I have been a practicing esthetician since 2004. My clients come from all walks of life and all over the world. I take great pride when my clients bring in their sisters or mothers or best friends. Word-of-mouth referral is the highest compliments especially when I hear "I love my skin, I can't believe how good it looks now."
A good esthetician - one who is well versed in the latest technology, treatments and techniques - can make an astounding difference in the way people look and feel about their skin. It's not just faces that see improvements. People's entire demeanor changes, and generally clients who see me begin to incorporate an anti-inflammatory diet, so their health improves too.
There is so much conflicting advice in books, magazines, and the Web that people get understandable confused and overwhelmed. I wanted to write a short, practical and to the point post that explains basic skin care to help clear things up.
I believe that an informed person is in a better position to make the right choices. People who read this post will know which types of ingredients to look for in skin care, and which to avoid. The truth is that good skin care does not have to be complicated or expensive.
Few people have naturally perfect skin, but no matter what skin you were born with, it can be made to look better - usually a whole lot better. Everybody should aim for their own best skin, the kind that gets compliments and has a healthy glow. These simple rules will help you navigate the beauty aisles in the stores and ask the right questions when you visit your esthetician or dermatologist. They are the same advise I give my clients in my own skin care practice. If you've always dreamed of having virtually flawless skin or want to look years younger than your age, this is going to set you on the right track.
This is the first in a series of posts that will reveal my top rules for flawless skin. Be sure to follow my blog so you don't miss out on any of these top trade secrets that I have collected throughout my career.
The right cleanser matters
While you don't have to spend a fortune on a facial cleanser (save that money for quality moisturizers, sunscreens and anti-aging products instead) having a proper soap-free cleanser is the ideal way to begin each day and end each night.
For dry, sensitive or normal skin, use a cleanser that is mild and won't strip your skin of its natural oils. Try using a cleansing cream to gently remove dirt, makeup and debris but protect your sensitive skin from irritation. For oily or acne-prone skin, use an exfoliating cleanser to remove dead skin cells and bacteria. I recommend using a cleanser with salicylic acid, also available in my wellevate store.
Makeup Removal & Cleansing Are Not the Same
If you use heavy makeup, you must remove it before you cleanse your skin. If you're wearing mascara or eye makeup, wipe that off first with an eye makeup removal product, or you can use coconut oil. The skin around the eyes is very delicate, so be gentle here. Now for the rest of the face: Take a cotton pad and moisten it with toner or a small amount of cleanser. If you prefer, coconut oil also makes a great makeup remover. Make sure to remove all makeup, especially in areas where it tends to collect, like above and in the eyebrows, as well as in the creases around the nose and mouth. Once you've removed all the makeup, you may proceed with cleansing. When cleansing, your fingers aren't enough to remove all the dirt and debris. Use a fresh washcloth to clean and gently exfoliate.
Cleanse Every Morning & Every Evening
In the morning, cleanse your face, even if you cleansed the night before. A splash of water or standing under the shower is not enough. During the night, as you sleep, bacteria build up on your skin, along with a lot of unwanted oil. The first step is to cleanse your face with a product suitable for your skin type, and then pat dry with a clean towel. Apply toner (if you use toner), moisturizer and SPF of at least 15. Repeat these same steps at night, applying a vitamin C serum, any acne treatments you may be using as well as an anti-aging moisturizer.
Find the Right Toner
The skin care market is flooded with toners, and while some can get away without a toner, I usually recommend this to everyone. If you have acne prone skin, you should use a salicylic acid toner 1-2 times a day. The salicylic acid will help control oil and remove the buildup of skin cells, which will help treat your acne, as well as PREVENT it from even occurring in the first place. For normal and sensitive skin, I recommend that you use a toner that is primarily for adding hydration, nutrition and anti-oxidants to your skin as these will aid in keeping your skin smooth, hydrated and youthful.
Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate
Even the best skin in the world will look dull if it is not well exfoliated. You can exfoliate on a daily basis with a cotton wash cloth if your skin is sensitive. If you have acne prone skin, you will need to use an alpha-hydroxy acid, retinol, or salicylic acid starting 3 times a week and working your way up to using every day, then work up to using twice a day, every day. Facial scrubs are fine in my opinion, but they don't exfoliate the inside of the skin follicle, where the buildup of skin cells occurs, so they aren't my first choice for those trying to combat acne vulgaris.
Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall - Moisturize & Use SPF
All year round it is vital that you use an SPF to protect your skin from the damage caused by the sun. Many prefer tinted moisturizers with SPF because it proves them with a 3-in-one product and I think that is great too, as long as your reapply as needed. Unprotected sun exposure will set you up for premature aging, which is very difficult and expensive to treat, so just prevent it in the first place and wear your SPF year round. You can choose to wear a moisturizer separate from your SPF, but most prefer the convenience of an all-in-one option.
Would you like to know more about how choose the right sunscreen, what ingredients to look for and what to avoid, as well as how to care for the delicate skin around your eyes? All of these topics and more will be covered in my next installment of Secret Skin Care Tips.
You likely noticed the links to my wellevate.me store throughout this post. This is a professional only online store that requires you to register. Once registered you will have access to my personal store stocked full of items hand chosen my be to support your skin care needs, as well as supplements to support a healthy skin.