makeup/skincare products. I have probably heard it all! No matter what I am being questioned about, I always love to chat and to help out. After all, my job is to analyze, treat, educate, and enhance the beauty that already exists. I am truly so blessed. My job is the best.
Of course I love to treat and educate my client in person, but I am aware that there are many people out there who may not have time to make an appointment, some may not want to spend the extra money, and honestly, some may have never even heard of an Esthetician! This blog post is for anyone wanting to take their skincare routine to the next level for FREE. I am going to share my best tips to getting your best skin ever.
1. WATER + DIET + EXERCISE
I am preaching to the choir on this one! Water is so important. Without adequate water intake, wrinkles and pores are more prominent, and the skin appears duller. Water plumps up the skin and truly gives you an overall healthy glow. I often notice that my clients who are dehydrated are the ones I typically treat for acne breakouts. The ones who are well hydrated seem to have less skin issues and concerns.
Diet also plays a big role in skincare. What you put into your mouth can affect the health of your skin as well as the rest of your body. We are all guilty of eating junk food and sugar — the absolute worse thing for your skin, but to have the best skin possible, it is best to stay away from it all. To keep your skin in good condition, you should fill your plate with fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and other nutrient-rich foods. You should also add lean protein to your diet. Our skin, which is made of protein, needs protein to stay healthy. If you aren’t sure what to eat, start by eating carrots, pumpkin, and dark leafy greens which are wrinkle-fighting foods that contain vitamin A (the derivative known as retinol). You can also add in vitamin C which helps to produce collagen and helps blemishes heal faster & properly (less acne scarring). Kiwi, sweet potatoes, and my personal favorite, blueberries, are all great sources. Vitamin E-rich foods such as avocado and spinach help inflammation and also helps the skin retain moisture. Finally, green tea! Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties that can be soothing to the skin. Drink it hot or cold. It is so good and it is much better for your skin than drinking a soda or coffee.
Exercise flushes out toxins and encourages proper blood circulation, which, in turn, improves skin as it feeds oxygen and nutrients to your cells! Make sure you always cleanse skin after exercise, though. Sweat can lead to breakouts!
2. SKINCARE REGIMEN + SPF
This is where I get really strict with my clients. I can make someones skin look amazing temporarily, BUT, if they aren’t maintaining their skin at home and following my recommendations, then they’ll just end up back to square one again. Are you ready for all of this?? Be prepared for an information overload!
Some people may not have time to do an in depth skincare routine and that is okay. If you’re reading this though, you are obviously interested in improving your skin. So, at least follow these four easy steps. My basic skincare regimen recommendation for the average person would be cleansing (morning and night), toning after cleansing, exfoliating (at least 2x weekly), and moisturizing (morning and night.. yes, even those of you who have oily skin). Try to commit to these four steps and I promise you will start to see major improvement in the way your skin looks and feels. Of course when I am working with individual clients with specific skin issues or concerns, I may add additional products such as a treatment serum, eye cream, and I may even add a weekly mask or peel. Ingredients are an important part of skincare also. This is all another topic for a future blog post, though, so I won’t go into detail about it — if you would like to see a more in-depth breakdown of ingredients, and my product recommendations based on skin type and concern then let me know.
Ladies, I can’t stress this enough– REMOVE YOUR MAKEUP every single night before bed. I know, you’re tired, and doing this seems like the longest and most exhausting thing ever. I get it. I feel that way every night, too! But please, trust me, if you want to do at least one helpful thing for your skin, this is it. Never, I mean, NEVER sleep in your makeup. This is something we are all guilty of, but now is the perfect time to start making it a habit to take it all off each night. You won’t regret it! Leaving makeup on while you sleep causes sebum and makeup to mix which clog the pores, which also leads to breakouts. I have treated many clients who admitted to not taking their makeup off, and once they started, they couldn’t believe how much their skin changed for the better. Leaving eye makeup on leads to eye infections such as a stye. Gross, right? Plus, all of that gunk can cause premature aging! It also ruins your pillowcase and spreads bacteria. Just wash your face!!
Finally, let’s touch base on sunscreen. Most of you probably already know why sunscreen is important, but I will just tell you a few reasons why you shouldn’t skip this step. If the word skin cancer doesn’t scare you enough, let me tell you what else sun exposure with no protection can do to your skin! Within the skin’s epidermal layer (this is the outer layer) are cells that contain the pigment melanin. Melanin protects skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which can burn the skin, and over time, could reduce its elasticity and cause a person to age prematurely. Too much exposure to UV rays can cause sunburn. UV rays penetrate the outer skin layers and pass into the deeper layers, where they can damage or kill skin cells. NOT GOOD, my friends. I have several great SPF moisturizer recommendations. Would you like to see a blog post about that??
3. REGULAR FACIALS
Your skin is going to represent you for a very long time, so you should invest in it to look your best. I am sure you guessed that this would be included in my guide because, well, it is my job. This is what I do everyday! Fun fact: Long before I even began my career, I saw an Esthetician regularly. Why? Because I absolutely loved it and it changed my life. Having someone to treat my skin issues, relax me, pamper me, make my skin glow, and personalize my skin care routine for me was amazing! I believe in facials. Regular facials are the key to clear, smooth and radiant skin throughout the year. I think everyone should have an Esthetician, even men, and here’s why:
Facials immediately reduce stress and relieve psychological distress, deep cleanses the skin, prevents aging, promotes blood circulation, rejuvenates, detoxifies, treats acne, treats acne scarring, eliminates blackheads and whiteheads, exfoliates, opens the pores, tightens, and so much more. Getting a facial is a transforming experience. It is so enjoyable. If you’ve never tried it, please do it once just for me. Your skin will LOVE YOU for it!
4. BEAUTY SLEEP
Beauty sleep is a real thing. I am currently typing this blog post at 11:23 pm with heavy eyes. Who am I to even speak of beauty sleep?! I am such a night owl. My creative juices start flowing after dark and there is no sleep for me at all. I can’t help it! I do know how important rest is, though, for my mind, body, and skin. The quality and length of sleep we receive every night can have a profound impact on the skin’s overall health. When we sleep our bodies recharge. When our bodies recharge, so does our skin. During sleep we heal, restore and eliminate toxins from the skin. If sleep is compromised so is the body’s ability to carry out these essential skin functions. Crazy, right? Not only does sleep affect the way our skin looks and the way we feel, it also causes those dark under eye circles, which I currently have, so I should probably take my own advice on this one and go to bed.
5. SILK PILLOWCASE + REGULAR WASHING
Most people have never heard of such, but yes, your pillowcase has a lot to do with your skin. I began using a silk pillowcase several years ago and it was a total game changer for my face and my hair. Sleeping on silk will help keep your face healthy. It helps the skin retain moisture, it reduces chemical exposure, prevents wrinkles, prevents hair creases that other materials can cause, and more. It is also hypoallergenic which is great. You can check out the one I have here.
You should also wash your pillowcase often because dirt, oil, and bacteria can build up which will lead to breakouts. Try washing it at least once a week, if not more!
6. GOODBYE DAIRY — IF YOU HAVE ACNE
When I see a client with a serious acne issue, I always ask them about their dairy intake. Most evidence-based studies agree that acne can be irritated by dairy. They don’t exactly know why, but they are doing a lot of research about it. Skim milk seems to be the most likely acne trigger. I have heard many stories of acne sufferers who cut out dairy and their skin cleared up within weeks. I have never tried doing this myself, but I would love to experiment with it just to see how my skin would react to the change. Like I said, this is something that is still being researched, so I can’t exactly tell you that dairy may be your prime suspect, but it would definitely be worth a try to have a clear complexion!
7. SHOWER WATER FILTER
The water we bathe in may actually be causing skin issues! Showering and bathing in chlorinated tap water robs skin and hair of their natural protective oils, causing scaling, itching and bacteria imbalances. So, using a water filter in your shower may help improve your skin.
8. HANDS OFF
Picking at your skin spreads bacteria which means more breakouts. Picking also creates scarring. A lot of people may pick from a nervous habit (guilty), and others may want to pop their pimples for the fun of it. Either way, it isn’t a good idea. You could end up with a serious infection from picking. Keep your hands off your face as much as possible.
9. CLEAN MAKEUP BRUSHES
Not cleansing makeup brushes is one of the many causes of acne. If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes, that may be the answer to your skin issue. As you use them, they quickly build up dirt, grime, and oil that can lead to breakouts. After every few uses, give them a nice cleanse then lay them out to dry.
10. LESS STRESS
Stress is terrible for our bodies in many different ways, including how the skin looks. Have you ever noticed that you break out a lot more when you’re stressed? This is because stress causes your body to make hormones like cortisol, which tells glands in your skin to make more oil. Oily skin is more prone to acne and other skin problems. Eh. Stress also makes the skin way more sensitive. It can even cause rashes and hives! Less stress = happy skin!
Another tip I have is to stop smoking. I am not trying to call anyone out, but if you truly want to improve your skin, this is a friendly reminder that you should put down the cigarettes. Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, which displaces the oxygen in your skin, and nicotine, which reduces blood flow, leaving it dry and discolored. Smoking also depletes many nutrients, including vitamin C, which helps protect and repair damage.