November 02, 2022
Oh how we long for the days of our youth when we spent lazy days lying on the beach for hours, parties in which we had too much fun, and fueling our bodies on sugar and caffeine. Eventually all that fun takes a toll on our skin. Add to that the natural aging process and one day we realize it's time to get serious about our skincare journey but where do we start?
The skincare journey starts by choosing a cleanser that is right for your skin and using it morning and night. Some are tempted to skip the morning cleanse. Don't do it. As we sleep, dead skin cells surface. If they are not removed with a morning cleanse, you're rubbing them into your pores. That can lead to large, dirty pores.
Clean skin doesn't mean it's stripped down to nothing so avoid harsh cleansers that leave the skin feeling irritated, dry, and tight. We want to remove makeup and dirt but leave the skin barrier in tact and the pH at 4.7 - 5. Don't be satisfied until you find a cleanser that makes your skin feel great!
Thanks to advances in skincare science the skincare journey includes choosing a serum (or two) to boost our skin where it may be lacking. Is it flaky, blotchy, or spotty from uneven in skin tone? Do have deep wrinkles or sagging skin? Is your skin loosing it's elasticity? You can choose a serum to address these unique needs.
A serum is a product with a high concentration of active ingredients with a formula designed to treat a specific issue like dark spots, skin brightening, repair damaged skin, or include advanced anti-aging. They are usually lighter (thinner) than creams and lotions. Read the product information to determine which serum may support your skin's unique needs.
Serums always go on after cleansing and before a moisturizer. You can even apply a serum prior to using a skincare device which may help product penetrate even deeper.
Healthy skin is hydrated skin. Everyone should use a moisturizer, including those with oily skin. (See tip below to determine your skin type.) Your skin type will determine if you need an advanced moisturizer with collagen boosting benefits, or one that is light but nourishing, or an oil-free product.
Side note: Hydration also means drinking plenty of water. The amount of water varies from person to person so just make sure you're drinking plenty of water every day. Your skin will thank you!
The goal of moisturizer is to help skin retain moisture longer. A moisturizer that is right for your skin will glide on easily. It should not leave the skin feeling coated. It should fully absorb within 3-4 minutes leaving the skin feeling soft and supple, not greasy or weighed down.
Moisturizers that are water-based, known as humectants are better for the face since they simply ensure the skin retains moisture longer and won't clog pores.
If you think sunscreen is only applied when going to the beach, I'm asking you to reconsider that mindset. In the US, UV exposure is 5 times greater to the left arm and 20 times greater to the left side of the face. This sun exposure triggers sun damage. The more time we spend driving, the higher our risk of skin damage. This includes the top of your hands and any exposed skin on your arms, neck, and décolleté.
If you're going to step outside for any reason during the day, applying sunscreen should be part of your morning skincare routine.
I advocate manual massage using fingertips and using a gua sha device such as the Anma to encourage the lymphatic system to function properly in the face. With an ever so gentle massage the face will eliminate toxins that show up as puffiness.
Superficial fascia is the layer of connective tissue right under the skin on the face. It acts as the girdle to your skin giving it lift and tone. Tension and repetitive facial expression restrict fascia which leads to the fine lines and deep wrinkles of the face. I've recorded lots of videos showing how to drain and release the face.
We understand the muscles on the body need exercise to stay toned but we need to give the same consideration to the muscles on our face on our skincare journey.
The biggest difference between exercise for the body vs the face is the muscles on the face are much smaller and more fragile. This calls for a gentle approach. Being too aggressive can overwork or flatten facial muscles and produce adverse results.
Devices made specifically for the face are an important part of your skincare journey. A safe and effective modality for energy, tone, and lift is microcurrent. Be sure to choose a device that doesn't zap the muscle. That is why I'm a fan of the variable current in the Clareblend Mini Microcurrent. It never zaps the skin. It adds energy to the face creating tone and lift with consistent use.
You'll choose a modality that addresses your unique facial muscle needs.
Determine your skin type by examining your skin 15-20 minutes after cleansing. If your skin appears shiny all over, it is oily. If skin is tight and flaky, it is dry skin. If the T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) is shiny but rest of skin is not, it is combination skin. If your skin feels hydrated, but not oily, it is normal skin.
To experience a transformative skincare journey, the key is consistency, consistency, consistency - and - patience. Remember, damaged skin or aged skin doesn't happen overnight and neither will its rejuvenation. But with a consistent skincare routine - and patience - our skin can be the best version of itself at any age.
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