Here are some beauty tricks I’ve collected over the years that have served me well. DISCLAIMER: Product comments are based on actual use. I am not a doctor and comments written below should not be taken as medical advice. I’ll start with the most basic skin care:
Wear your skin (not your makeup) as much as you can get away with it. Make up actually worsens most skin issues and the less you put on in the morning, the less you’ll have to take off in the evening. If you’re single and crashing random places at the wee hours of the morning, you’ll rarely have time to properly remove your make up and nothing will make you age and break out faster than sleeping with it on. If you’re a mom/wife juggling life, you already know beauty tends to take a backseat to everything else calling for your attention. When you must, wear makeup that will be gentle on your skin if you have to sleep with it, i.e. mineral makeup – but that’s another blog entry. First, you need a skin care routine:
Cleanse: cleanse your face and neck twice a day. First, take off your eye make up if you’re wearing any. Even though there are tons of eye make up removers in the market, what I found works best for me is scent-free petroleum jelly. Yes, good old-fashioned Vaseline. It is gentle on your skin, it doesn’t sting, it takes off water or oil-based makeup, you can find it anywhere, and it is ridiculously cheap. With your eyes closed, apply a pea-sized amount of petroleum jelly to your eyelids and lashes spreading gently with your ring finger. Then wet a cotton pad with cool water and remove the make up on both eyes, using additional vaseline/pad if you need it. Then, wash your face and neck. But don’t use just any soap. In fact, DON’T use soap. Your face will dry up like a prune and collect wrinkle after wrinkle if you keep using drying soap to cleanse. This applies to body care as well. There are plenty of face washes or soap-free bars catered to every skin type and for every budget. One I love: Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash (inexpensive and gentle as water to your skin – they’re not joking). You can find it al Walgreens, or drugstore.com. Another great one, organic is: H2O Organic Face Wash.
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS: keep cleansing towelettes in your purse. They are not as effective at cleansing as they’re advertised to be, but they’re better than nothing. Use two towelettes to take off as much of your eye and face make up as possible and leave some moisture in. One I really like is Comodynes sold at Trader Joe’s, some pharmacies and beauty supply stores. This is the only one I’ve used that seems to cleanse well, yet doesn’t dry out my sensitive skin.
Deep cleanse at least once a week. I know what you’re thinking: I don’t have time to put a 30 minute face mask on. Well, neither do I. Blessings to whoever invented facial scrubs. Get one you like and use it twice a week, more if you have oily skin. Using a scrub or a once-a-week deep skin mask is extremely important to remove old skin cells and reveal the glowing skin underneath. If you don’t do this, your skin will look dull and harsh overtime. Some women love going for facials. Great if it works for you, but you can give yourself a facial at home and achieve the same results. Remember, nobody can work miracles if you forget daily maintenance. A scrub I love that’ll make your skin look radiant is the Refining Face Polish by Skin Nutrition with Phytomins. It’s an all-natural, affordable brand by a great company in California.
Make-at-home scrub tip: mix whole oats with honey and brown sugar and scrub generously on your face. Leave on for 5 or 10 minutes. Rinse off.
Moisturize: baby face? No, moisturizer. Your skin only looks as radiant as the moisturizer you apply to it. Find one that works with your skin type. A rich one if you have dry skin and a light one if your skin is oily or blemish-prone. When you don’t wear moisturizer underneath your make up, the latter cakes on, your skin looks dry and you look made up. Also, you will need to moisturize more than just your face… your eye area is most important, so that you don’t look tired or baggy-eyed.
There are some miracle workers in the market for aged/problem skin but they’ll cost you. For aged/tired looking skin, try StriVectin. They have a face, eye and neck creams that truly work on wrinkles and puffiness. You can use them on occasion as needed or for a two to eight week period if necessary. Their eye cream is supposed to also work on dark circles, although this has not been an issue for me. You can get StriVectin at nordstrom.com and sephora.com. For acne/breakouts, try Retin-A. You will need prescription for this, but your face will clear up. Also effective to prevent breakouts are birth control pills (if your hormones can withstand it). You will need to see your doctor about this too.
Go Natural, Go Green: Even though all natural cosmetics used to not hold a candle to high-tech, 5th generation cosmetics, that has changed. There are now many high performance, all natural, even organic – paraben and sulfate free cosmetics that will make you feel smart, on top of beautiful. Brands I love are Skin Nutrition with Phytomins, H2O, Bare Escentuals. Stores like sephora.com and online-based stores like beauty.com, drugstore.com and even your local Target carry a variety of new generation, all natural skin care products. Have fun trying!
Beauty from within: beauty does come from the inside out. That means that the healthier you are, the better you will look. This is one of the best kept secrets in beauty tricks. Keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water during the day. Eat nutritious foods and cut down on over-processed, high sugar meals and snacks that are toxic for your body. If appropriate, take a hair-skin vitamin supplement with hour meals. Your local pharmacy, as well as drugstore.com, beauty.com and many other stores carries them. Last, but not least, get plenty of rest. No, you won’t have glowing skin on 4 hours of sleep and a frantic lifestyle. Take your time to unwind, relax and let your beauty shine.