Why is the idea of taking care of our skin considered a luxury, or even worse, vain?
Taking care of our skin is important, if not essential, considering it's our largest organ, and our first line of defense from environmental stressors. Not only that, but the idea of taking care of one self, in order to feel like we can truly show up is so important.
So here are some practical ways you can take care of your skin
- Wear a mineral sunscreen. Not a chemical sunscreen, but a physical one. This is very important. They have found that chemical sunscreens exacerbate hyperpigmentation (dark spots). Not only that, they are absorbed by the skin, while mineral sunscreens sit on top and deflect UV rays. I love Color Up's Elemental Zinc daytime moisturizer that has the equivalent of an SPF30. It's great for all skin, including those suffering from acne.
- Apply moisture immediately upon exiting the shower. While your skin it still permeable and soft from steam and warm water, apply your serums, and moisturizers right away.
- Don't over exfoliate. This can not be stressed enough. Our skin has an acid mantle which acts as a barrier to bacteria, and other environmental stressors. If we over-strip the skin, it will cause imbalance and inflammation. Those who over exfoliate will often find themselves in a vicious cycle of trying to exfoliate their dry flaky skin, which then makes it even more dry and flaky. Less is always more when it comes to skin.
I also find that it's not always obvious what products exfoliate. If you are using a AHA or BHA toner, using a retinoid, and then spot treating acne on top of that with a benzol peroxide product, you are most likely stripping your skin.
I suggest finding a product to exfoliate with twice a week, or using retinal several times a week. Even better, you can safely use Skin Scripts Retinaldehyde serum nightly for a gentle exfoliation that continuously accelerates cell turnover.
- Stop giving into cute marketing. Easier said then done, I know. If you want real results, I suggest skipping Beauty Counter and diving into professional grade skincare that is likely the same price. The great thing about purchasing from your local esthetician is the fact that you get specific advice tailored towards your skin goals, professional products, and you're also helping out a small business. It's just a big win win all around.
- Stop blaming your dry skin on your lack of drinking enough water. I can't tell you how many times I hear people say their skin is dry, and they know they need to drink more water. First, yes, you probably do need to drink more water, but also if you're not using a moisturizer regularly you won't find reprieve from your dry skin. Make. Sure. To. Moisturize.
- Night time is the right time. If you are only going to do a routine once a day, you will want to make sure it's before bed. We experience more TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss) at night. It's also when our skin repairs itself, so give it everything you can.
- Don't stress too much about it. Yes 2020 was the biggest cluster fuck of all the cluster fucks, but stress can play a significant part in the health of our skin. So find things that bring you joy and happiness and try to focus on those little moments.
I have always loved the ritual of taking care of my skin, and I am passionate about sharing my knowledge, so I hope this was both helpful, and perhaps a little inspiring.