Welcome to the final article in my three part series all about my favorite secret rules for beautiful skin. If you missed the first two articles, not to worry, just check them out right here:
Now that you're all caught up, lets dive right into it!
Acne can ruin your skin & self esteem
My heart goes out to all those shy teens who cover their faces with their hair or a hoodie, as I used to be that person. Acne can truly make those teen years a living misery, transforming boys and girls into withdrawn, unsociable kids with painful inferiority complexes. Boys suffer just as much as girls, if not more, because daily shaving can exacerbate acne (imagine shaving over an inflamed wound) and boys don't usually wear makeup to cover it up. If your child has acne, please take action immediately. Acne can be treated at the dermatologist office and is generally covered by insurance. Even if acne is not covered by insurance, this is one skin condition where trying to save money can cause long-term damage. The earlier treatment is started, the less the chance of physical and emotional scars. And sometimes just one or two office visits are all that is needed to get on the right track for treatment. Teenage acne tends to run in families, as I am all too aware of due to my own family history of acne. During the teen years, raging hormones make matters worse, due to the fact that these hormones are what causes the cascade of events that lead to an acne breakout. Additionally, sweaty football helmets, germ infested cell phones, and the hands perpetually cradling cheeks and chins can lead to breakouts, too. The first step to control teenage acne is proper cleansing, which should always be gentle. If the skin is very oily, an exfoliating cleanser with salicylic acid can help clean out the buildup of sebum and skin cells inside the pores. The next step is a topical treatment. This can range from benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and maybe an anti-inflammatory topical treatment such as CBD.
A good facial can do wonders for the skin
Some people seem to develop blackheads and whiteheads no matter what they do. When performed by a dermatologist or a trained esthetician, facials can absolutely make skin look better and help reduce acne breakouts. As long as you don't have rosacea, the steam used in facials shouldn't pose a problem. Make sure that extractions are performed with the stainless steel comedone extractor, which exerts even pressure around the poor and never with the fingers. After a facial, do not use any heavy creams. They will just clog up your pores again.
In your 30’s and still battling breakout? You aren't alone...
All too often I hear about the battle against acne raging on well beyond the teen years, and continuing into the 20’s and 30’s. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this statement: “I have wrinkles and I'm still breaking out, when will this ever end?” The sad truth is that some people have acne all their adult lives, even into their 80s. But don't lose hope if you're one of them - only your skin care therapist has to know.
I practiced professional skin care for over 15 years and I haven't met a case of acne I couldn't beat - including my own. When I tell my clients that I, too, have adult acne, they often don't believe me, since my face shows little traces. But that is thanks to the skin care regimen I follow religiously - because that is what it takes to keep adult acne at bay.
Proper cleansing is essential, of course, preferably with a mild soap-free product, followed by exfoliation. I really like exfoliating with both glycolic and salicylic acids, because they unclog pores and make skin look more radiant. Any regimen for adults should be tailored to the individual, but just as an example, here's mine.
In the morning I double cleanse using a mild milky cleanser with CBD. I follow that up with a salicylic acid wash. Then I apply a CBD toner followed by a vitamin C CBD serum. Next I apply a physical sunblock that contains CBD, finishing up with a SPF specifically designed for my eyes. At night, I double cleanse again using the same technique as in the morning, pat my face dry before applying a CBD infused retinol product. Then I apply more vitamin C serum and finish up with an apple stem cell CBD moisturizer as well as an anti-aging eye cream. This regimen works well for me, but at times I keep on hand a 5% benzoyl peroxide to treat the occasional hormonal acne breakout that tend to haunt me around my menstrual cycle. This routine keeps my skin clear of acne breakouts and it give me the anti-aging treatments I need to also battle lines and wrinkles.
Don’t wait for a breakout to begin treating it
Some people only get an occasional zit now and then or they have very mild premenstrual breakouts. These sort of breakouts can be treated with products that contain two and a half percent benzoyl peroxide or 2% salicylic acid. These two ingredients work differently. Benzoyl peroxide kills the bacteria that causes pimples, while salicylic acid cleans out pores. If you have hormonal acne and you know that you tend to break out in certain areas, for instance your chin, you don't have to wait for a breakout to happen in order to begin treatment. Use salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide on that area everyday to prevent new pimples from forming. Depending on how sensitive your skin is, you can treat it everyday or alternate between benzoyl peroxide one day and salicylic acid the next. It's best to use salicylic acid at night because it makes the skin more sensitive to the sun. Note: If you are pregnant, do NOT use any product with salicylic acid, as it is contraindicated for pregnancy. If you use benzoyl peroxide at night always make sure that your pillowcase is white because benzoyl peroxide with bleach any colored sheets.
The department store is not a reliable source of skin care advise
Where can you go to get reliable advice on skin care? For that, you have to go to either a dermatologist or a skilled esthetician. Do not, I repeat do not, ask the people selling cosmetics for skin care advice. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to purchase a lipstick and had a salesperson try to sell me a moisturizer for dry skin, even though my skin is very acne prone and oily. Even worse is when salespeople continue the sales pitch which is generally full of misinformation after I tell them I am a skin care professional. The people behind the counter are there to provide help with makeup colors and make commission on sales. They do not have the same training as a licensed esthetician or a Dermatologist. This is good to keep in mind.
Beware of bacteria and avoid testers
Wash your makeup brushes and sponges at least once a week. Baby shampoo or a salicylic acid cleanser work well as long as you are sure to rinse it all out and let brushes and sponges air-dry completely. The dishwasher is fine for sponges, but it may ruin brushes. I've seen a surprising number of clients whose acne did not improve until they actually started washing their makeup applicators. Keep in mind that bacteria build up quickly on any surface, particularly one that comes into contact with your skin. This is especially important to remember with eye applicators. Never, never use another person's mascara, or even worse, store testers that others have used. Disposable testers are no guarantee, either, because you don't know if the previous customer double-dipped. At the cosmetics counter, test makeup on the inside of your wrist and arm. Don't even think of using that tester lipstick on your mouth. Better to throw out a new lipstick that turned out to be the wrong shade then to risk an infection of herpes on your face. I have seen clients with herpes on lips and eyelids they got from testers, and it is not a pretty sight. I promptly send them to see their physician and, although herpes is treatable, it is a recurrent infection, one you will have to live with for the rest of your life.
Take care of chronic dry skin
If you suffer from very dry skin or eczema, it is very likely you descended from a line of people who suffered the same as you. Severely dry skin is actually hereditary and runs in families. Very dry skin should carefully cared for because not only can it make your life uncomfortable, it also increases the risk of skin infections. Dry skin is a result of insufficient oil in the skin, which means that you have far less barrier protection against bacteria and viruses. Additionally, dry skin itches, sometimes unbearably, and constant scratching can permanently damage skin. Some other causes for dry skin is spending too much time in the shower or bathtub. Try not to take more than one or two quick showers a day. If you prefer to take a bath, make it short, and be sure the water is not too hot, as this can dry out the skin even more. Some soaps and body washes, particularly those with very strong fragrances, are extremely drying. Look for mild and moisturizing body wash or bar soap. Deodorant soaps are bad as they contain many chemicals and fragrances that can cause irritation. Use regular deodorant after your shower instead. When shopping for moisturizers or lotions, look for
- humectants such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin
- lipids such as ceramides and
- emollients such as lanolin and propylene glycol.
If you are allergic to wool you should not use any product that contains lanolin.
To get the most out of your moisturizing cream, moisturize your body and face while your skin is still damp from the bath and shower. Remember that during the winter months indoor air can become very dry. A humidifier in your bedroom can make a big difference because by increasing water in the air and hydrate the skin. Don't forget to clean it every two weeks with a solution of equal parts of white vinegar and water. The low-tech alternative of a pot of water on the radiator works just fine, too.
Anti-aging creams & Serums aren’t just hype
While it is true that the market is flooded with anti-aging creams and serums, these products can actually do wonderful things for aging skin. In just a short amount of time, your skin can look markedly younger and smoother by using the right anti aging skin care routine. Here are some of the ingredients that you should look for when shopping for anti-aging creams and serums:
- growth factors,
- peptides to stimulate collagen production,
- niacin and its derivatives,
- vitamin C,
- green tea.
Keep in mind also, that collagen production starts decreasing in the late twenties, so that is when people should start using retinol, antioxidants, and collagen boosters, especially around the eyes, as the eyes show age very easily.
Drink Green Tea Daily
Doesn't it seem that every time we open the news we find that scientists have discovered new benefits from drinking green tea? We know now that it aids weight loss by boosting metabolism, for example, but there is increasing evidence that green tea also has very specific effects on the skin. It is full of polyphenols, antioxidants that appeared to prevent skin cancer and protect against free radicals that age the skin. White tea has even more polyphenols, but it also costs more and some find it doesn't taste as good as green tea. Green tea is a preventative, not a cure, so the key here is to start drinking at an early age and to drink it everyday. The ideal dose is 4 cups a day, but this could make you pee a lot. To avoid this, try taking green tea supplements as long as they are standardized. 500mg a day should do the trick.
Enjoy green tea with lemon or lime as this increases the effectiveness. Green tea is an anti-inflammatory so brew green tea let it cool and apply it to irritated skin or to a mild sunburn for soothing effects. Bottled green tea may taste good, but it does not have the same benefits as freshly brewed tea.
What you eat shows up on your face
This may sound funny but it is true. In order to have healthy skin and hair, people need to eat protein. This does not mean huge quantities of ribs and steak. Eating small amounts of lean protein like fish (especially salmon), eggs, or turkey will improve skin, hair, and nails. Skin (and the rest of your body!) needs healthy fats, too, like those found in fish, extra virgin olive oil, and nuts. I always keep a stash of nuts in my purse and car, so much so that my friends have nick-named me The Bird!
It is also beneficial for everybody to take a 1000 mg omega-3 supplement daily. Please check out my Wellevate store for professional vitamins and supplements, so you can get top quality at a 15% discount. Just mention this blog post when you sign up.
Include a large variety of fruits and vegetables into your daily meals. I have made it a goal to include a vegetable in every meal, and I even try to include them in my snacks. You may have noticed that I have a recipes section on my page. I will be updating this with more and more of the meals that I eat, because how you eat really does make a big difference in your skin. Choose the more colorful varieties, as they are usually more beneficial. For example, a pink grapefruit has 50 times more vitamin A than a white grapefruit. Fresh or frozen berries are also an excellent choice, especially blueberries. Resist the temptation to have them with milk as it blocks the absorption of the antioxidants. If you have acne, keep in mind that consuming dairy products and sugar can make acne worse. If you do eliminate dairy make sure to supplement calcium somewhere else. Remember, you can have the most expensive products in the world and have the best skin care therapist, but if you are not eating correctly, your skin will show it.
Beauty sleep is not a dream
When people don't get enough sleep, it causes their cortisol levels to rise, wreaking havoc throughout the body. This stress is reflected in the skin, which is why people who toss and turn look so haggard in the morning. So if you want to look good, do everything you can to get a good night sleep.
I hope you have enjoyed this series! As always, I would love to hear from you, so please tell me what is your favorite beauty secret and why. Also, find me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, and please share this article with anyone who would benefit from these not-so-secret rules! 🙂